Another Side of Israel

The truths herein are not commonly known or understood. This was written by a young woman who’s only been in country for year. That she “got it” so fast reveals how God is using the younger generation! Please use the following for prayer. j
Hi everyone, and greetings from Israel where I am clinging to The Rock!

I have a prayer request, and I feel very urgent about it because it is starting to hit close to home and to my heart.

As an introduction: one thing that has become more and more clear is that life here in Israel is really hard and the laborers in the field are exhausted. Not only that, there is a growing contempt amongst the young people for Israel. The Zionist heart is fading under the pressure and rejection that it is constantly assaulting them. So many people are opting to leave so they can get a breath of “fresh air.”

I have a friend who works full time and lives in Jerusalem; his family is living under intense pressure. They made aliyah and were strong believers. My friend, the oldest in the family, is still is a strong believer, but he’s discouraged. His younger siblings are living worldy lives devoid of hearts that fear the Lord. His parent’s financial pressures are falling on his shoulders. He dreams of living in wide open spaces far away from Israel, where life is easy and he can hear God without the constant “noise” from Israel.

This is all too typical.

Another friend, she is young and is in a relationship. Her boyfriend wants to leave Israel before his army service because he doesn’t see any point in fighting for this land.

I talked to another guy who said that he loves Israel – the PEOPLE; however, he doesn’t care a dime for the land. He would be happy to live in a country other than Israel where there is no conflict.

Today I was talking to a friend and he asked me if I could think of one family in Israel that is working here in the land and generating money without help from abroad. I couldn’t think of anyone, but I am sure there are some, but they are few and far between. The majority of the body is struggling financially. Hardly anyone owns a car.

I remember one Israeli leader, a man of great vision, but wow, so exhausted. The need is so great here in Israel, just thinking about it can make you feel exhausted. I remember him saying that he wished he could just go to another country to rest. The battle is so intense here.

Then another huge prayer need is the body here in Israel. The congregational leaders are weary and their messages too rarely have the anointing that helps us break through. This is just being honest. And you know me, I always try and look for the good in things and extract the richness out of any situation. So I am not saying this with frill. And this is not just one congregation. This is felt all over Israel. There is such a MASSIVE need for discipleship and structure here. Feels like the messages are diluted milk, and we are hungry for meat. What I hear people saying, and I confess I would have to agree with them, is that the congregation is not always the best place to plug a new believer into. How can this be when the Word of the Lord should be coming forth from Zion? I want to see Israel as a place where believers will come and be refreshed and encouraged.

One friend told me that his grandparent, who was one of the pioneers of Israel, said that if he knew how Israel would turn out – then he would never have come here. Ouch!

Really, the Holy Land is not holy. There is so much sin here: abortion, human trafficking, corruption in the government, cheating is almost accepted in relationships here, lovers of pleasure, lovers of money, hate, legalism, etc. I look around and I see lost people. I ride a bus and see broken people. You can see it in their faces. There is so much pain, financial pressure, frustration, anger, fatigue, rudeness, bending rules, etc.

Another friend just came back from America. He had an amazing time where he was hosted by wonderful loving people. They treated him with love and respect. Then coming back he was a little sad this time, because he knew that all those restful, happy feelings would fade away by the pressure, guilt tripping, cheating, rudeness of Israel. He was saying that he could easily live a healthy lifestyle in the States. Get a good job, have a stable income, protect his children from worldliness, etc. It would be the easy life. However, he feels that God has called him to Israel and he has poured out his heart serving the body here and his friends, ministering on the streets, working hard, etc., and in the end – nothing to show for it. I would say he is discouraged; please, please pray for him.

Ah, so this is just a very general perspective. I know this is not what we want to hear, it taints the picture. I’ve been here almost a year and the Israel “shimmer” has lost it’s shine…


I look outside my window and I have so much faith, love and hope in my heart. I know that God has called me here for a purpose. That I know. I am called to be part of the restoration of Israel! And I know that God is going to continue to do supernatural things in the near future as He brings His people home.

I was riding the bus the other day and I was watching people. Sometimes I wonder if anyone has ever prayed for them, so I say a little prayer that God would save each and every one of them. Anyway, as I was thinking and praying to God about the situation in Israel, I strongly felt that He is hearing our prayers. So I fervently ask for you all to PRAY!

Watchmen arise!

