Thank you so much for taking an interest in our fundraising efforts for our team's mission trip to Israel this summer! Our team includes my wife and I and our three children, along with several others from our church. I am a police officer in Baton Rouge, LA and my wife is a paramedic. After the tragedies that have struck our area over the past several months, we want to turn our focus back on God's promises and fulfill our commitment to Him.
The reason why we are going to Israel is because, after much prayer and urging from God, our family has decided to embark on a second missionary trip after the amazing experiences we had in Mozambique, Africa in 2015. We were able to reach so many and saw God work in amazing ways while we were there. We wanted God to use us again and we had planned to go to Honduras this year but God had a different plan for us. Instead of Honduras he directed us to Israel. I can't explain the pull for us to go there, I just know that it is where God wants us. I can't help but think recent political events in Israel have a role to play in why God is sending us at this time. I also strongly believe that God has something amazing to reveal to us over there so we can bring it back here to America and share with others.
I can only imagine what it will be like to preach the gospel on the streets of Jerusalem just as the Apostles did 2000 years ago. The vast majority of Jews there are atheists now and the majority of the Palestinians are muslims, so this mission is a great undertaking.
Our goal is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ back to Israel where it all started. Christianity was launched from this very place and it's disheartening to see the work of the Apostles fading away. We want to re-light a new fire of Christianity there.
Amazingly enough, we will be staying at an Inn in Bethlehem while we are there. How incredible is that! The cost is great so we will be fundraising over the next several months to offset the cost of this mission trip. Donations will help offset the costs of airfare, transportation, lodging, food, supplies, materials and outreach efforts for our team. Even the smallest donations help!
We would appreciate anyone who is willing to partner with us to make this happen. What we experience you will experience. So many helped us when we went to Africa and God provided in a way that seemed impossible. Our faith in that area is SO much stronger now. We can't wait to see what God plans to use us for in Israel!! We would appreciate your prayers for us to carry out God's will.
To make things convenient we have set up two ways for donations:
1. Youcansend.me - Many people are familiar with ‘go fund me’ sites, this website is very similar and is made for missionaries. This option allows you to use PayPal to donate without all the excessive fees of the go fund me type sites. More of your money actually gets to us.
2. If you would like to receive a tax deduction for your donation, you can donate to Healing Place Church, which is our home church and who we are coordinating this mission trip through. The following instructions were sent to us from the church for these type of donations.
· Make check or money order payable to “Healing Place Church"
· Leave the memo section of the check BLANK.
· Attach a note to the check explaining that the funds are designated for the "Markus Smith team 2017 Israel mission trip."
· Payments should be sent to:
Healing Place Church
19202 Highland Rd
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
We are so grateful for everyone who has already donated to our team and who have reached out to us and prayed for us and for what we are trying to accomplish for God's Kingdom. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! Thank you for your support and may God bless you for your partnership with us.
Markus and Cheryl Smith