Following our trip to Israel with the Zionist Organization of America a week ago, I have pondered the places we saw, and the people we heard from.

I have heard both Jewish people and Christians voice their opinions on what Israel should do or how they should respond. However, the Israelis living there currently have their hands full with international agencies and international governments demanding actions and procedures to follow. Interestingly, none of them having to live with the choices they demand and require. Our tour guide pointed out that Israel faces daily threats from 550 Million people, all sworn to their destruction. From Lebanon Hezbollah has about 150,000 missiles armed and aimed at Israel. They have sent out videos showing their aims to ‘destroy the Zionist entity.’

We saw first hand the anger and hate of Arabs who resent the Jewish presence in Israel. They resent the legal rights Israel is taking to enforce a Jewish presence in Israel. One of our ZOA leaders began chanting to the Arab anger, “Am Yisroel Chai!” The people of Israel Live.

We saw their resilience in the construction around Israel, the resolve and the determination of the military and security forces to keep Israel strong, safe, and free for everyone, Jew and Arab alike.

We also saw the truth that the answer to their survival is a strong, vibrant faith in God. We saw it from local Israelis as they read their Bibles and recited their daily prayers. We heard it from one of our participants as she expressed her personal faith in Jesus the Jewish Messiah. We saw it in the Jerusalem Assembly where we enjoyed the fellowship and worship time. This reminded me that with all of the threats facing Israel, God is the One who defends her. “He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4).

I believe that Israel has An Authenticated past, An Affirmation for the present, a will and determination to live on, and an Ambitious future. “Am Yisroel Chai”, indeed! It was a joy to visit and I eagerly await my return. Hopefully sooner than later.