Planting Seeds

Mark and Lisa Teubner sat at the restaurant table enjoying their meal and conversation. When they left home that day, Mark had proudly attached his CUFI unity pin to his shirt as he always did and then promptly moved on to thinking about other things. He and his wife could not have been more surprised when their server brought the bill to their table, and had written “Free Palestine!” across it.

Mark paid their tab, gave the server a tip, and left a copy of the receipt on the table emblazoned with his simple message in response: “Christians United for Israel.”

If the server had meant to intimidate and shut down Mark’s advocacy for Israel, he failed. In fact, he accomplished the opposite. From that moment, Mark resolved to be even bolder and more proactive in sharing his support for Israel with everyone he met.

When this incident occurred in 2016, Mark had already been sharing his faith by walking door to door in local neighborhoods for years. He called it “planting seeds.” With a handful of one-page leaflets explaining the Bible’s road to salvation in English and Spanish, Mark planted these seeds as part of his regular routine. After the restaurant encounter, he decided to start planting seeds for Israel, too.

As Bible-believing Christians, Mark and Lisa had long felt a spiritual connection to Israel based on God’s obvious love for the Jewish people and the promises He made to them in Scripture. They had supported humanitarian projects in Israel for several years before they discovered Christians United for Israel, but soon felt it was important to support Israel politically as well. They made their first financial contribution to CUFI in 2014, and received the unity pin as a thank you gift.

The momentum began to build. As Mark wore the unity pin, people often asked what it meant. He had plenty of opportunities to share the message of CUFI while he walked through neighborhoods and volunteered with local Houston charities.

One day, someone asked Mark about the pin, and they were so excited when he explained Christians United for Israel to them that he gave the pin away. That experience inspired Mark to call the CUFI office and ask for a package of unity pins. From then on, everywhere Mark went he wore a pin and carried a handful in his pocket to give away. Almost everyone he offered the pin to accepted.

To grow their knowledge and confidence in talking about Israel, Mark and Lisa made a habit of tuning in to The Watchman, CUFI’s hit show on TBN, every week. The show brought Israel into their living room and gave them a better understanding of Israel’s history and political challenges. It also helped them stay up-to-date with the important work CUFI does in order to share the exciting news with anyone who asked them about Israel or CUFI.

Then tragedy struck when Mark suffered a stroke in March 2017. His wife Lisa, recently retired, devoted herself to helping Mark regain his physical strength and relearn how to do the things he loves. Together, they patiently worked on helping Mark recover his communication skills so he could continue planting his seeds. It was a test of their love, faithfulness, and dependence on God, but over 30 years of marriage had prepared them to persevere and overcome this unexpected trial.

As Mark grew stronger, he wanted to get back to his normal routine. Although he had made remarkable progress after the stroke, he still struggled with his speech. To help him continue spreading CUFI’s message effectively, he and Lisa asked the CUFI office to send him packets of printed materials he could pass out along with the unity pins. Our office happily obliged, and Mark resumed planting seeds everywhere he went.

It has been a year since Mark’s stroke, and he is still working towards his full recovery, but he hasn’t let that stop him from sharing his faith and telling everyone who will listen about the importance of supporting Israel. Mark and Lisa are currently building a new home, and when it is finished Mark plans to hang a large Israeli flag in a place of honor. They are looking forward to attending their first CUFI Washington DC Summit in the near future, and when they do it will be a joyful celebration.