Inside Israel – quick update and prayer requests

 

Hi and welcome to our look inside Israel today. This post is from Nov. 18th and I want you to know how much our sis in Jerusalem is blessed by your comments and prayers, as I forward them on to her. Thank you and God bless you as you continue in prayer for Israel!  Now, here is our Jerusalem friend . . .

Blessings to each of you in Jesus/Yeshua.  May THE LORD BE GLORIFIED!
You might remember the young Arab taxi driver, Yusef, whom I shared about not long ago.  I have been thinking of him and praying for him since this war began.  He and I had spoken so much of ‘keep your heart tender’ and it was about such a time as that that I was referring to.  He is so young that even the last intifada wasn’t able to have an impact on his tender heart, as he was too young for all of the ‘hate indoctrination’ to make take root in him. 
He was on my mind when I reached into the pocket of a jacket and there was his card!  Immediately I dialed his number.  “Hallo!” (The Israeli intonation of ‘hello’ is distinct) I hadn’t prepared what to say, so prayed quickly. “Hallo, Yusef? You probably don’t remember me but you drove me to Ramat Raziel and then picked me up again recently on the street?”  I told him my name and described a bit more.  He still sounded blank and a bit impatient.  I bit my lip and felt stupid.  Suddenly his voice changed: “OH! ____(remember…I don’t put my name on emails)!  OFCOURSE I REMEMBER YOU!!” Whew! “I am sorry that I am not calling for a ride, but I just want you to know that I am thinking about you and praying for you.  Are you alright, and your family?” I didn’t want to speak directly, but just to stir his heart. “I’m ok” he said, still sounding good. “I just called to remind you to guard your heart” I said honestly.  We said a few more words and I just encouraged him to not be influenced to hate.  He thanked me and I hung up with sweaty palms.  I’m NOT a ‘phone person’!  Indeed I put OFF ‘necessary’ calls as well as friendly ones, so that was definitely spontaneous, but I’m glad that I made it.  It is very hard to remain ‘neutral’ on any side in a conflict filled with so much hatred, more or less maintain a balance, even for believers. Thank you for your prayers for him.
But along with your prayers for him, my heart is with our people, our soldiers, and our own hearts.  At prayer meeting the other evening as we were praying for our soldiers my cry was for their hearts and minds as well…that they would be wise, discerning, also tender and merciful.  That war would not harden their hearts – that where they needed to be strong they would not become hard, and be kept from debilitating trauma.  This call up includes more names then I can share.  There are SO many young (and older) Israeli believers on the fronts (Our northern border being very volatile right now as well) that I could not name them all even if it were wise to list their names.  One dear local friend and sister in The Lord, the mother of a young believer on the front sent this and asked me to share it, and I humbly do:
“Please ask people to pray for enough very basic things, material, ammunition, food, water, warm clothes,, but also pray against friendly fire,
no injuries physically and mentally, unity among them in this stressful time, wisdom and Divine insight what and when to do what ,once they are in.
Ask for G-d given revelation for those that have to make decisions in the field.”
Our army IS a true ‘people’s army’ made up of all of the nation that is able to participate.
I have been encouraged to keep these ‘short’ (hard for me…my heart is so full) but I will just share this ‘observation’ as well as a personal prayer request. Our bus drivers right now are being pulled out of retirement as so many of the younger ones are called up.  I also notice a large number of small stores closed and open ones understaffed.  There is barely a family without ATLEAST one person in the army.  Our new son in law’s brother is there…perhaps you will pray that he hears testimony and sees witness of his Messiah and embraces Him whole-heartedly unto salvation?  ANYWAY; Radios are on everywhere and on top of the programming you will suddenly hear a siren and the calm voice in Hebrew superimposed over the slightly lowered song or announcer: “Tsava adom! Tsava adom!” (Red alert! Red alert!)…go to your protected areas immediately! This is followed by a list of towns, villages or cities that are targeted at that moment.  Everyone stops and listens: is Jerusalem listed?  Finally the siren ends and everyone continues what they were doing. It took me a couple of days to realize that the siren was not for us (which was a bit startling when I was in the shuk!) but only for the areas being listed. It happens every few minutes so by now it has become ‘normal’. None the less, the ‘tension’ is tangible all over.
AND FOR PRAYER: it is PAINFUL for us to watch the worldwide media, the lies and disinformation and listen to the constant barrage of ‘diplomats’ invading the region. Please pray that our leaders will see clearly, and be lead by Adonai Tsavaot – The Lord of Hosts – ONLY! 
I just hit the second page so will, for prudence sake, wind up this WOEFULLY inadequate letter, but I do have a personal prayer request: Both of our daughters and families are going to be by themselves this first Thanksgiving for them in America. It was always a big holiday for them and our tables were NEVER without guests. They simply have not had time to make friends and neither of them have cars yet. They are both struggling against their old enemy, depression, as they feel ‘alone’.  Their husbands have jobs that come with a built in ‘social life’ so they are not feeling it in the same way.  Younger daughter in L.A. Calif area is NOT doing well at all.  Older daughter in area of San Francisco also struggling with the lack of friends. They (older daughter and family) have JUST started attending a church but don’t know anyone there yet.  Thank you for your prayers for them.   
As I close with love, I know our pastor shared this in his prayer update, but I first received it from a local sister who wrote:
“I was just checking the news on the Jerusalem Post Web site and was viewing the photographs. One of the photos showed a meeting of some top Israeli military officers, and I noticed on the wall a large picture of part of Psalm 27:3 (in Hebrew, of course): “My heart shall not fear, though war may rise against me.” It was so good to see these words of David as the backdrop of a meeting of our officers!”
 
