Cary Summers: Donor Review of The Joshua Fund

Dr. Carl Moeller: - I'm with Cary Summers at the Epicenter Briefing in Naples, Florida in 2022. Great to see you.

Cary Summers: - Thank you, Carl.

- Glad to have you here, and I'm so fascinated by your background and your experience. Why don't you just tell us a little bit about, you know, where you've been, what you've done. I don't mean, like, yesterday or this afternoon, but kind of some of the things that you've had the opportunity to see and do.

- Okay, well, I appreciate that. I'm really, I'll tell you, but I'm really much younger than it sounds. So, be aware of that. So, I was in the, truly this will give you some tip-off, I started, I bought my first car when I was 15 years old. So, I've worked all my life, and I think it's a great joy to work. I know that's a counter-cultural thing right now, but I love it, and it's a form of recreation for me and was in the sporting goods business. Worked my way through school, the University of Texas, math physics degrees with aerospace emphasis, and, but I never went into that field. I was fairly good in retail, and I stayed in that, and we ended up, I ended up with a sporting goods company that ended up buying Abercrombie & Fitch out of bankruptcy. I headed that up until we sold it, and then, a friend of mine was developing a company called Bass Pro Shops, and he loved Abercrombie, which was the oldest sporting goods company in the world, and asked if I could come to Springfield, Missouri, and help him, which I did, really enjoyed that. And then, another friend of mine wanted to retire, the CEO/President of the sixth largest theme park company in the world, and called me and said God told him that I was the guy that needed to replace him. And so, we, God had not told me that at the time. So, we had to pray about this for a while, and it worked out. So, I was, I retired from there after Bill Bright, who was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ told me I should, and I said, "Bill, I'm not old enough to retire." He said, "Well, but you know, you're," he knew sort of where we were, maybe financially positioned, and he said, "You should and you should start building things that will attract people who will never step foot into a church." And we prayed about it. Jackie and I prayed about it at his urging. We did not immediately pray about it. You know, he was pretty persistent calling, and we did, and sure enough, God spoke to us independent of each other. And so, we started the Nehemiah Group about 25 years ago, and to start building things that would attract people. Bill said theme parks, I understood what he meant though, that would attract people who would never go into a church. So, that's been 25 years, and with that, we've traveled the world building, and God has really blessed that. We've never had a website. We've never had a brochure in 25 years. We've never bid on anything, and we are maxed out all the time. So, I assume that, that God is still in control of it.

- It sure is, and it's been evident. You know, some of your experiences with the Nehemiah Group are legendary as well. We've had a chance to talk about some of those things that you've participated in there.

- Well, it's been interesting. Again, we've never pressed. That's a sort of interesting deal. It's a very long story. I used to tell people that you never press for it 'cause it's hard for them to believe that, but Nazareth Village, we of course built that starting in '98, and I still serve on that board, you know, 25 years later, and it's going incredibly well still. We built, we just finished the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC, and now we're working on the Museum, the Bible Museum of Africa in Ghana, West Africa. It's under construction.

- [Carl] Fascinating.

- But, we also have some other interests that we have that we think have real importance in the world. One is the Global Water Center out of Charleston, which is sort of a collaborative effort. It's never been done in the water world. My son went to Stanford and he was in charge of some water projects in Miramar when he was out at Stanford, and we really got intrigued with the whole water, clean water and how it can be an incredible witness to that country and to the people. So, we're heavily involved in that, and we started Passages, and it gets to Israel.

- [Carl] Right.

- And that was something that we've now sent almost 9,000 college kids to Israel in the last five years.

- Amazing.

- Yeah.

- Our daughter-in-law went with Passages, and had her whole perspective changed. Fascinating story, fascinating.

- It is, and it's something I did, started way before we had Museum of the Bible, and we tried it out, tested it out with a couple o' colleges, and found that it had an amazing impact, and as just one real short story. I ran, a young lady stopped me at one of the religious broadcasters conferences in the last year or so, and she realized I didn't recognize her, and she identified herself. And she said, "I went with you on your test to take college kids to Israel." And I calculated that was probably around 18 years ago, maybe.

- [Carl] Wow.

