A group of tattooed Texans on a mission of solidarity roared up to Israel’s Temple Mount and joined Orthodox Jews praying Sunday night at the Western Wall — all that remains of Solomon’s Temple.
The hog riders may not look like traditional Pentecostals, but they’re part of “Mission M25,” an Amarillo-based motorcycle ministry that ”provides identity and connectivity for ministers and ministries of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church,” according to Director Gary Burd.
He says Mission M25 ordinarily focusses on U.S. military veterans, prison convicts and the homeless, however after riding en mass to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., several members felt they were supposed to go stand in solidarity with Israel.
That was no easy task — considering that 71 Harley-Davidson motorcycles had to be shipped in ocean-going containers from Texas to Israel. And it’s not every day that Israeli customs has to deal with 71 highly customized motorcycles, each hovered over protectively by a leather-clad, bearded, tattooed combat veteran. However, the Israel Tourism Ministry helped and everything went well, reports Burd.
Sunday the 71 roared up to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in the late afternoon — to the astonishment of locals.
“The group of 71 tattooed pilgrims,” reported Israel’s TV Channel 7 Arutz Sheva, rode their Harleys into the ancient city and stood at the Western Wall, “where its members prayed for the safety of the Jewish people and Israel, while holding a moment of silence for Israel and America’s fallen soldiers.
“Upon arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport last week, the group presented the Israeli Tourism Commissioner, Haim Gutin with a signature leather vest,” reported the TV station.
“The motorcyclists are on a 10-day tour of Israel, visiting much of the country with a police escort guide. On Sunday, the group drove from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, stopping at the Armored Corps Museum in Latrun along the way, the site of important battles in the 1948 War of Independence.
“In addition to the bikes, the mission also brought with them over $600,000 in medical aid which they passed on to an Israeli non-governmental organization, according to Burd,” reported Channel 7.
“The group has thus far covered Beit She’an, Megiddo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Caesarea, Ashdod, the Golan Heights and the Kinneret and will finish off their trip riding to Be’er Sheva and the Negev.
“At the Western Wall, the group was joined by representatives from Israel’s small community of Israeli Harley Davidson owners,” reported Arutz Sheva, ”who came to join their ‘brothers.’”
Here Burd talks about getting the bike reassembled after their trip on a container ship:
And here, Burd introduces some of the participants of the adventure.