Metro Voice publishers Dwight and Anita Widaman will be the guests of Calvary Baptist Church – Independence on Saturday, Oct. 12 for a special presentation titled, “Israel–See Beyond.” The free event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 Noon. The church is located at 1915 N. Liberty Street, Independence, MO 64055.
The Widamans returned on September 24 from the first tour of the Holy Land that they organized and led. It was the seventh trip to Israel for Dwight and the eighth for Anita who also lived in Israel during the 1980s. It was only the second time they traveled there as a couple. In 2015 they visited as guests of the Israel Ministry of Tourism and introduced their college-age daughters to the life-changing experience that comes with a visit. Their story can be read online.
For 29 years Dwight and Anita published the Metro Voice Newspaper – the area’s only and nation’s oldest Christian newspaper which existed in two editions. In 2018 the Kansas City paper transitioned from print to a national online news outlet with a free weekly newsletter emailed to thousands each week on Friday morning. The Topeka/NE Kansas Metro Voice continues as a print publication and is published by Lee Hartman of Topeka. They also organize the annual Midwest Christian Education Expo which will have its 22nd event in 2020.
In addition to their 30-plus years of Christian media experience, the Widaman’s are equally enthusiastic about the Holy Land and the modern state of Israel. One aspect of that passion is introducing people to the history of the land and how the people, times and relation between the Jewish and Christian faiths can inspire Christians today.
Their presentation is titled, “Israel–See Beyond.” The name comes from an educational organization they founded last year which received official non-profit status in 2019. The goal of Vision Israel is to present Israel’s spiritual and modern day history in a format accessible to young people which can help young believers connect their faith to the “land of our faith,” says Anita.
Sadly, there is a growing need to combat growing anti-Semitism on high school and college campuses and it takes education to combat it.
“Jesus was Jewish,” states Dwight, acknowledging that many young people don’t realize that simple fact. “Combating anti-Semitism is central to understanding who we are as Christians and appreciating a rich legacy of shared heritage between our two faiths.”
Anita has substantial training in holocaust education having been invited as a fellow of Yad Vashem’s Holocaust Education Symposium in 2017 and a follow-up conference in Washington D.C. in 2018. Yad Vashem is the world holocaust education and memorial center located in Jerusalem. She was one of 100 people chosen from around the world to participate in the two-week program of intensive education about the facts of the Holocaust and its impact on today’s political climate and how it shapes the view of Jews and Israel in the 21st Century.
Dwight has been invited to Israel numerous times and in 2017 was a guest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the East Jerusalem Economic Development Council. Both Dwight and Anita have again been invited by the Prime Minister’s office to this year’s International Christian Media Summit which they will attend in November. At this date, it is not clear if Netanyahu will be Prime Minister in November.
On October 12, the couple will share much of what they have learned with photos and videos from their journey. There will also be ample time for audience questions for a “behind the headlines” look at Israel, current peace efforts with its Arab neighbors and future opportunities for individuals to join them in the Holy Land.
All ages are welcome although there is no child care available for this event. Doors open at 10 a.m.. Space is limited. Obtain your FREE tickets at Eventbrite.com or just call the church at 816-623-5360.
–Metro Voice Staff