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A Christian broadcaster and friends visit Jericho

The Battle of Jericho was an incident in the Bible’s Book of Joshua, (Joshua 6:1-27) and was the first battle of the Israelites during their conquest of Canaan. According to the narrative, the walls of Jericho fell after Joshua’s Israelite army marched around the city blowing their trumpets.

Tim Berends handing out pictures in Jericho

Now, veteran broadcaster, Tim Berends, and two colleagues, recently headed to the ancient city Jericho for a new battle – armed with Christian love. It was part of an evangelistic trip they took to Israel and was quite eventful to say the least.

“A month ago, an airlines pilot named Mike, an Iowan Grandmother named Janey, and myself, headed to Israel to hand out 4,000 tracts,” explained Berends, who now lives in Las Vegas, and broadcasts locally. “It was our goal to hand out gospel tracts from Dan to Beersheba, and of course, many other places.

“This was the fifth trip that Mike and I had taken to Israel. Janey had been with us one time previously when we had also taken Arabic tracts into Bethlehem.

“In addition to the tract called ‘Love the Jewish People,’ we also brought 200 pictures of me taken at the wax museum in Las Vegas. I was wearing my ‘I (heart) Muslims’ t-shirt and it showed me handing a wax effigy of President Obama, a copy of a tract called, ‘Allah had no Son.’ On the back the tract it says, ‘To read “Allah had no Son” go to www.chick.com.’”

With a smile on his face, Berends went on to say, “We felt that handing out those pictures might allow us a little more time ‘to live’ than if we had just handed out the tract itself.

“In fact, I had been in Jericho just three months previously with another brother and, on that occasion, he wanted to hand out a tract proving that Israel owned the land. While I believe that, I also felt that if they read ‘Allah had no Son’ and got saved, then God could and would reveal to them about Israel owning the land, so I didn’t think it was wise to hand it out on that occasion.

“While we were in Jericho, on that previous occasion, one fellow did ask me if I was a Muslim, and while I was busy confessing all my sins to the Lord, realizing this could be my last minute on earth, I found myself putting my hand on his shoulder and saying, ‘No, but I love Muslims!’”

Berends then explained that pilot Mike had never been to Jericho before and “was concerned that the Muslims would throw stones at our car when they saw that we had rented it from a Jewish car rental.”

He tyen added, “When we arrived at the edge of Jericho, the guard at the gate waved us through and we drove about a mile or two to the center of the city where a rally was just breaking up. I saw several Palestinian flags being waved. We parked the car and got out and started handing out the pictures.

“One Muslim man said, ‘Are you saying Allah had no Son?’ and I replied, ‘Yes, sixteen times in the Koran it says he had ‘no Son.’ Then I noticed a group of about 15 or 20 men coming my way, so I called out ‘As-Salamu Alaykum.’ (I wished them peace, once they met Jesus) and started handing out the picture and they mobbed me for a copy!

“One fellow asked, ‘You, Obama?’, and I explained, ‘This is Obama at the wax museum,’ but didn’t feel led to go into any great detail. When I had them all handed out, a woman came up to me screaming and tearing up the photo. I thought that she had possibly gone to her computer after my previous visit and read the wording of the tract.”

Illustration of The Battle of Jericho from www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/?p=7104

So with that Tim decided it was time to leave and found that their car, with Mike and Janey already in it, was just pulling out of the parking area, so Tim hopped in before, as he said, “another Battle of Jericho began!”

Berends then stated, “We had two copies of the tract ‘Allah had no Son’ with us that we gave to a couple of fellows at the gas station about a half mile away. They probably live in Jericho. There aren’t many options out there in the desert!”

Then the three of them flew to Eliat, a busy port as well as a popular resort, located at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Eilat (or Gulf of Aqaba).

They went on their mission to to the Dead Sea, with stops in both Ashdod and Ashkelon.

Berends told me, “We found a shopping center in Ashdod and started handing out tracts until an Orthodox Jew started coming after me. (I have noticed that more Israelis take the tracts when they see the Orthodox go ballistic over them. Maybe on the next trip we can hire an Orthodox to chase us so we can get out more tracts!)

“Then in Ashkelon, which had been bombed by the Muslims from Gaza, we found another shopping center and stopped there. I saw 11 or 12 Israeli schoolgirls walking towards me and as they got closer, I thought of the five year jail sentence there is for ‘proselytizing’ a child under the age of 18 and, then I remembered what Mike Evans is reported to have once said, ‘They’re not going to put you in jail for handing a tract to a child. They don’t need that kind of publicity on CNN. They might put you in jail for a couple of days.’

“So, I offered the tracts to the girls and every one of them took one. Praise God! Then I had about 10 copies of another tract entitled ‘The Promise.’” (To view it, go to: www.chick.com/reading/tracts/5004/5004_01.asp.)

Soon, however, the three of them were being grilled by an angry passerby who took great exception to the pictures they had on the tract, one of which was of a suicide bomber blowing up a bus.

“If the fellow had taken the time to read the tract, he would have seen that we were not proposing that,” Berends said. “He asked for our passports and was really interrogating us when Mike suddenly asked him, ‘Is Highway One the best route to the Dead Sea?’ With that, he went right into giving us perfect directions to the Dead Sea and we were off. Praise the Lord!

Tim Berends handing out pictures in Jericho

“Laster, we then went to Jerusalem to hand out tracts at bus stops where a number of our Israeli friends stood. With the Orthodox chasing us, hardly anybody turned us down,” he said. “We then headed back to Ben Gurion International Airport for our flight home.”

Berends concluded by saying, “Peoples prayers sure do make a difference! I know some would say, ‘Jews have a special covenant with God; we don’t need to witness to them.’ It’s a shame that Jesus wasn’t aware of that when He said to the Pharisees in John 8:44, ‘You are of your Father the Devil’ or when He said to Jews in John 14:6, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me.’ Romans 1:16 says the gospel goes to the Jew FIRST and THEN to the Gentile. I hope when folks go to Israel they will take gospel tracts with them.”

He then cited the words that magician Penn Jillette is reported to have said, “I’m an Atheist, but I don’t have any problems with believers proselytizing because, if I were a believer, how badly would I have to hate someone not to tell them about Heaven and Hell?”

“Those words ought to be preached from every pulpit in the land!” said Berends.

Tim Berends finally asked for prayer for himself and Mike as they travel to Mexico City to hand out tracts there in the near future.

“I would love to have you pray for us and would be honored if you’d listen to me on radio. Go to www.Jesusandtim.org and click on archive,” he added.

Note: Last year (2010) marked the 40 year anniversary of Tim Berends handing out tracts and doing a radio show. Tim grew up in Grand Rapids Michigan, where his father was a Baptist preacher that led him to the Lord at a very young age. He began broadcasting in 1970 at the Moody Bible Institute radio station, WMBI in Chicago. His radio shows have been known by various names over the years, for example he was the Tim in the “Mornings with Tim and Al” – Tim Berends and Al Gross – a rather amazing radio show that was broadcast in the Los Angeles and San Diego area (KBRT AM-740). Readers of the now defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner voted Tim and Al “Top Jocks” in 1986 for the LA area. His current “mission field” is the Las Vegas Strip where he distributes some 300 tracts a day.

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