ani b’derek

Inside Israel – Nov. 17th / day 4

Hi and thank you for your support and prayers for Israel and our sis in Jerusalem, who keeps sharing from her place there, as He leads her.  God bless you and yours! Now, here she is . . .

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth;
to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.”  Psalm 25:10
Blessings to each of you, from our home to yours.  Thank you for your prayers and loving support.  Thank you for seeking His Face. 
I am not sure how much I can get written in this half hour before leaving for fellowship.  I was reminded of the above verse by a dear sis in The Lord today.  That includes the path set before us.  We have spent most of the day going over and cleaning out what has been our ‘emergency supplies’. The dates on the paperwork that I had included in our emergency packs showed me that we haven’t done an inventory since 2006…and the supplies were greatly lacking and outdated!  A nasty spider jumped out and bit me.  I am thankful that I immediately remembered how The Lord gives us promises against poisons as well, and the swelling and itch are almost gone by now.  He IS enough.  And He will be in whatever lies ahead as well. 
I wrote very hurriedly last night and wanted to give you a bit of a clearer picture of what is unfolding so rapidly here, atleast from my point of view.  Our nation has pounded the other side through the night last night, however many rockets continue to rain down unabated on our country.  A building in Ashdod took a direct hit just awhile ago and 4 of the residents were lightly injured.  It continues to remain miraculous how our casualties remain relatively low considering the many hundreds of rockets that have fallen since Thurs.  This morning when I awoke the number was over 500, and by now it has climbed substantially higher. 
The sound of the red alert siren last night was sobering and was a good wake up call.  It is different then the steady siren sound given off to announce shabat or a ‘silent memorial’ time.  This is louder, undulating and urgent.  Later, as we heard the news, we were instructed that residents of Jerusalem have 90 seconds to reach a shelter – that is 6 times more time given to us then to the residents in the south.  We have a map that shows us which areas have how long each area has. Experiencing the alert last night has given me a sharper understanding of the intolerable pressure that the people in the south live under.  Mothers with children have been hearing the red alert day after day countless numbers of times.  The uncertainty of where these things will fall is terribly stressful.  We have clear examples of people who decided that they ‘always fall in deserted areas’ and ignore the warning.  99% of those killed and injured have ignored the directions of the home front command. 
I have been lifting up a petition to The Lord: teach me to see ALL of this through YOUR eyes and NOT through the eyes of the flesh.  Let my breath become prayer.  Keep me from fleshly responses and keeping my eyes and ears NOT fixed on the news when they need to be fixed on YOU. 
Indeed, for the years that we have lived here I have increasingly understood that I MUST have my vision and understanding shifted from the worlds to The Lord’s.  That The Scriptures MUST be my ONLY reference and Truth and The Holy Spirit my ONLY teacher.  Now it is being fully tested.  Now is too late to apply myself to lessons unlearned. 
I still do not have a full list of believing soldiers perhaps in harms way, but I do know that my Pastor’s son as well as the sons of both of the leaders of IFI have been called back into the reserves.  As days go by I will share names as it seems prudent.  We have been told to be ‘prepared’ for 7 weeks of this.  Iran has called on all of the Arab nations to come together against us…that now is the time.  Tunisia has a representative in the strip this day. Turkish Pres is in Egypt. The Lord knows WELL what lies ahead, and in Him we can fully trust.  John 5:21 and 24 deeply comforted me today. 
It is time to leave and I send you much love.  Your sis in Jerusalem
ani b’derek

Extra Edition of Inside Israel – Operation Pillar and Cloud

Hi dear ones and thank you for stopping by for a look Inside Israel today. God bless each and everyone of you, as you pray for Israel and J of Jerusalem.  Now, here’s J . ..

