My mother-in-law had a conversation with her friend about me. She mentioned my work with The Friends of Israel, and her friend knew that I am a believer. Without knowing much about our organization, she was puzzled by my involvement with FOI. Eventually, her friend blurted out the question on her mind: “How did the Christian guy end up working at the Jewish organization?”
Through Thick and Thin
I get it. The name “Friends of Israel” and our logo featuring the nation of Israel and the Star of David imply that our organization is Jewish. But she was missing the full name: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. Our desire is to share the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection with all, as we teach that through Him salvation has come to all, first to the Jew and then to the Greek (Rom. 1:16).
Our desire is to share the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection with all, as we teach that through Him salvation has come to all, first to the Jew and then to the Greek.
We also lovingly support the Jewish people in the face of an ever-growing hostile culture. We have a heart for them. We advocate for them. We stand with them as they suffer increasing anti-Semitic comments, threats, and attacks every day. The injustices they face are not to be ignored or taken lightly.
Almost every morning when I read the news about Israel, I am disheartened to learn of the suffering that Israel endures. Another Jewish person attacked or killed, another series of bombs detonated, another rocket strike, another political blow against the validity of the nation—it is hard to be a Jewish Israeli.
The Ever-growing American Anti-Semitism
Sometimes I shudder to realize just how much anti-Semitism has taken root in America. At 22 years old and having only experienced the many modern reforms the US has made to eliminate racism, I figure America must have learned its lesson with prejudice at this point. I’m gravely mistaken when I think this way.
This past summer I was headed to a river to go tubing on a hot summer day. To get to the river from our starting point, my wife and I rode in a van with a raucous group of party animals, complete strangers to us who were too drunk to bother with manners. One guy in his mid-twenties, pressed against me a bit too close for comfort, bellowed in my ear, “You’ve got to hear this one,” before shouting a joke loud enough for the whole van to hear. It involved the Jewish people and the Holocaust. It wasn’t funny; it was downright evil. It broke my heart. He didn’t stop there either. Several similar jokes followed. My anger equaled my pain.
The attacks can be much larger, too. Jewish people have been identified and hunted down in recent months. In December a man stabbed five Jewish people in a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York. Just two weeks earlier the Jersey City shooting that killed three Jewish civilians shook the Jewish community. Last April a shooting in a synagogue in Poway, California left one dead and three more wounded. The deadliest attack of all came in October 2018 when a gunman killed 11 and wounded six more people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Let’s Get to Work!
It’s because of evil like this that our mission is so vital. There’s terror reigning daily upon the Jewish people in the Middle East, but even at home in the U.S., there’s work to be done. It’s mind-boggling how much anti-Semitism still lurks around our communities. How discouraging it is to know that God’s Chosen People face persecution from our neighbors!
God is not slack concerning His promise. He has provided for His people for thousands of years, and He’ll continue to do so regardless of the circumstances. Whatever those circumstances may be, we aim to please Him in how we bless His people and obey His Word. Maybe it’s not so strange to see a Christian guy advocating for the Jewish people after all.
What about you? Are you a friend of Israel? Is your love for Christ evident in your love for His Chosen People?