November 14, 2013
This past week, as hundreds of Jewish leaders gathered in Jerusalem to discuss ways to strengthen Israel and the worldwide Jewish community, I had the honor of speaking on behalf of the millions of pro-Israel Christians around the world. With Israeli President Shimon Peres and Jewish hero Natan Sharansky sitting in the front row, I spoke about The Fellowship’s lifesaving and prophetic work, and everyone was blown away. “The Fellowship, your father Rabbi Eckstein, and your Christian partners are truly doing holy work,” a Jewish leader from Florida said to me after my speech, and I couldn’t have agreed more!
After speaking with this woman, I thought about how 30 years ago the Jewish people were unaware that Christians love Israel. There were almost never representatives of the Christian community at Jewish gatherings, and there were no united Christian voices rallying for Israel. But today, Jewish leaders asked me to open up a meeting of Jewish leaders by speaking on behalf of pro-Israel Christians. Thinking about this, I thanked God for the changed reality that the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has created, a reality that clearly represents the fulfillment of the biblical words: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).
At the event, I proudly stood in front of the assembly of Jewish leaders and told them about The Fellowship’s On Wings of Eagles project and the more than 80,000 Ethiopian Jews that Christians have helped to bring home to the Holy Land. I spoke about my annual visits to the former Soviet Union, where The Fellowship supports orphans and the elderly with basic needs, and my recent trip to Ethiopia where I had the honor of escorting two freedom flights home to Israel. I stressed that The Fellowship is the largest philanthropic organization in all of Israel, and explained that we are unique because our holy work is only possible because of the love and support of millions of Christians around the world.
It was an emotional and moving moment when a young Ethiopian woman named Maya joined me onstage to tell how The Fellowship has made a difference in her life. There was not a dry eye in the room as Maya spoke about making aliyah On Wings of Eagles from Ethiopia with her parents when she was just three months old. In a soft, sweet voice, Maya told the crowd how Fellowship-sponsored programs helped her join the Israel Defense Forces and successfully complete her army service, and how her dream is now to get her master’s degree. “I want to give back to the people that helped me by strengthening Israel and being a productive citizen,” Maya said, while holding my hand.
As I looked at Maya and the hundreds of Jewish leaders who were obviously moved by her story, I felt strongly in my heart that God has blessed The Fellowship’s work. We’re not only providing lifesaving aid to millions of poverty-stricken Jews around the world, helping to secure the people of Israel against war and terror, and bringing Jews home from the four corners of the earth, but we are also uniting God’s precious children in the process.
When Jews and Christians come together through The Fellowship in shared values, strategic partnership, and faith in order to bring biblical prophecy to fruition, I know that makes God happy!
With blessings from the Holy Land,