PICTURES: Robert Stearns (left) prays in Jerusalem for the DPPJ
Not all locals are aware that Western New York is home to an international ministry sensation that spans 175 nations, over 50 million homes and five continents. Eagles’ Wings is nestled within the quaint and quiet town of Clarence, NY. Begun by Clarence native Robert Stearns at his grandmother’s dining room table in 1994, the ministry’s Western New York base is now home to several area families, couples and young people who are part of the Eagles’ Wings team. Although they are very active within Clarence and the surrounding areas through volunteer work for town functions and service at the Buffalo City Mission, etc., team members have a global focus and often travel around the U.S. and internationally (even multiple times) in any given year. The vision is fueled by a passion for biblical Christianity, unity in the body of Christ and God’s enduring covenant with Israel – three core values that translate into a plethora of initiatives.
Eagles’ Wings has expanded globally taking the lead in the greater body of Christ in numerous and massive projects such as the international Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) which Stearns co-founded with Dr. Jack Hayford of The Church on the Way. The DPPJ is a global grassroots prayer movement that unites Christians of all sorts of different backgrounds to pray for the peace of Jerusalem the first Sunday of every October. Started in 2002 in meetings with leading political and religious leaders from Israel and the United States, the event is now the largest prayer movement of its kind, with over 1200 key leaders from the Evangelical Christian world lending their active support. The vision is for sustained, fervent and informed intercession for the plans and purposes of God for Jerusalem and all her people. Amazingly, and by God's grace, there are at least 175 participating nations and 300 million believers who take part in this global prayer endeavor during their worship services. In the same spirit, Stearns also founded the Israel Experience College Scholarship program with support from Christian leaders like Pat Robertson, Pat Boone, Frederick Price and others, which takes some of the brightest Christian college students and sends them each summer to be equipped to serve as educated ambassadors on their campuses and in every aspect of life, both now and in the future. The Israel Experience is not simply a tour or summer field trip, but an intensive time of equipping and relationship-building that will increase support for Israel. In the midst of the raging culture war and the attack on Judeo-Christian values, the Israel Experience is giving tomorrow's leaders an educated heart for Israel.
Eagles’ Wings is also known for their passionate worship—recorded live and available for purchase from many of their River Conferences with the multi-talented Stearns on piano and vocals and the team supporting on instruments.
A lot is packed into their small, unassuming office space including magazine production, a bookstore warehouse, event planning for equipping conferences in Chicago, New Jersey, California and other locations, international dialogue, plus all the regular admin activities associated with normal office life. The humble ministry headquarters has welcomed major Church leaders and distinguished diplomats alike. It’s certainly not the dentist office it might be mistaken for! Stearns, though sometimes in Beverly Hills interacting with the Jewish community, or leading worship in places like Poland, London or Brazil, is happy to still be able to call Clarence ‘home’: “We are so thankful for the many strong believers and churches in the area that we have the blessing of partnering with. Buffalo is a very winnable city, and the more we unite under the banner of God’s purposes, the more transformation and blessing we are going to see flow.”
|The Eagles' Wings Team|
And now, more than perhaps ever before, Robert and the team are struck with the staggering amount of potential packed into Western New York. They feel that, Spiritually-speaking, this area is a powerhouse – a deep reservoir of strength and healing latent within it. Regional prayer gatherings and local River Conferences (often held at Love Joy Church in Lancaster) are examples of some of the ways in which this international ministry team is stirring up those wells. They even host annual Celebrate Israel nights, which gather the Church body to stand with Israel. (Visit eagleswings.to for info on the Buffalo Celebrates Israel night at Zion Dominion Global Ministries this November.) New York City is another hub of activity for the team. They see it as a key location since it is the epicenter for world trade, and has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. God has opened doors for Eagles’ Wings to work with key Jewish leaders, bringing a representation of the Christian community’s support for the root and birthplace of our faith and our Messiah’s natural descent through the Jewish people. Robert and the team are calling Christians today to stand with Israel by voicing Christian love and support for Israel in the face of a rising tide of anti-Semitism and tension in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. Stearns hopes this critical message will get out and continue to echo throughout the nations.
God has led the path of Eagles’ Wings to cross paths with some of the world’s leaders in their pursuit of God’s plan and yet they are in our own backyard. Like Nathanael who asked, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" (John 1:46) many people have said “Buffalo, can anything good come from there?” Like Philip who replied, "Come and see for yourself," I too say come to one of their many events and outreaches and see for yourself. One way to do that is the Buffalo Celebrates Israel event this November 6, taking place at 6:00 pm at Zion Dominion Global Ministries, 895 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY.