Last November, Michelle and I traveled to Israel to visit our “Paraguayan son”, Cesar, who is serving the Lord as a guide in the Garden Tomb. From an early age, Cesar felt the call to be a missionary in Israel so he studied, raised his support and in obedience to God is now an ambassador in the Holy Land for Jesus.
While visiting Cesar, we went to Jericho to spend the day with Tass Saada, Seeds of Hope (www.seedsofhope.org), and Chris Marshall, Kids Around the World (www.kidsaroundtheworld.com). Once a PLO sniper for Yasar Arafat, whose mission was to kill Jews, today Tass has a love for both Jews and Muslims. Tass realized that by planting seeds of hope in children, the hatred that would surely take root as they grew up could be neutralized.
As we drove into Jericho, we first saw a monument of a key that says “We Will Return” (see photo below). They key is a symbolic reminder to the Arab people that they have an obligation to regain any territories that are considered to be stolen by the Jews. Many Palestinian refugees still hold keys to homes they (or their predecessors) occupied inside Israel before fleeing in the 1948 war.
We spent an impactful day with Tass and Chris. That night in our hotel room, we realized, like many other Americans, we had drawn a few conclusions (mostly negative) from what we had seen or read in the media. That day the myth was broken for us and at that very moment we said “we will return” … and bring others with us. We wanted to not only show “The Holy Lands” to the people but let them get to know the Palestinian people.
So, we are returning to Jericho this week. But, this time we are returning with a team from Su Refugio Ministries (www.surefugio.org), in partnership with Kids Around the World, to bring joy and good news to the Palestinian people. We will be posting updates to update our journey and give you a glimpse into what God is showing us. I hope to not only share photos with you these next two weeks but also some of the insights God places in the hearts of our team members.
I can’t finish this blog without first reminding you to be mindful of THE RETURN. Jesus Christ is returning and the day is drawing near. Just as He ascended from the Mount of Olives across from the Temple Mount, He will also be returning to the same location one day. The question is, are you ready? For more information, read John 14:2-4.