Monthly Archives: October 2013

Update on Cyclone Phailin

Rains continue to batter the countryside of India in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin, as hundreds of thousands of families find themselves displaced and without electricity. Recently, a Gospel For Asia Compassion Services team was able to travel to one of the districts in Odisha that was the most affected by the cyclone. They provided relief materials to 440 families.

Pleaser pray for these people who have suffered so much and if you can, pray about helping them with financial offerings. You can check it out at Gospel For Asia Cyclone Phailin.

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Filed under Christianity, Church, God, Gospel For Asia, India, Kingdom of God, Poverty

Inside Israel


Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua.  Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …

I was very naive when we made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), and so it surprised me how incredibly many things were different from what I was used to.  The small and intricate, basic workings of simple tasks were different, and one that had struck my culture-shocked self right away as unnecessary was the fact that I had been spoiled by the ease with which western medicine was distributed. Of course, there we would receive a huge bill, where as here it is considered a right.

However, it didn’t make sense to me that when I was feeling so ill, first I would have to go to the doctor.  Next, I would have to travel in the other direction to the lab.  Then back across town the other way to do an x-ray.  “Why couldn’t it all be neatly in the same building?” I complained. Thankfully, I now both understand our system and why it is this way, AND have accepted the grace of the light yoke to not complain about these very small inconveniences.

So, this week, although it was physically necessary to take a taxi several times due to lack of any strength, when I could take the bus and train, I did, I noticed something. Some of you who have read these letters over the years may remember me speaking about the ways of mentally handicapped people on the buses.  Mentally handicapped (and otherwise handicapped) people are treated very differently here then in my past experience.  They are mainstreamed (even in the army where possible) and, rather then people looking at them with any measure of pity or embarrassment, they are sort of everyone’s children.

Anyway, I won’t repeat some of the poignant stories right now, but as I got on the bus, a rather raucous man sitting behind the bus driver was bouncing up and down in his seat and saying, “No more news!  Get some nice music on the radio! No more news!”

I smiled as the driver reached up to his radio, smiling in the mirror at the man of about 40 with somewhat exaggerated and unkempt features, continued to direct him and bounce up and down in his seat. “Turn it to GLAGALITZ (army radio)!  Oh, there you go.  That’s nice music!  I don’t want anymore news!” He had picked some quiet music and the driver turned it up loudly for him.  He turned around to smile at everyone in the bus and everyone smiled back at him and assured him that he had chosen very nice music indeed.

Since I had missed a week of work already by this time I had a fresh eye for remembering the specialness of these moments, and it occurred to me: I DON’T SEE THESE PEOPLE ON THE TRAIN. Very rarely do I ever see them there and it hit me: on the train, there is nothing personal and no driver.  Unless they ride with the same people every morning, who will tell them when to get off or take them home if they forget their stop?  On my way to work there is a regular crowd of about 10 or so people who seem to work at the same sheltered job, and I enjoy watching the daily care and interchange.

Continuing on my way to the lab, I was thankful that it is right near the shuk, as our food supply had run low while I lay in bed.  I got off in front of the bakery where I planned to buy bread.  Those of you who have been here have all commented about how blessed we are to have such an abundance of great bakeries, and you are right.  I recently found a tiny place that sells excellent home made 100% rye bread, straight from their stone oven, so I thought I would stop by as it was along my path.  I looked toward it and there was a line in front as the owner was JUST pulling up his metal covering (not a door…just seals off his space).

This seemed odd to me as it was already after 9:30 and they are usually open around 6 or 7am.  I joined the elderly crowd, mostly Russian, and I propped my weak body against the counter listening to the colorful conversation.  As I did I had some time to observe this very unique bakery and to be there in time to witness a rare treat.  This bakery is a Bokhara bakery.  Now here we open a fascinating chapter because there is a Bokhara neighborhood in Jerusalem – a wonderfully mysterious old neighborhood. A very mysterious, colorful history, but I am speaking about the bakery now and if you want to glimpse a bit take a look at here  or here.