- And her friend was with her, who I don't know, but she said, "I just want to let you know that it was the most impactful thing in my life." And her friend, her buddy chimed in and said, "It really has been. It's all she talks..." That's 18 years.

- Wow.

- And that's why it's so important to, you can read about Israel, you can sing about Israel. You can study Israel, and more power to anybody who does, but until you can step on that, what I call, anointed land, it changes you forever, and there's a young lady, 18 years later, it's still, she said it's the most important thing that's ever happened, and she said, "And I've gotten married since then, and it's still the most important thing that's ever happened in my life."

- Yeah.

- It's because there's something eternal about that.

- It is absolutely true. I had a similar situation happen to me this past month. We were on vacation, happened to be with an organization that is very very well known. I won't say the name or the people that were involved, but they were some of the most famous family, Christian families in the nation, and we were out in the water and someone said, "Hey, what's been the most impactful trip you've ever taken around the world?" And he goes, "Well, apart from the Holy Land 43 years ago," and he said something else, and my ears perked up and I went, "Wow, that is so amazing to say that's the most important trip." And you've been to the Holy Land, you've been to Israel over a hundred times.

- We started in '84, and a pastor in, well known, in Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta, and Paul Walker, Dr. Paul Walker who's sort of a legendary pastor, his son got married, was killed in a car wreck right after he got married, a few weeks later, and Dr. Walker went to Israel, and he just took a sabbatical and went over there for a few weeks, and as he said, he just cried out to God. "Why? Why did this happen, what happened to this?" And we happened, we weren't members of the church. We just happened to be with our friends that were the day he returned to the pulpit. Now, this is almost 40 years ago, and I still remember that sermon, and what he said, I turned to Jackie, my wife, and I said, "Jackie, we have to go to Israel." And she said, "Well, how do you do that?" I said, "I don't know, just call a travel agent. I don't have any idea, but let's go." And we did. We didn't know you had to go on a big bus and all that. We just booked a ticket, got over there, checked in the King David Hotel. We heard some people, some people heard us talking and they came over and said, "Are you Americans?" Yes, and what are you doing? And this was an older group of people, and they said, "Well, why don't you just join us on our big bus, and we'll go around Israel."

- [Carl] Yeah.

- And that started this 125-trips later venture.

- [Carl] Wow.

- And it never gets old, and it's unbelievable, really. It's hard to explain this to people. It's just like the Bible. It's, every time you read it, you say, "Well, I didn't see that last time. Well, I didn't know that." This is what God does to you when you go to Israel too. You can go to the same place and you say, "Aw, I never saw that," or "Wow, wow." And right now, there's more excavations in Israel, according to the Israel Antiquity Authority, who I was just recently with, than in the history of Israel. Right now, more things are being found now than in the history of Israel. Why now?

- Wow.

- Because God said, "Look, in the latter days, I'm gonna start revealing things." And it is happening.

- Wow. And so, people just need to, like us, just book that ticket and go over there.

- Go over there. Just do it.

- We'll figure it out.

- Well, I've been over there only a fraction of the times, but I can affirm everything you just said in terms of the way in which you see something once, and then you, you know, our immediate thought is, well, I've seen that, but if you go back, and if you have a chance to have your Bible open or you read that passage in the morning, you will see things that you've never seen before and every time I've gone back, as you said, there's a new excavation, You know, the new archeological finds, but even more compelling and with this, I want to talk a little bit about the Joshua Fund, sometimes is when you go over there time after time after time, you see ministries, individuals, leaders of the church and of messianic congregations that are being raised up and that are starting to have a ministry that's beginning to flourish. So, it's not just those excavations that are going on, but it's the building of the church and the body of Christ there.

