How We Got Here
What are we thinking?
Let us know what you think
This was our prevailing thought on Tuesday, February 8 of 2011 as we resigned from the church in Watsontown and announced we were headed to Israel.
The number one question asked us when leaving for Israel has probably been, “What are you thinking!?”
Although we will need to warp back even further, we will start in 2008. A great pillar of our church called me early one morning. He told me that the LORD had woken him up at 4 a.m. and told him at the church need to send it to his room because of something HE had for us to do there.
I didn’t doubt this prayer warrior who fasted regularly and was in tune with GOD, but I began worrying about the obvious things. Firstly was the cost. The LORD let him know it would cost $7,000. Following that was the likelihood of this being perceived as self serving by certain members of the congregation. Not surprisingly, it did cause some opposition. I assured him I would allow it to be presented at a later date.
He was tenacious over the next year and a half in reminding me. He even started a fund on his own, but I encouraged him to trust me with the timing. Thank you, Brother Tod, for your patience!
After almost a year and a half, we were preaching out of town on a Sunday, and I told him he could present it to our church while we were away. He did so, and while there were some skeptics, people were on board. Some people came to me in private and asked if I thought he could be off in stating that “GOD had something for us to do in Israel”. I agreed that the statement seemed strange but to trust the LORD.
In the meantime, I was going to figure out what we had to “do” there. Once we knew the church was on board, we started looking into the cost of the trip. You guessed it! The cost for two people was $7,000. Funny how JESUS knew! The full budget was raised or pledged within a few months without a single fundraiser. No bake sales, no hoagie sales, no peanut brittle, nothing. A large portion even came from outside our congregation.
A month before we were ready to leave, my mother started acting strange. She was in a place I had seen her in throughout my life during times of tragedy. Her brother’s death at only 38; her other brother’s accident which binds him to a wheelchair to this day; my father’s death at 44 and other struggles of monumental proportions. We all noticed this patterned behavior occurring again, but none of us could understand why.
The week before we left, she asked us whether we were coming back. I was confused by this inquiry and answered, “Mom, it’s Israel... you don’t just go and say we are going to stay!” We knew she was wrestling with something.
When we arrived in Israel we fell in love with this amazing place. Jerusalem with its history, the Dead Sea, Masada, Mount Carmel, Megiddo; it was all so incredible!
However in Tiberias, something was different. My wife and I couldn’t stop weeping there. I remember breaking down at the breakfast buffet and thinking, “LORD what is this? These people are going to think I am nuts!” My wife had a similar experience. She stood on the balcony of the hotel room and wept. Then she felt me put my arm around her. When she looked over, I was not there, causing her to weep even more. She was sure she had been touched by an angel, yet kept it to herself.
We left Israel stumped. We had fasted, we had prayed, seeking GOD to fulfill our purpose while we were there, yet nothing happened. Somewhere over the Atlantic on the return trip, I asked my wife, “what was the purpose of this trip?” She questioned in reply, “Is there something your mom knows that she isn’t telling us?”
A voice mail from our landlord awaited us. We had been in a rent-to-own contract and found out we had two months to either buy the house or get out. While this totally blindsided us, I decided to call my mom first. I urged her, “Mom, you need to set your personal feelings aside and tell me what GOD has spoken to you”. She began to cry and said, “GOD told me HE is calling you to Israel full time.” While I didn’t doubt her, this was a major step and I need to have more confirmation. This was one confirmation down and many to go, because after all, you don’t move 5,800 miles away without being completely sure.
A week later at our district fall conference, the speaker was a man of prophecy who had spoken into our lives before. Surely we would get a word from him. As he came down the line speaking to people, he completely passed us by. Another man did speak a less specific word over us, telling us we need to press back to that place of intercession. Could it have been Tiberius where we felt such a strong spirit of prayer? Possibly, however I couldn’t go on such a vague word. We left the conference still wondering.
Only a handful of people knew yet about our situation and they were sworn to secrecy. We didn’t want the knowledge to influence anyone into giving us a false word from the Lord.
Three weeks later, I was doing my monthly sectional report for Home Missions. As a phone conversation with a pastor was winding down, he asked, “How about you, bro? Is GOD calling you to the Middle East?” He must have heard my jaw drop as I exclaimed, “Excuse me!?” He stated that GOD had impressed on him that we were being called to the foreign field, specifically the Middle East. It was as if GOD asked, “Is this specific enough?” This was our second confirmation.
Next, I asked permission from my Bishop to contact Brother McFarland, who is the District Superintendent for Israel. When I told him what we were feeling, he replied, “Brother Moore, God recently told me I would be getting calls like this and you are the first. I have been expecting your call”. The third confirmation.
Lastly came the biggest confirmation of all. Let me take you back to late 1998 when I had just finished reading in the New Testament and had turned the light off to go to sleep. I was in that state between sleep and wakefulness when “Ezekiel 27:13” came into my thoughts. I brushed it off as a half dream when five minutes later I heard it again, “Ezekiel 27:13”. I assured myself I would check it in the morning. Suddenly I heard my mother’s voice, the closest thing to an audible voice I had ever heard. “Aren’t you going to check Ezekiel 27:13?” I sat straight up, and if the next events hadn’t transpired, I may have ignored it, because the scripture did not make any sense to me. I opened my thick Thompson chain study Bible directly to Ezekiel 27:13, leading me to believe that GOD was speaking to me. The verse is as follows; “Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market.” What was GOD trying to tell me?
After years of studying commentaries, asking ministers and praying, I came to two conclusions. Either GOD was testing me to see if I would heed HIS voice and showing me the rewards of doing so, or someday I would step to the pulpit and GOD would reveal it to me. However I felt, there was more to it than that.
Amidst fasting in January, the wheels started turning. Could this elusive scripture have something to do with our call? It was written to Tyrus, but was there some significance to this? After a little more research, I learned that Tubal was a Greek Tybarenian. Yes, the people that were named for Tiberias, which was the city for which we felt the call so strongly. The rush of confirmation, coupled with excitement, that filled my soul was overwhelming. It had been twelve long years of searching for the relevance of this verse, and HE knew exactly when to reveal its meaning.
Since that revelation, we have had other confirmations from other ministers who had been a little doubtful about our call, yet GOD revealed HIS will to them. People whom I trust have confirmed this as well. One minister in particular prophesied amazing things to me over 10 years ago, feeling this was the fulfillment of such.
So there it is! No, we haven’t fallen and hit our heads. We are simply following the call of GOD.