NOTE: The following are
reflections on Sally's
mission trips to Israel in
2004, 2006, and 2008
The first time I visited Israel was in January 2004. As a Jewish believer many people had communicated to me over the years, the absolute necessity of going to see "The Land." I was quite resistant to the idea, even when my father offered me a free ticket. I had no natural desire to see Israel. But I began to realize God was calling me to Israel.
We assembled a small team from our church, The Valley Vineyard of Reseda, CA, and flew across the globe to hand out school supplies to underprivileged children, winter jackets and toiletries to Israeli soldiers.
Over the years we visited some places in Israel most tourists don't see, ALEH, an amazing residential treatment center in the Negev that cares for severely disabled children was just one of those places.
We ministered to children and soldiers in song, and with our prayers and encouragement. Of course, we walked in those places spoken of in the Bible.
I rode an old boat on the Sea of Galilee, walked under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, saw Gethsemane, and crossed the threshold of the Garden Tomb. And some of us enjoyed dressing up in the customary garb of the time and riding the popular transportation of the day.
In 2008 I went with our teenage daughter, Bonnie Joy, and enjoyed worshipping the Lord with her on the beach in Tel Aviv. Each time the Lord met me in a very personal way. But perhaps the most meaningful part of my time in Israel was having the opportunity to minister to Jewish believers wherever we traveled.
One time I went to Israel a couple of women from our Vineyard team and I stayed behind while the rest of the team went to see the Jordan river and participate in a baptism. We ministered to 50-60 Russian Jewish women in a congregation in Haifa, Tents of Mercy, who were believers. The congregation prepared a lunch for all of us and then I shared in worship and testimony. Afterwards, we had a deep time of one-on-one prayer for anyone who had need. There were many with tears who were met through our time of prayer. The Lord was there with us in that place, present to heal, comfort, and save.
I know I will see Israel again. This is something the Lord has made clear in my life. One night I was praying with a couple friends, who were also considering whether or not they would go on that first trip to Israel. As we laid our hearts before the Lord I had a picture in my mind of a small mound of dust in a corner. The understanding that came to me with this picture was that every Jew is born with the dust of Israel in their frame. It is not a question of whether we want it or need it. Israel is in our bones.
— Sally Klein O'Connor