NEW YORK, Sept. 2, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The Israel Experience College Scholarship conducts its 10th annual scholarship program as tension rises in Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank.
Christian college students representing some of America’s largest churches and denominations have returned home from the 2014 Israel Experience College Scholarship program (IE), sponsored annually by Eagles’ Wings. A jarring confrontation on the Temple Mount may be one of the most lasting impressions of their time in the Holy Land.
“Our group was touring the Old City of Jerusalem and visiting the Temple Mount when we happened upon a demonstration of Muslim women leading dozens of young children in a protest march.” said Michael Onifer, program director for Eagles’ Wings. “The women were leading the children in a chant which said ‘We will liberate Palestine with our blood and our flesh.’ Our students were distraught by the obvious brainwashing of these innocent young children happening right on front of them. Israel Experience Scholars visiting the Temple Mount in 2013 witnessed Muslim men leading dozens of children in the same chant demonstrating the ongoing radicalization of children.”
Israel Experience Scholar, Fiona Moodie, had this to say, “The Muslim women leading the protests clearly responded to our presence on the Temple Mount. When they saw our group they began leading the chants and when the students began taking pictures and video one woman began provoking an Israeli police officer with the obvious intent of causing a forceful response. The fact of the matter is that the presence of the Israeli police allowed us to visit the Temple Mount without being harassed by the protesters. I am amazed at how Israel goes to extremes to preserve religious freedom, free press, and free speech. It’s heart breaking to see this freedom being used to indoctrinate children, teach them to hate, and glorify death. Children should be taught how to think, not what to think and this indoctrination is a deliberate effort, at the hands of Islamic extremists, to lead the Palestinian people down a path of self-induced poverty, anguish and suffering.”
Under the direction of Dr. Robert Stearns, the Israel Experience College Scholarship has identified and trained young Christian leaders since its inaugural program in 2004. Against the backdrop of the waning support for Israel among young Evangelicals and an increasing anti-Israel vitriol within university classrooms and campuses, the Israel Experience College Scholarship empowers the next generation of pro-Israel Christian leadership. Recipients of the scholarship have worked for the White House, Congress, and State Legislators. Many appear regularly on major news networks, and all credit the Israel Experience College Scholarship for strengthening their commitment to Israel and the Jewish people.
Now in its 10th year, the Israel Experience College Scholarship is one of the flagship educational programs of Eagles’ Wings, training exceptional students. During the 2014 Israel Experience College Scholarship program, dubbed the “Christian Birthright” by the Jerusalem Post, the IE Scholars truly experienced the inescapable reality of Israel’s daily security challenges.
One young woman, who joined the Israel Experience College Scholarship after a year of teaching English in the West Bank, said,
“Before this trip I viewed Israel primarily as the perpetrator. My perspective has now changed. After seeing the home-made missiles in Sderot & dialoguing with members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I realized Israel has many legitimate and grave security concerns. As such, I can now accept and understand many of their defensive measures. Furthermore, I realized that Israel is working hard to achieve peace using ethical & just means.”
Grace Stamsos, another IE Scholar, currently operates a non-profit organization called “Dream Room Syria,” which provides aid to Syrian children who are living as refugees due to the ongoing conflict in Syria. During the Israel Experience College Scholarship, Grace recognized that being pro-Israel did not contradict her desire to address the needs in the Arab nations surrounding Israel. The Israel Experience College Scholarship demonstrated to her that a pro-Israel stance does not equate an anti-Arab position. Grace also recognized that Israel represents hope for the rest of the Middle East as Israel is the only nation in the Middle East where women and minorities are free and protected.
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The American doctor was treating obstetrics patients at SIM’s ELWA hospital in Monrovia. He was not treating Ebola patients in ELWA’s Ebola isolation unit, a facility separate from the main hospital on the mission organization’s 136-acre campus. It is not yet known how the doctor contracted the virus specifically.
Upon onset of the symptoms, the doctor immediately isolated himself and has since been transferred to the ELWA Ebola isolation unit. The doctor is doing well and is in good spirits.
“My heart was deeply saddened, but my faith was not shaken, when I learned another of our missionary doctors contracted Ebola,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. “As a global mission, we are surrounding our missionary with prayer, as well as our Liberian SIM/ELWA colleagues, who continue fighting the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. We have gifted Liberian doctors, medical staff and support staff who are carrying on the fight.”
SIM USA will hold a press conference at its Charlotte, N.C., headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 2:30 p.m. to provide additional and updated details.
The latest updates on SIM’s role in the Ebola epidemic in Liberia are available at www.simusa.org/ebolacrisis.
Experts on the Shroud of Turin Gathering in St. Louis
More than 30 Shroud experts from around the world will be presenting information on the latest discoveries about the Shroud. The experts, or sindonologists, represent such diverse fields as archeology, physics, iconography and theology. Conference chair and sindonologist Joe Marino says, “I’m particularly excited that we have many new presenters since the last USA Conference in 2008.”
One of the keynote speakers is Bruno Barberis, Director of the International Center of Sindonology in Turin. Another keynote speaker is St. Louis native The Most Reverend Michael John Sheridan, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Renowned Shroud lecturer, Russ Breault, will begin the conference on Thursday evening. Barrie Schwortz, Official Documenting Photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) is currently slated to give two presentations.
Other special presenters include historian and attorney Jack Markwardt, biologist and teacher Kelly Kearse, and artist Veronica Piraccini. A complete list of speakers, and the tentative program can be found at the conference website www.stlouisshroudconference.com.
The conference, sponsored by The Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation and the Salt River Production Group, will begin on Thursday evening, October 9 and conclude at noon on Sunday, October 12. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the Shroud.
“It was amazing,” says the director Tim Chey. “We were shooting in a very remote area in North Africa and I was standing with a shepherd. He saw something on the ground and dug up a Roman coin with an emperor’s face on it.”
A similar coin sells for $4,700 on Ebay. The shepherd then gave the director the coin as a gift.
What did Chey do with the coin? “I gave it back to the shepherd,” he says. “Couldn’t take it. I knew it might be very valuable.”
‘David and Goliath’ was filmed on locations never before filmed in Hollywood which excited the director.
“It was virgin territory which made the shoot even more epic,” says Chey. “We shot in fortresses and valleys that could easily pass for Judah or Masada — I think the audience will be wowed.”
The film wrapped principal photography in North Africa and in studios in London.
‘David and Goliath’ looks at one of the most powerful and beloved Bible stories of all time. The film will focus on the early life of David who fought against the Philistine giant, Goliath against all odds.
The epic film comes at a perfect time. Hollywood is embracing faith-based films as of late and the audiences are growing at a record pace according to reports.
‘David and Goliath’ is set for an early-2015 nation-wide theater release.
Chey also produced another epic film, ‘Freedom’ starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Sharon Leal, William Sadler that opens in theaters across Australia next month and in theaters in the U.S. in January 2015. He also directed ‘Epic Journey’ that took him to 29 countries and was submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for most countries traveled for a feature film.