Inside Israel – A Special Meeting

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today!  I’ve taken this letter of J’s, a believer in Jerusalem, out of the order of the ones she has sent, because I felt it would be a special blessing, for mothers and those who have a mother’s heart.  God bless you and thank you for reading and praying, for Israel and for J!  Happy Mother’s Day to you all!  Now, here’s J  . . .

As wonderful as the holidays are, it seems good to get back to ‘hectic routine’.  Perhaps it has to do with ‘getting older’ (no doubt!) but I am thankful for ‘every day life’. 
And each day DOES hold its gift as well as its challenges. 
Today’s ‘gift’ was an elderly woman named Louise. My husband had an appointment with the ear, nose and throat doctor today.  Since he is both hearing and Hebrew ‘impaired’, I accompany him to his appointments as an interpreter and ‘information verifier’ (‘Now what DID he say about….?’).  There were some 6 people already iting ahead of us.  Because of my husband’s hearing difficulties, everyone is able to hear us speaking English, so if there is another English speaker present, they often join in.  Today it was Louise.  She was a very large woman of perhaps 80 and not particularly attractive. ‘I worked in Hadassah Hospital for 27 years’, she informed me.  I am impressed by people who work in Hadassah Hospital…they do an amazing work, so I asked her what she had done.  ‘I was a volunteer.  For 27 years!’  Wow!  That is so commendable, but definitely not unheard of in this land of ‘giving of ones self for others’.  She was happy to have someone to share with and I was more then willing to listen.  It was refreshing to be able to listen to an inspiring story in English, as it was late in the day and I was very tired; this way I didn’t need to strain to understand Hebrew.  (although I work and live in Hebrew, it will, sadly, not ever be my ‘mother tongue’)
‘Which department did you work in?’ I asked.  Her face beamed!  ‘I was with the children…mostly the babies.  It was my ‘job!’ to give them tender loving care…to hold them and cuddle them and encourage them to live and to heal!’  Wow!  But it got better…MUCH better!  She told me that she had never had children of her own but that she had always longed for children.  ‘The scripture says that the barren women shall be the mother of more then one who has her own’ I said and she brightened even more saying ‘Yes!  That was my promise!’  She went on ‘I was just 5 when my sister was born and my Mother taught me how to care for little ones.  From that moment on I ONLY wanted to be a Mother!  I became a Sunday School teacher (ah ha! Yep!) and kept longing for children of my own.  When I was 40 I even tried to adopt one as a single mother.  It broke my heart when I was turned down.’  She began to weep again.  ‘I cried out to God and said ‘if You weren’t going to let me have children, then why have you made me with such a great love for them?’ She looked at me deeply and said ‘That is when He said to me ‘I have prepared for you hundreds of children and you shall be the Mother to many!’  She told me that at that moment if felt as if He were mocking her. 
She had never thought of Israel and had no desire to come here.  HOW she came, I never did find out, but she continued that when she arrived here she went to Hadassah hospital to the volunteer department and they said ‘We are sorry but the only work that we have to offer you is in the pediatric ward with very ill children.’  She thoroughly enjoyed her heart wrenching work, praying for each child and family as they passed through her care.  Her job was to love, cuddle, provide, run errands, read…whatever would lighten burdens.  But one day the head nurse came to her and said ‘Louise.  We have a problem.  We have a baby who has been deserted.  She is going to die. She just needs love…LOTS of love and cuddling and touches of life…of all the life and love that she can have while she is here.  Would you be willing to do this?  You seem like the ‘right person.’’  Thus began her ‘ministry’ of ‘TLC for critical infants’! 
She told me that over the past 27 years, many hundreds of babies have passed through her arms and heart.  She told me of one baby that was given just days to live.  She had a terrible genetic disease.  She said that she did not get to follow many of the babies, but this one she did.  That ‘infant’ lived for 18 years, ALL glory to God!  ‘The doctors would look in on me and ask me ‘Louise: tell me about your latest miracle baby’’ and she would tell them.  Tears came again as she said ‘But over the years, I DID have 7 little ones die.’ 
We talked at great length (and loud enough for everyone in the waiting room to hear!) and I realized that she was battling some Alzheimer’s, but I also realized that that is ok.  I have SEEN first hand, how The Lord takes care of His Lambs until the end so carefully.  She told me of the fellowship that she has been with for 27 years and they are caring for her. 
