June 15th marked a year that Eddie has been gone. Who could have imagined all that has transpired since that day? Who could have predicted that shortly after he left this earth, nothing would ever be the same? And not just in my life, but throughout the world.
On the 1st anniversary of his passing, we had a wonderful Memorial service at the cemetery, followed by fellowship and a meal at my house. It was a perfect day, not too hot, everything went smoothly, and the service was filled with hope, joy and love in the Holy Spirit. It was especially wonderful to have people in our beautiful backyard, eating and enjoying being together. For a moment, it was as if the virus was just a memory.
I was very encouraged by the day and the love that was shared and felt by everyone. I said to some people afterwards how incredible it is to feel such hope and joy at your husband’s memorial service. Only in God! He really gives the oil of gladness instead of mourning and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3). God’s word is true! We do not grieve like the rest of men who do not have hope (1 Thes.4:13). Hope lives in our hearts and is an anchor for our soul and it enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain (Heb. 6:19). What a good God we serve and how he provides for us! Death has truly lost its sting. An eternity filled with perfect love, joy, peace and the presence of God and our Messiah awaits us.
Unfortunately, in the month since the lockdown ended and as the country started opening up again, the numbers of infected have been steadily rising. Although it seems clear that the people can not tolerate more restrictions, there are constant warnings of steps to be taken if people will not wear masks or keep social distance. Yesterday, the fine for not wearing masks in public was doubled.
Our congregation Ahavat Yeshua has been meeting in the park for these last few weeks. Only 50 people are allowed to congregate in the meeting hall at one time and with the number of infected rising, the leadership decided to be in the park so we could at least see each other. As it has turned out, it has really been a blessing to be together outdoors. Due to the fact that many other people are in the park at that time on Shabbat, we are unable to use a microphone which makes it a bit more difficult to hear, but people do wander by as we are singing and talking, giving testimony, sharing a message and often praying for people. God, who as always works everything to the good is allowing us to bring the congregation outside the walls of the building and be a witness to everyone who is near us! It is a very relaxed atmosphere, kids are free to play and be together and the fellowship between us is so very appreciated by everyone.
It seems we will be there for the next few weeks at least. Please pray for the gospel to go forth as we gather and that God will draw those with hungry hearts to us. It is a great opportunity!
Good news: Shelanu is still on the air! To date, there has been no response from the governing agency for communications to the complaints that were filed. Please pray that they would make a favorable official ruling or at least continue to ignore the issue! These are times like none other and the fields are ripe for the harvest. Pray that many would find themselves on that channel and stay to hear the Good News.
Sadly, the Israeli government continues to be filled with difficulties and disunity in spite of the new government. Netanyahu is moving forward with his plan for annexation of the Jordan Valley and the settlements. The Prime Minister feels that a window of opportunity has been opened with the Trump Peace Plan, in which these settlements with a population of around 500,000 Israelis would be incorporated into the state of Israel and the remaining land would be designated for a Palestinian state. The Prime Minister feels a certain urgency to have this move in place before the next American election.
Of course, the world is condemning this action and there are threats and warnings coming from every direction if he continues with his plan. There is also some disagreement on certain points between Gantz and Netanyahu on this issue and there have been protests and demonstrations from some Israelis against it.
Please pray for wisdom, discernment and boldness to enact legislation that is in the heart of God. Timing is crucial and pray that the Israeli government would know when to wait and when to move forward.
For those of us who were born in America and still have family and friends there, it has been very hard for all of us to watch the news coming from the USA. Our hearts were gripped by the shock of the murder on video and then seeing the turmoil and hatred as the streets were filled with violent demonstrators, to feel the increasing polarization in the people and to witness permission being given for anarchy to take residence in parts of Seattle.
And then amazingly, three days after the death of the man in the States, there was a killing of an innocent Arab man in Jerusalem by a soldier mistaking him for a terrorist. Now there is anger and rage and demonstrations here, although thankfully not such violent ones.
In other places, there have been earthquakes and wars and rumors of wars.
With the Covid 19 virus, it seems that something evil was unleashed on the earth and it feels as if the ground is starting to shake. A spirit of fear and intimidation is rampant, anxiety is increasing in the hearts of men, good is definitely being seen as evil and evil as good. Nothing is certain and what is reported as true one day is refuted the next. No one really knows exactly what is permitted or not or why. There is a lack of stability and nothing seems logical as Truth is being trampled on.
Yet in the midst of these shifting sands, we stand on the rock. God can not be shaken and his word is true and unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Pray that this is the day and the hour that the Body of Messiah rises up and takes its stand against the schemes of the enemy. May our voice be heard above the other voices. May the word of life be stronger than the word of death being proclaimed on the streets. May good take its rightful place over evil and may the light of Yeshua shine brighter and brighter each day. Let us be bold and declare the power and love that are in the name of Yeshua in the face of this increasing darkness. There is no time to waste.
As always, I thank you for your continuing support and encouragement which helps me to walk more confidently through these uncharted roads. Since this year of mourning has finished, I feel as if I have entered a new season and I am excited to feel the hand of the Lord opening up the way before me. I have been able to share Yeshua with a number of people lately and it is a joy! We just have to be willing. God does the rest.