But back to the tiny bakery which consists of a kiln oven in the wall, a Persian Uzbekistani painting on the rest of the wall, and perhaps a 5 feet long counter and a table.  The whole space is probably 5 feet by 10 feet.  As I watched, the man cracked open the oven and I looked inside at a rounded clay oven perhaps 5 feet high, 4 feet wide and 8 feet deep.  Wood fueled flames licked up the sides between clay bricks, and the man threw cup after cup of water into the oven, on to the breads as well, all around putting out the fire and sending up clouds of steam. I saw my rye breads between bricks (no pans needed, the bricks are the pans) but before he deftly pulled them out with towels, he got a long wooden pallet as I had seen used in other stone ovens and the pita ovens, and, and he scooped the unusually shaped breads from all across the walls and ceiling, where the dough had been placed the night before.  He put my hot rye bread in a bag and I handed him my 10 shekels, well spent.  Come and visit and I will take you to this shop.  Even as I was in pain and weak, I was thankful to have caught such a moment.

You know, the Lord is just so incredibly GOOD. I was lying there in a great deal of pain and there was temptation to be discouraged. Yes, I gave in and had a pity party for awhile and then repented, but some of the things that I remembered and thanked Him for were rare moments that I have had that He made to delight my heart.

I know that you have had them too, and sometimes, we miss them, so perhaps it’s good to be reminded to look for them. I have always loved animals and He has spoken to me much through His creation. Over the years He has allowed me to watch the rare entry into the bay of a pod of killer whales on the hunt, to have a bald eagle hover by my window just a few feet from my face, to watch Alaska grizzly brown bears up close as they scavenged and played in our local dump, to pet a totally startled wild hyena, which I mistook for a strange looking huge dog while walking to work at dawn on a cloudy morning, to watch herds of elk and caribou up close and mountain rams fight on a mountain top, to live under the northern lights, to have a pony and ducks and run with wild dogs in the hills, and well,  the list went on. I was soon weeping with thanksgiving, that a God, MY GOD, Who knows me so intimately, cared enough to bless me with all of these- well hundreds of spontaneous blessings − small details that He KNEW would delight my particular heart.

And now I can add watching Bokhara bread appear from a stone oven as a token of love from God Who comforts us all along the way.

This is the very same God Who knows we need housing, and will open and provide the way and the same God Who knows of your most secret need.

I have also been hearing the rumblings of planes as I lay at home sleepless.  Several nights ago the planes continued to fly overhead for at least 10 minutes without stopping.  They are preparedness flights, not the real thing.  There has been much scoffing at our Prime Minister’s insistence to stand firm concerning Persia.  He’s been called a paranoid warmonger and told that the world is tired of hearing him.  Our Knesset just opened the winter session and I listened to the opening speeches.  The opposition leader (Shelly Yakamovich of Labor for those who follow) mocked him and repeated the worldview to his face. “You have isolated us!  We are just a small country and you are making us the fools in the eyes of the world. Everyone else is wrong, and only WE are right,” she mocked him.

I have caught just a glimpse of understanding the heart of God concerning COVENANT.  It is not hard to understand, but WE BREAK THEM ALL THE TIME.  HIS idea of Covenant is so far above my understanding that I can only bow to it. I have read through my Bible for the past few years with a notebook, particularly for making note of every promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for the inheritance of their descendants to the land of Israel. I knew there were many, but I just didn’t expect to fill a notebook with promises.

My ray of light came during one reading of Gen 24:3-6.  This is where Abraham has his servant put his hand under his master’s thigh and swear to find a wife for Isaac among his own people, the descendants of Shem (Noah’s son) and NOT to have him marry a wife from the people of the land of promise, namely from the Canaanites the sons of Noah’s son Ham. This was the son whom Noah cursed  (Gen 9:25)  Ishmael (AND Esau, by the way) took wives of the sons of Ham.  GOD had chosen a seed and the enemy will do everything to rob that seed.  GOD had a plan.  The enemy had a plan.  God still has a plan to work out and so does His (and our) enemy, and the challenge for me is STILL to always take His side and His view and His path, no matter HOW wrong it looks in the sight of the world.

