Monthly Archives: November 2013

Chickens are $11 and Goats are $70

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Most of us give Christmas gifts to family and friends who will then give us gifts in return. It’s a holiday tradition, which I enjoy.

But here’s a thought: consider giving a gift to someone who will never be able to repay you and probably won’t be able to even pronounce your name. Yet, the gift may change his or her life forever.

Consider giving a gift through Gospel For Asia’s Christmas Gift Catalog. Over 100,000 people have done so…why not you?

If interested, check it out here.

 

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

Inside Israel

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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 …

Greetings, my brothers and sisters in the precious body of The Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua h’meshiach.  May HE, our Head, be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.

…In every place where I record My Name I will come to you and bless you.” Exodus 20:24

Over the years I’ve come to understand that we often use different words to describe much the same experience.  A Word can be quickened to us, jump out at us, be a rhema word to our heart, be made alive to us, but in any framework, the written Word becomes living Word and our faith is encouraged.  So it was for me one day last week when the above Word put my heart to rest, yoked me to Him and encouraged me to no end. He is just so good!

Somewhere He has recorded His Name and that will be our next home.  Period.  End of the matter.  Have we found it yet?  No, but HE has and He will lead us to it at just the right moment.  Thank you for your prayers.

As I listen to the planes overhead marking the arrival of the President of France, I’m tempted to write about ‘the situation’ in Israel; things surrounding us from our perspective concerning Persia (Biblical Iran), the ‘peace’ negotiations, and other BIG issues calling us continually to our knees.

HOWEVER…

I will resist.  You can ask questions and I can do my best to answer or to point you to those who are called to write about these things with greater authority and clarity. I DEFINITELY have my opinions and views.  He has made it clear to me that is not what HE wants me to write about today. Today I will be sharing, again, about our beggars.

Beggars in the Middle East are a unique group of people and I have come to understand them with far more depth then I did 19 years ago, when I deposited my money in every cup and listened to every story, praying with some.  Oh, I still deposit my money (excuse me, HIS money) in cups and still pray with some, but this is a colorful group of professional people and I thought that you might like a peek inside.

Begging is considered a profession here.  Perhaps not the most noble of professions, but a profession nonetheless.  I have heard it excused as a very important and necessary profession, since it makes righteous people. “What?” you might ask. “Exactly how does that work?”

Well, the word for righteous in Hebrew is tsadik.  When you give charity (which is one of the commands or mitzvot, in Scripture and very foundational in Judaism) this is called giving tsadakka (or the work or fruit of the righteous). So?  When a beggar nudges you and reminds you that you need to give to him, he is indirectly making you righteous.  Isn’t logic a wonderful thing?  I wonder how often each of us rationalize some act in a similar way that would make The Lord sort of shake His Head (figuratively) with wonder.

AT ANY RATE, I have come to know some of the local beggars quite well.  The first one that contributed to my education I met a full 19 years ago.  He (an Israeli Arab) was sitting near the Old City with a pathetically grotesque looking leg, full of infection, swollen, filthy and covered with bandages.  When I asked him if I could help, he told me that tomorrow he was going to have this gangrenous leg amputated in Bet Lechem (Bethlehem). He still needed so much money to pay for his operation.  At that time, Beit Lechem was still part of Israel (before our last set of peace agreements). I said, “But aren’t you an Israeli Arab?  Doesn’t the kupot holim (national health insurance) cover it?” I don’t remember his answer, but it DID fluster him for a moment.

His leg smelled so bad.  I gave him 100 shekels and prayed for him in the street, laying hands on him and praying for his healing.  What a QUICK answer to prayer!  It was just a couple of days later that I saw him walking into a store. The plastic leg slung over his shoulder.  It was a costume!  Surely he could have been a good actor or artist or perhaps this is street art. In case you are wondering, he is in very good health, I see him almost daily, no longer near the old city but on King George Street.  He’s given up the rotten leg game, but he is still begging.  He’s younger then I am and quite able bodied.

