Sunny Side of The Stream: Ministry Announces Crisis Response Strategy for Christians to Bless Israel
Earlier this month I attended the Maranatha End Times Summit, hosted by one of my favorite ministries, Frontier Alliance International (FAI). They made a pretty interesting announcement about a new strategy for missions that they want Christians in America to engage with, which I’ll share here. If their vision comes to fruition, they say it could change the landscape for how Christians engage in serving other nations. It would also help Christians who love Israel to express their love in a meaningful way: to be ready to lay down our lives for the people of Israel in times of crisis and to represent Israel with sacrificial love to other nations, including ones that hate Israel.
FAI is a fairly unique ministry whose leaders tend to think outside the box. They say their mission is to “lay foundations for the Gospel where there are none, exalting Jesus among the unreached and unengaged at the end of the age.” At the conference they talked about how FAI’s mission revolves around building up the maturity of the church, loving Israel, and reaching the nations of the world with the Gospel. Besides their work in Israel, they especially focus on the Muslim-speaking world and the unreached and unengaged peoples in the region of the world known in Christian missions circles as the “10/40 window.” (See here for a helpful image of the 10/40 window, which shows the 10° and 40° latitudinal lines that the term refers to.)
FAI’s desire to build up the maturity of the church and their heart for Israel and the nations come together in this very practical, hands-on new initiative: Genesis Crisis Response. The initiative is still in its infancy. Currently they have a simple webpage where you can sign up for future updates and donate.
Marco Moreno, a retired lieutenant colonel with the Israel Defense Forces, is the director of Genesis Crisis Response. He designed and founded the IDF’s Good Neighbor project in Syria, which FAI partnered with. (In this unique partnership, the IDF and this Christian ministry provided humanitarian relief to Muslims in the midst of the Syrian civil war.) This Israeli man works within FAI and has been a crucial part of several of their projects, even though he isn’t a follower of Jesus.
Moreno introduced Genesis Crisis Response at the conference, joking, to laughter, “I’m going to show you now an efficient way to be persecuted or to get killed.” He also said, “I think Genesis is the legit, meaningful way that the Christian, pro-Israel crowd can be connected to Israelis.”
According to a slide in his presentation, the vision of Genesis is: “International crisis response through open source access to every community in Israel.”
Access to the Communities of Israel
FAI has access to every community in Israel through its relationship with Moreno. Their aim is that Christians in America (and eventually other nations) would be trained in Israel and connected to specific communities within Israel for future times of crisis. Through Genesis, Christians, such as churches and ministries, would not be joining FAI. They would provide their own funding, people and resources. What FAI is providing is the necessary connections within Israeli communities to build a partnership that would allow believers to prepare to provide aid.
Another slide in the presentation said the three dimensions of Genesis are:
- Access to every community in Israel for service in crisis
- Preparation for global crisis among the nations
- Preemptive collaboration among the global church for crisis
Moreno said Genesis’ first training session in Israel will start November 30th, be 10 days long and require 50 volunteers. The types of people Genesis is looking to recruit for their pilot training session in Israel include engineers, firefighters, paramedics and helping hands. The leaders of Genesis also plan to launch “an international communications system to inform and activate the global church for rapid deployment in seasons of crisis,” according to a presentation slide. They are also starting a fund to be used in crisis. The plan is that eventually Genesis will provide access not just to Israel, but to other nations in the 10/40 window.
A Request to Take Ownership of This Opportunity to Serve and Engage
Dalton Thomas, the founder and president of FAI, and a resident of Israel, explained his vision for how believers would engage with the trainings and with communities in Israel:
You only get rapid response if you have trained and drilled for it. So these trainings … it’s not so like you can learn how to put a tourniquet on or something. …. It’s running the drills so that we can engage immediately and quickly when the crisis comes so everyone knows who their point of contact is, where they fly in, how they engage, what’s the system, what’s the method, where are you staying, where is all the gear established.
You know, there’s churches represented in this room right now that six months from now you guys are going to own a warehouse space somewhere in Israel with tons of gear in it. The people in your community know where the gear is that you guys paid for, that’s going to be used in the next crisis. … You’re going to have the key to it. And the mayor is going to hold onto it for you until you need it. Then you’re going to come take it, unlock it, get all your gear and get to work.
“Get involved and take it on as if it’s yours,” Thomas requested.
A Vision to Fight Global Anti-Semitism and Stand by Israel’s Side When Crisis and Tribulation Hits
Thomas also explained that as Genesis expands its access beyond Israel to other nations in the 10/40 window, Christians who have been trained by Genesis under the supervision of the IDF will be able to represent Israel to the nations that hate her existence by showing kindness to them, thereby helping to fight global anti-Semitism.
What kind of future crises is FAI imagining? FAI leaders love to teach on the Day of the Lord: the return of Jesus to reign as King from his throne in Jerusalem on a restored earth. They believe times of incredible difficulty are still to come on the earth (earthquakes, for example) and that believers will not be raptured until the resurrection of the dead, after the tribulation and at the glorious appearing of Jesus. A focus on eschatology has often immobilized believers in the past with the mentality that there’s no point in engaging with the realities around us because things are destined to get worse and the church will soon be raptured out of this mess. In this case, however, FAI’s focus on eschatology leads them to prepare to give their lives to serve others, and to invite the broader church to join them.
This is a different kind of prepping. It’s not about self-preservation. It’s about self-sacrifice. It’s about standing with Israel in times of crisis and exalting the name of Jesus.
Thomas recalled how Christians in churches in Nazi Germany sang louder to drown out the noise of Jews inside a passing train, screaming on their way to the death camps. When the people of Israel face crisis again, Thomas wants the church to be prepared to give their lives to stand by her side. This is how the Christian pro-Israel crowd can engage with Israelis in a meaningful way, he reiterated. I think that’s beautiful.
This article has been corrected to reflect Dalton Thomas’ current title.