Lord knows I could never do that on my own as the enemy would be oh so quick and happy to take advantage of my imaginative and sometimes extreme fleshly nature.  God forbid that I would formulate opinions without the guidance of The Holy Spirit in these deceptive times.  HOWEVER, JACOB, WHO HAD HIS PROMISES AND HIS COVENANT, LOOKED WITH HIS FLESH for the expected results when his sons stood up, not in a very compassionate manner, for the Covenant and plan of God.

And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

But that was NOT the result.

And guess what?  That is just what the opposition is saying to Netanyahu. This is what the world is saying to Netanyahu.  This is what Netanyahu has to stand against.  We know that he believes the Old Testament (the Tenach and the Prophets) and studies it both alone, with Knesset members, family members and receives many believers (local and foreign) and values their advice as well.  We continue to pray for Him to come through to receiving Messiah.  But I’m seeing the responsibility that this man has to take that COVENANT before God and find out how to STAND in opposition to the entire world – mockery from within and without. May we see clearly to stand also with God’s Word by His Spirit.

Until next time, I send much love,

your sis J


Filed under Christianity, Church, God, Israel, Jerusalem, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy

Prayer for the Persecuted Church


“My life in prison was not in vain,” said Pastor Samuel who was imprisoned for eight years for preaching the gospel in India. Could you or I say the same after such a long separation from our families? We may never find out, but the persecuted church suffers such tragedies everyday.

On November 3 (or any Sunday in November), join churches across the nation in lifting up the persecuted through unified prayer.


Filed under Christianity, Church, God, Gospel For Asia, India, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer

Cyclone Phailin Wreaks Havoc in India


If you have time, check out the above less than three minute video or go here to read the facts about destruction caused by Cyclone Phailin. The storm has affected 9 million people. They need our prayers now…and if you can, please consider giving a financial offering, of which 100% will be used for the people who have suffered in this storm.


Filed under Christianity, God, Gospel For Asia, India, Poverty, Prayer

Inside Israel


Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua.  Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …

Yesterday I was a witness to something that I must grow in my understanding of, but it was a unique window into a part of the Jewish world that many of you pray for: the ultra orthodox.  The 93 year old spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas political party died.  He had also been the Chief Sephardic Rabbi for many years.  His name was Ovadia (meaning, servant of God) Yosef.   

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (Matthew 23:9)

“My father! My father!” were the cries that went up as passionate grief and sometimes hysteria rippled its way through gathering throngs of people.  Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was a colorful, controversial figure considered by many to be a great Torah sage, perhaps the greatest of our generation, in spite of the fact that he was often mocked by the media for saying politically incorrect things and questionable statements. His words were constantly picked apart and quoted out of context, but now he was appearing bigger then life in his death.

He entered the hospital about a month ago with deteriorating health. Huge prayer meetings were called on his behalf as his health went up and down.  He rallied several days ago, but yesterday he suddenly lapsed and family was called.  The president of Israel was at his side when he died in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. At the time, the halls and area of the hospital were jammed with his followers. 

Although I was watching the events unfold while at work on ynet internet news, I was not prepared for what happened next.  It was a cultural departure from my westernized Jewish upbringing.  He died around 1:30 and I went home at about 2:30.  At 4:30 I heard lots of sirens and helicopters. I thought, it’s either a bomb (pigua) or Rabbi Ovadia’s funeral starting, so switched on the TV to see.  I saw live coverage on every channel of the masses of mourners gathering and the footnotes said that the funeral would begin at 6 PM.

According to Jewish law, the funeral is to take place the same day, before sundown when possible.  The bodies are not buried in coffins here, but in shrouds. 

