My trip to Israel in 2007 was lead by David Schiff, who also led my trip to Mexico and the trips to Choctaw, MS and New Orleans that Kara (who is now my wife) and I also took in 2006. Before this trip, he told us that a major calling in his life was leading trips to Israel. He’s a Messianic Jew who does a phenomenal job allowing God to lead our mission trips and teach us to grow in hearing and obeying our Lord.
From my perspective (not being able to see the consequences of all that we did), it seemed like the biggest impact we had was coming alongside and living in fellowship with the Jewish believers that we met. Quite a few of them told us stories of persecution. One said that it was OK for many young Jews to tell their family that they had become atheist or buddhist, but if they told them that they had accepted Jesus, they would be cast out. We met people who were no longer welcome in their families, others who hid the fact that they were in Messiah from their families so they wouldn’t be thrown out, and one whose mother had barely spoken to him for decades since he came to faith – until she finally agreed to come to his congregation, saw that he was still very Jewish, and ended up meeting her Messiah as well.
Tomorrow we’ll get into the some of the amazing details of the trip, but on a more general level – looking back now – I realize that this trip to Israel had as much, or more impact on my life as any other journey I’ve ever taken.
I grew in my ability to simply rest in God and along the way had a lot of covetousness stripped from me. I learned in very powerful ways that I need the help of my brothers and sisters in Messiah. I am useless to God as an individual, but His Body in unity is unstoppable. I needed to learn not to be self reliant, but instead to be Jesus reliant!
“…for whoever touches [Israel] touches the apple of his eye.”
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Photo credit: duckion