Lenore Mullican moved to Israel when she was 7 months old.
She grew up there and has seen firsthand the rich and sometimes tumultuous ethnic diversity of the Jews, Arabs and Christians living among each other.
Though Mullican no longer lives in Israel, the professor of Hebrew said she is still inexorably intertwined with the land—and the people.
The nation is tiny, totaling more than 8500 square miles. That’s smaller than Lake Michigan.
Still, this country remains the Middle Eastern epicenter of violence and conflict.
“In light of all the unrest in the Middle East, if we see how small Israel is in comparison, we’ll realize how vulnerable it truly is,” Mullican said.
“We care about all the people that live there and pray that there will peace,” she added.
On Feb. 28, Tulsa showed its own concern and support for the nation of Israel at the annual citywide event A Night to Honor Israel at Victory Christian Center.
Speakers at the event included Hagee, Pastor Sharon Daugherty, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, ORU Professor John Swails and Dr. Mark Rutland.
During the keynote speech, Hagee addressed both the national and international issues facing the nation today.
Behind him, two large flags hung side by side, their borders merging in the center.
The United States flag was suspended on the left while the blue Star of David on the Israeli flag acted as the centerpiece on the right.
Upon entering the event, participants received their own small Israeli flags to wave throughout the service.
At one point during Hagee’s message, the small flags waved frantically amid electrifying chants of “Israel lives.”
Hagee challenged Christians to support the nation of Israel and its people.
“We stand with Israel because the Bible stands with Israel,” he said.
Freshman Kyle Hansen first attended a Night to Honor Israel event at Cornerstone Church, Hagee’s home church in San Antonio.
Hansen is the president of Campus Alliance Israel, which aims to get students involved in supporting the nation of Israel politically.
He explained that CUFI first started the Night to Honor Israel events—they take place in cities nationwide—to challenge Christians to actively support their Jewish brothers.
“CUFI wanted pastors to go beyond just telling people to pray for the peace of the nation while not actually supporting Israel as a nation,” he said.
Hansen said Christians also must recognize how this nation has enriched their own faith.
“All the things we have, Judaism gave us. The Jews gave us Jesus, the prophets, the patriarchs and the Bible,” he said.
At the Night to Honor Israel event, participants also watched a video featuring the accomplishments of the Jewish people outside of their contributions to Christianity.
The video highlighted famous Jewish athletes, actors, writers and scientists in America and abroad.
Jewish Nobel Peace Prize winners and famous discoveries and inventions of Jewish people were also featured in the video.
Though the event focused on honoring the heritage and achievements exclusive to the Jews, Hansen said that comparing American and Jewish morals and beliefs reveals that the two people share more in common than may be first evident.
He said it begs the question, “Are we so different?”
“We value the same things. We both value life, liberty, freedom and democracy,” he said.
In light of student opposition to Israel erupting on college campuses throughout the nation,
Hansen added that it’s imperative the same feelings not be found on ORU’s campus.
Professor Mullican has taught at ORU for 20 years, and she emphasized that the school has a long legacy of pro-Israeli sentiments.
“It’s very important to have events like A Night to Honor Israel. Oral Roberts was supportive of Israel, and he’s always been supportive of them,” she said.
In fact, Roberts originally intended to have his ministry headquarters in Israel.
“A Night to Honor Israel continues what he would have wanted to do. Oral Roberts was supportive of Israel, and ORU continues this legacy,” she said.
Hansen stressed that it is a critical time for this legacy to be an active one.
“[Israel] fights everyday for their existence, and st udents must support Israel….There are leaders here who are going to have great influence and will be able to support Israel in their time of need,” he said.
Hansen added that students can become involved in actively supporting the nation of Israel by writing their congressmen and raising awareness about the situation in the Middle East.
“God says, ‘Bless Israel, and I will bless you.’ So, we bless Israel, not so that we may be blessed, but because it is a command—not an option,” he said.
“As Mordecai says, ‘If not now, when? If not you, who?’”
As Tulsa’s own Night to Honor Israel came to a close, audience members were comforted that Israel will survive any future strife.
“ Israel was created by God’s hand and is protected by God’s hand…and the Israeli flag will fly over the land forever,” he said.
By Hannah Covington
The Oracle Faith Editor is Hannah Covington.