Repairing the road to Zion

Road to Zion Ministries blesses Israel through refurbishing homes for the elderly, immigrants and terror victims.

roof repair 88 (photo credit: )
roof repair 88
(photo credit: )
To David and Jean Dorris, Christian Zionism is not about dark prophecies, but the simple act of renovating Israeli homes in the here and now. After living and working in Israel for the Southern Baptist Convention from 1979 to 1999, the Dorris family had to return to Pensacola, Florida, but their hearts and many friends are still here. So they decided to set up a ministry that brings teams twice a year to repair homes for needy Israelis. "Road to Zion Ministries gives us a way to continue to bless Israel, and a reason to come back every year," David told The Christian Edition. Since 2001, they have brought teams of carpenters, plumbers, housepainters and electricians to refurbish homes for single mothers, the elderly, new immigrants and terror victims. "We make no distinction; whoever needs help gets it. We don't charge for our work, and we buy all the materials. We don't ask anything in return, we just count it a privilege to be able to serve and to have a positive impact... When Israelis see Christians' unconditional love, it really touches them. We come here to fix up their homes but end up restoring their hearts as well," said Dorris. And the benefits go both ways. "In the process of working on their homes and getting to know these people, we form a real bond. It's so rewarding to help heal these wonderful people that some of our people come away literally in tears," says Dorris. "My involvement in 'restoring' Zion has been life-changing. I can name each person, describe each home in detail, and tell each story by heart," said D'Anne Weaver, a veteran of several work trips over the past five years. "I have met people who have changed my life forever." "My hope is that in serving people without any expectation of reward, I will be a good example of what being a Christian really means… I hope people are blessed by what we do, but I am absolutely certain that I am," reports Gary Phillips, another team member. Back in Pensacola, Road to Zion is also involved in community outreach, teaching about the Jewish roots of Christianity and the importance of standing with Israel, as well as building ties with the local Jewish community and fighting anti-Semitism. "One of our most important principles is the belief that God loves His people and loves the country of Israel. We believe that the Jewish people were, are and continue to be chosen of God," said Dorris. That principle is so strong that their home congregation in Pensacola has weekly Hebrew lessons and Torah studies. Jewish leaders visit the congregation, hold joint study sessions on Jewish history and current events in Israel, and perform community service together. "Our vision is based on Isaiah 66:20, which says, 'Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all the nations… an offering in a clean vessel unto the house of the Lord,'" continued Dorris. "We are fortunate that God has allowed us to live in a time when He is restoring His people to their Land," he concluded. Road to Zion Ministries can be reached at [email protected]