GOD’S MISSION IN GOD’S LAND
“We need to send a collegiate church plant to Israel”, said Adam Venters, Metro BCM Campus Minister. “If there’s ever a time we should focus on the Jewish people it’s now.”
This past May, Adam and a collegiate team across Arkansas joined a Jews for Jesus campaign called “Behold Your God” which met in Jerusalem.
“Israel is twice the size of the state of Arkansas, and you can fit the people that believe in Jesus in about the full sanctuary of Immanuel Baptist Church (2,500 people),” said team leader Brandon Watson, minister to young adults at Immanuel in Little Rock. Although they faced opposition from some Ultra-Orthodox/Orthodox Jews, Adam said he was surprised at the openness of the students they engaged at Hebrew University. As part of the larger campaign, over 60 people accepted Christ.
“I got majorly out of my comfort zone,” said sophomore at UALR Hannah Roy. Every time she walked up to someone, she prayed first. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to talk to God’s chosen people,” she said. Hannah said they gave out free gift bags to the students and worked at a sports camp and a soup kitchen. “We told them we were there to show love.”
“Most did not even know who Jesus was,” said Adam. “We’d gain evangelistic traction by talking with them.” He came back to America excited about what he experienced. “There’s a movement happening in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem,” he said. “Conversations you could not have had 15 years ago you can have right now.”
God told another team member a similar truth (“This is where I’m working; this is where I want you to join Me”), said Phillip Etheridge, BCM volunteer at Southeast Arkansas Community College. Phillip said out of a country where .01 percent of the population are Christian, God gave him believers to encourage like the man who worked at their hotel. The trip opened his eyes to the global church and impressed on him the opportunities in America: “What are we doing for the kingdom with the freedom we have?”
The trip was sponsored by Immanuel Baptist Church, the Arkansas Baptist Foundation and the College + Young Leaders Team.“This trip is obviously a partnership between the three, but ultimately it represents every Baptist person in the state of Arkansas moving the Gospel in Israel. I think that’s cool if you think about it,” said Brandon.
For more insight on sharing the Gospel in Israel, go to Brandon’s podcast– Truth, Life and Leadership. (TLLpodcast.com)