"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead," phil. 3:13
Here it is, the last two weeks of my time here in Israel. As I sit here, I stare at the screen with tears rolling down my face to think that in two weeks from today, I will be boarding the airplane to leave the nation that my heart has been yearning for, to leave the people that my heart has connected with, to leave what I have called "home" and to go and to return to the States and to TRUST Him with the rest!
What an amazing time it has been. So many things to share and yet I don't know where to begin. So I guess I will try something new, I will give categorize this update, so you can choose and pick what you want to read. hahaha...
4 months into the trip and we all still love each other :) It has been so encouraging to live this time of my life with Jordan, Jorge, Patti, Jackie and Dawn. A group of mighty warriors for God, a group that the Lord has used to challenge me and draw me closer to Himself. They each have continually reached out to each other and to the church here and to the nation itself. I truly believe that Israel is forever changed because of the Lord's love that has flowed through them! Please keep each one of them in prayer as they are each seeking the Lord's direction for after the outreach. Please keep Patti in prayer as she continues onward to India when we leave Israel.
What an honor it has been to continually serve alongside of Calvary Chapel here in Tel Aviv. Our times have continued with them in times of helping out at the Clothing Distribution, the High School Ministry, and also the Soup Kitchen. It has been so sweet to see the Lord's hand upon the ministries and His provision for food and clothes for the people that we reach out to.
One testimony is of an elderly woman named Bella, I met her here last year and as we arrived here 3 1/2 months ago, I would look for her week after week, yet hadn't seen her. So finally, just 2 weeks ago, she showed up at the Soup Kitchen, my heart overwhelmed to see her once again. She remembered me and has been coming weekly since then. It has been so sweet to see her week after week and to remind her of God's love for her. Also to experience the Lord's favor in our friendship as she came this last week and just shared her heart and I was able to pray for her.
To think that the Lord has called me out here to simply befriend His lost sheep. It has been so amazing to walk into many friendships that the Lord has blessed me with. Friends from last year as well as new friends. A new friend that the Lord has brought into my life is, Shanee, she is 17 and we met at the High School that we go to weekly to take them lunches. It has been so cool to see how week after week, the Lord continues to pour out His grace and has been building our friendship and has increased our conversations despite the language barrier and our conversations usually consist of Hebrew, Spanish and English :) Please keep her in prayer that the Lord would open her eyes to see Him as her hope!
My little heart :)
It has been such an amazing season here in the Promise Land! Coming to a point in my walk with the Lord where I have realized my weaknesses in a way that I have not been able to deny, and greater than that, not only realizing His strength but experiencing His strength being made perfect because of my weaknesses! Being humbled day after day because of my desperate need for Him. It's amazing to think that daily, we must choose to forget yesterday and simply reach forward to what lies ahead. To forget yesterday, the good and the bad of whatever it may have contained. There are times where we can get focused on the goods of yesterday and it can be a distraction of the goods that the Lord has prepared for us today and even tomorrow, becoming so focused on it that we do not allow the Lord to work His goodness continually. And then there are the bads of yesterday that we can become so focused on, that we simply begin to become consumed with them and then we become blind of the goodness that the Lord is trying to pour out upon our lives!.....It has been a season of learning the boldness in confessing my heart before the Lord, confessing all things before Him and then allowing Him to pour out His beauty upon my circumstances. To trust Him with all parts of my heart.
The Lord has been showing me that it is one thing to love Him, but it is another thing to trust Him. I can say that I love Him all I want, but unless I trust Him with all things, especially with those things that are within my heart, it's all empty words. Trust is a manifestion of my love towards the Lord. And it's interesting to arise in faith and to trust Him with myself and then to experience His love that surpasses all knowledge. And then to allow His love to overwhelm me and then to share it with His people that are around me. I had a time like this on Thursday, as I was at the Soup Kitchen, a lady by the name of Sahava walked in and as I sat with her, I was overwhelmed by the Lord's love not only for me but for her. As I shared with her all the things that the Lord had spoken to my heart that morning when I trusted Him with all things in my life and my heart, I saw the Lord working in her and she uttered the words, "Oh! I see now! I don't have to be afraid!"...what an amazing thing, to experience the Lord's love for oneself and then to share it with others!
I encourage each one of you to take time and sit before the Throne of God, and allow His glory to shine upon your heart, upon ALL parts of it, even the parts that you yourself may be ashamed to look at, and then I challenge you to TRUST HIM with those very parts and RECEIVE His love for those parts! and don't just stop there, I then encourage you to share His love with those around you! When you are sharing the Love of Yeshua with others, you have NOTHING to lose and they have EVERYTHING to gain! Let us not go another day without telling others about this Love that we have that has brought us our of death and into Life!!!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and for your support! This trip would not have been possible without each one of you! Know and be confident that you have invested into the lives of people across the world and because of your sacrifices, their lives are forever changed! So, on behalf of those that you may not meet until we get into eternity, THANK YOU! And on behalf of the One that holds eternity in His hand, THANK YOU!!!!
*We will finish strong
*Love & Faith & Boldness
*Continual Unity in leadership & within the team
*Salvation for our friends: Baruch, Karina, Shlomo, Sava & Jose, Shanee, Aliya (please e-mail me if you would look like all the names)
*Team Finances $1,000