FEAR OR FAITH ??? By Josie Silver
Israel’s new tourism minister, Rabbi Benny Elon, has been in the United States to spur travel to the Holy Land and rescind a State Department travel warning on tourism to Israel. The visit comes in the midst of one of the worst tourist droughts ever, including a 50 percent drop in tourism from the US this year, due to the violence and tensions in the region.
As I was reading thru an article from a sister who had recently been in Israel, I suddenly felt an impulse to write what you are about to read – and I said to David, I believe it should go out as the Carmel Alert comment this week.
Sadly, this sister’s article was one of the very few that I have had the pleasure of reading in this last year, about small groups of Christians coming up to the Land of Israel, in spite of the possible risks, to let their feet touch and walk the soil of this land, to be present in the land and to show support, and solidarity with Israel at THIS time.
As we all know, Israel has been absolutely dependent on tourism to assist the economy for many years now. Tourism in Israel provides employment for thousands and thousands of people. As a result of the Intifada, tourism has almost completely died, and the severity of it has affected many facets of the social structure here in the Land.
So many potential tourists, yes even believers, have been “scared off” because of what they have seen on the television, heard on the airwaves, or what they have read in the newspapers. Unfortunately the majority decided to cancel their trips, all because of fear.
Yes, there is danger here, (and it can feel intense) but where is there not the presence of danger?. There is danger in just getting in your car, standing on a stepladder, playing sports etc. It’s not about where the danger is, it’s about exercising your faith.
Faith comes from hearing and hearing comes from the word of the Lord. I personally experienced this when I first came to Israel on tour before we made Aliyah. We came JUST before the Gulf War broke out. My family were going crazy. My friends said I was mad, even I thought I was mad and I was definitely scared,!! BUT I chose (not by what I felt) to trust God – fear was defeated and faith was victorious. As difficult as it was, I will never regret the decision I made to continue with our travel plans.
Israel needs you ! – NOW is the time to come, not when there is relative peace, or the war is over, or Hamas has decided to stop suicide bombings
“Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob”………………
I can honestly tell you, because I live here, that live goes on here in normality most days, yes, there are areas that you don’t go near, but 90% of this country is safe. The people that David and I know of, who have come in the last year, said they wouldn’t have missed being here for anything in the world. They were blessed to be here at “such a time as this”. I heard numerous testimonies where Israelis and the tourists were brought to tears. The Israelis because they could not believe that ANYONE would come here to bless them at such a time – the tourists, because they experienced God’s love (and pain) for His people as they ministered in being His hands, feet and mouthpiece.
I am personally challenging you, if you have thought of coming to Israel , but have cancelled, because of fear, to rebook.
Let go of your fear, and let faith take hold, move out in faith. You will not regret it. It will be the trip of a lifetime for you. Come and walk the land, intercede, pray, weep, proclaim the scriptures at different strategic sites, blow the shofar, take the communion, worship, dance, eat the from the good of the Land. Visit some Messianic congregations and encourage them. Love, comfort and fellowship with the local Israeli people, of whom a large portion are extremely fearful and live in despair. They will love you back. Come and speak words of hope and love into their empty and sad souls.
Thru your prayer and intercession you will help to prepare the way, prevent disasters , bring healing to the land, and hope to the Israeli people. Come and support Israel and as you do, you will very obviously declare your solidarity with the Israeli people as well as help revive the tourism sector.
David and I are prepared to assist you in any way we can, with your travel arrangements. We have a project called Living Stones Tours which encourages Christians to make a more meaningful tour, than just visiting the standard ‘ Holy Sites ‘ where all you see are the dead stones. Email us for more information.