Ambassadors For Christ
What an incredible 10 days of dashing, marching and climbing thru Israel the United Pentecostal Church Int’l Executive Board recently experienced as guests hosted by the Israeli Government’s Ministry Of Tourism. Their generosity and hospitality cannot be overstated. They covered it all!
From the time we landed on the greeting runway, to the farewell lift-off from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv when we headed home… “The Journey Of A Lifetime” never failed to amaze and dazzle us with all of its splendor. Nothing was left to the imagination! All was beyond our fondest dreams.
On top of Mount Bental in the North to the Masada Plateau in the South, Bethlehem’s Caves in the East to Caesarea’s Coast in the West… We were NOT disappointed. Everywhere our feet landed was truly, Abraham’s Promised Land. Ours to enjoy for a few days, what took him a lifetime.
And we, like Isaac of old, revisiting the walk, the wells and the wonder of those, who before, prepared the way for us. Foundations of prayer, fasting, sacrifice and determination to see a Proclamation to the Israeli Nation. Now, men like Donald Hanscom, UPCI MultiCultural Ministries Director, could see the wisdom and benefits of his long labors come to pass.
This tour started as a simple meeting over a hot cup of coffee, on a cold winters day, at IMOT Midwest USA Offices in Chicago, IL. The exceptional Cindy Iglitzen, IMOT Marketing Director and David J Sagil, UPCI Ministry of Jewish Relations shared their common goals and passions for Israel. As the vapors rose from their cups, the dreams of many years took shape.
A plan to receive the honored and revered leadership of the UPCI into Israel on a HolyLand tour like non-other. The dream, vision and passion would soon fully blossom, like “Aaron’s Rod That Budded”, into a complete expedition led by the able Consul Omer Eshel… (As in SPECIAL!)
That vision of partnership between we three, met the visionary leadership of Dr David Bernard, who graciously agreed to hold UPCI Board Meetings in Israel. The wheels began to turn and the project was set in motion on Dec 13, 2012… My Birthday! A birthing of lasting good-will also took place.
The Highlights Abounded, The Days were Full, The Delights Unending…
Day 1: Crawling thru Zedekiah’s Cave! Embracing Dr Bob McFarland-UPCI Israel Rep, Dedicating the Jerusalem Bible College.
Day 2: Solemnizing Yad Vashem-The Holocaust Museum, Viewing the Dead Sea Scrolls, Meeting Dr Uzi Landau in Israeli Gov IMOT Offices.
Day 3: Underground in the City of David, Praying on Shabbat at the Western Wall, Ascending the Southern Stairs with Psalms.
Day 4: Entering the Tomb of Jerome, Fellowshipping our Palestinian Pastor in Bethlehem, Communion at the Garden Tomb.
(Celebrating Sis Bernard’s Birthday-David’s Citadel’s Amazing Anthology!)
Day 5: Walking the Ruins of Qumran, Climbing the Deer Paths of Ein Gedi, Musing on the Mountaintop of Masada.
Day 6: Lauding the Excavations of Bet She’an, Lamenting King Saul’s Mount Gilboa, Standing where Napoleon stood on Armageddon.
Day 7: Sitting at Jesus’ Synagogue in Tzippori, Hearing Echoes on the Mount of Beatitudes, Looking “Upon the Rock” where Peter got the Keys.
Day 8: Sailing the Sea of Galilee, Fishing town of Peter and John, Multiplying of the Loaves and Fishes.
Day 9: A Crusader’s Castle at Caesarea Doomed, Speaking in Tongues at the Upper Room, Sounding Silver Trumpets at David’s Tomb.
Day 10: Farewells and Well-wishes as the return trip loomed…
One day, the “Delegation” from the United Pentecostal Church Int’l had settled down for a few serene moments in a quiet shady grove, next to the gentle rolling Jordan River, ready to sink their roots of “Eternal Bonding” with the people of Israel… As we planted an Olive Tree in Yardenit’s Garden.
The “Olive Tree” with two branches as Paul said, One the broken “Natural” (The Jews) and the other the grafted “Wild” (The Gentiles) Rom 11:16-25. Now, receiving life anew as the “Oil of Gladness” flows upward from its roots. Our hands in praise reaching our two arms to heaven.
The Plaque said “UPCI Delegation”. But they are really “Ambassadors for Christ”. These men representing the UPCI, The Kingdom of God and The Apostolic Pentecostals Worldwide. A worthy embodiment of all the best our organization has to offer… Standing tall, men like trees.
Men like The Esteemed Dr David Bernard, UPCI Gen Supt – The Acclaimed Rev Jerry Jones, Gen Sec/Treas – The Admired Dr Paul Mooney, East Zone Asst Supt – The Revered Stan Gleason, West Zone Asst Supt. Standing for The Whole Gospel… To The Whole World… Branching to the Jewish people again, who were originally the first, rooted in the past.
And who could forget our Honorable and Respected Executive Board represented by: Rev Carlton Coon, Rev Kevin Cox, Dr Brent Coltharp, Rev Bernard Elms, Rev Gary Gleason, Rev Raymond Woodward, Rev Lloyd Garlitz, Rev James Johnson, Rev Kevin Borders, and Rev Aaron Soto.
These were all ably and admirably assisted by: Rhonda Morley, Diana Dunlap, Donald Hanscom and David Hudson. Consul Omer Eshel serving as our guide extraordinaire and myself, David J Sagil, as a “Barnabas In The Background” to assist in the daily concerns.
The Spirits (Ruachs) of God (Isa 11) that were manifested in the Patriarch’s: Joseph’s Integrity (HaKodesh) Gen 41:38, Joshua’s Might (Gevurah) Josh 1:6, Solomon’s Wisdom (Chochmah) 1Kings 4:29, Hosea’s Knowledge (Da’as) Hos 4:6, Isaiah’s Counsel (Etzah) Isa 44:26, Daniel’s Understanding (Binah) Dan 1:17 and Nehemiah’s Reverence (Yir’At) Neh 5:9… Now on display in these men’s dignity.
The UPCI, during the week of preparation before the “Feast Of Pentecost”, laying the groundwork for a future outpouring of God’s Spirit where it all began. As the prophet Joel declared, “Whosoever shall call on the Name of The Lord shall be delivered… Of the Remnant of Israel (Joel 2:32).
As Dr Bernard carefully and surely dug deep into the Land of Israel… Securing our place in their history, hopes and homeland. Forevermore to show, we are there with our hearts and with our hands, to help them lay hold on their “Eternal” inheritance. The “Promise Of The Spirit By Faith”!
So… We look back on that day, remembering Dr Bernard’s last spade of soil as it fills the void. Longing for our next return. Knowing “Our” UPCI Olive Tree awaits us all in the Yardenit Garden. Let it grow wide and strong! Let us eat of it’s fruit. Let it’s “Anointing Oil” flow thru us all.
As I close, I am preparing another tour to Israel by the Ministry of Jewish Relations. Our focus is with the “Eye Of A Rabbi” on the Prophecies, the Promises and the Precepts of our Hebraic Roots. But all is loss without the Prince of Peace. So Pray for the “Peace” of Jerusalem! And join us in Israel.
(Upcoming Tour Dates: Feb 2-11, 2015 / Nov 30-Dec 9, 2015 / Feb 1-10, 2016)
VISIT OUR UPCIGC BOOTH IN THE CHURCH ADVANCEMENT AREA!
~UPCI-IMOT LEADERS/PASTORS BANQUET — WED, OCT 1ST @ 2:30PM~