Thursday, February 21, 2019

Sunrise in Israel

A dear missionary shared this quote with us in Israel, which deeply touched our hearts.

"Spiritually speaking, it is sunrise here in Israel, and sunset in America.” ~Unknown

Sunrise in Tiberias, our favorite place in Israel.

The Lord is working and bringing LIFE to His people.  We have spoken with missionaries, pastors, evangelists in the land of Israel, and we are hearing about many who are coming to Yeshua like never before!  These are exciting times! We have had the blessed opportunity to share with many Jews, the Life-Saving gospel of Jesus Christ on this trip.  It has been truly amazing, and such an honor to share the Messiah (Meshiach) with the people who should know Him better than we do.  We have seen some stick out their tongues, others shake their heads and pat their Kippah, but then we have seen some that have been touched to the deepest place of the soul.  Anat was one of them.

This is Anat in Tiberias, the special new friend in this below testimony.

Yesterday morning, the Lord answered my prayer.  For several weeks, I asked the Lord to give me an Orthodox Jewish woman who I could be friends with and share Yeshua with.  It was a strong desire I had to learn about their culture, their ways, their life.  One day while in Tiberias, Faith and I were late to breakfast, and it was almost closing.  We gathered our fruits and a few hot items, and found a table near the buffet.  We sat down, we prayed together, and we began eating.  As we were eating and sharing together and just talking, an Orthodox woman behind us, was listening.  I didn’t think much of it at the time, just someone curious about what we were discussing.  We prayed over our food and continued talking together.  She was sitting alone, eating her breakfast.  After several minutes, I could tell that she was listening to us intently, inquisitively. Finally, she spoke up, and asked… “Where are you from?”  I was surprised and excited to be speaking with her, and I told her that we are from America. 

The conversation began to open up, and I could tell that she wasn’t satisfied with any short answers.  She wanted to know about me.  She wanted to ask more questions.  So I asked her if I could sit with her at her table, and she was very welcoming and said, “Of course”!... So we moved our things to her table and began to talk more. 

She wanted to know about Faith.  She asked me about how we educate her.  She is a schoolteacher for special needs children from K-3rd grades.  She began opening up about her life, her 3 children, her husband who is a banker.  It was so wonderful!  She told me she is Jewish, and asked me if I was too.  I was also wearing my head-covering and modest dress, so she was assuming we were Jewish from America.  I told her that we are Christians and followers of Yeshua, which I could tell was a surprise.  She told me that she loves Americans, and she loves all people.  I was thankful for that answer, and let her know that we love the Jewish people and we love Israel so much!  There was a bond happening.  She wanted to talk more, so we did. 

She was sharing things with me about how I should help Faith with muscle training, and strengthen her arms and her wrists and fingers.  It was an interesting topic.  She said that we need to focus her more on her upper body strength, not just leg strength.  Funny the things that were important to her.  I would have never dreamed we would be having this talk, but I was listening to her and her experience.  She was sharing that if we don’t focus on upper body strength with our children, that they can have problems later.  :) I was learning things from her, and she from me.  At first, she was telling me that children need to be in regular schools, but after I shared with her some of the corruption in the schools in the US, she changed her mind about that.  She told me that she now thinks it is better for us to homeschool.  She was encouraging me to get a tutor if needed, to make sure she is able to learn if I am not able to teach her things.  It was a really great conversation. 

After talking for quite a while, I asked her if I could share something I’ve been working on.  I’ve been memorizing a portion of the Tanach (Old Testament), and I asked her if I could share it with her.  At first, she said … “Well, I don’t know if I am allowed to listen to this from you.”  And then I assured her that what I was going to share was ONLY from the Tanach, so she agreed and said, “If it is ONLY from Tanach, I can listen… please tell me.”  SO I gave her my phone, and she was reading along, and I was speaking and sharing the verses from Isaiah 53:3-7 that I’ve been memorizing.  As I began sharing it, she was visibly being touched by the Lord.  She was so hungry to hear these words, and she wanted to hear more.  As I got to verse 5, she said, “Please stop….. (so I stopped).... And then she said, “I don’t understand what you are reading.  Can you please teach me?”  It was amazing.  I said, “YES!” Let me show you what it means.  So I began sharing with her that this was a prophecy from Isaiah the prophet, telling about the Meshiach (Messiah).  She put her hand on her heart, and wanted me to continue.  She was hungry to hear more and wanted me to continue.  She was speechless.  I kept reciting it with passion, and she was 100% engaged. 

