Help A Seminarian - A Study Tour

As I begin to think about both my own future and the future of religion, it occurs to me that there is a plurality, a multi-vocal arena that is all but absent in current discourse. There is a tendency to not care much about religions as they play out, except to demonise and weaponise them against your own. We see this time and time again with the growing Islamaphobia prevalent in America. I am deeply saddened that people don’t have the adequate time to care about the history and fundamental tenants of these other religions - particularly when we share a common ancestor in Abraham.

This is the reason I am hoping to travel to Israel/Palestine this January. I want to experience, first hand, the living struggle that is being lived there. I want to participate in learning about something that is so distant from the minds of many Christians in today’s world. Not only to live the history of the bible, but to breath the same air of Jesus and his disciples. To walk the same streets and paths of prophets. To see a real life map of the biblical world! 

The cost of the study tour is $4200/person. This includes airfare from Chicago, hotels (and 1 night homestay), 1/2 board (generally breakfast plus 1 meal/day), bus, guides, entrance fees, and a tip for the driver. Primary additional expenses include the 3rd meal, gifts, and a tip for our guide if we so desire. I am receiving a $2000 stipend. This means I need to pay an additional $2200. I am requesting just a bit more than that to help cover additional expenses that may accrue related to travel (e.g. passport, phone, souveneirs/gifts, extra meals, and any extra things while I'm there). I am hoping to make the most of this trip since it will also be my first time abroad! The funds are due in early November so I really need any help I can get (and quickly). 

As some extra incentive to help, I will be doing a video diary of my time on the Israel/Palestine trip, so perhaps you can get a chance to go virtually with me! That would be marvelous!

If I get more than my goal, I would like to offer it to other students at my school who need help, so if you donate you might be helping more than just myself.

I know we live in a time when people have many many other things going on, I am only asking for help because I need help - no other reason. When I can offer help, I will offer it. That's what matters in the world isn't it? Not being afraid to ask or receive help. Sometimes we're the giver and sometimes we're the receiver. I hope you can donate whatever you can to help me out. It would mean so much and help go a long way! Help complete the puzzle for me to go! :-D


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Richard Marshall McKinney 
Chicago, IL
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