Today, we’re pressing pause on our regularly scheduled Good Word Friday to bring you the first installment of our Israel 2020 series, written by Church President Brother Joel Gehly. Look for this series every Friday and Saturday for the next month!
A small group of brothers and sisters from the Church was invited to join a tour of Israel sponsored by the Gathering of Tribal Nations and the Alliance of Christian Women for Israel. The Gathering of Tribal Nations (GTN) is an organization comprised primarily of Native American people who have a zeal for Jesus Christ and a loosely defined belief that, in some way, the indigenous people of the Americas have a bond with Israel and the Jews. The Alliance of Christian Women for Israel is a small collection of dedicated women who have a great love for the land of Israel and are committed to assisting the people of Israel.
The tour group consisted of eight Navajo and two Cree (Manitoba) indigenous individuals, twelve gentile pastors and friends of Ron and Tyda Harvey (GTN), plus the six of us from the Church. Included in the Navajo group was Mr. Jonathan Nez and his wife. Jonathan is the current president of the Navajo nation. Mr. David Harper, accompanied by his wife (Cree nation), was a Grand Chief of many tribes in Canada. The Gentile friends of Ron and Tyda Harvey were all charismatic Christian people who have a passion for Israel and the work of the Gathering of Tribal Nations.
The actual tour of the country included almost three days in the northern area of Israel around the Sea of Galilee, and the remainder of the time was spent in or around Jerusalem. The activities every day kept us very busy, and we were very blessed to see a large portion of the country. The tour guide who accompanied us was a very knowledgeable Jewish man who had an incredible ability to weave Jewish, Christian, and world history throughout the many areas we visited.
The Church, specifically the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, requested prayer for the trip before we departed the U.S. I want you to know the Lord heard the prayers of the saints, as we were certainly safe, healthy, blessed, and directed during the trip. On one of our days in Jerusalem, there were two small terrorist-related incidents, but we were nowhere near the trouble, and the only impact to us were a few detours due to some road closures. From all of us on the trip, we thank you for your prayers.
Over the next few weeks, my desire is to share with the Church some of the lessons that I and my fellow travelers learned as we viewed the land of Israel and interacted with many people. I am convinced the Lord directed this trip and specifically included the Church for His great purposes in our day. I personally believe the Lord wanted the Church to visit the land promised to Abraham (and his descendants) and to do so with representatives from the nation of Joseph.
Do I know what all the reasons and lessons are from the Lord with respect to this trip? Of course, I do not. The Lord works His perfect will and many times only makes lessons clear over time. However, we will do our best to share some of our thoughts (and pictures).
So today, Lesson 1 is thanksgiving. This is my lesson, my personal testimony, today. I am so humbly grateful to my Lord for the gift He has given me of salvation. I was deeply touched to see, feel, and walk the places that Jesus lived while He was in the flesh. The gift of salvation and the price my Lord paid for me became even more alive in my life. Thank you, Lord, for all you did to show your love to me. Thank you for your Church, which you established many years ago, and is now once again restored to earth. Thank you for the privilege to be part of your Kingdom on Earth today. Thank you.
Rainbow over the Dead Sea
View of the Sea of Galilee
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.