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 …
Pre-Celebration snow mop-up.
Oh may The Lord BLESS you as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, The Light so humbly coming into this dark world and in His great mercy, we know Him and are part of His body. How overwhelming. May the wonder of it all be NEW and full of worshipful wonder to each of us this year and may He find that we have made room for Him.
Blessings to you and may He be blessed and glorified.
Could someone PLEASE tell me how potatoes, hanging in a basket at room temperature can freeze and turn stinky, while the chicken and fish in the freezer can thaw? Because that is JUST what happened in my kitchen, during the 3 days we were without electricity.
Things are beginning to function again. We got a phone line again today, a full week after the storm. *[scratch that one…no phone line again]* Yesterday was the first day that I was finally able to get to work, walking gingerly on the ice and climbing over trees and dirty snow mounds. The geography of this small but powerful city was starkly demonstrated in this blizzard by the delineation line between the east side of the mountain and the west side (we being on the west side). The east side, which faces the eastern deserts, had substantially less snow and damage with just 1 ft or 1/3 meter and we had about 3 feet or a full meter. It felt odd to take the train and bus to work in the morning and passing from a disaster zones into pastoral winter scenes.
My husband and I are still pretty tough, but some people suffered greatly from this storm which is the worst in Jerusalem for the last 150 years. Yesterday an elderly man collapsed downtown and was rushed to the hospital where he died of hypothermia. Although we have received much teasing about being Alaskans and this being a piece of cake for us, I explain to people that in Alaska we had wood burning stoves for heat AND cooking, kerosene lamps, insulated homes and very warm clothing, including furs. We were both prepared for and expecting this kind of weather.
One of our patients, who just passed his 100 year birthday, was without electricity for 3 days but some people took him and his helper in and they were treated royally. Another elderly man looked at me with misty eyes and put it much into perspective when he said, “What was HARD was 1948! Now THAT was hard!”
He began to tell me about his life, being born here in Jerusalem some 80 years ago (as were his parents, grandparents, and ALL of his generations back). He lived on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel when the modern state of Israel was re-established and all of the surrounding Arab countries declared war. At the same time the British were forbidding the Jews to have weapons. He told me about the few living on the Kibbutz and how they fought for their lives against the infamous Jordanian Legion. He said, “THEN we were starving, freezing and hopeless. But if it weren’t for our miracle we would all be dead.” Yes, that put it into perspective all right.
Just as I was about to leave work today a man stopped by for prescriptions and asked how we had fared. When I first met this man some 16 years ago, my boss told me he held the sad record of being the longest Israeli prisoner of war that had been in captivity and come out alive. He had been held in Lebanon I believe, for seven years and severely tortured and is one of the most positive people I have ever met, always cheerful. Again things fall into perspective.
The day before the blizzard I made notes to write to you about winter clothes as I think that I have a unique perspective in this area, too. In the summer people from different ethnic backgrounds wear different clothing, but it pretty well blends in. In the winter, however, I enjoy the colorful display of diversity that is represented on the bus and train. The rich assortment of countries that have given up their captive children of Israel through aliyah, have their handiwork displayed like a lovely bouquet. I see the intricately woven and designed sweaters and jackets from the regions around Kazakhstan and skin and fur hats and boots that I know are Siberian as we had similar ones in Alaska. There are beautiful rich Scandinavian knits and rich British wools. There are Ethiopian fringed shawls and Moroccan and Yemenite designs pulled out of old trunks as people seek to bundle themselves up in whatever way possible. What a beautiful exhibit of God’s work, a sign emblazed proclaiming, even singing: “I SAID THAT I WOULD BRING THEM BACK FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH AND I HAVE BECAUSE I AM FAITHFUL.” Somehow it reminds me of the scripture in Exodus 12:35, 36 –
“Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. 36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
We bring some of the beauty of the places to where we were driven. Perhaps I’m carrying this too far, but it is what I was thinking about as I sat on the train tracing the designs with my eyes bedecking the elderly woman across from me. I give thanks for the toasty clothes I am wearing, given to me as gifts from the body. I pray that I may be clothed in items representing The Kingdom that I am part of, His heavenly kingdom, not representing this earth but with the clothes of a pilgrim.
Perspective is what we get when we look unto Jesus, Yeshua. Then it ALL falls into perspective. What a gift this Christmas season can be, if we put it ALL in His perspective. May we give Him a greater gift of pure incense…prayer…at this time. May we seek Him and to glorify Him with all that we give, and to all whom we serve, and in all that we do.
Before I close and go to bed, I want to share a very special secret with you. Thank you for those of you who prayed for me to know His will and do it. It is a secret from my children. But after MUCH wrestling and prayer, I have taken a leap of faith and bought an airline ticket to go to the Bay Area of California to see our children and grandchildren. It has been 8 years since I have left the country and 1.5 years since I have seen the kids (except for little Ana who was with us for a month this summer by herself). My ticket has me leaving Israel on 15 Jan and returning 27-28 Jan.
I APPRECIATE PRAYER FOR THE MANY THINGS INVOLVED. And especially for our younger daughter who is dated to bring forth her firstborn 8 Jan and for my husband who will be here alone in the middle of winter. For our older daughter who plans to be our younger daughter’s doula. For safety traveling. FOR SALVATION FOR THOSE NOT WALKING IN HIM. Thank you so much for caring when you all have your own families and needs. I hope to write again before Christmas, so I will just ask Him to bless you all and draw you near in your preparations.
your sis J