This is Crazy!
So there I was minding my own business, listening to the various speakers at the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit when I looked up and saw two familiar faces. Not any two faces. These were the two people responsible for so much in my life and they did not even know it. I was overwhelmed to see them.
For years I have been telling my story of how I had never had a meaningful conversation with a Christian until I was 42 years old.
Let me explain. Having grown up in a large Jewish community in New Jersey, we were easily able to isolate ourselves from our Christian neighbors. We had our own elementary schools, high schools, summer camps, youth groups and even a Jewish university.
This isolation was mostly by design and somewhat by ambivalence. I grew up in a Jewish community with many Holocaust survivors. The survivors were betrayed by the non-Jewish world with very few coming to the aid of European Jewry. Pope Pious XII did not raise a voice of protest to Hitler.
We studied Jewish history. We learned of the Crusades and the murder of tens of thousands of Jews by men wearing crosses. We learned of the Spanish Inquisition and the forced conversions. We learned of church-based anti-Semitism. We learned of the Blood Libels when Jews were accused of murdering Christian babies to use their blood to bake matzah, a lie that resulted in the murder of thousands of innocent Jews.
We deliberately kept to ourselves. We did not see Christianity as a religion of love. We only felt fear and betrayal.
At the age of 41 I moved to Israel and immediately began to study to become a government licensed tour guide. About a year later, I received a call from a friend of mine asking me if I would guide a Christian couple that he knew that was coming to Israel. I agreed.
Sue and Roy Pipkin were the first Christians that I ever had a meaningful conversation with. They were wonderful, kind people and I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day guiding them and getting to know them. After a full day together, they invited me to attend a CUFI event in Jerusalem where a few thousand Christians would be meeting. I had no idea what CUFI was but I agreed to go.
To make a long story short, that night was a game changer. It opened my eyes to Christian Zionism and Christians who really want to repair the past and build a better future as partners with the Jewish community.
Over the last 9 years I have dedicated my life to this cause and have been building my organization called The Global Israel Alliance in order to tear down walls and build bridges between Israel and the global Christian community.
The Global Israel Alliance is connected with over 200 churches, we have sent 61 pastors to Israel for free, we have spoken in too many churches to count, we have reached millions through our social media and email campaigns just to name some of our activities.
All of this is because I met Sue and Roy Pipkin in 2010. You can imagine how emotional it was for me to see them this week while I was in Washington DC for the CUFI Summit.
God had a plan and Sue and Roy were the vehicles through which He operated. Like Queen Esther, they played their role and it was not until our reunion this week did they understand how God had used them in His plan.