February 2008, forty pastors and marketplace leaders from twenty denominations went to Israel with Myles and Together in Christ, the Sonoma County Fellowship of pulpit and marketplace ministers. We also had four members of the Transformation Hawaii team and four members of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Pastor’s Prayer Fellowship. We were blessed to be joined by Tom White of Frontline Ministries. Tom travels the world bringing pastors and leaders together to help them move towards regional transformation. He has been a mentor and friend to the Weiss Family. We are grateful to God that he joined us.
We called this the One New Man leader’s summit. God has a sense of humor! After we named this pilgrimage we realized that the dates of travel were 2/12-2/21. Turns out that is the Ephesians passage on the One New Man. We began with a day and a half retreat and travel with the Mt. Carmel staff: David and Karen Davis, Peter Tsukahira, Danny Sayag and Yusef Dakwar. As always, God provided some of the finest teachers in Israel. What a joy it was to see our group of key leaders receive the teaching and heart cry of the believers in the land. What a rich time of worship and the word and what an awesome privilege to pray for the Carmel team and to see the interaction between east and west!
Psalm 133 speaks about the blessing that comes when there is unity among the believers. The passage goes on to say that anointing will come even as the dew of Mount Hermon. We experienced fellowship and blessing as we stood on the Mount Hermon and prayed for Syria and Israel.
This trip was accompanied by mystery as God blessed us with signs and wonders in nature. While we were there, much needed rain and snow accompanied us. There was an earthquake while we were on the Sea of Galilee. We heard thunder, saw lightning, stood under a rainbow in Jerusalem and the moon was blood red the day we left. It was as if God was confirming His desire for church and ministry leaders to develop a deeper connection with the natural seed of Abraham and particularly the body of Yeshua in the land.
As always Jerusalem expresses the heart of the matter; a visible manifestation of kingdoms in conflict and the gory of the coming king. Following the king who humbled himself and entered Jerusalem on a donkey, the leaders who came with us determined to do something lowly. Inspired by Spring Clean from Sonoma County, we took some time to clean up the streets of Arab East Jerusalem on the way to the Garden Tomb. What a sight! Merchants and passersby stood and stared as these zealous foreigners cleaned their neighborhood. I believe this was a prophetic sign of the church in unity coming under the burden of the Lord to see the One New Man thrive.
Another highlight for our group took place the evening Calev Myers spoke to us about his work in Israel. An attorney and the son of a pastor, he is taking up the cause of believers in the land in the highest levels of government. Part of his mission is to argue the viability of the believing community as a spiritual, social, and practical blessing to the nation of Israel. This remarkable young man happens to also clean the streets of Jerusalem with his ministry! This was a providential encounter that none of us could have foreseen.
Avner Boskey, of David’s Tent, provided the men with a scholarly yet heartfelt understanding of the word and the times in which we are living. Avner is a gifted teacher, musician, actor, tour guide and he is a pioneering gift to the body of Messiah. His humor and insight drew the leaders into an encounter with their theological underpinnings and provided new revelation for all. Avner and his family are investing in the next generation.
On our last night in Jerusalem, Rick Ridings of Succat Hallel spoke to us. What inspiration and confirmation for many in our group. His love, as a gentile, for the Jewish believers and their families was so obvious. I believe God imparted something to our team. Succat Hallel is reaching for Arab and Jewish youth together, and their participation in 24-7 harp and bowl ministry is being reproduced and expanded. One of our pastors received an impartation and is placing Israel at the center of the 24-7 prayer ministry his congregation is undertaking.
In spite of snow in Jerusalem and rain throughout the nation, (snow and rain are a great blessing to the land), our intrepid travelers ventured to Shiloh. Former Mayor David Rubin ( Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund ) guided us through the history of this sacred place where the Ark of the Covenant rested for 369 years. David was the 1,000th victim of terror. His gripping testimony reminds us of the power of the God of Abraham to preserve and prosper His people.
This year we were again privileged to visit the cheder (children’s school) where elementary school students memorize the Torah. It is ironic to see this productive, creative, loving community portrayed in the news as a “settlement” of hostile occupiers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Situated in the ancestral mountains of Israel, which the world calls the west bank, Shiloh is a beautiful example of the abundant life of Torah observant Jewish people.
This pilgrimage was unique in its purpose and the make up of participants. These key leaders were transformed by their interaction with the people on the front lines of working for the spiritual restoration of Israel. What a delight it was to witness the unity of the spirit, their love for one another and their growing understanding of the one new man. Since our return to the states I have heard countless testimonies of the profound effect produced by this time together in Israel. These men are multiplying the vision in hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in their spheres of influence.