Then before I could get to verse seven, her phone began ringing like crazy.  She looked at her phone and said, “Oh no, I’m late for a meeting!  They are calling me and telling me I’m late… I need to go now… And then she got up from the table and was leaving.  I managed to take a quick picture with her and Faith.  She loved meeting Faith and talking with her.  It was really a precious meeting.  She had already given me her contact information before we departed.  She told me she lives in Tiberias (right near the hotel), and that anytime I come to her area, she wants me to come to her home, and if I need anything in the area, she will help me with anything I need.  I believe there was a battle taking place while she was being touched by the Lord as I was sharing these verses about her Messiah.  Please pray for her.  Her name is Anat.  I have her phone number and am praying that we can have another meeting and talk more.

These are the verses that were touching her deeply and visibly during our time together.

"He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

"Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth."

~Isaiah 53:3-7

Our favorite city in Israel, Tiberias

Toy store in Tiberias :)

Kevin sharing with a man at the mall in Tiberias

Tiberias, overlooking the Meditteranean Sea

More delicious pictures of the food in Israel

Food in Israel is AMAZING

Brother Ted took this picture of us at his home in Tiberias

Buffet in Tiberias at our hotel

Sweet friends Ted and Linda who are missionaries and live in Tiberias

Fun Place in Tiberias to get a latte

This is the mall in Tiberias where we enjoyed doing a little "Shopping Ministry".  I think we will need to start a non-profit for this and take donations. ;)

Friday, February 15, 2019

A New Love for the Land of Israel

Kevin and I on the Mediterranean Sea boat ride

After an evening walk by the Mediterranean Sea, we decided to go to walk beyond our hotel and go out to the city and get some water.  Along the way, we met an orthodox man wearing a Kippah, who was blind.  He was walking with the walking cane of a blind man, and trying to navigate his way down the sidewalk.  As we approached him, I nudged Kevin… “A blind man, honeeeeey…!!!! Jesus healed the blind right here!!” Immediately I felt the Lord’s love for this man and Kevin introduced himself and introduced us.  He understood a little bit of our language, enough to greet and communicate a little bit.  His hands were very sensitive to our touch.  I grabbed his hand and spoke to him and asked him if he has heard of Yeshua Hamashiach, and he said, yes.  I asked if he believes in Him, and from what I understood, he has knowledge of Him.  I don’t know much Hebrew, but I do know how to say “Hallelujah” so I was praising the Lord, holding this man’s hand, and saying “Yeshua Hamashiach”!  He was smiling and holding my hand and would not let it go.  So we remained with him for several moments.  I asked him if we could pray for him. He was saying things like “Yes, so good… and touching our faces and saying… so good… good people… so good”  --- so we prayed for him that the Lord would touch him, heal him, and reveal himself to him... lots of things we prayed for this precious man. He did not want to part from us, but as time passed, we departed.  Truly we believe God is working in that man’s heart and life and mind.  We are praying that he will come to understand the great love of Christ for him!  We hope to meet him again in Israel, or in the New Jerusalem one day.  There he will have his sight restored if not sooner, and we pray he will make it into the Kingdom.  Hallelujah!!!  What a precious divine appointment.

Above all the sights, the beauty of the land, the places touched by Jesus (Yeshua) I can truly say that the love for the Jewish people here, has captivated my heart.  Seeing how they live, walk, what they are like.  Truly a love has birthed in my heart for them.  A desire in my heart is growing, to get to know the people, sit with them, dwell with them, learn from them, enjoy them.  

Tiberias in the Galilee region.  Tiberias is such a special place to us, and has become our favorite city in Israel, where Jesus did much of His ministry work.  We have been blessed to do some ministry work here too!  We were able to minister to an Eritrean man who was scrubbing boxes for a store owner, and we also got to minister to the store owner as well.  The Lord is using Isaiah 53 here in Israel, and we are excited to share this passage with anyone who will listen!

Tonight we meet with a dear friend here in Galilee for dinner, Ted Walker and his wife Linda. 
We had a lovely meal together at their table, and sweet fellowship far into the evening hours.  Their hospitality to us, and gracious love of the brethren, will never be forgotten.  Ted giving Kevin the shirt off of his back, sweaters, gloves, hats, for our journey to Jerusalem.  We had no idea how much the temperature would drop.  We certainly used these sweaters Ted gave us.  What a blessing!  

