Around 400 people attended last Thursday’s event at Nashville’s elegant Hermitage Ballroom at the Sheraton Music City Hotel! Thank you to all of you who helped us enthusiastically welcome Moshe and Leah!
For those of you who weren’t able to make it, thank you for your prayers. In the interest of spreading the impact of this evening to the rest of you, here’s the report…
The meeting began with melodic and beautiful shofar blasts by local pastor Lyndon Allen. This was followed by Darryl Hedding’s introduction of his father Malcolm Hedding, former director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). Darryl paid tribute to his father as “a true man of faith, one who had served God faithfully and singly for over 60 years.” Mr. Hedding then rose and reflected with us on the debt of gratitude we, as Christians owe to the Jewish people. He spoke of how Israel’s existence today is evidence that God exists.
Erick Stakelbeck described his own father’s faith as being not just in God, but specifically in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This stuck with him until at age 27, he opened the Bible to find this God Himself. Erick briefed us on security issues in Judea and Samaria, and offered proofs that the brave pioneers who live there deserve our support, even without the abundant proofs from the Bible. Erick’s expertise on the Middle East situation, and especially the issue of terrorism, brought sobering reality to the evening, and highlighted the idea that standing with Israel is not something we can afford to put off until we get around to it.
Mr. Stakelbeck then brought Moshe and Leah onstage and settled them both in comfortable chairs to interview them about their lives. Moshe humbly and gently shared his aliyah story, telling how he left Brooklyn 27 years ago. The Goldsmiths shared how they began their married life by moving to the “scary West Bank,” over the objections of friends and family.
As Erick approached the difficult discussion of the terrorists attacks and massacre, the Goldsmiths showed us their view of the events as a sign of the Redemption to come. Moshe was in the synagogue the day before the Fogels were attacked. He did a triple take when Udi Fogel, the father of the family, walked in – he saw radiant light around him. Moshe talked about the prayers of the Jewish people, which are prayed 3 times daily. One section of the prayers addresses the resurrection of the dead. “We have hope of the resurrection of our friends,” they said.
(We who have worked with them in Israel are witnesses of the way their single act of committing to the faith of their fathers has powerfully impacted the settlement of Itamar. They have faced mountainous hardship, but persevere through their faith in God’s eternal plan.)
The Goldsmiths’ living room curtains open toward the Mount of Cursing and the Mount of Blessing. Leah shared how in the toughest times, she throws open the curtains and asks, “Am I being cursed or blessed?” “I’m blessed.” is always the answer. So she closes the curtains and carries on. She encouraged us to always look to God and acknowledge His blessings and carry on. The blessings are always there, and to gain strength, we have to focus on them. Leah said, “God has given us the Land, but not on a silver platter. Did Abraham not have tests, and Isaac trials; did Jacob have one day of peace? How can we expect everything to be easy?”
Moshe shared that he won’t be running for Mayor this year, as the Goldsmiths feel called to devote their time to building a bridge with the nations through their organization, “Friends of Itamar.”
After the interview, we got to enjoy a slideshow of Heather Meyers’ jaw-dropping photos from the Land played, as a love offering was taken.
Tommy Waller closed the event by pointing out how we are involved in a Biblical battle that is close to the heart of our Father. He put forth a call for us all to get involved and bring our friends and neighbors with us. This call includes you, too, friends!
The Goldsmiths’ zeal, love and laughter enlarged our lives and faith, in the Buckle of the Bible belt. There were no walls – many ministries came together in unity for this event, and Jewish people and Christian people talked and listened to each other. Indeed, a new day has dawned!
COME JOIN US for the Harvest in 2013, and meet this beautiful, faithful orthodox Jewish family and others!