I met Herb at breakfast in 1992.
He and I were newly elected members of a national board and met for the first time the day before. At breakfast the next morning, I walked right by Herb carrying my plate filled with bacon, eggs, and my morning coffee.
“David, join me!” Herb called out to me as I walked by him.
“Okay…” I said, elongating the word a bit. I am sure he picked up my hesitancy. He was a near stranger. But I was happy to have some company. I sat down opposite Herb and started to eat my breakfast.
During our early conversation, Herb was very timid; almost like he had a secret he wanted to share. He did. About halfway through breakfast, he blurts out something that didn’t make any sense. Was he even talking to me?
“David, last night, the Lord laid on my heart that I am to send you and your wife to Israel for a study tour.”
He said this without any drama or fanfare.
“Okay…” I said, repeating my first word to him with the same degree of skepticism.
In fact, if he hadn’t been looking directly at me, I would have rolled my eyes. I was polite, though. I smiled and told him that a trip like that would be nice. It would indeed be wonderful to go, but in my heart, I didn’t believe him. It seemed like a crazy idea for anyone to give that kind of trip away, let alone to a near stranger!
Herb kept talking. He told me about his love for Israel and the few times he had been there. I learned that he had a big heart for the Lord and that he loved to help young ministry leaders go to Israel and encounter the land.
On the flight back to Texas the next day, I thought about his offer. But I still suspected that it would never happen. He was kind and sincere, but I just could not believe that level of generosity.
I saw Herb the next year at the next board meeting.
“Did you make your reservations to go to Israel?”, he asked.
“No.”, I quickly replied.
“Why not?”, he asked.
“Because I didn’t believe you!” I was telling the truth. I really didn’t believe him. There are well-meaning people like Herb in every kind of church. They are people with HUGE hearts of gold and bold ideas to share, but, more often than not, they are lacking funds to make it happen. I had put Herb in this category. He was about to prove me wrong.
“What would it take for you to believe me?”, he asked with a smirk. He probably already knew the answer.
“Well, honestly, cash!” I had to be honest. Without the cash, it was just going to be a pipe dream. I told him, “I can’t even consider it a real offer until I have some money for the trip and the airline tickets.” I didn’t know any other way to say it.
A few days after I returned home from the board meeting, there was a check in my mailbox for $8,000!
Herb included a simple note that wished us well. We booked the tour and went to Israel in January of 1994. It changed my life completely.
I am forever thankful for Herb’s generosity. When he died a few years later, I had come to know him as a friend and brother in Christ. His extraordinary gift has been multiplied over and over and over again.
The trip that he graciously gave to me not only changed my life and ministry, but also has impacted thousands of others! God leveraged Herb’s generosity for decades.
- I have been traveling to Israel for almost 26 years.
- I have taken over 1,000 people and dozens of pastors there.
- Those pastors have then taken multiple trips with members of their own churches.
All of this through one generous gift.
This is the power of love and leverage. One act of generosity is given…and then more and more comes up and creates blessing upon blessing for hundreds and hundreds of people.
In January of 2020, I will be leading my 30th trip to Israel since Herb’s generous offer.
There are 7 pastors on our trip. There are laypeople from their churches, brothers and sisters who have had a trip like this on their ‘bucket list’ for decades. And all net proceeds from this trip will be poured into the LeaderWorks operating account for more ministry to more pastors and more churches—including the publication of this website!
I’d be happy to bring YOU on our next trip to Israel.
We will leave January 6, 2021 for a 10-day walk through the Bible. This is Herb’s legacy…and I’d love for you to be a part of it.
Go to LeaderWorks.org/travel to learn more and to download the brochure. We are already starting to take reservations!
If you an ordained leader in a church, the travel company and the Ministry of Tourism can discount your travel. Email me and I’ll give you more info: david [at] leaderworks.org.
Canon David has over 35 years of local congregational ministry, diocesan and national involvement, leadership, and ministry experience and is the founder of Leaderworks. He was the founding Rector/Pastor, Christ Church, Plano and currently serves as the Strategic Leader and Dean, Diocese of C4SO.