Keeping It Israel

Young Couple Brought Together and Called by God to Minister in Israel, Daniel & Jalene Geppert

November 11, 2020 Jeff Futers Season 1 Episode 31
Keeping It Israel
Young Couple Brought Together and Called by God to Minister in Israel, Daniel & Jalene Geppert
Chapters
Keeping It Israel
Young Couple Brought Together and Called by God to Minister in Israel, Daniel & Jalene Geppert
Nov 11, 2020 Season 1 Episode 31
Jeff Futers

In Part 1 of this two part podcast, Jeff interviews Daniel and Jalene Geppert, Pastors of King of Kings Herzliya. In this episode, Daniel and Jalene each share their stories of how God brought them together from different parts of the world to meet in Israel, fall in love, and find a path together to ministry in Israel. Today they pastor a congregation in Herzliya, Israel. This podcast will encourage young people to seek God's will for their lives and be open to whatever He has for them.

Support the show (http://www.firstcenturyfoundations.com/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript

In Part 1 of this two part podcast, Jeff interviews Daniel and Jalene Geppert, Pastors of King of Kings Herzliya. In this episode, Daniel and Jalene each share their stories of how God brought them together from different parts of the world to meet in Israel, fall in love, and find a path together to ministry in Israel. Today they pastor a congregation in Herzliya, Israel. This podcast will encourage young people to seek God's will for their lives and be open to whatever He has for them.

Support the show (http://www.firstcenturyfoundations.com/donate/)

Chris Atkins, One Media:

Welcome to the Keeping it Israel Podcast with Jeff Futers where Jeff and his guests talk everything Israel as it relates to Christian faith and the church. If you are a Christian and you stand with Israel, you will be encouraged and challenged by this podcast. And if you're not so sure about the whole Israel thing, you need to learn how your faith connects with Israel, and why standing with Israel matters. Now, here's Jeff with today's guest.

Jeff Futers:

Well, thank you for joining us for the podcast today. And my guests today are Daniel Jalene Geppert. Welcome, Daniel and Jalene.

Jalene Geppert:

Thank you.

Daniel Geppert:

Thank you so much.

Jalene Geppert:

Great to be here.

Jeff Futers:

Well, it's great to have you. And you know, we have known each other for a few years now. And we came across one another, I think Jalene and I met you first in, in Jerusalem, at King of Kings. And Clyde was so wonderful to introduce us. And he has such a special place in his heart for you, and and your girls. And so because you're Canadian, I think is..

Jalene Geppert:

That's what it is, it's because I'm Canadian...we have that bond.

Jeff Futers:

Yeah, exactly. And so anyway, when but when we first met, first, I should say that you are both now involved in leading the King of Kings congregation in Herzliya. And that's been a journey. And we want to talk a little bit about that. But at the time that I first met you, you hadn't begun that part of your journey, yet you were involved at King of Kings. So let's go back even a little further. You know, we talked about you being Canadian. Yes. How I'll start with you. Jalene. How do you get to Israel? What's the What's the story behind that?

Jalene Geppert:

Well, it's a long story. And I'm trying, I'm going to try to condense it really good for everyone. And basically, the first time around that I got to Israel, and which kind of started this whole Israel journey was just at a time in my life, where I was really just seeking the Lord for a change in my life. Um, due to a lot of like, things that I'd done in my life that kind of brought me to this place of just being very complacent, kind of bored, and kind of asking God is this all there is to like, you know, the believing life, like I should be excited, I should be, you know, thrilled on this journey. And I was just going through a really difficult time emotionally, and I was just seeking the Lord and just praying for change in my life. And one day, I get a phone call at work from a girlfriend's mom. And she said, Listen, I was just given some money, and I really want to send my daughter to Israel, will you go with her if I pay your way to Israel. And, and that's kind of when the shift started. And I went to Israel with my girlfriend on a 10 day tour and three days in I heard God clearly speak to me and say, Jalene, you're going to come back to Israel next year for a long period of time. And I went back home from that trip, and I started a vision board. And I posted on there like a plane ticket to Israel for the next year on a specific day and just trusting the Lord for these things He put in my heart and I ended up selling everything that year, believing that God was going to provide for me to go to Israel. I had no idea how it was going to happen financially and everything, had no real connection. I knew somebody in Israel and and somehow God provided another free trip to Israel for me. It just kind of fell in my lap, one and another tour. And I'm literally left with two I left with two suitcases having sold everything in my apartment like planning to go and like move to Israel. And and I got to go to Israel completed the tour and decided I'm not going to go back home because I believe God's called me here. And so I ended up in a few hostels. And just was praying, God, you, I feel you called me here. And literally, I wrote a checklist to the Lord and said, If you want me here, you're gonna have to check all these things off my list. And it was it was divine, like how God just provided one thing after another because I took that leap of faith and trusted this voice, and and his call to be in Israel. And so that's how it all started. And I came back to Israel and I ended up getting connected with an amazing volunteer opportunity at a hospital and connected with King of kings and community in Jerusalem at that time met pastor Wayne Hilsden and the other pastoral team ended up just getting right in there into ministry with them an incredible year and At the end of that journey is when I actually met Daniel volunteering at the hospital. So that was the whole journey. I was not planning on Israel. It wasn't like in on my radar really, and in a way. Um, but God just led me here and I just followed that call to come here. And since I've been here, it's just been like, wow, this like incredible adventure and journey just because I took that step of faith and just...

