“Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.” Isaiah 53:1-2 (The Israel Bible™)
The young pastors visiting the Western Wall. (Courtesy)
As 30 young handpicked pastors from the United States and Canada wrap up a life-changing first trip to Israel, they now prepare to renew their focus on Israel in their preaching back home.
Eagles’ Wings is a global movement comprising churches, ministries and leaders that emphasizes interfaith dialogue and humanitarian care. Reverend Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles’ Wings, led the group throughout the holy land for a trip that began on February 1 and will end this Saturday. For Stearns, introducing the land of Israel to others is “one of my most favorite things in life to do.”
“There’s something amazingly special to bring people to Israel for the very first time,” said Stearns in a YouTube address before he departed. “It’s always special to go, but the opportunity to bring people to the holy land on their first experience is just a special joy. I will always remember my first trip to Israel, my first time in the land.”
According to Adam Mesa, the Creative Culture Pastor of the Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Israel is already a topic that is frequently discussed at the church where his father is the head pastor.
“We talk through the scriptures about Israel,” he told Breaking Israel News. “We pray for Israel, [participate in the] national day of prayer, we pray for Jerusalem, and we just did a 21-day prayer fast one whole topic was on Jerusalem and peace in Jerusalem.”
Adam stressed that Israel will necessarily become an even greater focus in his church after this trip. Reverend Stearns for his part, also reflected on the importance of pastors having a solid foundation for preaching about Israel early on.
“It’s important that they have this experience when they are young rather than waiting until they are in their late 50s or 60s for their first tour of the holy land,” he said.
“If they wait that long, they would lose 30 years of their lives in which they could have had the opportunity to preach and inform others about that connection and experience with the land as well as that encounter with the land of Israel, the people of Israel, and many times the God of Israel for the first time.”
The young group of pastors visiting the Knesset. (Courtesy)
Likewise, for Jakob Pilz, team member of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO, the trip has had a significant impact on his connection with both Israel and the Jewish people and has “made everything come more alive.”
“I’ve always had a heart for Israel and for the Jewish people,” he told Breaking Israel News.
As with Adam, Jakob’s church already places major emphasis on the importance of Israel and Jerusalem.
“Every Tuesday, it is an encouraged fast day at my church, and a day that we specifically focus on Israel with three two-hour sessions where we pray specifically for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem,” he continued.
For Jakob, who is originally from Austria, the trip has helped motivate him to act more on behalf of the Jewish people.
“With the Holocaust, it’s been important in schooling, but this trip has made my heart be more vigorous to get the message out and to be more pro-Israel and stand with the Jewish people.”
Reverend Stearns also reflected on having felt Israel come alive on his first trip to the holy land.
“I remember this feeling of saying, ‘Oh my goodness. So many things make sense now,’” he related. “That first trip changed my life completely.”
“I remember feeling like Israel was this missing piece of the puzzle of my life, of the bible, the puzzle of church history, and the puzzle of the global geopolitical story,” he added. “There were so many things that I understood when I came to Israel and so many things became clear and made sense.”
Such was the case for Paul Deary, senior pastor of the Hillside Church in Sellersburg, Indiana, who did not know any Jews growing up in South Africa.
“The big connection point on this trip has been the people,” he said. “Rubbing shoulders with the Jewish community on a daily basis has expanded things and given me a love for the people, a heart for the people.”
The young pastors visiting Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. (Courtesy)
For others on the trip like Jason Tourville, a third-generation Evangelical pastor serving as the senior pastor of the Shrewsbury Assembly in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, the visit solidified all that they understood from the Bible.
“From a Biblical standpoint, and certainly from a humanitarian standpoint, evil expands when those who consider themselves good people do nothing in the face of evil.”
Another senior pastor, Art Garcia of The Bridge Buena Park in Buena Park, CA, said that the trip has been “incredible.”
“As a Christian, I feel connected in Israel,” he told Breaking Israel News. “You can’t have Christianity without Judaism, and you can’t have the completion of Christianity without Israel.”