- You know, something you said just now is so so critical, and I think it's the number one mistake of people going to Israel, and I'm a big fan of any church, any organization that's getting people to Israel, but I'm also somewhat of a critic, and that is that they lock in on sites. Some people went with me once, a bigger group, and their son sent me a note, says I took over 10,000 photos. Could you help me identify 'em 'cause one rock looks like the other rock, and the number one thing that we found when surveys after the fact on groups that we've had some involvement with is that it dealt with meeting people. It didn't have to do with the sites at all, and it's the number one thing. I just can't stress it enough. This is where the Joshua Fund is so critical is to understand the people of Israel, understand that there's, you know, almost 3 million people that are well below the poverty level. There's some big needs there, but it's also where you can meet firsthand and sit down with a Holocaust survivor and see what, and really understand the ethos of what's called the startup nation, and what makes it run, and it's about the people. And I think the Joshua Fund and what you're doing, dealing with people and inviting other people to come over and join part of that process is so unique, and I just, it's such a shame that people would not take advantage of that and come over there and let you and your team to show them around and meet people.

- Yeah, it's so true, Cary. Last night, I was with Lynn and she reminded us of what she and Joel often encounter when they ask a group of people who's been to Israel. You know, maybe half the room or a number of people will say, "Yes, we've been to Israel." How many people did you meet over there

- Right.

- that were Israeli?

- Right.

- And you know, people go, "Oh, we met somebody." "Who was it?" "Our guide."

- Right.

- But, if it's not the guide, who did you meet? And everybody goes, "Oh."

- Right.

- And that's so sad from our perspective, as you said, because there is this incredible richness and diversity to the body of Christ there.

- Right.

- Historic, ancient churches and Christians that are carrying on traditions and working in ways that have, they've, you know, done so many other places. There are brand new believers, you know, both messianic and Arab believers who have just come to faith that are so fresh in it. I think we heard from one today, this beloved gal who works with us in the old city, you know, she said, "I became a believer in Yeshua, and all of a sudden, it was like, I wanted to tell everyone. I wanted to go through the old, old city and just tell everyone."

- Well, my first, our first trip was in '83-'84, but my first chunk o' time was spent in Nazareth. We were building Nazareth Village, and Nazareth is about 85% Muslim. It's almost 100% Arab. There's little sections here and there that has some Jewish population, mainly Nazareth elite with Russian immigrants. It's one of the assemblage points, where they would assemble the new immigrants from Russia, but then, for the most part, it was Arab, and so my first few years of really intense in Israel, was I got to know Arab Christians. I got to know Muslims, and then I eventually got to meet some Jews along the way. And so, I think that's one of the real big misunderstandings in Israel that there are some incredible people that are, they love the Lord. They're giving their life for the Lord. They're devoting their, and they happen to be, they happen to be Arabs.

- [Carl] Yeah.

- But wow, what a ministry a lot of these people have.

- It's fascinating and it's uplifting and it's, in some of the hardest places to do ministry in the world, I mean...

- It is.

- Joel Rosenberg, our founder often says, if it was easy, it would have been done by now,

- Right.

- Because it was the, literally, the place where Jesus walked and talked and taught, and you know, our ability to look at the lens of how history and everything has unfolded there, sometimes we lose track of the fact that these are real places with real people trying to carry out real ministry, and it is very encouraging, even in the midst of some of those challenges.

- Right, and now you see the Arab Christians working with the Jewish Christians, and you, wow, it's just a miracle is happening there, and it's dramatically growing. I remember first 40 years ago, there were, I'm gonna say a couple hundred

- Maybe.

- Jewish believers.

- Yeah, maybe.

- Most came from two of three different families, and that was it, and now there's I think 30, what, 30,000.

- There's a variety of estimates, but the best estimates are around 30,000.

- 30,000.

- But, I always say too to a lot of American audiences, you know, there are churches meeting this weekend that their whole congregation is larger than all of the believers in Yeshua Hamashiach in Israel that's from a Jewish background. So, let me ask you this, and you know, it has to do with the fact that you have had so many ministry experiences, so many times to Israel, so many engagements, can I just ask why are you so connected and committed to the Joshua Fund?

- Oh, you know, there are, and to your very good point, there's a lot of ministries in Israel. I get, after almost 40 years, I've gotten to know many, and I'm gonna say unfortunately, I've been able to look behind the closed doors some, and it's not necessarily real pretty when you do that. When you look at the Joshua Fund, what Lynn and Joel started, and you look behind it, it is exactly what you see in front of it.

- Good point.

