It was 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks that God drafted me into to His army of Israel supporters. When He called me, it was as if he strapped me into a vehicle going 200 miles per hour. I could barely hang on. Not only did He require that I step out of my ignorant bliss about Israel and Bible-prophecy being fulfilled in our days, but as soon as I was called to learn, He called me to teach others through a new full-time ministry. It has been a wild and crazy ride, turning my entire world upside down and inside out, and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. My daughter Mikayla was young in 2001, only five-years-old; so most of her memories of mom are connected in some way or another to my ministry work and to Israel. Growing up, I recruited her friends into our performing arts ministry as soon as they walked through the door. Fortunately for me, my daughter has always wanted to be a performer, and most of her friends were drama queens and kings, so they were happy to oblige me. This past May, Mikayla graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a BFA in Acting. Soon thereafter, she and four other CCU graduates formed a theater company that is dedicated to social causes. Still being the ever-resent Israel advocate, I suggested that perhaps Mikayla's new theater company, Boots on the Ground, create and produce a play about the "aliyah" (the return of the Jewish people to their homeland in Israel). For me, the aliyah is among the greatest Bible prophecies ever to be fulfilled-- and it just so happens to be occurring in our day. Mikayla jumped at the opportunity to use her talents, training, and love for Israel to help the aliyah effort. In January, she will be travelling to Ukraine to gather the stories of the poorest of the poor Jews that Ezra International is helping to bring home to Israel. She will then write a new play, and her theater company will produce it and present it in every place that God opens up for them. It will be a unique opportunity to use art, specifically theater, to tell the aliyah story to so many people who would otherwise never know it was happening. It will help increase knowledge and hopefully enlist new supporters of the aliyah effort. So how cool is that? A young person using her God-given talents and training for a very unique way to support Israel. Mikayla's story sums up the essence of the mission of The Sister City Program's most important mission-- cultivating the next generation of Israel supporters. Mikayla was a member of The Sister City's 2016 Ambassador Tour to Israel. That tour was life-changing for her and the other seven young adults who traveled there and stayed in the home of our hosts in our Sister City of Beit Shemesh. Of those seven young people, four already have plans to use their talents and time to bless Israel in very tangible ways.
Jordan Miles is currently serving in the Bridges for Peace Zealous 8:2 Project. He is living in Jerusalem and helping the effort to resettle the new Jewish immigrants who are streaming into Israel everyday in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Alina Bonventre is currently completing the paperwork for admission to the Zealous Project beginning July 2018. Alina is finishing a cosmetology program at Eastern Florida state College. She is looking forward to using her new cosmetology skills to bless the new Jewish immigrants to Israel from nations all over the world
Elizabeth Newmeyer is planning to use her love of animals to help Israel. On our Israel Ambassador Tour, we watched a demonstration of security dogs who were being trained to protect the Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Elizabeth wants to go back and train with this program and see how she can use her skills and knowledge to provide comfort and a peace of mind to the Jewish families who are answering the call to return to the land of their forefathers.
These young people represent the mission of The Sister City Program. Their hearts have been ignited, and they are ready to serve Israel with their time and talents:
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)