NRB’s Israel Solidarity Mission Offers Insight, Exposure to Christian Communicators

NRB | June 6, 2024 | NRB News

NRB President & CEO Troy A. Miller recently spearheaded a delegation of Evangelical Christian communicators to Israel to meet with local, regional, and cabinet-level Israeli officials, express American Evangelical Christian solidarity with Israel, and gain perspective on the impact of the Israel-Hamas war.

Presented in collaboration between NRB, Keep God’s Land, Israel365, and the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast and led by Keshet Journeys, the trip included opportunities to take part in briefings from the Israeli Government Press Office, explore key sites, and connect with local communities. Each day of the informative itinerary exposed participants to a different aspect of life in Israel during and since the October 7 massacre.

Image courtesy of Keshet Journeys/Samuel Markovich

Upon arrival on May 22, participants gathered for a welcome dinner and briefing session to set the stage for the mission. The next morning kicked off with an agenda focused on “Understanding the Situation.”

Participants began the day with a morning meeting with a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to gain insight into Israel’s diplomatic efforts. They visited the underground emergency hospital at Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital and met with a recovering patient, followed by a lunch meeting with outgoing deputy mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, who now serves as Israel’s Special Envoy for Trade & Innovation.

Participants were then invited to participate in a blood donation drive with Magen David Adom, an NRB Convention sponsor. The day concluded with dinner and a discussion on current relations with Arab countries, including the Abraham Accords peace agreements, with Israeli Ambassador to Bahrain Eitan Na’eh.

The third day emphasized “Community Engagement and Cultural Exchange.” The delegation departed early in the morning for a guided tour of the “car graveyard,” the site where 1,650 destroyed cars belonging to the victims of the October 7 massacre were collected and cleaned of human remains and debris. Read more about the significance of these efforts here. Representatives of ZAKA, a volunteer search and rescue agency, shared about the emergency response to the massacre.

Image courtesy of Keshet Journeys/Samuel Markovich

The group visited the affected kibbutzim near the border areas and gained insight to the challenges faced by local communities in the aftermath of October 7, then proceeded to the Nova Festival site. The day ended with a Shabbat dinner at the hotel, offering a meaningful opportunity for American Evangelical Christians to participate in traditional Jewish customs.

Image courtesy of Keshet Journeys/Samuel Markovich

Image courtesy of Keshet Journeys/Samuel Markovich

The fourth day focused on “Understanding Security Measures” and included a meeting with the Abu Latif tribe, a Bedouin tribe loyal to Israel, to hear their testimonies and learn about their young generation serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) voluntarily. That afternoon, the group also visited Kikar HaChtufim, the “Hostages Square” in Tel Aviv, to learn about the ongoing advocacy by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum and the urgency surrounding the return of hostages.

On the fifth day, three significant site visits—Peduel Lookout, Har Bracha, and Shilo —emphasized the theme of “Keep God’s Land” and provided insight to the situation for residents of Judea and Samaria during wartime. The day concluded with a special dinner hosted by Israel’s Minister of Tourism Haim Katz, who participated in the 2024 NRB Convention in February.

Image courtesy of Keshet Journeys/Samuel Markovich

On the sixth day, the delegation visited the offices of Israel365 and visited an IDF base for lunch and a shooting demonstration. That afternoon, they toured the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and met with Knesset member Ohad Tal.

Tuesday, May 28 marked the seventh and final day of the trip as the delegation met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at his residence in Jerusalem. As a token of support from Christian friends of Israel, NRB member Jim Scudder, Jr., of InGrace Ministries presented Herzog with a flag of Israel made up of the names of hostages taken captive by Hamas on October 7.

Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO

Herzog shared a photo from the meeting and a message of appreciation on X, writing, “Thank you to the NRB Association, Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast, and all the Christian community leaders and members of parliament who joined me in Jerusalem this morning. Together we demand the immediate release of all the hostages.”

The solidarity mission concluded with a meeting organized by the Israeli Government Press Office to meet with returnees, view a short film on documenting the experience of the hostages and their families for the national archive, and receive a briefing from press officials.

Upon return, Miller gave a statement reflecting on international support for Israel in light of his observations on the trip.

“Israel has made clear that its conditions for a ceasefire are the destruction of Hamas, the freeing of all hostages, and certainty that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel,” Miller shared. “Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East and should have international support in acting in the best interest of its own citizens, including those being held hostage in Gaza.”

This journey presented a unique opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with the Israeli people and gain a deeper insight into the obstacles they confront. NRB urges the community of Christian leaders to continue praying steadfastly in Jesus’ name for the return of hostages and for the peace and protection of those who have survived or are now living under Hamas’ brutality.

NRB thanks trip coordinator Keshet Journeys and Premier Israel for hosting this valuable and sobering opportunity for Christian leaders. To schedule an interview with Miller about his experience in Israel, please contact presscenter@nrb.org.

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