Yesterday afternoon, my friends and I stepped off the last airplane after a two week study tour of Israel and Jordan. It is great to be back. As much as I wanted to, I could not keep my eyes open beyond 7 P.M. It is now about 4:30 A.M. Ahhh, the joys of jet lag. But, if the truth is known, I actually enjoy getting up early on the morning of the first day back. It provides a time to talk with God all alone and reflect on what He has shown me during the last trip. This morning, you are invited to join us.
God taught me something important throughout this trip that I want to share with you. He used Truett, one of the young men in my group, to focus my attention on what God wanted me to see. He didn’t need to give Truett a lot of words to open my eyes. One was all He needed.
This year’s Timothy Team from T Bar M Camps (New Braunfels, Texas) is comprised of twelve young men and women who are investing fourteen months in a one-year discipleship training program. Throughout the year, they learn how to study the Bible on their own, practice their faith in a close relational community, and discover how to teach other believers to do the same. The program director of the Timothy Team is Keith Myer. Keith has a lot of help, starting with his family. The entire staff of T Bar M gets in on the action too!
For the past eight years, I have had the great joy of working with this amazing group of young people. Each September, I come alongside Keith to help prepare the team for a trip to Israel. We always leave right after New Years Day, traveling together for about two weeks. We explore the Promised Land from Dan to Beersheva, just like the spies Moses sent out from Kadesh Barnea.
This year’s group was simply unbelievable! In addition to the Timothy Team, I brought two young men with me. Roman and Pavel were born in Uzbekistan. They now live with their parents in Houston. Their family was deported about ten years ago because of their faith in Jesu. Theirs is a proactive faith that was bearing much fruit that the authorities took notice of. They continue to be used by God to create disciple making movements throughout Eurasia. They are very passionate about their faith.
When they got off the plane, the Timothy Team was greeted by a large contingent of family, friends, and T Bar M camp staff. A celebration and testimony time had been arranged at a local barbecue place. Did I say it’s good to be back home? Each Timothy Team member was given an opportunity to give testimony about what they have seen, heard, and experienced since January 2nd when we departed. What a treat it was to watch and listen. Each one of them had been greatly impacted by this trip. All of them demonstrated passionate hope for the future of their own personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God of Israel is the God of the whole world. There is no other God.
Going to Israel can be an overwhelming experience. Most people who visit the Holy Land are tourists or pilgrims of some kind. After a few days all of the people, places, and events seem to run together. That is inevitable. Travelers to the Promised Land must prepare themselves to see God for who He really is, instead of who they want Him to be. They must be passionate about knowing God.
This year’s team worked really hard to prepare themselves for the journey. You may be asking yourself, “How did they prepare, what did they do?” Watch the video below. It was recorded in the Solomonic Era gates of Megiddo, in the Jezreel Valley. The team learned over 150 hand signs and key words that tell the story of the Bible from Genesis through Acts. This system was developed by Walk Thru the Bible. It lays a solid foundation that built upon in preparing for our time together in Eretz Yisrael.
Let me ask you a question. Do they look like they were having fun? You bet they were, serious passionate fun!
Second, Disciple Daily has developed a series of twelve key Bible stories that form the support structure of the entire Bible. Before leaving for Israel the Timothy Team discussed how all of these stories are connected. This made it possible for them to identify how God’s grace has remained completely consistent throughout all of human history, even though the content of that faith has varied. Learning the Stories of God equipped the team to realize that God has managed His creation differently throughout all of the ages easily observed in the Bible.
Each member of our team was responsible for learning to tell one of these stories on location during our study tour. How exciting it was to listen to these young disciple makers telling their stories all over the Promised Land. Take a moment now and watch Audrey share the story of Moses On The Mountains, one of the twelve stories in our Stories of God series.
In the days ahead, we will be editing all of the stories told by these passionate young disciples of Messiah Yeshua. I am confident God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is going to use their passion for Him to make many disciples who will be passionate about making more disciples until He returns to take us all home to be where He is forever.
Many who have been following our journey through the Disciple Daily Facebook page and on the T Bar M blog page are very concerned about the condition of the Church. That concern is warranted. But I want to tell you that I am very encouraged by the passion for God demonstrated by this committed group of young disciples. They have great character. They love God with all their heart, all their mind, and all their strength. They are disciples that make disciples.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to see their passion!
P.S. – I also want to thank all of the faithful supporters of Disciple Daily. God has used you to make it possible for us to be involved in the lives of people like the Timothy Team, disciples that make disciples all around the world.