Christian Program Brings Youths Together on Tours of Israel
A program run by an international Christian organization is bringing Christian youths from around the world on two-week tours of Israel to understand the complex landscape and their religious heritage.
The trips are organized by Ebenezer Operation Exodus, an international Christian group that was founded in 1991 by Swiss businessman Gustav Scheller. The organization assisted Jews from the former Soviet Union as well as from Ethiopian in immigrating to Israel in the early 1990s. Today, the organization runs a number of different humanitarian programs that help Jewish communities throughout the world, according to its website.
Ebenezer Operation Exodus’s “Engage: Israel” program, which was launched in 2009, is “intended to help people 18 to 35 years old understand Israel, prophecy and aliyah—Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel,” according to CBN News. Last summer the program drew more than 100 children from around the world.
“My passion is to see young people getting trained and equipped here in Israel and being sent back to the nations and them asking God in their nation ‘What can I do? How can I stand up for Israel? What will you give me as a task?'” Andy Ernst, international young adults coordinator for Ebenezer Operation Exodus, told CBN News.
Similar to the popular Taglit-Birthright Israel trips for diaspora Jewish youths, the “Engage: Israel” trip tours Israel, allowing Christian youths to hike the Golan Heights, float in the Dead Sea, ride camels in the Negev and learn about Israeli and Jewish history.
But in addition to the touring, the Christian youths also participate in service projects such as working with local Arab and Jewish children, according to the “Engage: Israel” promotional video.