- It's a five-star, ECFA approved. The accountability is there. They have, they really and truly work extremely hard to use the money that is given to them for God's glory. They don't pull any punches. There's no imitation. It is really the real deal, and unfortunately some are not.

- [Carl] Yeah.

- And so, I'm a gigantic fan of Joshua Fund, not just 'cause Lynn and Joel are involved in it, but the staff involved and what's been accomplished, and all you have to do is go there and just talk to the people, the staff, and talk to the people that their lives have been impacted by the Joshua Fund, and it makes it, it becomes real clear that this is truly an anointed effort that God has his hand upon, and for some reason, he chose Joel and Lynn to start it. I mean, they'll be the first saying, we don't know why, but he did.

- Yes.

- And God is still blessing them because of it. That's the reason I'm, one, I really am a cheerleader and supporter of Joshua Fund, and I don't recommend a lot of not-for-profits, but I have, I'm not bashful at all about recommending that one.

- Well, it's deeply moving as, you know, as part of the Joshua Fund team to hear you say that and to know in my heart of hearts as well, I totally resonate with everything you just said, that when I got the opportunity to join the team, and see what God was doing through Joel and Lynn, but also see the staff and see the level of integrity. You know, when something is the same on the outside as it is on the inside, that means it's full of integrity. It's the same all the way through. I always liken it to a chocolate bunny at Easter time, right? If it's a solid chocolate bunny, we all love those. It's not the hollow bunny that sometimes we see, and I think that's the Joshua Fund. If I were to ask you among so many of the other things that you see the Joshua fund doing, what would you say is the most impactful right now?

- Well, a lot of it is somewhat new also. You know, the ministries to the poor has been sort of a staple there, but the way it's done, I think someone said that many ministries in Israel either deal with the Jewish population or the Palestinian population and there's a few that maybe cross over, and Joshua Fund is somewhat, we'd call it color blind. It's wherever the need is there. The second is though that it's constantly being innovative. You know, Joel Rosenberg with the All Israel News, the All Arab News, which is something dear to my heart, to finally have some reporting out of Israel that is legit and it's factual, and it's not skewed this way or that way. And that's pretty rare, and to have it done on a daily basis is the first time that's ever been done. It's unheard of, and I think that's one of the key needs right now is to provide accurate reporting, especially for Americans who are geographically challenged and really don't understand a lot of the issues.

- Right, right.

- And this allows people to really get a good picture, and I think it's so critical right now to Israel, and the Joshua Fund really helped launch that, what we might call a venture capital investment in that, and that with Joel's new show on TBN coming up on October the 6th if I'm correct,

- Yeah.

- that deals with the Rosenberg report. I'm familiar with the format he's going to do, and again, once again, prime time on Thursday nights. Again, I hope I'm right on that, he's going to be able to share what's really happening in Israel as up to date as possible, and because of his, I'm not sure, his whimsical nature or why, but he has been given access to leaders, which I've been with him, in the Gulf States and in Israel, which I just have never seen before. I mean, I shouldn't say that, I have, but not, it's very rare that he has that ability, and he asks tough questions when he's there. This is not something that, you know, is just, so, with all that, I think with the history of incredible work, especially dealing with those in the biggest need, and now with the innovation to even bring more truthful reporting about Israel, that's what really sorta hits my hot button with the Joshua Fund.

- Yeah.

- That's why we're involved in it.

- Well, you're absolutely right on so many points there. You know, the both ends side of the ministry, and the reporting objectively, even the idea of having all Israel and all Arab news, you know, indicates kind of that commitment that the Joshua Fund, that Joel in particular has to that. And as you said, the TBN show coming up on October 6th, and you were right, Thursday nights, prime time, 9 o'clock. Joel is going to be able to directly deliver quality and candid observation and insight into this incredible pressure cooker and cauldron of ideas and things that are happening in the Middle East, and I for one am gonna really look forward to it as something that's gonna provide a lotta clarity and a lot of clear out the confusion that sometimes you get from the mainstream media outlets.

