Twenty-four millennial church leaders travel to Israel for the first time and bring their faith to life.
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, February 18, 2016 | Christian News Service | -- Christian pastors and leaders from 10 states, representing some of America’s largest churches and denominations, returning from their first trip to Israel shared how the experience has impacted their faith and perspective.
"In school, Israel was just a bunch of maps in a history book,” said Pastor Doug Reed of Bridge of Hope Church. “Coming here I was able to see the land and the real people, their love for life, and it impacted me greatly. It brought my faith to life."
Describing the wake-up call that this trip was for him, Jonathan Burgio, Executive Director of BASIC College Ministries commented, “It wasn't until I came to Israel myself that I was able to see the misconceptions that exist about what is really happening here, and I was awakened to the need for Israel to have strong friends willing to speak the truth."
Robert Stearns of Eagles’ Wings, who organized the group, stated, “Christian support for Israel is aging in America. Many of the key leaders of this pro-Israel evangelical movement are over 60. At the same time, attempts are being made to polarize the younger, millennial generation to believe that to express solidarity with Israel is to be against the Arab people.”
“We are giving them an opportunity to see the beauty of the land and its people, to meet with religious and political leaders, both Jewish and Arab alike, and to discover the complexity of the issues that surround the current tension. This provides them a first-hand experience which they can then bring back to their congregations and members.” stated Stearns.
While in Israel, the pastors had private meetings with the Mayor of Jerusalem, members of Israeli Knesset, Christian Arabs, and a special session of scripture study with a rabbi. Summarizing what he observed on the trip and how it will impact the future, Pastor David West of New Seasons Worship Center said, “I observed the incredible work Eagles’ Wings is doing within the nation of Israel to mend the relationship between Jewish and Christian brothers. I saw a unique partnership between Christians and the Jewish people, which I hope will grow and help bring peace to the world."
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