Jeff Futers:

That's, that's amazing. And for the people who are watching or listening, and you have no idea what a vision board is, you should know that that Jalene is very artsy and visual. And so that's what that's all about putting stuff on the wall...people with my personality. They don't know what that means.

Jalene Geppert:

Yeah.

Jeff Futers:

Daniel didn't get it either. Okay, so that's, that's amazing. Now, Daniel, you're not from Canada. You're not from Israel. So tell us a little bit about your story and and get us to the point where, where Jalene just got us.

Daniel Geppert:

Yeah, I'm from the other side of the world. I'm from Germany, originally. And my story is maybe less spectacular. When I was eight, my parents, my dad was a pastor at this time. And he decided he heard from God, that we were supposed to go to Israel for a year. So they took a sabbatical, and took all the kids, myself, my two sisters, with them to Israel, we lived a year in Jerusalem, awesome experience, half a year actually in the West Bank, and half a year in Jerusalem. And that was really the start for us as a family to get into, yes, to get to know to get to know the Jewish people to Yeah, to get into the culture fell in love with it. And ever since then, very deeply connected with it, my dad is, in fact doing something very similar to what you are doing just in Germany. So leading a ministry serving the congregations and ministries here in Israel. So I just after that year, I just went back and forth. I did my civilian service. And that's something we can do in Germany instead of the army. Just serve in the hospital. I did that for a year. And a few years later, during my summer break in university. I just had a two months where I was pretty bored and needed a little bit of a break from Germany and just asked the hospital if I could come back to to serve there for two months was kind of the idea was like, okay, help them a little bit volunteer a little bit in the hospital in Tel Aviv get a little bit beach, so it's kind of a work and relaxation, kind of an idea. So yeah, that's where I met Jalene. And was pretty cool. Pretty, really awesome how God put this product together. And just an overlap there, for a month and a half.

Jalene Geppert:

It was the last month of my year and a half stay at the hospital. So it was kind of a divine...

Jeff Futers:

Yeah. So God and Jalene and kind of snuck up on you.

Daniel Geppert:

Yeah.

Jalene Geppert:

But Daniel, you have to tell them about what you told God when you were on the airplane coming to Israel.

Daniel Geppert:

So when I was when I was in the airport in Germany, I was like, God, I'm, I'm serving your people now for these few months. And hey, instead of ah in return, you could make a deal and you could give me a wife. So I was pretty desperate, I guess? But like it was. I was quite serious, too.

Jalene Geppert:

So the Lord's answered prayer and...

Jeff Futers:

And Daniel, Daniel, you, you know, now that the Lord does all things well? Yeah. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. Okay, so, so you overlapped for about a month and a half, but that you didn't get married right away? You just you just kind of met and weren't even sure.

Jalene Geppert:

