Much preparation had taken place for this very special day. For seventeen years my friend Jane had been operating a senior citizen center in Tiberias, serving Holocaust survivors and old timer pioneers “chalutzim.”
For Jane, this was more than a job. It was a calling, a chance to honor the men and women who helped pioneer this land of promise. She loves these people. We have been visiting there, bringing musicians and helping financially for two years. Due to governmental decisions, Jane’s job was cut and the location was moved to the Tiberias Hot Springs. The elderly friends that she served were saddened as was Jane.
So, along with Jane, I planned an official farewell celebration and send-off for her and a blessing for the precious senior citizens she had to leave behind.
I was early to pick up my two passengers Rinat and Hava on the way to the celebration. Through our congregation, Kehilat Poriya, we ordered small silk flower arrangements for each one and a beautiful laminated printout of 1 Corinthians 13 and Jeremiah 29:11-13, in Hebrew.
After only 5 minutes into the journey, the back left tire went flat. We called my husband to come and help us. I became anxious because the celebration was due to start soon. Then suddenly I felt the peace of God flood my soul. Within seconds, a gentleman pulled up in a truck behind us and offered to help. However, he could not get the tire off to put on the spare.
About that time, my husband Eric arrived and they both tried. A few more moments passed, and a motorcycle passed us and then turned around to offer his assistance.
I looked at this situation with three men trying to help me, and now I began praising the Lord for His help and care for us all! In the end Eric stayed with my car, and we drove to the celebration in his.
Upon our arrival at Tiberias Hot Springs, we could not find a parking space. My nerves were frayed. We then found a space but weren’t sure it was legal. So, just in case, I went in to ask at the desk.
The gentleman at the desk was gracious and came out and see if the spot we had chosen was legal. He said it was, and we could park there for 9 hours if needed.
As I often do in situations when someone has been especially helpful to me, I asked his name. He said, “My name is JESUS.” Never in our 35 years of living in the Land of Israel have we met, or even heard about, a man ― Jewish OR Arabic ― named JESUS!!!
I was shocked beyond imagination! My heart was overflowing with joy at this unexpected reminder of HIS help, love and care for us. We went inside and actually arrived before Jane. In spite of every obstacle we were right in the palm of HIS hand.
The celebration was a huge success. These Israeli pioneers and Holocaust survivors felt blessed. They danced ― even the woman with two walking canes.
To God’s glory, I got to share the story of how we made it to the event and who helped us, before all of these precious people. They know that I am a believer, and this was a testimony of just who HE really IS. Each of those people were grateful and appreciative of the gifts we gave.
When I handed each one flowers and verses, I said, “God knows the paths you are taking, and He is with you.”
1. Israelis may not excel in common manners, but when you need assistance, they are there to help.
2. God will go to any length to bless the pioneers who founded Israel, and the Holocaust survivors who are still with us.
3. May we allow God to be free to minister His life to others through us, even in uncomfortable circumstances. We’ve tasted and seen. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
P.S. After the celebration, Jane was re-instated in her job, and she is so grateful.