One of the features of the Jerusalem World Center that holds perhaps the greatest long term potential is the training program that will be housed there. I will soon be 65 years old. Decades ago God called and commissioned me to work with and for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. I have served as your ambassador to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
God has allowed me to stand for Israel at United Nations conferences, international peace summits and in capital cities and the halls of power around the globe. I have confronted diplomats and dignitaries with the Scriptures in my hand, reminding them that the God of Israel is not bound by the dictates of man, and that He is the ultimate ruler who sets up and brings down nations and empires. I have faced off against terrorists, had my life threatened by terrorists, including Yasser Arafat himself, heard a Muslim leader tell his followers they had five days to kill me, had demonically-possessed men try to stab me with AIDS infected needles…the list goes on and on.
I have had the privilege of being a close friend and confidant of Israel’s leaders, personally meeting and praying with every prime minister since Menachem Begin. I have read and studied the Scriptures with world leaders. I have spoken before the Knesset, prayed with Israel’s soldiers, comforted grieving families, and stood at gravesides mourning with those who lost loved ones in the struggle.
Through all of these experiences I have been very conscious of God’s calling to both represent and stand for the Jewish people before the world, and to show the Jewish people that true Christians can and do love and care for them. I will never forget my mother walking into the room where I was watching Dr. Billy Graham on television. She snapped the TV off and said, “Jesus is dead. Don’t dig Him up. Christians hate Jews. Christians kill Jews.”
So many members of her family perished in the Holocaust and the pogroms of Russia. And even here in the United States, she faced constant bigotry and anti-Semitism. I remember hearing her called “Jew witch” as she walked home from the grocery store. Like so many Jewish people she never really saw any love from a Believer. It was just before the end of her life that I was able to share the Gospel with her and she accepted Christ.
The Training Center that we envision will allow Believers from around the world to come to Jerusalem to learn about the nation of Israel and the Jewish people so that they, too, can begin to build bridges of love and understanding in cities and countries across the globe. One of the greatest needs of our day is for Jewish people simply to see that they are loved by Christians.
Through this process of training and education we can raise up an entire generation of bridge builders to show the Jewish people that there is more to Christianity than the hatred and bigotry that sadly has so often been their experience. One of my great dreams has been to see God raise up laborers to continue the work that He has called me to do. I long to see hosts of bridges built and connections made that will be salt and light to God’s Chosen People until the Lord returns.
One of the greatest needs of our day is for Jewish people simply to see that they are loved by Christians.
God has given us this location in fulfillment of a prophetic dream, and I can’t wait to see what He is going to do through our partnership and the Jerusalem World Center. One of the amazing things about the location of our property is that we will be just across the street from the Museum of Tolerance. This Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum is a major draw for both tourists and for Jewish people alike. God has placed us in this strategic spot to allow us to do great things for His Kingdom.
Often in recent days I have thought of the words of the prophet Daniel: “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32). This is our moment to do great deeds in the service of the Lord.