He’s not a secret agent, yet there’s something agent-like about him. American by birth and using the alias Gershon, he lives embedded in the field, a key contact for short-term mission teams to Israel. Gershon keeps a home with his family in Galilee, in a nondescript maze of neighborhoods. And there, in a chamber of the cinder block basement beneath the living room, are Bibles, Scripture booklets, and gospel tracts in 30 languages, all stacked tightly on shelves.
At one time Gershon and his wife, an Israeli believer in Yeshua, wondered how to take the gospel to half a million people in their region of Galilee. They were new missionaries and, by their own admission, “stumbling along, trying to figure out what we were supposed to be doing.” Though prayerful, busy, and even on the lookout for opportunities outside the norm, they were continually distracted from their projects by visiting mission teams in need of resources and local know-how.
Then they realized something: God was sending these teams. And what better way to reach a multitude than with a dedicated legion of volunteers? So for a decade now, Gershon has collected missional resources and developed itineraries for as many as 48 visiting groups a year, from all over the world. He tells them, “You’re not here to help me; I’m here to help you. This is your outreach, but here’s my suggestion on how you can use your time.”
One project targets the 120 communities in the Jezreel Valley—an area about the size of Atlanta, Georgia. Workers have canvassed a third of the homes with prayers and literature, knowing that a seed sown by one team can be reaped by another the next week, or in years to come.
Gershon is excited that more Jewish people are coming to Christ. Though the total is still less than 0.5 percent, he has seen the number go from about 3,500 to 10,000 believers.
One section of his literature room is packed with boxes of In Touch Messengers, devices containing the Bible and select Dr. Stanley messages. Gershon is stocked with the most requested languages—Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian—along with plenty in Bengali, Nepali, and Hindi for these growing populations. People are thrilled to receive them, he says. “They never imagined there is such a thing,”
Like a good agent, Gershon stays ready—he maintains a low profile, knows where everyone’s headed, and keeps on hand what they need most.
Photograph by Ben Rollins
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