Yeah, yeah, we weren't sure what was gonna happen. Umm we liked each other. We knew we had feelings for one another. But in my heart, I didn't really want to pursue anything because it was such a short time. And I knew he was going back to Germany. I was going back to Canada and it was kind of one of those. Another divine kind of experience that happened. I went back to Canada I felt called to go to the west coast to help my grandparents out who were really sick, for for six months. Daniel went back to Germany, we had a lot of phone calls and emails sent out throughout that time, I don't even know how long the period of time was maybe half a year. And Daniel had found out in that time that he was going to get an internship position in Toronto, at Mississauga, at a company called Wurth. And so I knew that in the back of my head that that was going to happen. But he had asked me at the end of the six months if he could come to Canada and visit me on the West Coast for for a month. And I'm thinking in my head, well, I don't want him I don't want this guy coming. Unless I really know from the Lord. But like, some, you know, there's something there. Because that's awkward for a guy to come to stay like in the same area as you for a month if like, there's, we knew there were feelings, but I just wanted to make sure that, like it was something if there was something there, then let's do it. If not, then I don't want the awkwardness of a month. So I prayed to the Lord and I said, God, if he's supposed to be here, and we're meant to be together, then you have to provide a place for him to stay because my grandparents were really sick. And it would not have worked for him to stay with us. You have to provide a car for me to get to Vancouver, from the Okanagan, to go pick him up, you have to provide the money for me to get there, all this stuff? Well, somebody from our community came up to me randomly, and said, Listen, I heard you have a friend coming, would they be interested in staying in my camper, we have a big camper, in our, in our, like on our lawn and he could stay there, no problem. And then they said, We have a car dealership, if you're willing to drive my daughter to Vancouver, that weekend, we'll give you a car, we'll pay for the insurance, the gas, everything if you'll go there, then they had a friend who was in Vancouver who was the manager of a hotel. And that the hotel manager put us up for two days for free in the penthouse suite of the building. And so it was like just one thing after another the Lord was opening these doors and and so that's how I knew it was just meant to be so he came to come visit. And everything just, you know, fell into place. And we started a relationship very, very soon after he came February 14. And, and then the rest is history. We were married 10 months later, in Canada. We had a civil ceremony in January. And then we had another wedding in Germany the following March. And just a crazy crazy thing. You know, the Lord just kind of brought everything all the pieces of the puzzle together. I didn't have to think about anything, He just did it.

Jeff Futers:

Yeah. That's a great story. And I love that, you know, all the time God is working in the background. We don't even know sometimes what he's doing but but but he's, he's back there. And he's putting the pieces all in place. And you guys you get eventually you get back to Israel. And Daniel, your education is not in ministry, right? engineering, I

Unknown:

Ah, human resources, but yeah... think?..

Jeff Futers:

Human resource. Okay, well, that's important for a ministry.

Daniel Geppert:

This would make the story very long. Like I studied industrial engineering for two and a half years. But we don't have all the time to get into that.

Jeff Futers:

That's okay. That's okay. But so just just kind of quickly, then bring us up to speed. How do you you know, married, get back to Jerusalem and begin serving at King of Kings.

Daniel Geppert:

So we just like when we got married, we thought we're gonna live in Canada. But then we started really praying that God who at some point bring us back to Israel. And He did that a little bit faster than expected. We few months, about half a year after we got married we moved to Israel, King of Kings invited us to be on staff. We joined the team as the mostly they basically hired Jalene, they didn't know me. So that was that wouldn't happen these days. So they they asked to Jalene to take over the Children's Ministry of King of Kings Community Jerusalem, and I just followed along and was like, Okay, I gotta do I gotta find something as well. That's what they probably thought as well. So, yeah, we had no, we were always involved in our churches back home. And just learn by doing and needing and no special education, I would say in this regard. I had a, I had a bachelor in human resources, Jalene was in fashion and in all that. So but but during the, the first two years when we were in Israel, as volunteers with a volunteer visa, we kind of felt that God was calling us into full time ministry. And not just for for this short period of time, two years. So I started to look into different online courses. And at some point, because I knew somebody who was joining Liberty University, I enrolled, and over the next three, three years, I guess, I got my Master of Divinity. So that which now a few years after we thought best to apply for a clergy visa, because I got ordained in Germany, and you need these few things in place in order to get a visa, which really helps us now to stay there long term. So yeah, that's kind of that part. It's really like, yes, you may have that Masters or I may have that Masters. But it's like, you never know. Like, yes, it helps you and you may be a little bit better. It's, it's maybe psychologically helpful, as well to to have something there. But it's still like you never have everything together and

Jalene Geppert:

You live and learn...

Daniel Geppert:

You just continue learning...

Jeff Futers:

Yes. If I if I had to take a course, that taught me everything that I've learned in 35 years of ministry, it would have been a very, very long course. Yeah, it's, they they don't really teach you everything you need to know, theology is good. But there's so much about ministry that you have to learn kind of on the ground. And so, yeah, I totally get it. I totally get it.

Jalene Geppert:

And we started somewhere. I mean, we started like children's director, Daniel started the youth ministry. And, and today, we're in completely different places. And that's five years later, seven years later, we're in two totally different roles. So through ministry, like our ministry has evolved through through the season, so and so yeah, we're learning and we're growing as we're going here.