Greetings in The Name that is above all names, Jesus Christ, Yeshua h’meshiach.  He is Lord and in Him is Life and peace. 
As we drove home from shabat dinner at Philippe and Liora’s tonight, the streets were much quieter then usual.  Two bus loads of soldiers passed us and a trailer carrying an army tank followed behind.  It is now okayed for the call up of 75,000 troops. It had been a good and comforting evening after our first real exposure to attack.  Shortly after the shabat horn sounded we heard the surreal sound of the siren wail through the air.  I stopped in my tracks trying to process what I was hearing…was it really an air raid siren??  Jerusalem was ‘supposed’ to be ‘off limits’ of air attack, being the place that is literally crammed with sites ‘holy’ to Judaism, Christianity as well as Islam.  My mind had trouble grabbing on to it, but indeed it was an air raid!  ‘Get the gas masks’ I yelled to my husband (he had stored them so neatly in an upper closet far from my reach). ‘No…wait…they are not using gas…they are using bombs…don’t go to the sealed safe room…go to the shelter…’ As I said that I heard the sound of neighbors in the hall way.  They were running down to the shelter.  ‘Do you have the key?’ they yelled to me? ‘It’s got a pad lock and our key does not work!’  ‘We don’t have a key’ I answered.  They stood there with the lock in their hands and then ran up the stairs and down again.  I watched people running outside.  ‘We are supposed to have our meds, important papers, survival stuff, all in a backpack’ I said to no one in particular.  I didn’t feel TOO stupid.  No one else had prepared it either.  We ran around some more.  The siren stopped.  We all stopped.  Some people were still running but I went back into our apartment.  We turned on the radio, computer and tv.  What had happened?  Was it a drill?  No.  They said that 2 rockets had landed in open areas. 
I thanked The Lord for His safety and went on preparing to leave.  I heard gun shots in the distance. 
It was comforting to be with our friends.  They had raised their children through the Gulf war back in the 80s when Saddam Hussein was attacking Israel.  He is a nurse and has finished his army time.  They raised 5 children, the youngest of which is now in the army.  (Mati is his name, for prayer) Their son in law, Stephen, the father of a one year old, was called up for reserve duty today.  (I will list other names for prayer as the days go on)  Their youngest daughter works as a security guard at the large shopping mall.  She told us of the special training that the guards were receiving right now and explained that the briefings that they received said the immediate threat for the Jerusalem area appeared to be violent riots, bombs and kidnappings.  Air attack had not been high on the list.  Much of which was shared tonight is very interesting but is really ‘sensitive’ information and it is not wise to share via email.
My roll in all of this is to share what I witness and I want to be faithful to that.  Please refer to these sites for news as it happens so that you can pray into it
http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html  ynet news
http://www.jpost.com/   Jerusalem post news
http://www.idf.il/english/   IDF website
I am falling asleep as I write.  I will share with you the ifi prayer notes from today and I intend, Lord willing, to write tomorrow.  Please pray for special comfort for our daughters and their families as they have so recently left the country and I am sure that it is difficult for them to be so far away at this time.  Please pray for them to be at real peace and draw near to Him.  Thank you for your faithful prayers.  I send our love.  Thank you for standing with us for HIS PURPOSES AND GLORY ALONE.  Love, your sis

Inside Israel – Day 1 of Operation Pillar and Cloud

Hello and welcome to a look inside Israel again today. J of Jerusalem had been sending more updates last week as events unfolded. I felt it was important to share what she is sharing right now,  and not wait until Sunday.  Thank you for your prayers for Israel and J, and God bless you!  Now, here’s J . . .

