The Decision is No Different, But Simply More Defined

A significant portion of my time each week is spent producing content about Israel. I’ll be honest though. Since January of this year, I’ve gotten tired of constantly reporting about the terror attacks that have been taking place on a weekly basis. 

For instance, this week there was a shooting attack in Jerusalem about three hours before my wife and I traveled near that exact spot. A few days later, a bus was shot at in Samaria only minutes before several of our staff drove through on their way to the airport. These attacks remind us of the fight for the land of Israel on a daily basis.

I’m sick and tired of the terrorism. Israelis have had enough. Israel supporters have had enough of the violence and Jihad that is constantly being committed against the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Unfortunately, I believe it is also causing some people to cancel, or at the least, postpone their plans to visit the Holy Land. Our organization was even forced to cancel an upcoming Heartland Experience program due to not having enough applicants. 

If you read last week’s article, you know that the people of Israel are most impacted when Christian Zionists come to the Holy Land, not only during the good times but also during times of hardship and trial. During the 2014 war with Gaza, when rockets were being shot daily into the cities of Israel, we were here, along with volunteers from all over the world. Israelis were surprised and strengthened that we stayed. 

More than one million tourists have already visited Israel in 2023. My hope is that those numbers will continue throughout the rest of this year, so that Israel’s tourism industry can continue to bounce back after the dry years during COVID. 

Nevertheless, coming to Israel must be a choice that we all make. I can confidently say that there is no safer place to be than in the center of God’s will. Statistically, you’re at the most risk when driving to the airport to catch a flight to Israel. If you live in or near a big city, you’d likely be terrified to go out at night if all of the murders were reported on international mainstream media. You’re definitely safer in Judea and Samaria than you are in Chicago or Los Angeles. 

This doesn’t negate the fact that terrorism has been on the rise in the last four months, and attacks are happening all around us on a near daily basis. 

The choice becomes more defined for those of us who are standing with and coming to Israel. Do we trust that we are in the center of God’s will, and put our safety, as well as the safety of our families, in His hands whilst we stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters in the land of Israel? Do we risk getting in the car and driving on the roads of Judea and Samaria, never quite knowing which of the Arab cars around us are friendly, and which are those who want to murder Jews? 

Our organization has chosen to be on the forefront of Israel’s biblical heartland for the last twenty years. We’ve experienced highs and lows as we’ve stood with the brave Jewish pioneers who call Judea and Samaria home. Thanks to thousands of you, we’ve hosted Christian Zionists from more than thirty countries to come and plant their feet alongside us and the Jewish people as we proclaim to the world that we unequivocally support Israel’s right to be sovereign in their own land. 

Right now, we have a group from four different countries who are planting trees in Judea and Samaria. They have made their choice. 

Even though Israel is in the midst of experiencing terrorist attacks on a weekly basis, the situation is not more or less risky than it has been during the last twenty years. I believe the choice of whether or not we will be here in the land is simply more defined. 

We’ve made our choice. We’re standing on the front lines of the fight for the restoration of God’s Kingdom back to Israel, and will continue to do so. Will you join us?

About the author

Luke Hilton is the Director of Marketing for HaYovel, an organization that brings Christians to Judea and Samaria, the Biblical Heartland of Israel, to serve the land and people in volunteer service. Luke has been speaking about Israel since 2011, and has traveled extensively in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia speaking about Israel. He currently co-hosts The Israel Guys Youtube channel and podcast. Luke is based in Israel with his lovely wife Olivia and their five beautiful children.

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11 Responses
  1. Gary Ede

    How are you able to live in Israel past the tourist visa limits. Am interested in living there as a Christian.

  2. Ben Dor

    First, as a Jew living in Israel, I would like to thank all our Christian supporters, those who live here and those the volunteer or visit the Holy Land as pilgrims and tourists.

    We appreciate it very much.

    As for the Palestinian terrorrist organizations, I have a request from all our supporters, kindly contact your government officials and request them to stop 🛑 funding the Palestinian terrorrist organizations and UNRWA.

    That’s the only way to dry up the swamps of terrorism.

    God Bless you all 🙏

  3. jim webb

    i was one of those who got the call that my Heartland Trip scheduled for May was cancelled. I would have come if i was the only one. So , it was moved to the next scheduled Heartland Trip in late November. As a result, i have scheduled a grape harvest trip for 2 weeks for August. That is my answer!! So i’m planning for 2 trips not the one. I want to stand on the mountains of Israel to bless our God who is faithful and stand alongside his people in their own land as promised to Abraham.

  4. Elizabeth Vance

    My first time in Israel was 2011, In 2014 I was there twice, once for 3 months working with a Mission that provided many things for the Jewish people, and again with a worldwide prayer organization praying for Israel and its people. In 2011 one of our sponsors was a Canadian Christian Television Network. Our visit was broadcasted day by day, sending out the truth to Jewish and Gentile people alike. I have remained in prayer and support for Israel according to the Word of God and the love God has given me for His people and land. I thank God for all of you, Jew and Gentile who have answered His call to do your part to support His work there. I thank Him for giving me the privilege of those precious visits. I thank Him for His awesome plans for Israel, the land and the people; for the Church of Jesus Christ and the joy set before us. May He enrich your service for Him, with a refreshing of His Spirit and anointing in power and strength and grace. Let there be an increase in the harvest.

  5. Judith

    I first toured Israel in 1988. It was a 40t h anniversary for the nation. There was so much unrest, i almost canceled. Thankfully I didn’t and had a wonderful stay. This, being a year of celebration for Israel, seems obvious there will be attempted disruptionss of all kinds. I have faith it will settle down by next year and tourism will increase. God will deliver. Bless you all.

  6. James Dooley

    Praying for the sovereign state of Israel to expand and effectively defend itself from ALL who would attack it. 🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️

  7. Andrea Carter

    Ben Dor,
    I totally agree with the comment you have written here. God bless The Israel Guys and Israel.

  8. Barb M

    Yes I will contact my government officials and I send money to 2 organizations that support the Jewish people in Israel and other countries and I pray 🙏 for Jerusalem and is to and all of Gods people wishing you Shalom peace !!

  9. Cathy Young

    I am one of your subscribers. God has neither provided the finances or the ability for me to visit Israel. I support you in prayer. It is hard to imagine how you are feeling and coping or not coping in your situation. But why are you only expecting support through tourism? Do you know that in England, where I am, people are relying on charities to feed them? Do you know in USA where you come from, homelessness has vastly increased? The increase in terrorism is definitely affecting tourism in Israel but the economics of the world in general is affecting tourism everywhere. Please seek the Lord about what He wants you to do differently. Maybe ask Him for a new vision. The people visiting Israel now are divinely called or have business or family there. The majority aren’t going to choose Israel for a holiday now. I know a group of spirit filled ladies who have cancelled their trip to Israel because of the problems. If tourism is your lively hood, it may be time to think outside the box.