We look forward to seeing them again on our next journey to Israel.  Ted helped us get acquainted with the Israeli Bible Society, and they provided us with tons of resources in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian, to distribute to the Jewish people all over Israel.  We are so thankful for their work and pro-life ministry!  Thankfully after meeting Ted and Linda, we were able to get ahold of several bibles, gospel tracts, and more, to pass out in the native languages of the people here!  Glory to God.  May the Lord bless this sweet couple for their labor for Him in Israel.  We love them dearly!  

Ted and Linda, our new dear friends in Tiberias.

Joy is one of the sweet sisters on our team.  We love her and she fell in love with Faith!  Faith looks for Joy on all of our touring, asking me, "Momma, can I please go sit with my friend?"  Joy truly took Faith under her wing.  We love her and her husband.  They had the precious opportunity to renew their vows together while in Israel.  What a joy-filled trip we had with them.  Unforgettable friends!

Sweet sister Joy and Faith.  

Kevin became dear friends with this young man named Anthony, who was wanting to be discipled in the things of the Lord and do more gospel outreach. There was a special bond with Anthony for sure.  We love this guy!  Also next to him was a trauma surgeon who was also on our team, and we needed his medical attention for a sweet lady who fell down.  What a blessing that he was there at just the right time!

Sweet friends from our team.  We will never forget them!

Our time on the Sea of Galilee was unforgettable!  The worship music, time of praying together and meditating on what the Lord did there and the miracles that happened on this very water.  The views, the wind and waves, everything about it was unforgettable!

A beautiful boat we captured while we were taking our trip

Our team on the boat on the Mediterranean Sea.  Such a beautiful time of worship

Kevin at the front of the boat.  What an awesome time!

Here are some photos of our time in Nazareth.  We were surprised how different each city is in Israel.  Nazareth was very different from all of the other places.  Very packed with traffic, mostly Arab and Muslim population there now, not too many Jews that we noticed.  We enjoyed some street markets there and also some beautiful fresh produce, and an amazing restaurant called "Tishreen."  We had a wonderful day of outreach, sharing with some people in Nazareth, but most of all, just seeing the city and learning about this place.

Nazareth Market

Tishreen was our favorite restaurant in Nazareth with amazing fusion cuisine

Another market photo of the fresh produce in Nazareth

More fresh produce Nazareth

Faith and Kevin walking around in the market area of Nazareth

We met with a dear brother last Saturday at a Messianic fellowship, who invited us to come to the place he is ministering down outside of the Gaza area.  This town called Sderot, is 1 mile from the Gaza border.  This town is a Jewish town under severe threat of terror.  There are underground tunnels everywhere, in schools, etc.. where people go under ground when the threat of the bombs happens.  This is the “bomb capital” of the world.  Wow.  SO crazy.  But the Lord has us going there to meet with the Jewish people and minister Christ to them.  We are so excited for this opportunity as the Lord leads.  We are actually excited about going here one day, and looking forward to meeting those who have been broken, war-torn, and those hopefully ready to receive the gospel.  We will go as the Lord leads us to go.  There is no safer place to be, than in the center of God's will.  We trust His plans will come forth for this journey to take place at His leading.  Here are some pictures of our time at the Messianic Fellowship where we worshipped together on our first Shabbat in Israel.

Sweet Shayla, a new dear friend from Israel.  Her and her husband Ariel, are doing a wonderful work in the land of Israel.  We were so blessed to meet them!

A dear friend we met in Israel. Her name is Anna Reyes, and her and her husband are living in Israel with their children.  The pastor's sermon was about adoption and orphan care, and when I handed her my card about "Adoption Airfare", she was blown away and shared the testimony of how the Lord is putting adoption on their hearts and just confirmed it that day we met them.  I got to help answer lots of questions about adoption related topics.  God is working already!!  We loved this sweet family!  Can't wait to hear their story unfold!

Here is Anna and her husband, the ones who believe God is calling them to adopt.  

Anna and I outside of the Messianic fellowship up on Mt Carmel.

Kevin and Brother Ariel.  He is doing an amazing work in Israel, and we are just so excited to be able to meet him and his sweet wife and family.  They are becoming dear friends to us now.

Bumped into some Adoption Airfare® Clients at ATL!

POSTED IN FLIGHT: Arrived in Atlanta to check in for our flights to #Israel, and guess what happened?! We got in line behind a team of orp...