Thursday, October 26, 2006

R-42 US Evangelicals bring aid to suffering war torn Israel

U.S. evangelicals on mission in Israel

ASHDOD, Israel - After 35 days at sea, a group of American evangelicals traveling on a creaky World War II-era cargo ship landed in Israel on a solidarity mission only to run aground in red tape, with long delays in unloading their cargo of clothes, toys and medical supplies.

Still, the crew was unfazed Thursday, keeping a positive attitude in a demonstration of the growing alliance between evangelical Christians and the Jewish state...... "The Bible says, 'Who blesses Israel will be blessed,'" said Don Tipton, the group's leader. "We believe that."

But the mission to Israel is different.

"This is not aid, it's an expression of friendship and love," Don Tipton said. The members of his crew, like many other evangelical Christians, see supporting Israel as a divine commandment. They were further spurred by this summer's war against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, he said.....

"After the war, we saw that Lebanon was getting lots of aid and friendship, and I thought, hey, they're not the ones who just got mugged," Tipton said. He then sped up preparations for the trip, which had been planned before fighting broke out.

The voyage reflects the growing support among American evangelicals for the Jewish state, with Christians becoming more vocal politically and more generous financially on Israel's behalf.


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