In 1984, a monsignor who worked beside our bishop called me and apologized for not being able to attend my first ever function for Israel. Then he said, “However, our bishop desires to begin a dialogue with the Jewish community and you are the only person I know in our diocese with a love for Israel and the Jewish people!” My journey began with my attending this meeting with the priest. We met with the president of a Jewish federation, the president of a large city’s board of rabbis, and the director of the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Council. The doctor who was then president of the federation board seemed to lean towards a joint soup kitchen scenario, but didn’t receive much enthusiasm from the others. When he left us to hurry back to his office, monsignor leaned in to the other two and said, “Okay, Nancy, tell these guys what you’ve really been up to.” So I did. I told them all about the International Christian Embassy In Jerusalem that I had just helped an interfaith prayer group I was part of bring through Ohio. I lived an hour away from my diocesan offices and for some reason, I was not in the loop for Catholic based actives. However that meeting opened the door to me personally for many different opportunities to work with both the rabbi and the Jewish Federation in that city!
By 1986, I had a question for God that I had been pondering for some time. Although I had no Jewish background or interest in Israel before I became a committed Christian and Catholic, now my concern for Israel and prayers for the well-being of the Jewish people had intensified, and other than our biblical connection, I didn’t know why. A kind lady with a gift for prayer had invited me to have a bite of lunch and to pray for this concern. While we prayed, I was given a vision² which I described as it happened. My prayer partner, an older wiser woman of God, wasn’t surprised at all while I was nearly overwhelmed at such an experience with the Lord. Six weeks later I received a letter from leaders of Ohio’s Jewish community. This letter was totally unexpected and totally confirmed my earlier prayer vision. It began a joint work in Ohio in 1986 that became named Haverim and could only have been orchestrated by God. It was the beginning of my understanding that I have a call on my life to serve the Holy One of Israel by helping His beloved Jewish people.
Seven years later in 1993, I held a meeting in my home to bless a couple traveling to Israel to live for a number of months as volunteers for Bridges for Peace. Following the meeting my guest was tucked in bed and I was having a quiet time of prayer; actually my whole family was tucked in bed and I was exhausted but happy to have helped lovers of Israel. This was a tired, happy praise time before telling God, “Good Night!” Suddenly I heard Him speaking to my heart asking me to start producing Christian radio again, this time with a specific purpose. He asked me to introduce, “His people the Jews to His people the Christians” via a radio program that I would produce and name “Haverim.” I was hesitant at first because of an awareness of many types of spiritual backlash that comes when engaged in ministry and Christian radio, immediately came a vision. It was a very clear and humbling vision, I said, “Yes.” And found myself eleven days later in Washington, D.C., sitting in the Embassy of Israel and taping the first interview for the new radio program.
It is now many years since that first radio program. I was blessed to have many wonderful experiences and meet so many people, yet in my heart I have always wondered when God would begin to prompt me to turn again towards the Catholic people. I was excited in 2001 when I found The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible. I remember sitting in our big den and weeping. I was so grateful that then Cardinal Ratzinger had gotten this beautiful work completed. I thought that surely this was the sign and now was the time! Not long after, I announced to my Executive Board on Haverim that I was going to begin focusing more towards Catholics. Both of those members where fallen away Catholics. A few weeks later they both resigned! I continued with Haverim and then put it down to begin working within my own diocese on something else completely including Catholic radio.
Recently, I began to edit my first book The Israel Letters, to add additional insights from Rabbi Tuly Weisz and the newly printed version of The Israel Bible as well as some thoughts from The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures and the Christian Bible and some other extras, before jumping into my second book. Over the past few months, I find my mind often goes towards Heaven as I ponder about the one billion Catholics who don’t seem to know about their Jewish roots as I do and the unimaginable joy that comes with every discovery of how real is our family tree when we read the Old Testament; or what it means to see You bringing back thousands upon thousand of your Jewish people to the Promised Land. Suddenly I heard the words, “Catholics for Israel USA.” It wasn’t a vision, but it set off an entire string of thoughts about exactly what I could bring to a website created simply to do what God has been steadily showing me for the past year. Use all that I have learned and the wonderful resources available to get the dialogue going between His people the Catholics and His people the Jews. Long have I known of His great love for the fathers of Jewish people and His commitment to them. Recently during a prayer time, the Lord began speaking to me about the fathers of the Catholic church. Yes, Peter, James, John and so on. He let me know that in spite of what the Catholic Church has done wrong in the past two thousand years, He still sees the billion faithful and in their case, He has a great love for the fathers of the Church, their children and their children’s’ children. He wants our people to get to really know each other finally, and by Holy Spirit, I believe He will! Let the journey continue…
©2018 Nancy H. Montgomery