There was a Bedouin lady with crutches sitting on the street as well back when we came and I often gave her money. She now sits there dressed as a religious Jewish lady instead as she begs.  There are the really pathetic looking young Moslem mothers (deserted and unwed) who have been sitting outside of the Old City gates also for years.  They hold equally pathetic looking babies.  Over the years I have noticed that once a baby reaches a certain age they just get a different one.  Very effective.

There are plenty of Jewish beggars too.  Many old ladies wait at the Western Wall for money.  That way, right before or after a person prays there, they can demonstrate their righteousness by giving.  There is a fair line up at the entrances to the shuk, each with their own story.  Some are legitimate, some are not.

One morning I watched a little old lady go up to a very fancy limousine and dump out her money into a bag extended by an arm, sort of the opposite of drive in banking. But as I said, they are doing society a service by teaching us to give.

I do have my regular beggar.  He has become expensive, but has been a subject of much prayer for me as well.  He comes to my work every Friday and his name is Mohammed.  He’s my age and he is sort of simple.  We verified this when we tried to find him a job and no one would hire him for ANYTHING!  “Not Mohammed!  He can’t do a THING right!” they would say)

Whatever I gave him was never enough. “What?  Just this? We have no bread!!” he would say indignantly.

I tested him one day and brought sacks full of food, with plenty of bread making ingredients included.  He was thrilled!  He rifled through them and again there was that indignant voice: “What?  No MEAT? We need MEAT!”

I sighed. “Mohammed!  MY family doesn’t eat meat!  We can’t afford it!”

Once again his defeated look appeared as if to say: “You don’t understand!  You are starving me!”

He brought me his children. “Now you give Mahmud some money.” He was teaching his son the family trade!

I turned to Mahmud. “Why aren’t you in school?” I asked.

“I will mop your floor,” he answered.

“No, no!  You are Israeli, right?  What do you want to be when you grow up?  A doctor?  President?”

He looked puzzled. “I will mop your floor,” he repeated.

I took on Mahmud as a project.  I slipped Bibles and Bible story books in Arabic into sacks of food.  Every time I saw him I encouraged him that he could be whatever he wanted to be and guess what?  He is in university in Jordan!  Of course, that is a BIG burden on Mohammed, who needs more money!

Over the years we have agreed on 20 shekels a week with no complaining. I taught him to say “thank you” and we shake hands.  He has begun bringing vegetables and gives me a few as I hand him the money. It has brought some pride to him. I am also glad for that.  It is funny how we have grown close over the years.  I pray for them and am concerned for them and I see that he is also honestly concerned for me, and not just the money.  We have an interesting relationship.

Yeshua told me in Luke 6:30 “Give to every man that asks of you; and of him that takes away your goods ask them not again.”

It was Mohammed who brought me to my knees concerning this verse.  “Lord!  If I obey this verse, I will be giving to the countless that line the street – some for drugs, some for alcohol… or I will be giving everyone 10 agarot (about 2.5 pennies) to soothe my conscience or I will be avoiding them all together!  How do I obey this verse?’

He brought to my attention where the verse tells me to give to everyone who ASKS of me, not everyone who is lining the street begging.  I began to notice that some people do come up and ASK of me and I prayed that The Lord would send me those He wanted to and keep away those who would use HIS money for other devices.  He has been faithful.  Isn’t The Holy Spirit wonderful?

So, there you have “Beggars of Jerusalem 101,” the introductory course.  God is so creative.  He is only Good.

