Cindy and I shared pictures and our thoughts about our trip to Israel with our congregation tonight. It made me appreciate all over again the blessing that the trip was and is for us. I just wanted to express my gratitude for the Lord’s work through Father’s House and to you, Byron, John and Roxy in particular. I hope that God allows our paths to cross again this side of heaven. Grace and peace to you all in our wonderful Lord.
Overwhelmed! That’s the word that comes to mind when I think back on my Israel trip in February of 2017. My name is Micah Smith, I am a worship pastor for StoneWater Church, and my life will never be the same after visiting Israel.The presence of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming! So many times throughout the trip, I found myself humbled in the presence of God. I truly feel like I clearly heard God speaking vision and direction into my life in many different areas. God also gave me visions like I have never had before. Visions about my children and even future generations in my family. I also had the privilege of leading our group in a time of worship in St Ann’s Cathedral. The moment I started singing, I was in awe of the sound I was hearing. An inexplicable sound that can only be created by the voices of God’s children worshiping Him. God’s presence was so real and tangible! It was an incredible moment with the group. I was overwhelmed by the reality of who God really is. I constantly found myself in awe of the preciseness of God. It was amazing to see that everything God has done, is doing, and is going to do is exact, precise and His perfect plan. I could physically see how God created things, placed things, planned His creation and His people, and it was all for a perfect and precise purpose. It was so fascinating to take the knowledge I had of the Bible, and then see the physical locations where these events took place. Until I physically stood in these places, I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of what God was doing in those moments, and how it impacted His people. I was overwhelmed by the group of people I was with and the leaders of the trip. Moshe took us to amazing places and the information he presented us with left me in awe. This is a journey you have to take to accurately understand the people, places and events that took place in the Bible. John and Roxie were incredible hosts! I loved being able to ask John questions that brought a lot of clarity to my biblical understanding. I was also blessed with an amazing group of people that attended the trip with me. We created great memories together, and it was a blast to experience all of this with them. I can truly say that this journey to Israel was life changing for my family and I. God is continuing to use the experiences I had in Israel to teach me, and grow me into who He wants me to be. Thank you to everyone who makes these trips possible. I cannot wait to go back!
Check out Micah leading worship in St Anne’s cathedral here!
The trip to Israel was awesome! It was not something that I had ever dreamed or even thought about doing, but so thankful that my husband made it possible for me to go. The understanding that you gain from actually visiting each site can only be obtained by being there! You can read and study and hear the scriptures all your life, but once you have seen it and been there you will never be the same!
I knew a year ago that I wanted to go on the Israel trip. I saw the transformation in Roxie that I knew that I wanted to go if the opportunity came about. When we arrived in Israel we were greeted with welcome home. This is really appropriate since Israel is the birthplace of Christianity. Our family roots are there. My heart seems tied to Israel in a way I can’t really describe. For me the trip has really created more of a hunger to understand God’s Word and pay attention to every jot and tittle. I’m having fun seeing connections that I’ve never seen before. I loved seeing the covenant signs Israel having fun seeing passages about covenants. We stood at the gate where Boaz gave his right sandal to redeem Ruth. We learned that right is right and left is wrong. Right is clean and left is unclean. Then in Gilgal where the children of Israel had their camp when they crossed in to the Promised Land there is a huge outline of a “right” foot/sandal in boulders in the midst of the camp. What a reminder that they were in a conditional covenant with the Lord. If they obeyed they would be blessed if they disobeyed they would be cursed. Now go with me to The Cave of John the Baptist. You go into the cave and then descend steps that lead into the water. Before you get to the water you find a deep impression of a foot. Those coming to be baptized would put their foot in the depressions cleanse and anoint it and then go into the water to be baptized. Afterwards, they would come out of the water and break the jar against the wall of the cave. What a picture of no longer being a slave to sin that would have been for them. They have entered into a new covenant written on their hearts. Now picture us at the wailing wall. What a visual of Israel breaking covenant with the Lord. They are standing on the outside of a broken wall to worship. I was so moved standing at the wall, touching it, and praying for Israel and the Jews. What a privilege to be a Gentile believer and to be in a covenant relationship with the Lord. Our sign of being in covenant is the seal of the Holy Spirit that was given to us when we believed in Christ.
April 6, 2009 Dear Byron, John, and Father’s House, Thank you so much for sending me to Israel. I have tried to wait to write a thank you until I had time to process more of what we saw, heard, and experienced. The truth is, I am still in something of a state of awe at the wonder of God manifest by the whole trip. It has been a long-standing desire of mine to go to Israel and see the places where biblical events took place. I could never have imagined the impact that being there would have on my understanding and perspective on the Word of God. There is a deep, spiritual stirring in my soul that is like a revival meeting but much deeper and longer-lasting in its influence. There is new fire in my preaching and new depth in my teaching. People here at First Baptist have commented about the difference they hear and see in me. The things I have learned and believed for years have been re-formatted by the trip. I know them in a way I could not have known them before. It is in a small way like what our transition from hope to sight will be when Jesus comes: We hold to the reality, but we have not experienced it in its completeness. I know that I have yet to experience the fullness of Who God is and what redemption is, but there is a greater appreciation for the revelation of God in His Word and in His Son that makes the present reality so much sweeter! Thank you, thank you, thank you for answering God’s call to send pastors to Israel. John, thank you for being with us and making the trip more wonderful with your songs and your servant heart. Byron, thank you for your heart to help move us toward revival through the experience of biblical places in Israel. You have blessed my life and enriched my ministry more than I can express. I am encouraging every believer to go to Israel and experience the wonder of the land of Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and the disciples. We are praying and working on details to try to take a group back in 2010 because the excitement of the group that went has taken hold of the church!
