In the Land

In "The Land" With Jason May 2005

YHWH " “ The Glory of Israel! (1 Samuel 15:29)

Last Thursday (the 5th), a driver from the airport dropped off a bag that the Hanson"s (our new volunteers) were waiting for - they had just arrived the day before, and the airline had lost their bag. I went out to get it and sign the driver"s form, and God opened the door to talk with the man who brought it. He"s originally from Ethiopia, and his name is Avi. He asked what I was doing there, and I explained that we help and love the Jews. He said, " ˜I remember reading that in many different countries there are groups of Christians that love the Jews, and I was curious, why? I want to ask some questions, not to interrogate, but because I"m curious." Avi said I was the first person from one of those groups that he"s met. He wants to come by again someday and drop off some clothing he"d like to donate, and I said if he has some time maybe we could get something to eat together. May God bring that to pass, and reveal His Son Yeshua to Avi!

On Friday night, I taught the 7-12 year old kids during the service, and it was a rather frustrating episode. I’m not the best teacher when it comes to laying down the law and things, and the class quickly got out-of-hand. The kids were a lot wilder than normal, I was trying to teach in Hebrew since my translator was attempting to get two of the girls to make up after some problem that happened, and so on. It was really frustrating!

On Saturday, I walked with the Hanson family to the Old City, and we had lunch together. I saw one of the Arab kids I had met on my first trip to Israel, Yahhaya, and we talked for a tiny bit. He is one of Ali’s friends; God blessed me to share with Ali and he took me to his house for coffee on that first trip. I gave two of my cards with my cell # and stuff to Yahhaya " “ one for him, and one for Ali. Please pray that Ali gets in touch with me " “ I really want to talk with him again! The Hanson’s and I walked through the Sooq (Arab market), and then went over to the Garden Tomb. A great reminder: He is Risen indeed! After leaving, we caught a taxi and rode with the Arab driver (maybe around 20-30 years old) back to For Zion’s Sake (FZS). I talked with him, and gradually asked when he thought The Messiah would return. He said he didn’t know, but he didn’t think now. I asked if he went to the mosque in the Old City, and he seems like he doesn’t really go to any of them too often. When we arrived, I was able to give him a Gospel of Luke in Arabic and English and he seemed quite appreciative. May God use that to open his eyes!

At night, I was supposed to meet with Yuhanna (" ˜Ata) at the local coffee shop, but he didn’t show up. I couldn’t call him on my cell phone because I needed to buy more minutes, so I just hung out there for a while talking to some of the other young Arab men. One of the kids that works there seems to really like me " “ his name is Hamid, and I gave my contact info in case he wanted to ask his teacher if they’d like me to help teach English some time (as a volunteer). After I returned to FZS, I called Yuhanna to see if everything was alright. He had stayed with his uncle for the past 2 nights, but his father told his uncle how Yuhanna now believes in Jesus, and so he spent Saturday night with one of his friends in the neighborhood. Yuhanna and I made plans to eat at the next door falafel shop the following morning at 11AM. I also told him about how many were praying for him.

Sunday morning, another no-show from Yuhanna. I started to wonder if he really wanted to keep meeting, or if he’d been making up this whole thing as some sort of saga. I called him, and he said he was working but could meet me at night. I had already made plans, and was having reservations that it was possible all of this wasn’t real, and I said maybe we’d see each other later this week. I later talked with " ˜Yazo,’ an Arab brother that’s a former Muslim and does lots of outreach to the Arabs, and he said he would talk to Yuhanna later and call me back. I explained to him that it’s hard for me to talk in great detail with Yuhanna because of mutual language difficulties, and Yazo (who speaks English very well) said he’d call me after speaking with him. I didn’t want to doubt everything, but I had to consider that everything may have been a story, or that Yuhanna did not really want to pursue his decision. Regardless, pray for Yuhanna, and one of his friends that he said he shared Jesus with.

