“Everyday God was blowing my mind and I didn’t know when it was going to stop,” Brandi Rowe said of her trip to Israel.
While many people have a top site or a favorite moment from their Passages trip, Brandi reported that, for her, every day topped the previous one. She traveled to Israel in Spring 2018 as a freshman at Regent University. She knew even before she arrived as a newly enrolled student that making a trip to the Holy Land was in her future.
“I’m a very visual person,” She explained, “If I’m studying the Bible, I want to see the Holy Land for myself.” As a Christian Ministry major, a trip to Israel seemed mandatory to her.
What she didn’t know at the time was that the trip would be so impactful that she would almost drop out of college after returning to get an Associate’s Degree and become a full time missionary to the Middle East. But, Brandi said, “the Lord redirected me, grounded me, and I knew something with the Middle East was my calling.”
She stayed at Regent University, where she soon met her now boss, the Outreach Director for the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. They were beginning a new program to open chapters of the organization on college campuses. Brandi knew this was the place she belonged as her biggest passion is creating change through conversations about Jewish-Christian beliefs and experiences.
She applied, got the job, and opened the first chapter of the IFCJ at Regent. Now, she helps coordinate and oversee all the chapters as the Assistant to the Outreach Director and continues to invest in the Regent community as Chapter President.
According to Brandi, the biggest challenge they face in establishing these chapters on Christian campuses is “that Christians read the Bible and they see, yeah we should support Israel, but they don’t know the real reason why. They don’t see it as an everyday thing they should do and talk about.” She helps organize events to overcome this barrier including “Ask the Rabbi,” an opportunity for students to be “real and raw and ask the messy questions about the different theologies of Christianity and Judaism.”
“I think my favorite part about doing it is watching other people connect the Jewish roots of their faith and having that same aha moment I had in Israel about how beautiful God is and the story of God and his people,” Brandi said.
Brandi continues to see growth in the organization through her position. They’ve now opened 5 new chapters and are planning on offering their own Israel trips that focus on humanitarian service through partnerships with the Jewish community.
She would remind her fellow alumni that “[Israel] wasn’t just a one-time experience. Being a part of Israel and the Jewish faith is a constant thing. So stay educated.”