Aug 15-25, 2015 – Israel Trip

I had the amazing privilege of traveling to Israel with some fiery men of God.  The Burn Leaders Team included:
Sean Feucht – Harrisburg, PA (Burn 24-7 Founder/Director)
Adam Miller – Pittsburgh, PA (Burn Director)
Bo Cook – Leesburg, VA (Burn Director)
Chris Stewart – Tulsa, OK (Part of the original Burn crew)
Michael Thorsby – New Bern, NC (Burn Director)

All of these men are worship leaders passionately pursuing the presence of God.  These men have each recorded albums that display the unique sounds God has ordained to be released through them.

The first and last few days of the trip were mostly geared towards travel filled with driving, layovers, airport security, long plane rides, smelly people and a plethora of things you wish could be unseen or experienced!  I try to make the best out of all situations so I found opportunities to communicate, minister and get educated through various forms.  I talked with a lot of people along the way, had opportunities to share the gospel, shared with a few individuals how to sponsor a child through Adopt-A-Child (random opportunity) and spent a lot of time surrounded by orthodox Jews trying to better understand their rituals (still confused).  You never know what can happen when you make yourself available!

We flew into Tel Aviv and spent a few hours waiting for Sean to be interrogated before we could proceed to our destination.  Either his hippie vibe or his ridiculous amount of passport stamps probably triggered the interrogation!  We loaded in our small Mazda 3 rental car (with 5 grown men, guitars and gear) and immediately headed for Jerusalem.  Let’s just say Sean’s driving and our sardine saga was an adventure in itself … but worth every minute of it!

We spent three days in Jerusalem and had the opportunity to lead worship sets every night with a few extra bonus sets.  We stayed with an awesome family that pours into one of the local prayer houses.  We got to lead worship at the closest prayer house to Mt. Zion (Succat Hallel –www.succathallel.com) and the closest prayer house to The City of David (City of David Tabernacle Prayer House) with our new friends John and Una.  Our host home overlooked Mt. Zion and Mount of Olives.  We had the opportunity to give and receive impartation as we had many opportunities to minister throughout the trip.  We visited The Old City, Dome Of The Rock located on the Temple Mount, The City of David (Ancient Jerusalem) including Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Via Dolorosa, Garden Tomb, The Western Wall Tunnels, Mt. Zion, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemene, Eastern Gate, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher… and so much more.  We made connections with people from all over the nations that have a heart for Israel and ministered to some along the way (including a taxi driver).  Some visiting, some residents and some simply there by divine appointment!  We even randomly ran into presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on the streets of Israel!

On our way out of town to the next destination, we stopped by Jerusalem House Of Prayer For All Nations (JHOPfan) and had the opportunity to hang out with Tom Hess and learn a bit about his ministry there.  The prayer tower is awesome on the roof and it’s divided into gates to pray for those geographical areas each section is pointing towards.  Their website (
www.jhopfan.org) seems to be down right now but I’m sure you can find them on facebook for more info.

On our road trip to Mt. Carmel, we made a slight detour to visit the Valley of Elah where the Israelites and the Philistines faced off with a symbolic finale between David & Goliath (1 Samuel 17).  This is not an advertised tourist place since it’s on privately owned land so it was a bit difficult to find. Once we found it, we had to take the opportunity to walk this historic battlefield and of course sling a few stones as we prophesied and declared victory over the nations and our respective cities.

We made it to our destination at a place called Kehilat Ha Carmel (
www.carmel-assembly.org.il).  This is the highest point in Mt. Carmel and I believe the city is technically called Isfiya but all in the general area of Haifa.  I was super overwhelmed geographically just about everywhere we went so forgive me if I get the details wrong!  We had the opportunity to partake in ministry and minister to others throughout this adventure.  One of the nights we were leading a mini-Burn (multiple continuous hours of worship & praise), we got notice that rockets were being launched from Syria to Northern Israel.  Our response, keep the love song to Jesus flowing.  The enemy loves to distract but we must remain focused in times of potential chaos.  One of our new friends (Sarah Liberman - www.sarahliberman.com) and her collaborative team led worship that overflowed with oil of anointing as they represented the unity rising up in Israel from all over the nations.  Note – Carmel Assembly had a man-cave type deal underneath the main building that was an excellent place to bring a guitar and spend some time in the secret place alone.  Epic!

We did a mixture of touristy and ministry stuff along the way while in the northern part of Israel and can’t even remember everything that happened but I’m trying to write down the basics!  We visited many sites including:  The Beatitudes location, The Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Muhraqa (The Sacrifice), Jordan River (took a swim) The Mediterranean Sea… etc.  Walking in the footsteps of places where Jesus literally walked, taught, imparted and more was a surreal experience and will completely wreck you.  I was getting so filled up with historical and prophetic insight and I was bursting at the seams.

We had the opportunity to minister again in a public setting on the final night and our group was the Q&A panel for the night after Sean led a bit of worship/teaching.  I had already given and received multiple prophetic words throughout the trip to various people along the way… but while Sean was speaking, I was getting blasted with more for other people in the room.  I began filling a page in my journal for one specific person and jotting down physical and mental notes for others.  I had the opportunity to speak over one specific lady (Natanya) publicly during our Q&A and it was filled with confirmation with even more overflow and follow-up afterwards.  I had the opportunity to prophesy over quite a few others throughout the night and experience heavenly encounters and breakthrough individually and corporately.  The one specific person I filled a page in my journal for just happened to leave early so I asked Natanya if she knew her (Elizabeth) so she could deliver the message.  As I attempted to unpack what my scribbling meant, she began to say:  “did you know she….”, “did you know about…” type stuff.  I was completely floored and she immediately carried the page directly to Elizabeth’s home without delay.  I had given Elizabeth a prophetic word a few days before including her name before she even told me.  It’s amazing how God orchestrates stuff and uses willing vessels even when we seem like the least likely messengers.  The stories continue but I’m still processing all that was imparted…

I want to say a special thanks to those who were able to sow financially to send me on this mission:
John & Terri Kaufman, Buddy Boyd, Kathy MacMoran, Josh Lawson, Keith & Jaime Lewis, Josh & Tina DuBois, Rachel Girmus, Paula Wetherington, Trish Harvell, Donnie Luper, Burn Greenville, Al & Karen Girmus, Jesse & Michaele Neiminen and misc others…

I still came up about $1,400 short for support so we covered the rest on my credit card.  If you feel led to help cover this expense, please write checks to Michael Thorsby or donate online at
www.thorsbyjams.com/buy.  Thanks in advance!  I’m already collecting for the next adventure…

Shalom

P.S.  I decided to buy two authentic coins of widow’s mite from biblical times as a symbolic reminder to shake off any type of poverty mindset that may potentially hold me back from what God is calling me to do.  If He is calling me to do it, He is going to provide everything I need and often uses people like you and I to channel it through to those He is calling…