- It's not misunderstanding. It's just frankly pure misrepresentation of what's happening in Israel. I was there during the intifada. I saw how it was reported in 2000. I was standing up the hill overlooking Nazareth. We just, of course, we were building Nazareth Village, and I saw how it got reported on mainstream media, and it is not what happened there. And so, and that was 22 years ago and it's gotten worse. So, finally, somebody, Joel is wanting to keep, and there's a couple others, that are finally reporting what the reality is in Israel. And it's just, it's not coming through mainstream news media though.

- I'm looking forward to that, and I'm looking forward to, like you said, the real story getting out because, as you said, if you've been there and you listen to the stories sometimes from the way the media's current perspective is, you're just like, what planet are they on? Gotta go back to one thing we also talked about, and I want to end with this is, you know, you mentioned these delegations, and again, I will say this about the Joshua Fund. One of the things that's most uniquely attractive to me about it was always that Joel had these personal relationships, friendships even, with some of the heads of state and heads of, you know, major parts of the governments in both Israel and the greater Middle East. You and I happened to be on one of these delegations. You've been on several I think with Joel.

- Yeah, yeah.

- Tell me your perspective, maybe one story from these delegations.

- Well, I think there's a common story that's there. Number one, it's not what you think. We've been to some of the, you know, what people would say is the difficult Gulf states, and there are some that are almost impossible right now, but those who are certainly involved with the Abraham Accord or certainly could be in the future, or are at least good prospects maybe they would be involved in the Abraham Accord, this is quite a different story. You see God's hand working in there. There's curiosity about Christians, not negative, and they're not anti-Christian. They're just curious, but at the same time, it's interesting to get their perspective on some of the incredible Middle East issues right now. Certainly Iran is the bonding agent, I guess, between all these countries, not knowing exactly what certainly the US is gonna do, and they have a, that's something you just, you're not gonna, it's very difficult to get if you just sit here in the United States, and what the Joshua Fund has done, and it's creating more and more of these delegation trips. People pay their own way. So, it's not a burden on the ministry, but to have that access to the royal families in these countries, and to certainly, to key leadership in Israel and these other, four or five different countries now, you just can't do that. You can't sign up on, you know, ABC Tours and go do that. So, really the Joshua Fund is a rarity that has been, I think has the blessing to be able to do that, and Joel has this amazing knack of being able to get in there in the most nice way possible, and then ask really tough questions, and not offend anybody.

- And not offend anybody.

- How do you do that? I wish I could do that.

- I wish I could do that too.

- But, I would just say to anybody that if you ever have that opportunity, and you all post it well, I mean, it's not a secret, is to go and really, it'll change your perspective on what's going on in the Middle East, and certainly with the relationship with Israel.

- Yeah, well, Cary Summers, thank you so much for this very candid and I think such insightful observations about what God is doing in the Middle East, and you know, how your perspective has helped shape that. And I want to thank you for taking the time.

- You're welcome.

- I'm Joel Rosenberg. On your left, you'll find some videos we've chosen specifically for you. We look forward to partnering with you to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.

>> Latest News

Related News

Ken Larson’s Donor Review | Board Member Endorses Christian Charity

Ken Larson gives a review of why he believes The Joshua Fund is the best organization he has found to bless Israel and the neighboring countries.

Board Members Give Insight On The Middle East

Board members David and Michelle Rofkahr share their thoughts on the work of The Joshua Fund and their experience at a recent Epicenter Briefing.

Paul & Jenny Biederman: Partnering To Make A Difference

“It was probably the highlight of our life. It’s changed our life in many ways.” – Paul Biederman, Joshua Fund prayer and financial partner, speaking about his experience touring Israel with The Joshua Fund in 2018. Read Paul & Jenny’s story about how they are partnering to make a difference.

Latest News

Bible Prophecy Project: Volume 1

Joel explains the significance of biblical prophecy, why some pastors shy away from teaching prophecy, and how prophecies help to narrow down and identify the true Messiah.

The First 15 Days of the Hamas War on Israel

A chronicle from the diary of Lynn Rosenberg, co-founder of The Joshua Fund, from the first 15 days of the Hamas War on Israel.

Israel in Crisis: The Joshua Fund Responds

We are witnessing the darkest hour in Israel’s modern history. Our team is providing critical aid to families displaced by the terror attacks, including housing, food, hygiene products, and more.