TourMagination, a Christian travel company based in Waterloo, Ontario, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is launching Faithprint to offer Christians opportunities for travel with a purpose as they serve, give, and exchange wisdom on trips around the world.
Founded in 1970 to help Mennonites reconnect with their heritage in Europe, TourMagination has led Christian tours in more than 50 countries and to every continent. TM tours help travelers develop a deeper appreciation for their faith and spiritual heritage, while sightseeing and exploring both classic and unique attractions. Cruises, heritage trips, eco tours, educational tours, and Holy Land tours are offered.
Over the past forty years, Mennonites and other Christians, primarily from North America, have been building bridges with people of faith in other parts of the world on Christian tours with TourMagination (TM). On our tours we do so much more than see the most popular sights and purchase souvenirs. We learn about and interact with the communities we visit. Whenever possible, we worship at local churches and hear from the people, says TM co-owner Wilmer Martin.
For example, while in the Holy Land of Israel/Palestine, TM groups eat at a restaurant near Jericho owned by a Palestinian Christian who shares his perspective with the group. Organizations like Rabbis for Human Rights also speak to tour groups. Travelers listen with open hearts and minds as they seek to understand the complex conflict in the Holy Land.
Through Faithprint, TM will highlight optional volunteer service opportunities, charitable projects, and wisdom exchanges available on their tours. Volunteer service will include things like helping to harvest olives at a living history museum called Nazareth Village in Israel. Charitable projects might involve gathering clothes and books to bring to Ukraine or donating toward the roof of a church in Tanzania or giving a financial gift to church leaders in Vietnam. TM will work with host countries to ensure that charitable gifts and volunteer service are useful and wanted.
North Americans have much to learn from Christians and people of other faiths in countries around the world. TM Wisdom Exchanges will allow travelers and locals to swap personal and cultural knowledge. Frequently, TM tour members meet with and learn from Mennonite Central Committee service workers in places like Jerusalem, Ukraine, and Egypt. On a November 2013 trip to China, tour members will make two-minute presentations in English to university students at Anqing Teachers College. In exchange, students will show travelers their city from a local perspective. TM also collaborates with American and Canadian Mennonite colleges to offer educational tours.
TM partners with charitable organizations including Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) a micro-finance and business development organization. TM tours often visit MEDAs work as they explore a country. Faithprint will allow the partnership to go even further. Were excited that TourMagination is helping to raise awareness about and mobilize resources for MEDAs work globally, says Allan Sauder, MEDA President & CEO.