Greetings and Blessings from Jerusalem, where God Himself put His Name and promised to reveal Himself in a manner unique to mankind…and of course The One Who was born and ‘died’ and rose again here … HIS imprints are everywhere, not just in history but TODAY!  HALLELUYA!
Liora and I went out for a rare cup of coffee together after work today.  We had barely sat down when her phone rang. ‘Yehudit?!?’ she exclaimed, surprised.  ‘How is it down there?’ I heard her say.  ‘I haven’t heard from her in 5 years!’ she mouthed to me.  She continued ‘Oh no…just boom boom boom all night. I’m so sorry!’ Soon she suggested ‘Why don’t you come up here and stay with us?  It’s quiet here in Jerusalem… at this point.’ She was right…almost ‘too quiet’.  We walked through the day today as if it were a ‘usual one’.  Ofcourse, I am very aware that my fellow Israelis ‘steel themselves’ inside and remaining calm is our way, but it was really ‘life as usual’ here today.  I was at work when we heard of 3 killed in Kiryat Malachi. Two men and a woman who could not get to the stairwell in time took a direct hit in a building that also saw several infants and a young boy injured.  The Palestinians too are suffering from the fighting.  It is very hard to know who are ‘innocents’ since their reporting is ‘inventive’ and then so many of the rocket firing weapons are in the midst of densely populated areas, however our army really IS careful to use ‘surgical strikes’.  This is not fun.  I listen to Liora’s side of the conversation wondering how long it will be until our ‘day as usual’ is changed.  I make a mental note to double check our ‘safe room’ supplies.  Yehudit decides to stay in Be’er Sheva for now as she doesn’t want to bring her cat up to Jerusalem. She says that they will keep in touch.  I ask about Liora’s children.  Three are out of the army now.  Two daughters have babies.  One son is still in the army and is stationed up on the Northern boarder.  There was another ‘stray’ rocket shot across the northern boarder from Syria into Israel today.  I comment about another dear friend’s son who is also stationed up north, wondering if they are able to fellowship together.  What a blessing to know that there are more and more believers among our soldiers!  Please pray that they are anointed with The Holy Spirit to share boldly…to reap a harvest…to know how to walk. 
I see on YNET that an emergency ‘limited call up’ of reserve soldiers has been issued, so more and more of our young people as well as the older ‘reserve troops’, will be traveling on the buses tonight and tomorrow.  As of 5pm our time over 200 rockets have been fired at our southern communities today.  Egypt has withdrawn their ambassador and is calling an ‘emergency defense meeting’ and our ambassador has come home as well. They have also deployed additional troops in the Sinai…our southern border.
I was so blessed by receiving many emails today from you.  A number of people mentioned ‘fear’.  The Lord is Good …AND…perhaps I am a bit stupid…but I would rather give Him the glory that I can honestly say that I feel no fear.  Of course I am not hearing the sirens over my head at this moment, but if the ‘worst’ is death…what power does that HAVE over me?  I really DO believe what He said that He is the Victory over death and the God of the living and not the dead…and I know that He is my God…so whether I live or die in this flesh, I will live to Him.  No…as of TODAY…I am not afraid.  IT IS NOT NOT NOT ME!  I AM NOT A ‘STRONG LADY’!  IT IS ALL HIM Who commands my soul NOT to be afraid!  HIS GRACE!  Believe me I have other problems but by His grace, fear is not part of it today anyway. This is NOT so for everyone and so many down South are being treated for shock and trauma.  Thank you for praying for them…and for HIS WORD to go forth in the midst!  For Him to reveal Himself to many…and for a great hunger for The God of Israel to RETURN in the fullness of Himself.  And, yes, thank you for prayers for protection and wisdom.  What would the enemy love more then to destroy this nation and with it…His promises?  We KNOW that can’t be done, but that is the key to the battle (I believe)…that the promise will be preserved unto the revelation…the fullness of all that He has planned.  It is far more then just flesh and blood…it is the revelation of The Lord to this people…and to the lost and dying world. 
God bless you from Jerusalem – lovingly, your sis   
ani b’derek
Published in: on November 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm  Comments (11)  
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Inside Israel – quickly written update

 

Hello and welcome to a look inside Israel today! Thank you for being here and thank you for praying. J of Jerusalem has been sending daily communications and I may just add extra Inside Israel posts each day, for those who want to read what she is experiencing there in Israel, first hand.  God bless you!  Now, here’s J . . .