I had an appointment downtown at 6 PM so decided to leave early. However when I arrived at the train station I was surprised to see throngs of people walking silently but swiftly along the tracks, in the streets and sidewalks toward the center of town.  I remembered former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral following his assassination, but this was totally spontaneous.  A flashing sign at the station told me that train service was discontinued due to the expected crowds. It was soon obvious that there were also no buses getting through.  Very shortly, neither were cars.  

I went home and turned on the TV to get an overview of what was happening.  At that point ½ million people were expected for the funeral and the security forces were gearing up for crowd control, but even they weren’t prepared for what happened.  Now, you have to understand that our total population is 8,012,400 of which about 20% are Arab and at least 40% are children, so half a million pouring down the narrow ancient streets of Jerusalem to attend a funeral is a LOT of people.  

It turned out that this was an underestimate. Soon the highway coming up into Jerusalem was completely blocked with walkers as people abandoned their cars on the sides of the road and began walking from many miles away.  Inter city buses were stranded along with all commuters.  EVERYTHING ground to a halt.  Ambulances became hospitals as crushed or injured people were being treated in ambulances that could not get through to a hospital.

It is estimated today that upwards of 850,000 people packed the area around the cemetery.  There are no estimates on how many failed to make it that far. Although the funeral was to take place at 6 PM, the body could not be moved through the crowd to its final resting place until 11:30 PM. There was a human surge, the likes of which I have never witnessed before in Jerusalem.  I encourage you to examine some of the links and get an idea through photos or video. You can see them here, here and here.

Even these do not convey the intensity of the event.

What I watched were people grieving, beating their chests, and crying, “Abba! Why did you leave us alone?” My heart was wrenched and grieved for a people following mortal man as if he were a god.  Many of the prayers had been prayed for this man’s life were prayed on the graves of the patriarchs or prophets or other idolized rabbis. As I watched, I prayed for the day to come when they will, with even deeper passion, weep for Him Who was pierced for them.

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.  In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem…” (Zechariah 12:10)

In THAT day their weeping will be turned to joy and they will no longer be left alone, just as you and I are not.

Yes, it was a powerfully emotional event we witnessed yesterday,  the result of my people seeking for Truth in the darkness and finding the death which can not rend the grave. 

Until next time, I send much love,

your sis J


Filed under Christianity, Church, God, Israel, Jerusalem, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy

What are the Three Deadliest Words in the World?



The UN estimates there are 200 million missing females in the world because of gendercide carried out through abortions, infanticides, murders, and the abandoning of female children.  One of the nations with the worst record on the gendercide issue is the world’s largest democracy, India, which comprises almost a third of the total population of Asia.

In India, 50,000 females are aborted each month just for having XX chromosomes. The reason is simple: it’s a family business decision. For a poor family, children are a major drain on family income. What was barely enough money for a husband and wife to live on becomes strained even more when a child arrives. A baby boy has the potential of providing future income to the family, but baby girls have little potential of helping the family. Thus, baby girls are aborted to save the costs of feeding and raising them.

Almost 10 million girls, between the ages of 4 and 11 years old are abandoned by parents on the streets of India. Over a million of these end up in prostitution rings. Others are coerced into being a part of the 50 million children from ages 4 and up who labor from morning until night to survive. Many beg. Many steal. Many die.

Question: What are the three deadliest words in the world?

Answer: It’s a girl.

Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope turns these situations around for good. Children are educated and nurtured. Families experience Christ’s love. More than 60,000 children have been helped so far and thousands of families have found faith in Christ as a result.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bridge of Hope, click here.



Filed under Christianity, Church, God, Gospel For Asia, India, Poverty, Prayer

Inside Israel


Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua.  Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …

Dearest Sisters and Brothers,

I greet you in The Name of The Lord, Yeshua, Jesus. May He be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed.

Today as I write, the world has taken, again, another rapid leap toward “the end of the story” and, as is written, we here in Israel find ourselves at the center of much of the conflict.  It MAY come as a surprise to some of you that we are generally very thankful for what we heard last night from our Prime Minister.  As a matter of fact, I personally saw a number of directly answered prayers.  (Full speech may be seen here.)