The sentiment expressed by Art is exactly why, according to Stearns, it is important for young Christian leaders and pastors to visit the holy land.
“For so many of them, they know the God of the Bible but it’s different when you encounter the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the land itself.”
Feb 10, 2019 0
At the same time, the Trump administration is readying further possible sanctions on Venezuela, the official said.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro attends a military exercise in Maracaibo. (photo credit: MIRAFLORES PALACE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 – The United States is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela’s military urging them to abandon leader Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him, a senior White House official said.
The Shalva Band following their final performance on “Rising Star.” Photo: Screenshot.
The Shalva Band has removed itself from the race to represent Israel in this year’s Eurovision competition because some of its members observed Shabbat and would not be able to partake in mandatory rehearsals, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
The group, made up of eight musicians who have special needs, was one of four finalists in the “Rising Star” singing contest — the winner of which will represent Israel in Eurovision, set to be held in Tel Aviv in May.
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As Birthright Israel reaches its 700,000th participant, certain voices in America have done their best to slander the organization and force it to make drastic changes. Having staffed multiple Birthright trips as a madrich (youth leader), I have had the amazing opportunity to pass on some of the love for Israel that helped change my life.
Local police in Manchester’s Whitefield neighborhood declared the vandalism a criminal act rather than antisemitic.
Protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration, organised by the British Board of Jewish Deputies for those who oppose anti-Semitism, in Parliament Square in London, Britain, March 26, 2018.. (photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)
The Philips Park Jewish cemetery in Manchester, England, was vandalized on Saturday, during which the tomb of Rabbi Yehuda Zev Segal, who died last year, was desecrated.
Protestors call for the severing of diplomatic ties with Israel during a march in Cape Town. (photo credit: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS)
A proposed multi-million dollar deal between Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC) and South Africa’s biggest dairy producer Clover could be in serious trouble due to heavy pressure from the anti-Israel lobby.
Newly-formed consortium Milco, in which Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC) holds a majority, is offering to buy 59.5% of the South African dairy producer.
We need to give the Likud Party some credit for not destroying itself in Tuesday’s internal elections. Given that primaries are the very embodiment of deal-making, political machines and big worker unions voting in lockstep, the results could have been far worse.
When it came to casting a secret ballot, the Likud Party’s registered voters did display some maturity. They weren’t the obedient foot soldiers of Benjamin Netanyahu, who has failed again and again in his machinations.
With elections barely two months away, the greatest challenge facing Israel’s Right emanates neither from the Center nor the Left, but, rather, from within.
Indeed, if recent polls are accurate, several small parties on the Right, most of which may not individually pass the minimum threshold to make it into the next Knesset, could nonetheless win a combined total of 10 to 12 seats, all of which would end up in the dustbin if they fail to run together.
August 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville shouting, “Jews will not replace us”. October 2018, one white supremacist posted on social media that “Jews are taking over the white house”, and that Trump is a puppet of the Jews. Shabbat, the same month, a man enters a synagogue during a Bris celebration and butchers Jewish people who are praying. December 2018, Women’s March leader and Louis Farrakhan (“I’m not an antisemite, I’m an anti-termite”) fan, Tamika Mallory says: “White Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy…”
Henry Ford devoted his life to two passions: making cars and demonizing Jews. When Hitler said, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration,” he wasn’t referring to his car manufacturing. He was referring to Ford’s anti-Semitic ideology that eventuated in the genocide of six million Jews.
Henry Ford does not deserve to be honored. The question the good people of Dearborn should ask themselves is: What would you do if the performing arts center were named after Jefferson Davis? If the answer is that you would remove Davis’s name, then you should remove Ford’s.
It was reported recently that the USA and the Taliban have reached a peace agreement on Afghanistan that will allow US forces to leave that country 17 years after they invaded it on October, 2001, less than a month after 9/11.
Al Qaeda had used that dysfunctional state as a safe haven and, while there, was able to plan and execute the attacks that took the lives of over 3000 people in. After the West invaded, the Taliban