Journey Spotlight: James Oliver

When I was asked about going on a journey to Israel, I had some fears to overcome. I’m a hamburger
eater. I don’t really like vegetables at all. My view of any country outside of the United States was that vegetables were the main course of every meal. So, I pictured myself starving to death if I ever went outside of the U.S. Thankfully, Byron convinced me that I’d only need one good meal in the 10 days. He promised me McDonalds (which I never got to have by the way) so that I’d be able to eat at least once.

I also had amenity fears. To me, every country outside of the United States, the people lived in homes made of straw and mud and very few “American” style homes. So, I kept thinking about that as well.

Through much prayer, I decided to take the journey and boy am I glad that I did! I took 2 pounds of beef jerky with me to make sure I had a little something to eat just in case though. But, my very first meal in Israel was at a restaurant that had hamburgers! Then, we arrived at the very modern and beautiful hotel. This just happened to be Shabbat and the food was AWESOME!

From start to finish, I enjoyed every moment and still vividly recall so much about the trip and the education that I received there from Moshe, Byron, and John.

When I came back, I couldn’t wait to share all that I had learned with my friends, relatives, and anyone who would listen! I even did a presentation at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church, where I was the interim pastor. Today, that is where I am incredibly blessed to be the Lead Pastor.

So what’s been going on since I came back from the journey?

I have read the Bible two more times. It is amazing how when I read now, I can picture in my mind what it may have looked like that the time. As I read about Moses, I envision them wandering around the wilderness. When I think of  Joshua, and two million Israelites, I can picture them at Gilgal. When I read about David and Goliath, I can picture each army on either side of the Valley of Elah. I saw the stream where he chose his round stones. I can somewhat picture Old Jerusalem and what it must have looked like.

My relationship with God has grown by leaps and bounds because I’ve seen, with my own eyes, many of the things mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. I have seen where Jesus was born, where he spoke on the mount to the crowds, and where he took his steps toward Calvary. I am still in awe! When I reflect on all the work God has done in my life and in those around me, I like to think that some of that is because of the way my passion for Christ increased because of my journey.

If you get the opportunity to go, remember, fear is not of God! Go and be blessed! Stand with Israel NOW!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *