During Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) it is traditional to begin praying for the fall rains to come. And come they did! We haven’t seen this amount of rain in many years – in fact the last time was in 1969. During the month of January in particular, Israel was deluged day after day with rain. In a region characterized by very long, dry summers, rain – called Gishmey Bracha (rains of blessing) – is joyfully welcomed. Indeed, we have truly been blessed. Since the beginning of the rainy season the water level in The Sea of Galilee has risen significantly, and the lake is only 1.5 meters from being completely full. Sadly, the storms and ensuing flooding have also had a tragic downside: seven people lost their lives in the flood waters and much damage has been done to infrastructure and private homes.
On the day I wrote this article, not far from our area, some schools and shops were closed because the rain and the resulting flooding made it challenging or even dangerous to access them. It was a day to stay at home with blankets and cozy up with some hot chocolate. But as I pulled into the parking lot in front of our congregational building, I saw the car belonging to our faithful volunteers, Sarah and Michael, who had come to pack food baskets. It would have been totally understandable if they had decided to stay home, but in addition to braving the weather they had also brought along someone they are discipling, to help.
God works on many levels. There are those who receive the baskets, those who donate, those who prepare the logistics and those who give their time to pack everything up. In all this, God gets the glory and people’s lives are impacted for His Kingdom. That’s why we are here – not just to give out food baskets but to be a vehicle for God to impact lives.
Our volunteers, you, and all those who take part in this huge orchestra play a great role in bringing heaven to earth. Be encouraged that you are making an impact, not just in people’s refrigerators, but in people’s hearts!
Passover is coming soon, and we are already anticipating what God will do among us. We look forward to sowing into our community in an obvious and practical way. Our aim is to distribute 800 bags (even 850 if possible). Each bag costs $75. We invite you to join with us in this outreach by helping purchase bags for distribution.