Inside View Jul/Aug 2016
During the 15 years I have ministered with The Friends of Israel, I have been impressed with the longevity of our staff. We have very little turnover, and many of our colleagues work well beyond the average retirement age because of their love for the ministry to which God has called them. Being a part of The Friends of Israel is something special, and it is difficult to walk away.
Some great men of God in the Bible no doubt felt the same way. Moses was 120 when he asked the Lord to set another man over the congregation of Israel (Num. 27:15–18). None of our staff, of course, has known the longevity of Moses. But eventually, time catches up with all of us.
Our first executive director, Dr. Victor Buksbazen, gave 30 years of his life to serving the Lord with The Friends of Israel until his age and health brought an end to his tenure. God used him to pioneer our outreach to the Jewish community and establish Israel My Glory as a reliable communicator of biblical truth.
I was saddened recently to accept the retirement of my beloved uncle, Dr. Renald Showers, for health reasons. After 27 years with The Friends of Israel and 80 years of life, Rennie’s “earthly house, this tent,” as the apostle Paul called our mortal bodies (2 Cor. 5:1), is failing. His regular feature, “The Foundations of Faith,” will continue to run in Israel My Glory until the end of the year.
Another change is also under way, driven by the realities of time and age. Yet I clearly see God’s hand at work. David Levy, now 79, who has served as director of International Ministries for 31 years and been with us for 42, informed me earlier this year that he feels it is time for someone else to take the reins. A much-loved author, speaker, and leader of our international outreach, David is highly regarded by all who know him, both within and without The Friends of Israel.
As he transitions away from International Ministries, I am pleased to say he has accepted the new post of director of Worldwide Ministry Development. This position will minimize David’s need to travel abroad while still utilizing his many talents and vast reservoir of experience to assist me in developing The Friends of Israel ministry. His responsibilities will include consulting, mentoring, training, writing, speaking, and special projects.
Shortly after David spoke with me, God began revealing to us the man He has been preparing to succeed David. I’m excited to share with you that Dr. Mike Stallard has accepted the call to become the director of International Ministries for The Friends of Israel. You may already be familiar with Mike through his articles in Israel My Glory.
He is a highly accomplished theologian, pastor, mentor, and author. Since 2008, he has served as dean of Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He is an extremely capable administrator and was instrumental in initiating and leading the seminary’s PhD program, which balances academic rigor with global-ministry leadership.
Throughout his 22 years at the seminary, Mike led Mission Scranton, an urban, inner-city outreach that he founded to reach the Scranton, Pennsylvania, community with the gospel. Mike modeled leadership and mentored students as pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Scranton. And more, he has a love for Israel and the Jewish people.
I am encouraged to see how the Lord so wonderfully provides for The Friends of Israel. He graciously directed Mike to us at precisely the right time and is allowing David to continue with us. To God be the glory.