The Story Behind ‘Israel–God’s Heart’

July 5th, 2017

Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore. The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni. As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette’s of Israel’s modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God’s redemption plan for the world. Kathleen joins us today to share the story behind Israel–God’s Heart. 

Tell us a bit about your book-what inspired it?

Opportunity is what inspired Israel–God’s Heart.  Ron asked me to help him introduce SkyPics Israel from Above, his publishing company,  to the Christian market.  Because of that invitation, I suggested helping with narratives.  I prayed about what subject matter would be most touching to a broad audience.  Also I needed to consider how the text would compliment Ron’s amazing aerial  photography.  As you read through IGH you will find that the message is encouraging and clear—reconciliation of man to God through a relationship with Christ Jesus, and then reconciliation of man with each other, especially between the Jew and the Christian.  But I can’t deny it.  It will be Ron’s stunning images that will first captivate the reader.

How did you and Ron meet and decide to work together to create Israel- God’s Heart?

We met through a mutual friend several years ago, before IGH was even a spark.  Then about 2 years ago after much research, emails, swapping images and text ideas back and forth, our vision came together. Within the first month of brainstorming, we realized that this was a project and a collaboration that could be successful and timely.

Share about the division of labor -who did what?

This really was the beauty of co-authoring IGH.  Ron has captured the best of Israel through the lens of a professional photographer and a proud Israeli citizen.  And, I write about God’s Heart for Israel through the lens of a love for God and his plan for mankind. So the division of labor was pretty straightforward.  His keen eye for landscapes and my nose in scripture.

What was the hardest part about creating this book?

If I may use the analogy of a mother giving birth . . . . in creating IGH some parts were more “painful” than others, for instance the editing, but once the hard labor was over and we saw the actual creation, we forgot the pain and just smiled and celebrated.

Have you ever visited Israel yourself? If so, what place stuck out to you most?

Like many Christians, who know and love scripture, the Israel that stirs in our hearts is almost as palatable as actually being in Israel and touching the sacred rough hewn stone of the beloved Western Wall and walking the dusty roads where Jesus walked.  I visit Israel in my heart, time and time again.

What is one thing you learned while creating Israel-God’s Heart?

By co-authoring, I’ve learned to appreciate the talent, ideas and input of another creative artist.

What are you working on next?

I am working on a project that has been on the back burner just bubbling over with promise.  In the next year, I hope to be publishing a children’s novel.  The working title is For the Love of Big Balooka.  Based on a personal family event in our south Florida neighborhood in the early 1980’s. The story line is classic and reminiscent of days absent of technology, but there is nothing “dial up” about the pace of this adventure.  The protagonist could be 11-year-old Meg or a special canine named Big Balooka. Who rescues whom? Only “believing” Meg and two of her middle school friends and younger brother champion the cause to make things right. Who is the hero? The young reader can decide for their self.

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Ron Gafni & Kathleen Barrett

{More About Ron Gafni & Kathleen Barrett}

Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel’s High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in “National Geographic,” and his company,, provides books from its “Israel From Above” collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel. **||** Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in “Israel-God’s Heart” from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children’s devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission’s outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.

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