I do not understand computers nor do I understand electronics, but the scripture says in Jer. 9:23, 24
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says The Lord.”
So although I will not dare say that I ‘understand’ The Lord, I am THRILLED to ‘Know Him’ and I would like to glory in The Lord that in spite of the fact that we are still not hooked up to a internet, SOMEHOW, I AM ABLE TO WRITE RIGHT NOW! PRAISE THE LORD! Probably it is perfectly explainable, but I would simply like to give Him all the glory…which just so happens to also be the word that was presented, front and center, the first night of the ifi prayer conference. “ALL GLORY TO GOD!” I know that we can all agree, and I was thrilled that this was set as the ‘focus’, the ‘bulls-eye’ of the praying that is going on this week in Jerusalem. I feel that this is perhaps the most important believing conference that takes place here yearly, and perhaps you would like to join along in prayer.
On Sunday, before the conference, as has been our habit for many years now, I met with two women at the hotel (where the conference is held) to pray onsite for the week of meetings scheduled to begin the following night. Since the hotel is on Mount Scopus (Har h’tsofim – or the ‘mount of lookout’) I had a choice of how to go: either TRY to de-code the new bus schedule, figure out which bus to take and PRAY that it would take me under 2 hours to get there…or…venture to take the new ‘lite rail’ train over to the east side of Jerusalem. When the hotel was unable to advise me, being clueless themselves, the conference leaders suggested that I take the train and then walk. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive in about half an hour, HOWEVER…although I could SEE the hotel from the station it was a good 20 minute uphill walk to get there. No problem, I like walking. I found my way and was blessed with my sisters in prayer. During our prayer time, the blessed rain began to fall; again no problem. I had my umbrella. I mentioned in my last letter that it has been cold. Well…it has been COLDER! (to underline that I can tell you that I sitting here typing in fingerless gloves, hat, 4 layers of shirts, tights and pants, leg warmers and two pairs of sox! [the hot water bottle is difficult to write with so will be added later]. This is in our house. I am NOT exaggerating! ) The wind was roaring and there were snow flakes mixed in with the buckets of water falling from the sky by the time that I left for home again. That 20 minute walk was an exercise in ‘praising God in ALL things’! I arrived at the station, my inside out umbrella useless by that point, to join in with other icy wet travelers jumping up and down to try to keep from freezing. The train was full of puddles (from all of the dripping passengers) and the windows were steamed over, but if it was any warmer we really couldn’t tell. We were all soaked to the skin. THANK YOU, LORD, FOR WATER! So I can now report to you, that, finally, after nearly 12 years since it was started, I have ridden the train successfully from west to east and from east to west! People are beginning to talk to one another, again, as they do on busses, and to argue and enter discussions…however… the verdict is still out as far as I, and most other regular travelers are concerned; but I will write more concerning travel in perhaps the next letter.
I do know that a number of you have been participants in this important yearly prayer conference and others would love to be. Also I know that a number of you pray along with the updates and points sent out daily on the ifi website: http://www.ifi.org.il/videos/video/ipcj-2012-day-1-update/ during the conference which takes place each Jan. for, I believe, the last 27 years. You know that I attend the Friday morning regular meeting and that the focus is prayer for this country. You may not know, and I find it important, that this is the one group that I know of that began with leadership from ‘outside’…from the nations, and now all of the leadership is Israeli. I find this very significant as it seems to be indicative of what The Lord has been doing in this nation. When we arrived in ’94 really most of the fellowships were still neither Hebrew speaking, nor were they by any means full of Israelis. They were most often lead by (wonderful and faithful!) leaders from other nations and the congregations were largely volunteers, diplomats, UN workers, and tourists. We arrived as the change was accelerating and the country now has so MANY Hebrew speaking fellowships with Israeli leaders where the members are also Israeli. I have noted this as The Hand of The Lord for years now, and I see ifi as a unique prayer ministry this way…MAY THERE BE MORE! While I served for a short while as the ‘leader’ of Lydia for our nation, that was indeed the main prayer focus; to support the indigenous leaders here in prayer…and there is fruit, for HIS GLORY!
As I said, this conference is unique in many ways, one of which is that people actually pay to come here and yet MOST of the time is spent IN PRAYING rather then listening. Since the purpose has been ‘praying concerning the issues’, the fact that the main target this year is THE GLORY OF GOD ABOVE ALL…excites me! For I have no doubt that prayers prayed for His glory Alone will be Spirit directed and answered! Halleluyah! Having said this, I get to attend VERY few sessions. The morning sessions between 9-1 are only prayer. The evening meetings from 7:30-9:30 have a speaker, but due to our family situation and work (although I am waiting for my miracle) I can only attend the morning meetings on Tues and Sunday. Tuesday was wonderful and I am looking forward to Sunday. I was blessed to bring two friends from England home with me as well on Tuesday as I am able to have so little fellowship, I feel abundantly blessed!
BUT ALSO GRIEVED…and this is only ONE of the reasons WHY this conference is so important. As I just took time out to watch the news, my heart was overwhelmed with grief to see a report concerning homosexuality here. For those of you who may not know, to our great shame, Tel Aviv has just been named the ‘gay capital of the world’. The report showed pictures that made me weep for mercy and these are being celebrated as a great expression of freedom and democracy. God help us! The report was NOT filmed today…but TODAY the prayer conference took a day of prayer in Tel Aviv (there are more then 170 people participating) and I know that they prayed concerning this. Will you join them?
Ok, you can see that I am excited about this prayer conference…but I know that many of you prayed about two personal requests of ours and I do want to report and to thank you. First, our son in law had an EXCELLENT meeting with the ministry of Interior and the final stage of his citizenship application has been filed. We are praying and hoping for a speedy, positive response after 5 years! I will let you know when it is official J Secondly, I asked for prayer concerning the new program our younger daughter entered into. It is a ‘day care’ program designed for women who are not functioning because of depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress syndrome. She must be there (it is in a house across town) each morning (already a challenge). They have an array of counselors, social workers, groups, work and classes. Her first week went VERY well, but it has been downhill since and her attitude is very negative right now. This program lasts for 3 months to a year depending upon how the individual is responding. There is job placement at the end as well. Please pray for her to submit into the program and for it to work a successful path into her life…for the glory of God. Thank you!
I am afraid that this has been a disjointed letter but I have missed writing and pray that my next one is more coherent. We live in perilous times but our God is Faithful, True, Sure, Holy and WILL BE GLORIFIED! I send you much love, your sis here