GOLAN HEIGHTS (BP)–In the land where Jesus walked and taught, a group of Georgia young people share their faith among the Druze.
Chatter passes between the 23 members of the outreach team from Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga. “Did you get that street over there? No, OK, let’s get that one and then we’ll move on to the next village … .”
They pause, sip some water, then pick up their sacks of cassettes and literature and trudge off. The Golan Heights swelters under cloudless skies; cloudless except for the day the team prays for rain and God obliges by sending a downpour that even locals say is unusual for this time of year.
About 30,000 Druze live in the four villages visited by the team, composed mostly of high school seniors and college freshmen, who deliver Christian materials to a high percentage of the households.
For most of these young people, this trip to Israel is their first outside the United States. Often they are invited into homes for juice or freshly picked cherries. At one home, three team members receive a whole basket of plump cherries.
During the week, one man prays to receive Christ as Savior after going through the tape and materials the team leaves.
Local Christian workers among the Druze are delighted with the warm response the Warren team gets and comment that the Druze are more responsive to the gospel than ever before.
“Never have I seen them so hungry,” one of the workers says. They plan extensive follow-up visits and discussions with the many Druze who express interest in the Christian message during the team’s weeklong visit.
Prayer is a vital part of the Golan Heights project. More than 1,000 people support it with prayer.
“God has really impressed on each of us how important prayer is,” says Chuck Gordon, project leader and minister of students at Warren Baptist Church.
The church prayed for months before adopting the project. Once they did, each member of the team signed up 50 prayer supporters for it. And the team spent their first day in Israel prayerwalking through the villages in which they later would work.
“Because of that intense prayer, we’ve seen God’s hand at work,” Gordon says.
He also beams with pride at the maturity and poise his team displays as they hand out materials and share their faith. Some of the students met with 20 high school teachers who asked many questions about Christianity.
“Though the questions were sometimes grilling and grueling, God proved himself so faithful again as always,” Gordon says. “Their questions made it impossible not to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.”
By the end of the week, the Warren team has distributed 2,000 copies of the “Jesus” film, audiotapes of the film, Arabic-language New Testaments and other evangelistic materials along the hilly streets of the Golan Heights, in the land where Jesus walked and taught.