And the Lord said to Avram, “Go forth from your land
and from your birthplace to the land that I will show you.”
This is the passage of scripture, called “Lech Lecha” that was read in the synagogues during this past week and so it is no accident that the 7th day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan (November 4) was chosen to be “Yom Aliyah” – a national day honoring all those who have made “Aliyah.” The word Aliyah means to “go up” and describes the process of Jews coming home to Israel and becoming citizens; they “go up” or “make Aliyah”. God promised that after the great dispersion in 586 BCE, he would one day gather his people once again and bring them home from around the world, never to be uprooted again.
the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
(Deuteronomy 30, 3-5)
I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
Eddie and I made Aliyah 22 years ago and it has been more than incredible to experience prophecy fulfilled and to be a part of this amazing nation. There is not enough space to adequately describe how this country has flourished and grown and developed in the years we have been here. Recently, Newsweek ranked Sheba Hospital in the Tel Aviv area as one of the ten best hospitals in the world! And this from a country of 8 million people!
And most importantly of all, we have been so blessed to be a part of the establishment of the Body of Messiah in this Land. The growth started slowly but is now exploding and the Body is gaining in maturity and is touching and is involved in all areas of society.
This year has been a record breaking one for tourism in Israel and a very high percentage of these tourists are Christians who come to experience the Holy Land. The most common testimony we hear is that their lives are wonderfully changed as they connect with the Jewish roots of their faith and walk where Yeshua walked and see the places they always only read about in the Bible. And yet for the most part, these tours have ignored the “living stones” – Jewish believers who are giving their lives to bring forth the Good News of the Gospel in this Land and who are on the front line of one of the greatest spiritual battles of the ages. We are happy to report though, that in the last few years, this is changing and the International Body is connecting more and more to the believers here. We are becoming a great global family with support and prayer coming from around the world, as the stage is being set for the return of the King to His beloved city of Jerusalem.
For Succoth, the Feast of Tabernacles, we had our festive holiday Shabbat meeting but in a bigger venue as we wanted to accomodate the tourists who had come from around the world to celebrate the Feast in Jerusalem. Without advertising at all, the auditorium filled up with at least 450 people attending. What a beautiful celebration we had and how honored we were by the love and blessing we received from all those who came.
Although Israel is honoring all those who made Aliyah during this week, the reality is that the Messianic Jews are still being persecuted and denied citizenship if it is discovered what they believe. Sadly, we know too many families who have been forced to leave or are here and are fighting the Ministry of Interior at great cost and personal sacrifice in order to be able to get their rightful status.
Please pray that this situation will change and the current stronghold of the religious right in the Ministry of Interior will be eliminated. Pray that the undemocratic and unlawful practices of this ministry will be exposed. Pray that the doors will be open to the Messianic believers and that there will be a great Aliyah in these days. Anti-Semitism is gaining strength around the world and this is the safest place for Jews, believers and non believers alike.
The Iranian threat has been in the news more these last few weeks and the northern border has been on high alert. The Southern border continues to be volatile with weekly violent protests continuing with missile attacks at regular intervals. Amazing as it is, we are no closer to a governing coalition than we were in the spring. After two elections, neither side appears able to form the unity government they each say that they want.
Please pray for this difficult situation. Pray that there would be a supernatural intervention of God and a government would be formed that would stand firm with great wisdom against the works of the enemy. Pray that we would see revival in all spheres of society. Pray for all the seeds that have been sown throughout the years to begin to grow!
And as I think about all these things, I also think about all of you who have stood by us and supported us since those early days. Indeed some of you were among our original supporters who started even before we left America! You stood by us through the challenges of those days when we were getting used to our new environment, and through the years that followed as we set down roots and began to bear much fruit in the congregation we were helping to lead. You were there cheering us on as we moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to start over again and to help establish another congregation. You were unfailing in your encouragement and support as the devastating news of a brain tumor in Eddie hit us, and you walked with us through the 4 years of fighting the good fight of faith until Eddie made his final and great Aliyah into the presence of the Lord and was buried in this Land he loved so passionately.
And now you continue to stand by me in this new journey of taking all that was and going forth with it into something new. With deep appreciation and much love, I thank you for all your ongoing support. I know that as I go forth in the grace of God, I am not alone.
These are incredible days and Israel is in the center of all that is happening in the world today. God has such amazing things in store for us as we press on and keep our eyes on Him, the author and finisher of our faith.
May you be blessed abundantly for being part of all that we have done here and all that I will continue to do
With love from Zion,