Invitation to Israel
“I’m here to feel the scars of Jesus.”
I spoke those words as a young man in 1987 during a devotional on “doubting Thomas” from John 20:24–29. Joyce and I had joined the K-Town and Baumholder hospitality houses on an amazing trip to the Holy Land of Israel.
In those days, we were on our first full-time Cadence ministry assignment as newlyweds leading the Youth of the Chapel in the military community of Baumholder, Germany. We loved those years of ministry together, yet in my heart I was wrestling with a fresh wave of questions and doubts about my faith. Something was stirring, and I felt unsettled and challenged in trusting God.
The leaders of the trip asked me to share from the Word the first morning in Israel.
I took them right to Thomas and his doubts. He didn’t believe until the resurrected Jesus appeared to Him and said, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas did as told, and he immediately believed.
I shared with those military people that I was in the Holy Land to walk where Jesus walked and to “feel the scars” in a yearning to believe and love Him deeper. And that’s exactly what happened. A few weeks after the trip I told Joyce with tears, “I believe!” Those unexpected, unsettling doubts had dissipated right into the grace-filled hands of my Jesus.
Friends, I don’t know what reason you might have to join Joyce and me on a trip to the Holy Land, but I want to invite you! Cadence Alumni Director Angie Sprague and her husband Duncan, Alumni Pastor, are hosting an Alumni and Friends journey with Jesus in Israel, January 4–13, 2024. Joyce and I will be teaching, along with our guide Omer Eshel, at many of the significant biblical landmarks in the Holy Land such as the Mount of Olives, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Temple Mount, Pool of Siloam, and more.
We will be learning and growing together during this special journey. Find out more or register today at Cadence.org/Israel2024. We would love to have you join us!
No matter how each person attending might begin this upcoming trip, our prayer will be that by the end the Bible will be alive in fresh ways and we will all proclaim anew as Thomas did, “My Lord and my God!”
Whether you are able to join us or not, may the nail-scarred hands of our Savior remind you today of God’s extravagant and powerful love for you.