Restoring Courage – 2011
I was greeted with a sensation of peace upon landing in Israel. This peacefulness pervaded the entire country, including areas of the West Bank that we ventured into. We were greeted in Bethlehem by a young Palestinian man saying how much he loved Americans. The tensions and problems portrayed in the Western media were simply not so evident to us. It seemed more likely to us that those living in the State of Israel, Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, were freely living together in this most holy of lands. That’s not to say there aren’t political differences as in any country, but this push for a Palestinian state does not seem to be coming from those living under the Israeli government. Freedom is important to people from all backgrounds.
“I escaped Communism once, under the barbed wire, ” stated the Hungarian-American man seated behind me at one of the Restoring Courage events. “I do not intend to do that again.” Those of us surrounding him were riveted to our seats, listening to his story of not-so-long ago, and his explanation of why he was standing in Israel. ” I was a multi-trillionaire at the age of thirteen, ” he continued ” due to hyperinflation.” The direction of our current government was painfully clear to him, and he had traveled thousands of miles with his grown son to participate in these historic events of courage to stand with Israel and speak up to say “Never again”.
All three Restoring Courage events were equally impressive and equally moving. The messages of speakers like Rabbi Riskin, David Barton, Pastor John Hagee, Michael Evans, Pastor Mullins, Rabbi Leifert, Pastor Khoury, who is an Arab from Bethlehem, Rabbi Rothchild, Rabbi Greenblatt, David Brog, and Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, as well as the story of “Kleiner Rudi” brought to film by Michelle Teer will linger with us all. Our group included people from Florida, Colorado, Texas, California, Utah, New York, Washington State, and Canada to name a few. We were joined by presidential candidate Herman Cain, Allen West, John Voight, and many others who chose to stand with courage. As I cannot reiterate all the inspiring words of the events, I would recommend watching them on the archives on www.GBTV.com. What I would like to convey in this article is a sense of what it was like to be there, which came from all the lesser-known people I encountered, and the lengths some took to join us.
Peggy turned 75 last Friday. She had told her children that for her birthday she wanted to attend the Restoring Courage event in Israel. Her children thought she was crazy, but they did put together enough funds for her to take a quick four day trip from Washington State to Israel just to stand with Glenn Beck on 8/24 at the Temple Mount. Peggy flew all alone, and arrived in Jerusalem without a hotel or a ticket to the event. We met her at dinner and took her under our wing. As with so many people who attended, God wanted her there and He found a way. Peggy inspired us with stories of how back in the 90’s she had gone to India for four months to work with Mother Theresa because she knew that one day she would be a saint. She knew it was something she had to do, just like she knew it was right to come to Israel at this time. Peggy ended up with a VIP ticket for the 8/24 event and flew home the next day, but not before inspiring all of us with her perky personality and stories of faith. It was a whirlwind trip for her for people half a world away, because it was where the Lord wanted her to be at that particular time.
While shopping on my my last day in Jerusalem, a shop owner near the Jaffa gate inquired about the mini fan that I was wearing around my neck. He began telling me about his grandson who is ill. He thought the little fan might make his grandson very happy and he wanted to make a deal. I looked up and noticed he had a sign for the Glenn Beck event already mounted on the wall of his shop. It wasn’t a big Restoring Courage event sign, but just one of the signs that said “Glenn Beck Event” with an arrow on it that were used to help us find our way through the twisting streets of the Old City on our way from the bus to the Temple Mount. He had salvaged it as a souvenir and was happily displaying it now on the wall of his shop. We expressed to him how happy we were that he had the sign there, and when he realized we had come to stand in Israel with Glenn Beck, he became very happy and even more emotional as he looked through his shop for a small gift. I left the fan with him, and he gave me a small Jerusalem Cross, which he kissed, saying “Please pray for my grandson, and I will pray for you.”
Local Israelis thanked us for coming to stand in Israel everywhere we went. As we left the main event, we were greeted by a line of local people standing on a little bridge overhead, waving to us and thanking us. There were two holding Michelle Bachman campaign signs. As we continued out we were met by various local groups holding signs of thanks and gratitude. They were young, old, and from all backgrounds. At one point we passed an Orthodox Jewish father with five children who asked him, “Who are the people standing up for us?” He looked to our throng now exiting and said, “All of these people are here to stand with us.”
I am so blessed to have been a part of Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage Events. Standing together with such wonderful people was truly a blessing on all sides. The messages were inspiring, the fellowship warm, and the country of Israel so welcoming to all. Let us work to keep it that way for all the children, grandchildren, and for generations to come.