Greetings, dear friends, in The Name of The Lord Yeshua, Jesus.  May HE be exalted, glorified and blessed, and may each of you be blessed!
I am writing this with the news on in the background, as events here in the Middle East are moving so quickly and we have been encouraged to keep informed.  I checked each of the English speaking news channels emanating from both America and Europe, but they are all covering the Obama speech.  On our channel I am watching the beginnings of “Operation Pillar and Cloud” (מבצע עמוד וענן  is how it looks in Hebrew).  It is a good name…God Himself was in the Pillar and the Cloud, leading, protecting and separating us from the enemy as He led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the Promised Land. The cloud always represents The Presence of God…and His Fire…
 A million Israelis are watching this from shelters in the South right now. School is cancelled for tomorrow. This ‘exchange’ began with more then 110 rockets and missiles raining down on our south from Gaza this past weekend.  A short lived, Egyptian brokered ‘cease fire’ was announced on Monday but did not stick. This evening, after receiving more rockets, our air force carried out a successful targeted attack on the leader of the hamas’ ‘military wing’ who was directly responsible not only for coordinating these attacks, but for the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. It will be morning before we understand which way this is leading, but the implications are huge. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4305343,00.html  We are now surrounded by a new ‘reality’ since the ‘Arab Spring’ showed its true colors.  This past week we fired on Syria for the first time since 1973 when ‘errant shells’ from the Syrian war fell in Israel.  (note that when ‘errant shells’ fell in Turkey, there was an extremely harsh response from Turkey). The militant rebels have now taken over the villages in the south of Syria on the Israeli boarder.  This is a very serious development.  At the same time, uprisings have begun in Jordan to our East. Egypt, on our Southern boarder, is spouting more and more aggressive rhetoric toward Israel…and Iran watches and gloats. There is NO doubt that these events are all coordinated. 
So what is our response to be as believers living here? Several scriptures have spoken to me loudly over the past few days.  David said to Jonathan when Saul was determined to kill him “…there is but a step between me and death.” (1Sam 20:3) That arrested me.  David was to be so ‘fine tuned’ by God to be able to walk in the step of ‘life’ and not be snared into the ‘step of death’.  “ONE STEP”!  How incredibly circumspect one would have to be to walk in such a tight space for so long as David did.  This is surely God’s training…”This is the path…walk ye in it”  Psalm 99 also spoke volumes to me and as I look at it right now I get the chills to see verse 7 “He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar”!
These are the lessons before me as I go about my daily life, called to live in Jerusalem and pray for her peace and until she be made a PRAISE in all the earth!
And it poured rain this week, for which I give thanks!  It was good, so good to see the water freely drenching us and the thirsty earth.  HOWEVER…it magnified something that had been concerning me; we have no heat.  The dwellings here are all made of stone, and believe me…it gets COLD!  It is a bone chilling cold that soaks into the stone and radiates out.  We have a ‘cold water flat’.  A couple of times a week we heat water with an electric hot water heater so that we can take a shower.  Other then that we heat water on our stove for washing dishes etc. Heat was, in the past, provided to our apartment by central heating from the first of Nov through April.  It is turned on once a day at about 4pm and turned off at about 10pm.  It feels SO good while it is on and we really look forward to it.  This year there has been a dispute over costs and November first came and went…and cold began to set in.  We spoke to our neighbors.  They all had some form of auxiliary heat, but we don’t…so I prayed.  That was Sunday morning.  When I went for my weekly blood test I mentioned the situation to the lab technician (when you have your blood taken weekly for years, you become good friends). “Oh no!” she commiserated…’but wait!  We have an old ‘tanour neft’ (kerosene heater) on our porch.  We don’t use it.  You can have it if you want.’  What an answer to prayer! The next night we brought home our heater and are in the process of setting it up.  Meanwhile, the building committee presented us all with bills today to get the central heat going again.  It is double what it has been before!  It looks like we have a battle brewing inside as well as outside.  There is a bumper sticker here (in Hebrew) that says ‘TO BE ISRAELI IS TO HELP ONE ANOTHER’.  As I look at our kerosene heater I have to agree and marvel at how quickly people are willing to help with any problem.  As the situation heats up again, there will be ample opportunity to help one another. 
I see I am too tired to write any more tonight.  I am afraid that I have been struggling in a far deeper way then I ever expected concerning the departure of our children.  Yesterday I had to face the fact that I am struggling against depression and need to take a strong stand against it.  Thank you for your prayers. 
 
J of Jerusalem
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Published in: on November 18, 2012 at 8:18 am  Comments (16)  
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