The long awaited day finally arrived! The school year ended and now the “Chofesh Hagadol” or the “Big Vacation” has begun. Summer is here and we are officially in a new season!
And not just for the kids but it’s now been several weeks that we have a new government operating. It still feels a bit strange to hear the words “Prime Minister Bennett” instead of “Prime Minister Netanyahu”. The Lapid-Bennett government was established by a very narrow margin by means of a coalition that is so diverse that no one knows how long it can possibly last. The basis of this coalition coming together has been the desire of each party represented to get Netanyahu out of office. Having succeeded in that, the great challenge will be to continue to stand and find ways to walk in unity in a time when Israeli politics are so very divided and polarized. Netanyahu is now head of the opposition and is committed to bringing down the government as soon as possible!
For the first time in Israeli history, we have an Arab party in the government. Although many are wary of this situation, we want to pray that God will use this to help solve some of the deep issues of mistrust between the citizens of Israel.
The recent war with Hamas led to very violent demonstrations between extremist groups, both Jewish and Arab. The nation watched in horror and shock as each group set out to destroy businesses and wreak havoc and even kill those on the other side. The spirit of hatred and division was boldly manifest even in areas that had prided themselves on the ability to live in peace with one another. The trauma to the nation was said to have been even greater than all the rocket attacks that fell during the same period.
This confrontation also caused violent demonstrations against Israel throughout the world. There has been a significant rise of anti-Semitic attacks especially in Europe. One Israeli reporter covering these events said this level of hatred has not been experienced since WW 2. We are so grateful that in this day Israel exists and that we can live here knowing that He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps! May the Jews of the world hear what the Spirit is saying and come home!
As summer was approaching, Israelis were so very excited. We had corona defeated (or so we thought) and the airways were opening up and there was a plan to let tourists enter on July 1. Unfortunately, it was discovered that some returning Israeli travelers had brought in the Indian Delta variant and the numbers began to rise after months of steady decrease. Once again, the virus has taken first place in the news as threats of restrictions loom in front of us. Allowing tourists in has been delayed one month and we are now having to wear masks indoors.
And here is some good news: For the first time since February 2020, Ahavat Yeshua is planning on returning to our indoor meeting hall in the center of Jerusalem on July 10th.
Going back to meeting as a congregation indoors after such a long time and after so much that has happened is really a new beginning. Due to the travel restrictions, for the first time also, we will be meeting as a local congregation without the large number of tourists who used to visit us each week. Although we always appreciated being able to host the international visitors and have them share our Hebrew worship and meeting, we are also looking forward to this unique time when it will be just the “immediate” family.
Please pray that the current virus outbreak will not result in restrictions that could prevent this long awaited and eagerly desired event! This is a time like none other in our 15 years as a congregation and we have an exciting anticipation of new things in this new day!
“After this I looked, and there was a door standing open in heaven. And a voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here….” (Rev. 4:1)
June 15th marked two years that I have not had my dear Eddie walking by my side. As I have clung to the Lord through all the difficult moments, He has drawn me to that door and He has called me to “Come up.” I have found myself absorbed in wanting to learn about Heaven and imagining what it is like. In getting a vision of Heaven, God’s passionate, overwhelming, consuming love has been reignited in my heart. In Heaven, there is no sin, no attacks from the enemy, no lacks – just the perfect peace and joy of being in His presence. And indeed there is no other place one can go! In Heaven, life is simply and totally “in” Him. And even that reality is almost more that our hearts and minds can absorb! And yet God’s desire is that we experience all of that now; “on earth as it is in heaven”.
I believe God wants us to live with eternity alive in our hearts as we walk through this life of trials and hardships. Not only to know the joy that awaits us but to know that the resources of heaven are available to us now. We are filled with the Holy Spirit and with His power and love, the angels are with us, the witnesses are cheering us on, we are carrying the torch they passed to us and they are encouraging us as we run towards the finish line.
To live with the reality of eternity is to more fully appreciate how precious is each day that we have on earth. Our time is so finite – so fleeting. Each day is an opportunity to love that will never come back! Each day is a day to advance the Kingdom here on earth and hasten the day of His coming.
I thank you for your continuing love and support. I pray that in this new season we would make the most of every opportunity and declare the truth of God boldly. May the joy of our salvation encourage us onward as we labor together.
With love from Zion,