Jeff Futers:

So I want to talk about Herzliya and your transition there. But first, let me ask you this. I hope that some young people will be listening to this. And when we travel to churches here in the country of Canada, I'm often saying to youth and young people listen, you know, the the call to ministry is not necessarily just to, you know, be a worship pastor at your local church, or to go and be a youth pastor somewhere else in the province, and God is still putting it on people's hearts to go to other places in the world. What would you say to young people about about hearing God's voice and being open to what it is that the Lord wants you to do? Because it's not it's not easy to answer the call always. But you guys have done it. So just maybe both of you share just a minute or so about your response to that?

Jalene Geppert:

Yeah, well, for me, I would say, you know, wherever the Lord wants you whenever the Lord has for you, is the best thing for you. So if you want to enjoy life, if you want...love adventure, if you love, you know, whatever it is that are in the desires of your heart, and the Lord wants to give you those things. And but in order for us to get those things, we need to step out in faith. We need to trust him, when he calls us to do something you need to trust. But I'll tell you, and when you when you answer that call, when you take that leap of faith, it is an absolute adventure. I mean, and everything lines up, like sometimes we're so worried about well this What am I gonna do this? or What am I gonna do this? Or I'm single and I'm looking for a mate, but if I do this, I will lose out. That's absolutely not true. Because the Lord, if you answer that call, everything will fit together, God will bring that person into your path wherever you are. And you know, you don't have to worry about finances, God will provide to the penny whatever you need, wherever you are, I literally experienced that. Like I literally experienced, just I sold everything I had hardly had any money to my name, hardly any connections. But I said, God, I need this, this this and this. If you told me to do this, I'm answering that call and you need I need these things. And literally, that's exactly what he did. Everything and like beyond your expectations. He goes beyond its you know, you think you know what you need. And then he gives you like all these things. Like WOW God like I am so undeserving of all these amazing things. So he gives you above and beyond. And my greatest fear for people in the younger generation is just being complacent. Like don't. The adventure that God has for us is incredible. It's leaps, but we have to take leaps of faith in our journey with him. If you if you never do that, you're just going to live a boring, complacent Christian life. And it's sad, because He has such exciting things for us, you know, so that would be my my encouragement to the the younger generation, how about you?

Daniel Geppert:

Well, I think before God called me into ministry, and that wasn't the same experience too. B`ut God, like, somehow he brought me to the point where I flipped this question around, because sometimes you're waiting for the call, or for direction or for something, and I was just asking myself, what is my explanation for why I'm not going into ministry? Or, like investing more into that area? Like, if I'm being asked if I one day if I'm in front of God's throne, and he's gonna say, hey, why did you not invest more into my kingdom? What is my explanation? Is it really just, well I didn't hear anything from you. So that that kind of set the stage for me and not saying this was the reason why I went into ministry, but it kind of made me ready to receive the call. And to be honest to myself, where it's like, well, yeah, I really should maybe have an answer for that. And the good one, and not just a lazy excuse. So yeah, that was kind of a game changer for me personally.

Jalene Geppert:

Yeah. But Daniel, also, his father was a pastor. So he grew up as PK. And he did not want to be a pastor. Like he didn't want that.

Jeff Futers:

I totally...I totally understand.

Jalene Geppert:

So when he's saying this, he's coming from a place of like, I didn't want to do that. But as soon as he opened himself up to the idea of it, and saying, okay, God, like if I was in your throne room, like I like I, you know, so this is the context to what he's saying he didn't want that for himself. But as soon as he opened himself to that idea, it really opened up the whole this whole world and for him, so

Jeff Futers:

Well, those are great words of encouragement. And I love that it comes from the two different contexts because nobody, nobody really approaches, you know, the call of God on their life, from the from the same perspective as everyone else, our personalities, our circumstances. And Daniel, I totally get it. I was a pastor's kid. I hated that, that expectation that was constantly put on me as a young person. I actually rebelled pretty hard as a young person and had to have my own. Like, I don't have time to share my testimony, this is your time, but I had to have my own. I had to have my own wow experience with God in order to really grapple with the call. And and had I not had that experience I would have, I would have questioned it my entire life. And that's, you know, that's the that's the real key. And so, so thanks for sharing that encouragement for young people. I hope that I hope that young people will listen, I always, always believe that when we do these things that people are saying things that are going to they're going to speak into other people's hearts and lives and we really believe that for for these podcasts. So you are at King of Kings. And Daniel one day the lead team pulls you aside and has a conversation with you about Herzliya. How does this go?