Thank you for praying for our family over the years.  Some of you may remember that beginning with the American holiday of Thanksgiving, my husband usually has a hard time.  Well…this year appears no different – perhaps a bit early.  The reality of all of our children and Grandchildren being gone becomes too heavy for him at times and he despairs.  If he comes to mind, please keep him in prayer?  Also our younger daughter’s due date for first Baby is 8 Jan.  She still does not have health insurance.  She is very dyslexic and is having a hard time filling out the paperwork for Medical.  She and her husband live very near to our older daughter and family and our older daughter is a doula (birth assistant) and does plan to help with the birth, but younger daughter is far from a picture of health. I have found myself praying specifically that she would have an easy, blessed birth with no complications.  She has asked for prayer that Baby will not be dyslexic or prone to depression (as she has been).  That is a request from her and you may remember that they are NOT walking with The Lord. Her husband has not yet ever known Him.

And THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR THIS NATION AND PEOPLE; FOR HIS PERFECT PLAN…FOR HIM TO BE SEEN AND GLORIFIED…FOR THE FULLFILLMENT OF HIS WORD AND PURPOSE THAT THE WORLD MIGHT KNOW SALVATION, LORD!  POUR OUT YOUR SPIRIT

Lovingly,

your sis J

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Filed under Christianity, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Prophecy

The Picture That Still Bothers Me

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The above picture of the little Dalit girl going through garbage has bothered me more than any other one I’ve ever used on my blog. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you’ll discover the background is probably her home. The bamboo posts most likely hold up a plastic or canvas cover, which shelters her family.

If this photo bothers me, what do you think it does to my heavenly Father?

Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope ministry reaches children like this with the love of Christ. So far, more than 60,000 children have been helped and thousands of families have found faith in Christ as a result.

If you’re interested, it only takes $35 a month to give a child everything they need—school supplies, a daily meal, medical checkups and more. You can check it out here.

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Inside Israel

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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 …

Shalom dear sisters and brothers.  May you be blessed and edified, and may Yeshua h’meshiach be blessed and glorified, lifted up and exalted for Who He Is.

I have been silent because The Lord has been dealing with my heart.  Although I am still waiting for “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” to really be evidenced, I still want to thank Him openly for the victory that will come because He Who IS the Author of my faith is ALSO the Finisher of that faith. In His faithfulness, it is simple ‘faith’, the very foundation of where we stand it Him and how we live, that has been lacking in me. He is so incredibly FAITHFUL to expose our sins when we are His and that is such a wonderful gift. Because then we can repent and be restored and wait for Him to show us the way into His victory, but you know all of this.

Don’t you just love the intricate way in which The Lord works in the secret places of the heart?  I mentioned in my last email that I was ill. Both my blood (white blood cells) and liver failed suddenly and I was in a great deal of pain.  He got my attention.  I was looking in the other direction, so it took a lot to quiet me down before Him.

In the midst of the week I spent in bed I had a very vivid dream.  In fact, I jumped out of bed praising The Lord with great joy. Yet strangely, I had chest pains at the same time.  Let me explain:  I dreamt that I walked down a small quiet alley looking for a place to rent.  I met a patient from my work that I know lives in a lovely home and I said, “Marion, we need to move and I wonder if you know of a place for rent?”

As I said that, she waved her hand and said , “I have been looking all over for you.  I want you to rent my house.  I am alone and don’t need it.  I just want a small room up north and you are perfect for it.  It has 4 bed rooms, 3 bathrooms, lots of windows, and a big garden and it is just too much for me.”

I said, “Oh Marion, it sounds lovely, but we need to pay a very low rent…”

She said, “Never mind!  How does 2,500shekels sound?  If that is too high I will lower it.” (That is a ridiculously low rent and a place as described in my dream would begin at 10,000 shekels per month.)

My heart danced and I began to praise The Lord. As I walked back to the main street, there was a large sheep there and I ran to it, but as I got close I saw that it was nearly dead and very mangy so I didn’t touch it.  Just beyond it I saw a second lovely sheep, but again as I approached, I saw that it was sickly and near death.  Finally there was a third, decorated and looking lovely, but once again, I saw that it was sick and near death.  That is when I woke up.