And I remembered another DEAR sister who had never married.  She lived here some 20 or more years ‘just to pray’, which she did night and day…a true watchman on the wall who never held her peace.  We often had prayed together when I was leading Lydia prayer here.  She was quite advanced in age when she began to become more forgetful then just normally happens with age.  I worried (yes!) about what would happen to her…where would she go?  She had no one and nowhere…One day I got off of a bus after work and there she was sitting at my bus stop; “A…!” I said “What are you doing here?  Did you come to see me?” (we knew each other quite well and for many years at that point).  “Ok… remind me who you are again?  I just KNEW that if I sat here The Lord would send someone to let me know where I am and where I am going.”  One jolt of her memory and she was fine and on her way, but those of us who knew here were praying and seeking ‘a place’.  Her pastor found a lovely place in the US for elderly saints who were alone and had dedicated their lives to Him.  He brought her there and we praised God for His provision but soon heard that she had left the place and I (so sadly!) lost track of her.  Very recently I got a phone call from someone whom I did not know.  She said ‘You knew A… didn’t you?’  My heart picked up the past tense; ‘Yes!  Do you have news of her?  I had lost track of her.’ The answer thrilled me!  A wealthy believing couple with a beautiful home and garden somehow came to know her and took her to live with them and cared for her until her last day.  They found her (perhaps well into her 90s) sitting against a tree in the garden with her Bible in her lap the day that He took her to Himself!  I wept with joy! 
I remembered this as I looked at Louise, recognizing the ‘look’ in her eye of one who is less able to walk this rigorous pilgrim path here.  I had peace, and, yes, even joy, realizing that she was HIS Lamb and He would guide her all the way.  Number 6 came out of the doctor’s office just then and my husband and I went in.  When we came out, it was Louise’s turn and I helped her up.  “Louise, it was an HONOR to meet you…a true gift!” I told her.  “God be with you!”  And…I know that He will be! J 
AND…He will be with us all…leading us as we follow.
And so with that, have a family update concerning our current changes and challenges. 
Our younger daughter, (thank you SOOO much, you who pray for her on a regular basis!) is now living in Ypsilanti Michigan USA.  PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANY OF YOU ARE NEAR HERE?  It is a college town and they live in a ‘group house’ with the other Israeli workers.  We were able to ‘skype’ twice now and she has looked good and has been enjoying it, although neither she nor her friend find selling the products easy, thus are NOT earning the money that they had expected to.  HOWEVER…this week she emailed me that she had a run in with another girl whom she is working with and it was ‘bad’.  You may recall that she left a ‘day care’ therapy program to travel.  She had tried to end her life last June and does not deal with such situations well.  I have not heard from her since.  She and her friend are the oldest ones in this group.  She is 30 and the girl that she is having a problem with is 20.  She becomes very easily unbalanced and depressed.  I have been praying that ‘The Lord would pursue them’ and I trust that He is.  Thank you for praying with me for her. 
AND…Last night our older daughter called with the news that we expected (and dreaded) that our son in law was picked out of thousands for his dream job in California.  He is an extraordinarily  talented animator (for those of you who may know such things, he has worked with Aardmen films in Bristol England on Shawn the Sheep, Wallace and Grommet  and Chicken Run and the like)  He will now be working with Pixar, which I understand, is ‘the top’ of his field.  It will mean a HUGE life style change for them in many ways…and…ofcourse…leaving the country.  They are to go in October.  Some of you may remember that our older daughter was hospitalized with post partum depression after she had her 2nd child in England.  They were told that she really needed to be near family, and that is when they moved home, 5 years ago now.  Our oldest Grandson (8) has some very strong challenges.  His behavior has also affected out middle one, our very dyslexic Granddaughter (6).  Our sabra Grandson is one.  Both of our older Grandchildren have learned to read and write only in Hebrew, so the language change while they are just getting established in second and third grades will also be a challenge.  AT ANY RATE…IF THE LORD LEADS YOU TO PRAY CONCERNING THEM, THANK YOU SO VERY VERY VERY MUCH!  He will tell you how…I don’t need to! 
We are trying to let them all go, while we are grieving, both for the huge separation but also for the fact that we believe that God brought THEM here as well as us.  Now we are believing that He WILL return them again to their borders in His time, after His purposes are accomplished…in them and in us. 
I had shared that we would ALSO have to move.  The latest ‘word’ concerning this came from yet another neighbor who said that there were NOT enough votes in favor of gutting our building, in the end, and that it has been shelved.  Frankly, I am not sure that we should believe this.  I think that it is ‘disinformation’ being given to the tenants so that they will collect rent for as long as possible, but my husband has said that we will not be looking to change right now, and I have peace about that.  In the meantime, we are going through what we own and lightening our accumulations. 
Thank you for this ‘visit’.  May The Lord be glorified in your lives and in ours…may we be built together into the very temple of The Living God!  May we follow closely and know Him, Whom to know is LIFE!  Lovingly, your sis in Jerusalem.
ani b’derek

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