Longing for the Holy Land — A Christian in Israel

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In the wake of the Hamas attacks of October 7, life changed for all the people of the Holy Land, one of whom is this week’s special podcast guest. But Tommy Waller wasn’t born in the Jewish state, and isn’t even Jewish. Tommy is a Christian from America…

After rising through the ranks of the American work world, God called Tommy and his wife to make a change in their lives. First, they moved their family to a farm in Amish country and learned to live off the land. And then God called them to Israel!

For nearly 20 years, Tommy and Sherri Waller have run HaYovel in Israel’s heartland, providing Christians from abroad the opportunity for a “renewed sense of purpose, a strengthened faith, and a zeal for God’s worldwide plan of restoration that began with Abraham,” as they volunteer in the vineyards and fields of biblical Judea and Samaria.

Tommy shares with Yael his story of coming to the Holy Land, what he’s experienced there over the past two decades and in the past months of war, and he even surprises her with a special story of his own meeting of her father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, of blessed memory.

Listen now as Yael talks with a Christian from America about his life in God’s Holy Land.

For more information on today’s episode visit mybiblicalroots.org.

Episode Notes:

In the days before the turn of the millennium, Tommy Waller was living the American dream. Rising the ranks in an important job at a big company in the U.S. and raising a large, beautiful family with his wife, Sherri, you might have thought the Wallers had it all. But God had other plans for them.

This week’s podcast guest, Tommy Waller, tells the story of what brought him to Israel, and how he has spent the past two decades serving God’s people there.

Born and raised in the U.S., Tommy Waller and his wife Sherri were first called by God to give up their worldly possessions and move their family to Amish country in rural America. There, they learned to live off the land.

But then, nearly 20 years ago, Tommy was fortunate enough to visit Israel. While there, God again called to this Christian servant—calling Tommy to move to the Holy Land and build a new life there for his family.

In biblical Judea and Samaria, Tommy and Sherri run HaYovel, an organization that brings Christians to the Holy Land to work in the fields and vineyards that feed God’s people, and to do the same holy bridge-building work done by The Fellowship—creating friendship and fellowship between people of faith, Christians and Jews.

Tommy shares with Yael what life is like in the Holy Land—for the past twenty years and in the past few months since the attacks of October 7—including the work that he’s done, even bringing Christian cowboys from America who helped The Fellowship deliver much-needed food and comfort to those affected by the ongoing war.

And Tommy ends this conversation by sharing a special story with Yael—his own experience of meeting her beloved father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, of blessed memory, only days before the Rabbi’s unexpected passing, for an evening of worship and celebration in the heartland of the Holy Land.

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