Hallow Family at Father’s House, Words fail me, with which to express adequately my appreciation. I am truly grateful for the opportunity the Father’s House Educational Foundation made available for me and other pastors to go on an educational tour to Israel. Just being there and seeing the richness of our Christian faith was such a blessing to me. The physical evidence to the biblical message was both encouraging and an eye opener. The Lord has used this visit to give me a stronger desire to read and study afresh His Word. I feel emboldened to proclaim God’s Word. I tried suppressing my emotions the whole time I was in Israel but I could not contain myself the last day we were in Galilee. As we sailed on the calm Sea of Galilee, I saw the sun setting (as it were) between two mountains. I could not help but weep with joy for what Christ has done for us. In spite of the turmoil the human race is going through, God’s plan to save mankind is still on course. He is faithful in making the sun to rise and set, to calm the waters, and bring every believer to our eternal home, safely. Somehow, I could not wrap my intellect around the thought that my Savior walked along this sea and called some saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Now I am one of those fishermen! What a privilege! Chacha D. Mwita Pastor, Tumaini International Church
Walking where Jesus walked…tracing the path Moses took…exploring the City of David. How do you put a price on these kinds of experiences? When I signed up to attend the Father’s House Educational Journey, I knew I would learn more about God. I have been absolutely floored, however, at how much the experience has changed me, and the way I understand the Bible. I walked it. I saw the landscape. And my heart will never be the same. Sign up! Don’t wait! You will never regret it.
I am Armando Lagda Valdez, married to Lilybelle Grace Mamaril. God blessed us with four kids (3 boys and 1 girl), plus added precious children under our care. I am a product of “Calvary Bible Institute” – supervised by Sir Ken Sandberg. My wife and I are pastoring a church in Davao City, that is affiliated with – Maranatha Fellowship in Maryland, USA (IPHC). We have established relationship with Sir Ken & Ma’am Cris and partnered with them in equipping the saints through conferences, summer camps and at CBI. And just recently, after our Sunday morning service (Nov. 8, 2009), we received a phone call with the grandest surprise – A TRIP TO ISRAEL! It blew me away and made me shout for joy! Hallelujah, glory to God! To step in the soil of Israel was only a dream that we hope would come true sometime in the future. Now, that the door to visit the birthplace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is in progress, I can’t explain the thrill and excitement going on as the days go by. The trip to Israel is truly a big inspiration to us and this is happening because of the Lord’s kindness through my Bible School mentors (Sir ken & ma’am Cris) and through your generosity. Honestly, we don’t really know how to express the gratitude and the joy that is within us. Words may fall short to express it, but we sure are grateful to the Lord and to you. May the good Lord multiply your blessings! Again, i want to let you know that we appreciate the love, the blessings and the big heart. Thank you for sponsoring our trip. Indeed, we don’t know how to repay you. Simply, because we don’t have the capacity to do it. But the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach will! God bless you and your family Sir Byron and Ma’am Tammy. God bless you sir/ma’am John Turner. God bless the “Father’s House Foundation”. God bless “CBI” family. We look forward to see you on December 5 & 6, 2009. To Sir Ken and Ma’am Cris, thank you for the high level of trust and favor. God bless us all. In Christ, Armand & Lilybelle V
How amazing! I can’t wait to go back. Thank you for the privilege to be in the Holy Land last year and dreaming for another trip in His time.
You and the Fathers House Foundation have been a mighty instrument in the Lords hand to change my life forever. Scott and I have dreamed for years of going to Israel and often times would say to one another “someday!” you made that “someday” a reality in our lives. When Scott first told me of the opportunity I was thrilled for him to get to do it. He wanted me to get to go too but I knew without going into debt we couldn’t do it and honestly I was fine with that. However, when my mother got wind of it she was not okay with me not going and offered to take care of all my expenses and come stay with the kids while we were gone. Thank you, Jesus! Now that I have been I have since told Scott, “you can’t ever go without me!” Now that I know what an amazing and life changing encounter it is I want to go back again and again. Unlike other vacations ( I realize this was anything but a vacation but it was in the sense that we were away from responsibilities from church and home) this one didn’t leave me with a longing to get back to my home in Burleson but it left me with a bit of a realization that I was home. I was grieved when the day came to get on board that plane and head back to Texas. I truly understood why Moshe greeted us upon arrival by saying, “welcome home!” That land is my home, it is where all the roots of my faith are, where all my spiritual fathers and mothers lived and loved and grew to know and love our God and Father, God and Son and God and Spirit. Our first Sunday back we took some time to share about some things we saw and did and how it impacted us. I told them it was like going to the place where your grandparents were raised after hearing them describe and tell stories of it for years and years. I told them I truly felt as though I was home and that I wanted to go back again and take all of them with me. Although we don’t have a date yet we are looking to do just that sometime next year. I have already started a “Back to Israel Fund.” God is so good and so worthy of our Highest Praise. He has blessed us in so many ways none of which we in any way deserve yet he was pleased to just shower good gifts on us just because we’re his kids. Thank you for being a vessel of honor for service in his house to all of us who went. May you be blessed in every way as you continue to seek to fulfill Gods plan in your lives. You are dearly loved and highly esteemed.
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Author Byron Stinson has dedicated all proceeds from the sale of this book to benefit Father’s House. Though it is especially geared for truckers, all readers will benefit from these life lessons. Byron and his coauthor, John W. Turner, Jr., detail stories that are sure to invoke sentiments common to any trucker. Both men speak from experience. Not only have they "walked the walk" of the trucking life but they can also "talk the talk." Life as a trucker can seem futile at times. Far from it! Life has a deep and meaningful purpose. This book has been priced to make it easy for you to load up with plenty of copies to give out. Thanks!!
The Father’s Heart…
His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, (Eph 2:15-16)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)