2017 Israel Impact Tour Reawakens Biblical Faith for Millennials

“Young adults thrive on action and intrigue, and the Israel Impact Tour fits the bill!” – Jarod, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Reawakening millennials’ biblical faith

“Are you ready to see an amazing view?” Pastor Jerry Dirmann asked the Israel Impact Tour group as we made our way to the top of Masada.

Not much could prepare the students for the majesty of Masada, the sprawling mountaintop fortress built more than 2,000 years ago by King Herod. The young adults hiked straight up the “Roman ramp”—a trail with sharp switchbacks—in half an hour. At the summit, our group gathered together and read prophecies from the Bible that have come to pass, while sitting in an ancient synogague. Throughout Masada we viewed dozens of ruins, many decorated with detailed mosaics and frescoes. History and heritage kept tumbling out of the stonework wherever we went in this archaeological wonderland.

Pastor Jerry Dirmann and Israel Impact student Marco

Dirmann has spent more than 10 years guiding groups through Israel, and for ICEJ USA’s pilot Israel Impact Tour, the teaching times reawakened biblical faith for the millennials through in-depth research and study. There is something dynamic about Dirmann’s teaching, which is found in the way he marries history, faith, and archaeology, or the way he lights up when reading passages from the Scriptures that he can prove actually happened in specific locations.

As the students toured Israel from the southern Red Sea of Eilat to the Golan Heights in the north, they found the entire country to be young adult friendly—lively and colorful, adventurous, and breathtaking.

Visiting the replica of Moses’ Tabernacle

In Jerusalem, we spent the better part of four days exploring the Old City. Our last stop was at the Western Wall tunnels, a series of hidden passages that peel back layers of history to reveal the full length of the Western Wall from the Herodian period. The students were amazed to learn that the same King Herod who built the mountaintop fortress at Masada had also engineered the grand expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

While enjoying the panoramic view overlooking the Temple Mount, Dirmann offered Bible passages and historical events to illustrate why this majestic city sparkling beneath us has remained, for thousands of years, the most ardently loved and hotly contested real estate in the world.

“I will never forget the experience of hearing from a Holocaust Survivor at Yad Vashem.” – Mike, Tucson, Arizona

Raising up advocates for Israel

“What would you take if you had 10 minutes to pack up your life?” asked 84-year-old Holocaust Survivor Rena Quint. The Israel Impact students thought deeply and began to share their answers. “Photos,” “cash,” “jewelry,” and “food” called out the young adults at Quint’s encouragement.

“I don’t know how much any of these items would have done for you,” Quint told the students. “But instead of the pictures, maybe you would want to take a baby, or an old grandmother?”

With the number of Holocaust Survivors dwindling daily, the Israel Impact Tour featured Quint as a special guest speaker with the goal of illuminating the Holocaust and its evil quest to destroy European Jewry.

Quint’s mother and brothers were murdered in Treblinka. Her father, first sent for slave labor, was later torn from Quint and killed. When the British liberated Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945, Quint was on the brink of death.

During her hour-long testimony at Yad Vashem, Quint charted the many lifetimes’ worth of evil she encountered before reaching the United States at the age of 10. But she also emphasized she has since lived a good life.

Israel Impact student Abbey said, “I learned so much about the history of Israel and anti-Semitism. More importantly, I learned how to use the facts of Israel’s past and present to defend the truth about it.”

Abbey, who considers herself a strong pro-Israel advocate, concluded, “I think that the Israel Impact Tour instilled in me the importance of being understanding and being passionate for what I believe in. Before I went on the trip, I felt a spark to learn more about Israel. Now that I returned to the United States, that spark has ignited into a large flame to learn more and be a Christian advocate for Israel!”

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