We saw our Prime Minister stand against the entire world in a hostile environment and speak the truth.  We saw our Prime Minister speak honestly about our purpose, vision and intent, without a “forked tongue.”  We saw him stand tall and, MOST important to me, and a direct answer to prayer, we heard him quote the scriptures from the prophet Amos:

“In our time the Biblical prophecies are being realized. As the prophet Amos said, ‘They shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them. They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine. They shall till gardens and eat their fruit. And I will plant them upon their soil never to be uprooted again.’”
At this point he quoted the verse in Hebrew and stood even taller. It seemed to me that The Lord strengthened him.  He ended the speech with:
“Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel have come home never to be uprooted again.”

He told the world that we were willing to stand alone against Iran, but he knows that it is written in the book of Daniel that Michael, the angel of our people, stands with us against the prince of Persia, and we are NOT alone.  I don’t believe that I am alone when I say that his speech filled me with a joy and peace because he found the strength to withstand the world and to stand.  I am NOT afraid.  If we are in God’s will, we are safe, although we may lose our lives.  If we are OUTSIDE of God’s will we are NEVER safe, although we may save our lives.

I used to look at the scripture in Luke 21: 16-18 that says: “And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish,” and wonder, how can I be killed but my hair be ok? But it IS easy to understand when we look at it all according to God’s economy.

Oh the incredible JOY of being in the center of His will!  I don’t think any of us would trade that for an extra minute on this earth. I firmly believe that when we are in the center of His will, the enemy has NO AUTHORITY to take us a minute before the boundaries that The Lord has set for our times.

So, I am  NOT afraid NOR am I shouting, “Doomsday War.”  I don’t know the times that are in God’s very able Hands. Now THAT is PEACE!

Well, I also know that the American government shut down and am aware of the practical problems that this causes for many. Yet, there are severe problems in  other nations as well, not to mention all of the personal mountains in our private lives. But for those of you who are praying at this time for Israel, would you continue to pray for protection over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s life while he is in America?  He plans to be there, I believe, until Friday, and he is greatly hated by many.

Oh my, it is late.  I must be up at 4:30 and off again at 6:30.  I still like the buses much better then the train but am using my train time to constantly turn to The Lord and keep my VERY fleshly nature in check, bringing it again and again to the Cross.  I am tired so will close but our personal prayer requests remain. We need to be able to find a new place to live after 19 years and are not finding suitable affordable housing. We need peace and to be led by Him.  Our younger daughter, now 6 months pregnant, and her husband are still living with our older daughter and are unsettled.  She is also still sick.  Thanks for helping me carry my load.  Can I help you with yours?

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Don’t you just love that?

I send much love,

your sis J


Filed under Christianity, Church, India, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Veil of Tears

This gripping new documentary film tells the untold story of millions of women in India who are culturally persecuted for no other reason than the fact that they are women. However, despite the centuries of oppression, there are those who are reaching out and trying to change the culture towards women, from the inside out.

These are the faces of true survivors. Those who have withstood a lifetime of adversity in the face of a culture stacked against them. Take a heartfelt journey through the eyes of these women, and others, who unveil their personal stories of persecution, rejection, abandonment, tragedy and even triumph. Get a glimpse of the true resilience of the human spirit and the hope that has changed the lives of millions like these and is helping change millions more.

Narrated by Grammy-Nominated Recording Artist Natalie Grant, this film was shot on-location across the stunning nation of India, in some of the most remote tribal villages in the world today, this is a journey where few outsiders have gone before.

Gospel For Asia is partnering on this documentary with the Saylor Brothers with all proceeds being donated to Gospel For Asia. Although the documentary will be released in 2014, you can see the 2 minutes and 38 seconds of trailer here.


Filed under Christianity, God, Gospel For Asia, India, Poverty, Prayer