I went down to the Old City again to meet up with one of my Israeli friends, Chico. I got there before he did, and ran into Yahhaya again. We chatted for a bit, and I gave him some more of my contact cards to give to people he may know that want to learn English. I met up with Chico and we got some food, and we hung out and talked for a few hours. He shared a lot of different things about Arabs, and said to be careful about the situation with Yuhanna. Chico lost a friend that was serving the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) in Lebanon, and he also told lots of stories about how Muslims have done terrible things. We talked about some spiritual things too, and God opened the door to share how none of us are good; I mentioned Yeshua’s words about hating in your heart equaling murder, and inner lust equaling adultery. Chico said, " ˜Yeah" ¦ but God made those feelings (of lust) " “ they’re natural.’ I shared how sin has been passed on from Adam and Eve to all of us, and that we have sin " “ those lustful feelings seem " ˜natural’ to our minds, but that’s because our heads have sin in them! He understood, but also told me that he didn’t see how God could love the Arabs. I said that He doesn’t love what they do, but He still loves them " “ and I said, " ˜I think the question is: how could God love any of us?’ After getting back to FZS, I called my other Israeli friend, Eliat, and he came by in the evening and picked me up. We did some shopping with his sister, and then we headed over to his apartment and hung out for a while. His mother and his sister live in two separate apartments above him, and he introduced me to his mom " “ a nice lady that loves to cook.

I recently talked with an Israeli man who shared an amazing story with me. A few years ago when he was in the IDF, he was stationed at a junction in East Jerusalem. A bus full of people came to the junction, and a Palestinian terrorist started firing his machine gun at it. The IDF soldier began running towards him, focusing his gun as he ran towards the terrorist. The Palestinian guy started firing at him but because machine guns omit such power, the Israeli man told me that it makes them really difficult to aim and hit with precision. As the IDF soldier run towards him, he fired two bullets " “ both of which hit the terrorist in the chest and killed him. After making sure the terrorist was dead, the IDF soldier ran to the bus and started helping people; he had to hold the side of a girl’s head to keep her brains from coming out. He also had to help clean up body parts. He showed me photos of himself in the paper, and getting some medals, but he didn’t do it in any sort of proud manner. He said that even though he knew he had to kill the terrorist, he’s still had nightmares. He really shared from his heart about how he doesn’t want all the war and blood" ¦ " ˜I just want to live my life, and" ¦’ " “ I can’t put into words his easily-understood plea to just live his life in peace in his own country. For more info on many of the terrorist attacks in Israel over recent years, check out:

I’ve been training a new volunteer to take over my position in the office, to free me up to work on outreach and evangelism more. How I praise God! Please pray that God helps Gary to learn quickly, and that The Lord guides me and uses me for His glory. This past week Israel celebrated 57 years as a nation once again " “ how amazing to see God’s faithfulness and moving on behalf of His people!

On Thursday night (the 12th), I met with Yuhanna and some of his friends. We had a good chance to talk, and I was able to share truth with them as one of them mentioned the Muslim belief that the Bible has been changed. I told how the Quran and the Hadith (a collection of Muhammad’s words/actions) never said that" ¦ the Quran testifies that The Injeel (New Testament) is " ˜light from God,’ and that the accusation of corruption came through tradition after Muhammad’s time. He said that The Bible I have now is not the real one like the Quran had spoken of, and I asked, " ˜Is it possible for a person to change the Word of God?’ This kid (named Osama) said, like every Muslim would say, " ˜No.’ So I asked, " ˜How was The Bible changed?’ They seemed to listen and understand the point. I was able to give Yuhanna a " ˜Gospel Message’ tape in Arabic, as well as a sheet of Scripture references to study and a prayer to pray. We had a good visit, and I now truly believe that his decision is real, and he really does want to keep believing in Jesus. He said he’s much happier now, and he wants to go to the Arab church service again on Sunday morning. He also wants to study more English, and we made plans to meet the next evening here at FZS. He asked if that would be okay with my friends here, and I assured him they’d be very happy if he came " “ they’ve been praying for him, and he seemed touched to hear that.

Thank you all again for your prayers and support of His work here; God knows how thankful I am to have such an awesome family in Him! Stepping out in faith is difficult, and yet, I’ve found it to be such an awesome faith-builder as well. When we take those steps to follow where He’s calling us, there are often many uncertainties. But having been here for over three months, I can testify with all my heart to what we already know " “ He is Faithful! Thanks be to Him, and to you for sharing in what He’s doing here. GLORY TO GOD!

He Is Wonderful,

God's love is eternal