And that is when The Lord began dealing with me.  As I went to prayer, thanking Him again that He has the place for us; I became more and more puzzled about the 3 sheep.  I began to think about how the children of Israel cried in the wilderness for meat and He sent them quail, but leanness to their souls. That scripture always sends chills down my spine and I have prayed for years I wouldn’t desire things that might bring leanness to my soul and here it was in my face.  I WAS NOT WALKING BY FAITH TOWARD THIS MOVE and TOWARD HIS PROVISION OF A HOME.

I remembered another time, many years ago, that He exposed my deceitful heart.  I have always HATED flying.  It scared me to death.  Well, that isn’t too good when you live in rural Alaska and there is NO way in or out of your village except by air, often in a small plane and even more often, in severe weather.  I battled and battled and read the Word and prayed and repented, but there they were every time − sweaty hands and a pounding heart.

One day we were in an AWFUL storm in a small plane bouncing all over the sky and I was absolutely silent inside.  No sweaty hands, nothing.  I told The Lord I wasn’t afraid to die in this storm and began to thank The Lord for the victory. This time He spoke to me LOUDLY, over the roar of the storm and said, “This isn’t faith, this is resignation and that is NOT faith. It is a counterfeit.  You still want to be in control and you still are not trusting Me that when I tell you to go somewhere I will get you there.”

Oh boy!  He hit the nail on the head.  A line in Isaiah 22:23 always brings a picture to my mind of this type of work that The Lord does in our hearts: “And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place…”

True faith is that sure place in my way of thinking and I am so good at making my flesh LOOK spiritual. Yet it is NOT a sure place and it WON’T hold the nail firmly, but will crumble when any weight is put on it.

So how GOOD is The Lord to expose these areas that could lead so far astray.

After this incident, my blood tests immediately began to return to normal and my doctor said, “Huh, looks as if it was an acute attack of lupus (which I THOUGHT that I was healed from). You must be under too much pressure.”  (Sin will do that!)

So, there you have it.  I’m still struggling concerning the situation about our housing, but I’m struggling TOWARD Him and I do want His provision alone.

One of the things that we have to look at with this move is TRANSPORTATION.  I have learned to deal with the long battle on train and buses to get home from work, but my husband works a block from where we live now, and he is not willing to battle his way to work and back.

And speaking of transportation, I had a shady experience on Friday morning when I got aboard the train and my monthly pass registered: RED. That means not valid.  “Wait I said to myself,  “I have a hofshi hodshi (monthly pass) so it CAN’T be red.” Suddenly it hit me, “Aargh!  Today is 1 Nov!  I didn’t get a new pass.  UH OH!”

Once you board the train there is no way to purchase a ticket, and should an inspector be coming through you are slapped with 180shekel fine.  Now, there are many cheats who ride the train that try to get away with it, but I serve The Living God and I answer to Him. What to do?  If I were to get off the train and load my card, I would miss prayer meeting. So, I asked The Lord to guard me and kept riding, thankfully to prayer meeting without a ticket.

It felt wonderful to buy my pass an hour later because I did NOT like that guilty feeling. I was so thankful that through His Precious Blood we can be free from all guilt. Being Israeli, it is hard to dodge guilty feelings.  All you have to do is turn on the news and there it is again.  It leaves you wordless and would leave you hopeless IF you didn’t know the scriptures and believe He is faithful and His promises are true.

Last week, as a good will gesture, our allies insisted Israel jumpstart the peace talks. I do NOT know what that means, but still, Israel released 26 more prisoners. These were NOT like the prisoners released in the past.  ALL of these had murdered Israelis. They were all murderers.  I’m NOT speaking of people in a gun battle with soldiers, but I am speaking of people who entered homes and slew sleeping families. This was incredibly painful for the entire country, but even more painful was to watch the celebrations at their return.  They were honored as war heroes, given a grant of several thousand US dollars each and also a pension of more then $1000 USD monthly to recognize their service to their people, this is from the destitute Palestinian govt.

