As a Colorado pastor prepared this week for a trip to the nation’s capital to lobby on behalf of Israel, members of his suburban Denver church were busy putting their money where their mouths are.
Members of Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, Colo. were urged to give offerings of one day’s wage to help the poor and needy in Israel and elsewhere as their pastor, George Morrison, prepared to advocate for the Jewish state on Capitol Hill beginning Monday.
A regional director of Christians United For Israel, Morrison’s love for Israel is well known by members of Faith Bible Chapel and among Colorado’s congressional delegation, which met with them during three days of pro-Israel advocacy and a “Night to Honor Israel” on Tuesday.
Morrison and his wife, Cheryl, host a local celebration of a “Night to Honor Israel” at Faith Bible Chapel.
Before leaving for Washington D.C. on Sunday afternoon, Morrison accepted leadership of a new initiative to care for the poor and needy in Israel and asked his congregation to consider offering a whole day’s wage to help fund the effort, a collaboration with international disaster relief and feeding ministry Convoy of Hope.
Half of the church’s weekend offerings will go directly to Israel, and the other half toward helping feed the world’s 1 billion hungry in people in Haiti, Africa, El Salvador and other nations already served by the Christian nonprofit ministry. The stop at Morrison’s church is one of 50 “One Day” events designed to raise awareness and money.
It’s Morrison’s support of Israel and the Jewish people that led a unanimous group of pastors to ask him to spearhead the project, called Hope Experience Israel, according to Pastor Terry Kirk, who will serve with him on a national committee and hundreds of other pastors they hope to bring on board.
“We hope it’s the breath that will blow life onto these dry bones in Israel,” Kirk told the congregation.
Appearing with Kirk in launching the Hope Experience Israel initiative at Faith Bible Chapel on Sunday, Convoy co-founder Dave Donaldson told members the church and its pastor are obvious picks to bless the Jewish people.
“You remind me of your father in heaven,” Donaldson said. “You have his heart for Israel, the lost and the least.”
In Israel, 50 percent of seniors and children live in poverty, and food is scarce for them. To fill empty stomachs, Hope Experience Israel and Convoy of Hope plan to operate a food-distribution center in Israel by the end of the year, when a team will travel there in December, Donaldson said.
It was during a trip to Haiti with Donaldson and other pastors four years ago that Morrison says his eyes were opened to what God was doing globally through Convoy of Hope, which estimates that it’s served 60 million people in America and around the world. Before the earthquake in Haiti, Donaldson’s team was feeding 10,000 children daily; that number swelled to 57,000 kids after the devastating temblor.
In the U.S., Convoy was among the first Christian disaster-relief ministries on the scene in Joplin, Mo., where a devastating tornado decimated the town; in Fort Collins, Colo., Convoy assisted in relief efforts after wildfires raged in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains; and along the East Coast, the ministry worked alongside New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in distributing food and relief supplies after Hurricane Sandy’s destruction in his state and in New Jersey.
Support for Convoy and its Israel initiative will get a boost next month from two other charity partners.
Beginning Aug. 1, all American Airlines planes with video capabilities will feature a short film hosted by NFL quarterback Drew Brees during in-flight service. The promotional video will highlight the ministry’s worldwide outreaches, its Christian roots, and ways supporters can assist Convoy’s efforts.
Convoy’s history and Donaldson’s personal story involving the tragic loss of his father in a car crash and the subsequent care of his mother and three siblings by a caring, compassionate couple, Bill and Louvada Davis, are detailed in a book, “Relentless: Pursuing a Life That Matters,” written by Donaldson.