Our second full day is wrapping up and it has been another fantastic day of presentations and discussions. Hanoch Young, Orthodox Jew and Israeli tour guide, led off with a moving presentation wherein he described and discussed the treatment of Jews by both Christendom and the Messianic community. A bit after his presentation, we gathered in round table discussions to further consider how we can best interact with Israel and how best to serve and bless our brother Judah without causing walls to be put up due to imposing improper paradigms on our relationship. This is a matter for future posts and thoughts.
Frank Houtz also made an excellent presentation for the school his congregation recently purchased with the help of other donors. Named Jefferson College at Pilot View, it will be a place of training in linguistics, methodology, philosophy and Hebraic thought. The purpose is to prepare the next generation and those of this generation in quality research methods and linguistics so that we can build a firm foundation of sound research and Bible scholarship. Hopefully, in the near future, Frank will have an online presentation that I can share to better help convey the vision for this important building block for educating ourselves and our youth. One item he did mention at the end of his presentation is that now that the building has been secured and paid for, there is a need for funding to begin teaching the expected courses. Consider this as a terrific ministry outside of Israel worthy of your investment.
The middle part of the day included a talk by an Aramean Christian who is helping to repatriate Aramean Christians who were present millennia ago. Recall that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were ‘wandering Aramean (s)…’ (Deu. 26:5) Through his presentation he demonstrated that there are groups who are non-Jewish being welcomed back into the Land.
The afternoon session included an excellent presentation by an Israeli attorney who described and discussed the political climate in Israel as well as the parameters and challenges to owning businesses in Israel.
Our first evening presentation was indeed, just that, a presentation of the owners of the hotel to us. We had seen them serving and working throughout the week, and had also seen the divots in the lobby floor from where they had withstood a terror attack about 12 years ago. In fact, the owners have both suffered physical injury at one point to maintain a presence in Samaria. What wonderful humble heroes who are convinced of their call to honor the Holy One of Israel by standing firm on the land promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Further, they understand who Yosef/Ephraim is and they look to the day of his return.
In fact, a high percentage of both Old and New Testament history took place within a few miles of this location, but many tours will not even come into this region because they prefer to stay near the supposedly safer confines of Jerusalem. How blessed we have been to visit many sites in Judea and Samaria because of the central location of the Eshel Hashomron. [A side note: I have felt completely safe at all times in Israel!! Besides the fact that we have the protection of Yehovah, the nation as a whole is considerably safer than downtown Chicago.]
The evening session was rounded out by Ephraim Frank teaching about finances from Scripture. His focus was the Mishkan (Tabernacle), priesthood, hearts of righteousness and faithfulness.
After the evening session we spent a long time saying goodbyes. We have made so many new friends and connections across the planet with Messianic believers from Sri Lanka to Washington state, Sweden to Jordan, and of course, precious brothers and sisters of Judah from right here in Israel! We get up in a couple hours to head for the lobby and Ben Gurion Airport, and I feel like I am leaving a piece of me behind, already.
I look forward to processing and further reporting on this Congress in the coming days. For now, pray for the safe travel of the delegates, as well as the many plans already in the works for the coming months. (Hint: Bern, Switzerland in December, Orlando in January… you are invited.)