Daniel Geppert:

Very strange, to be honest. So we were like I just I was basically very close to finishing my Masters. And I didn't have any like I wasn't, in my mind wasn't preparing myself for being a pastor. I just wanted to be ready for whatever God had in place for and wanted to do with us. So I was in Germany, we were in Germany with Pastor Chad, Senior Pastor, King of Kings, Community, and the CEO of King of Kings Ministry and we were ministering at different churches together. And I was driving him. I was a little bit of his driver at that time as well. So I drove him back to his hotel and just before we got there, he was like, Hey, what's your what's your plan with now, now that you're close to finishing your degree and I was like, I don't really have a plan. And I because as a German, not or not being a native English speaker, and serving at King of Kings community, Jerusalem, which is a very big church, I didn't see my like, I was very focusing just on Jerusalem and I didn't see any opportunity for, for me personally, being on the platform and and preaching there. And so I was like, I just serve. And it was like, Well, what do you think about Herzliya? What do you think about the congregation there? And I was like, ah... And that was my answer. Like, I was completely shocked. I think Jalene as well. And I was like, I never thought about that. And so give me some time. And, yeah, we prayed over it? We, I think we were excited. I mean, it's,

Jalene Geppert:

It was an exciting opportunity,.

Daniel Geppert:

Once it really sunk in this was like, wow, this is pretty...that's an honor. It's a privilege. It's but it's also pretty cool. Like, as a German being a pastor in Israel, that is already special as itself. Yeah. Oh, and then yeah, I, that was kind of the short story. And then we prayed. We took some time. And just thought how this would work. If there were some question marks because we just signed a lease for a new apartment for the next two years in Jerusalem. Yeah, we were involved in our ministries there. So there were a few things to figure out. And we commuted for two years back and forth from Jerusalem to Herzliya. Yeah. And yeah, we didn't know like, yes, we heard about what was going on. That King of Kings for a year and a half prior to that, started the small group there, and slowly turned it into a congregation. So we heard that, but we were never there. We we were maybe once at the beach in Herzliya like so. So that's...

Jalene Geppert:

We didn't know anything. Yeah, we didn't know anything about Herzliya, really, we didn't know anything about the culture here. You know, and it was all completely new. Um, but yeah, it was, it was interesting when we got that call. And I want to say that we didn't exactly hear God audibly say to us, you're to go to Herzliya and you're to minister there. And we just had our hands open, like we were open, and we said, okay God, this is an opportunity presented. Daniel's just finished his Master's in Theology, we we really, we don't really know. But we're open and and that's, and we just, we didn't hear a no from the Lord. So we just took it and kind of like a step of faith. And and we started commuting to Herzliya from Jerusalem an hour. Um... Daniel did it twice a week, we would do it once on on Shabbat for the service as a family. And we did that for two years, until we felt God strongly call us to move permanently here to Herzliya to be with the community and to really connect with the neighborhood and the people and the culture. So

Daniel Geppert:

So it's it's cool, because I mentioned this, this one beach day in Herzliya, and we went there with another couple. And they're now back from the US helping us here in Herzliya. Yeah. So it's the two families now, who were at the beach, let's say six years ago, just out of the blue, and now we're back back here and leading a congregation. So it's

Jeff Futers:

So there's this, there's a strategy here, if you want to hear from the Lord, go with your friends to the beach. Is that what?

Jalene Geppert:

That's right...You know...

Jeff Futers:

You just don't know. Well, thank you for listening today. And that was part one of a two part podcast that we're going to be doing with Daniel and Jalene. You can hear Part Two next week and next week, we will hear from them how they went about taking over the King of Kings congregation in Herzliya and finding new location for them to meet and how that they are growing and God is blessing. And I know that you're gonna be excited to hear about what God's doing in that community of Herzliya on the coast of the Mediterranean, in the land of Israel. Remember, we are very connected with Daniel and Jalene, and Herzliya and their congregation there. We help to provide various things for congregations all across the land of Israel, and First Century Foundations is a registered charity, both here in Canada and in the United States of America. And we can receipt you for your giving and so if you would like to lean in, and partner with Daniel and Jalene and what they're doing in the land of Israel, you can do that through our ministry. And we would just encourage you to do that. So don't forget, next week, tune in, and you can learn more about Daniel and Jalene's adventure as leaders, pastors of the King of Kings congregation in Herzliya. And remember, as Christians, we stand with Israel.