To the editor:
I first visited Israel in 1987 with the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, on a mission to share Israel with leaders in the Christian community, and so we could see Israel through each other’s eyes. Being fortunate to have received prophetic teaching on Israel, I was beginning to understand that my Bible was principally about Am Israel and Eretz Israel, albeit with a Christian church age aspect of key importance to me.
Having been privileged to travel in much of the world, I expected a special tourist experience. Wrong! Although El Al landed me in a strange environment (language, culture, climate, architecture, etc.), I felt “at home.” Why? My Bible teaches my place in the New Jerusalem with the full redemption/restoration of Israel. So, for a Christian to sense being “at home” in Israel is Biblically ordained!
Our Jewish comrades were able to see and experience our love and appreciation for both Am Israel and Eretz Israel. This Israel mission launched a journey for me that can only be described as “divine.”
My wife and I took our three children to Israel three years later so they could experience the Holy Land. We have returned twice since then and are also ready to return again next year. As we continue our Biblical learning, our love for Israel only grows. For us Israel has moved 18 inches. That is the distance between our heads and our hearts.
But, what could a business man and his wife, a teaching minister, with three children and ten grandchildren, really do to support Israel from Nashville? Then it happened!
In 2006, a Christian pastor in San Antonio, Texas (John Hagee) cast a vision for a grassroots organization: Christians United for Israel. We were part of the “founding” meeting of 400 Christians.
Today CUFI has 3.5 million members and growing. We are (volunteer) Tennessee State Directors. CUFI’s mission is to educate our government, our churches, and our college campuses on the biblical commands and/or geopolitical rationales to support Israel. Our membership of 3.5 million creates a notable platform from which to speak.
One additional mission is to reach out to the Jewish community with the single message that they are not alone; we stand with Israel and Jewish people everywhere and this is an eternal commitment!
Tennessee State Director
Christians United for Israel
The Observer accepts original opinion pieces and letters from Nashville area residents on topics of interest to the Jewish community as long as they have not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be sent by the 15th of the month prior to publication to Editor Kathy Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801 Percy Warner, Suite 102, Nashville 37205. The Observer reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity, length and style.