Ambulance Stops at Library En Route to Israel
February 6, 2015
Jonathan Feldstein grew up in New Jersey, the son of an Israeli father and American mother. He now lives in Israel and encourages Americans to support the nation through project Heart to Heart.
It’s not every day you see an ambulance with Hebrew writing on the side driving down a North Carolina interstate. But that’s exactly what happened Tuesday when a white van fitted as a medical vehicle rolled through Charlotte and stopped at the Billy Graham Library.
Jonathan Feldstein is accompanying the ambulance on a road trip from Florida to New York, where it will be shipped to Israel and used to treat the wounded and ill—regardless of background—in one of the world’s most conflict-ridden regions.
“That ambulance will treat Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews and possibly Syrians and possibly wounded soldiers along the Syrian border,” Feldstein said. It could also treat tourists, African refugees and migrant workers around the country.
A U.S. organization called Bridges for Peace donated the ambulance to Magen David Adom, a nonprofit dedicated to saving lives in Israel. Magen David Adom (pronounced Muh-gin Dah-veed Ah-dome) is the only government sanctioned (but not financially supported) ambulance service and blood bank in Israel.
But why stop in Charlotte?
Feldstein, an Orthodox Jew, said he wants to raise awareness about opportunities people in the U.S. have to support Israel through Magen David Adom (MDA). (Magen David Adom means Red Star of David or Red Shield of David.) Feldstein is director of Heart to Heart, a project of American Friends of MDA, which helps raise funds for the organization.
“God made a covenant with Abraham,” he said, adding that part of the covenant is that He will bless those who bless Israel (Genesis 12:3). Supporting Israel’s ambulance and EMS services is one tangible way to do that, he said.
Walking in the Library doors, Feldstein said it was good to be on Library grounds again. He took The Journey of Faith tour about a year and a half ago.
“When I visited the Library for the first time, I left awestruck,” he said, leaving him with an even greater respect for Billy Graham and his influence on world events.
In 1960, Mr. Graham had his first meeting with the former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. The two became close friends, and Mr. Graham continued to support Israel throughout his ministry.
During Tuesday’s stop at the Library, Library Vice President Tom Phillips and BGEA Chief of Staff Ken Barun prayed over the donated ambulance as many have done along the way. People have prayed that the ambulance would save people not only physically but spiritually.
“We’ve been getting unbelievable, warm, spiritual support,” Feldstein said. “It’s uplifting.”
Country and bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs, who held a concert at the Library last year, is among MDA’s supporters. He donated blood in person on a trip to Israel.
“When I was asked if I’d consider donating blood for Israel,” he said, “I didn’t have to think about it. Jesus gave His blood for me. How could I refuse His people?”
Heart to Heart supports the work of Magen David Adom in Israel. Watch a video to see how it works.
Billy Graham with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1969.