Abbas then promised all of his people there would Be NO peace agreement signed until EVERY Palestinian was released. I am naïve because I really did expect some outrage from the rest of the world, at least from our allies.

What DID illicit outrage however was our announcement the following day that we would be building more apartments and a park in our neighborhoods.  For this, we were censored and accused of sabotaging the peace process. A grievous speech was made by the leader of South Africa in favor of their Palestinian friends which so distorted fact and history, there was just no reply which could be made.

I found it hard being a Jew as a young person and I see it is hard to be an Israeli.  There is a constant bombardment of words designed to make this nation and people feel guilty for even living.  BUT, there is a Book of WORDS, which tells us why and how we MUST live. It explains WHY the battle is so incredibly intense and filled with hatred.  As the world grows darker, I KNOW I am not the only one The Lord is refining with added intensity and purpose.  The lessons are both harder and more exacting, wouldn’t you say?  Right now I need to learn what His Faith is and I THOUGHT I knew it. I see that I still walked in the shadow and He will no longer allow me to.

This nation is choosing daily on level after level and the day will soon come when we will REALLY choose if we are willing finally once and for all to stand alone and look to God ONLY for our very survival.

Thank you for standing with us as a nation and people AS THE LORD PRESCRIBES IN HIS WORD.  Thank you for standing with us as a very imperfect family, but part of HIS body.

AND PRAYER WAS ANSWERED.  OUR YOUNGER PREGNANT DAUGHTER AND HER HUSBAND HAVE GOTTEN THEIR FIRST TINY LITTLE APARTMENT AND HAVE MOVED OUT OF THEIR SISTER’S HOME.  They are 5 blocks away and thrilled to finally be living in a place they are not sharing with anyone else.  So now all of our children and Grandchildren are in the Bay Area of California for now, until they come home.  Thank you for praying for salvation.

I send my love,

your sis J

 

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

Feel Like Praying?

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The children of South Asia are among the most vulnerable in the world. The United Nations estimates that 1 million Asian children are traded every single day. In India alone, 45,000 children are reported missing each year. Thousands more are missing, but their families have not reported their absence to authorities.

The majority of these missing children come from Dalit (“Untouchable”) families, from tribal areas or from families that live in extreme poverty.

Children in South Asia go missing for many reasons. Some are abducted by strangers and put into forced labor. Others are trafficked or exploited in the sex trade or sold to other families to work as domestic help. Some missing children have simply run away from home or were forced to leave home because of difficult circumstances, such as the death of a parent or the introduction of a stepparent into the household.

India has the largest population of poor and vulnerable children of any country in the world. Nearly 44 million children live on the street as beggars. Millions are orphans. Others may be the children of migrant workers, commercial sex workers or prisoners. Thousands are also child soldiers who have been forced into armed conflict. 

Sadly, there are many waiting to exploit these vulnerable children. One of the most common ways children are misused is by being forced into the adult workforce. India has some 13 million children younger than 15 in its workforce—more than any other country in the world. Some estimate that the real number of child laborers is close to 100 million. That’s about five times the population of the state of New York.

How to Pray for Them
Even though these children’s parents may not know where they are, their Heavenly Father knows them and cares for them. The following list describes some of their prayer needs:

  • Pray for the children to be rescued, reunited and accepted back into their families.
  • Pray for Gospel For Asia-supported missionaries and workers who reach out specifically to the runaway children, especially those who try to rescue the thousands of street children in Delhi.
  • Pray for the physical needs of the children. Most do not get enough to eat, and the physical labor they are forced to do can cripple their young bodies. Pray for the Lord to provide for them and protect them from harm.
  • Pray for the girls—and boys—forced to work in the sex trade. Ask the Lord to bring the brothel owners’ and customers’ misdeeds into the spotlight and for the love of Jesus to permeate those dark places.
  • Pray for a radical attitude shift in South Asian society so that citizens of these countries will demand an end to the exploitation of children.
  • Pray for more sponsors of Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program.

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