Please join me in fervent prayer for the following needs and others that the Lord may lay on your hearts for Israel and her people:

– For the young people here in Israel, that they would look to God to fill every void in their lives

– that God will give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness

– that they would stand strong and not be discouraged
– that God would pour out His chesed, His loving kindness and encouragement on the laborers in the body here

– that God would purify and strengthen the body here for the battles that lie ahead
– and raise up godly discipleship for the young believers
– that God’s loving heart for Israel would be poured out in a fresh way
– that the people here in Israel would fully turn to their God
– financial stability for the believing families
– that all of Israel would be saved
– that the Word of the Lord will go forth powerfully from Zion

We already know the end of the story – God is going to pour out His beautiful clean water on His people and turn their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh! Ezekiel 36 is filled with His promises and He is watching over His word to perform it. Why? For the glory of His great Name! Because it’s all about Him!

His heart still beats strong for His beloved Israel, and as believers we can be part of this great love story of the return of God’s people from all four corners of the globe and for the restoration of Israel, because all this is a prelude to the return of Messiah!! Let’s shake the heavens with our prayers!

Israelis – A Happy People

Brian Henry, Special to the National Post · Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010

Canada and Israel have much in common. We’re both big believers in democracy and in fairness, we’re both highly diverse multicultural societies and both of us have dynamic economies.

But I was tickled to learn this summer that Canada and Israel have yet one more thing in common: We’re tied for eighth place among the happiest people on Earth.
Some people might be surprised to find Israelis at the top of the happiness charts. After all, Gallup conducted this poll from 2005 to 2009, and during that time, Israel fought two wars.

On top of that, Israel is often protrayed as a monstrous, apartheid state. Surely Israeli Arabs must live in utter misery — and since they make up 20% of the population, their despair ought to pop the happiness bubble, right? Apparently not. It seems Israeli Arabs are pretty happy, too.

Arab-Israeli soccer star Beram Kayal has an easy explanation for misconceptions about Israel. “People watch too much television,” he recently told Scotland’s Sunday Herald.

“What the television shows about Israel is totally different [from] what happens. The life between the Jews and the Arabs is very good. I’m an Arab and my agent is Jewish but we’re like family … Maccabi Haifa has seven or eight Arab players and that’s normal. The only difference is their religion, but there’s no conflict.”

But what about all those wars in Israel? Shouldn’t they make Israelis miserable? Not really.

The 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon lasted just 34 days. The operation in Gaza against Hamas, in 2008-2009, lasted just 22 days. In total, that’s only eight weeks of war.

For the other 252 weeks in the last five years, Israelis spent their time pretty much like Canadians: working, raising their families and enjoying themselves. That’s normal life in Israel, but what’s normal isn’t news, so we don’t hear about it.

Besides, being at war doesn’t necessarily make people unhappy. During the first hours of the Lebanese War, Israel destroyed all of Hezbollah’s long-range missiles, making Israel’s major cities safe for the duration.

Hezbollah did fire thousands of missiles into northern Israel, trying to kill as many Jews as possible. But Hezbollah’s missiles caused few injuries, as a million Israelis simply

evacuated to the south, and those who stayed waited out the bombardment in bomb shelters.

Meanwhile, the country was absolutely behind the war. Overseas, people may have been confused over what the war was about, but Israelis all knew they’d been attacked without provocation, with missiles striking Israeli towns and an ambush on an Israeli patrol that left three soldiers dead and two more kidnapped.

Standing together in the face of aggression doesn’t make people miserable; quite the contrary. It puts fire in the belly and the warmth of fellow feeling in the heart.

Similarly, while people overseas may have been confused by the media coverage, Israelis know that their operation against Hamas in Gaza was one of the most justified wars in history — that it was an answer to naked terrorism after all other solutions had been tried and failed.

For years, Hamas had tormented the townsfolk of Sderot with daily rocket and mortar attacks that struck schools, homes and health clinics. The purpose of the war was to allow Sderot and other Israeli towns coming under terrorist attack to enjoy the same peace and happiness as the rest of Israel. And whole country supported the cause.

Israel isn’t paradise of course — except in comparison to most places in the world. For example, the Palestinian-controlled territories rank 88th on the happiness list. Which brings me to a modest proposal: Among other intractable issues, the status of Jerusalem is one of the major stumbling blocks to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Why not hold a referendum? Ask Jerusalem’s Arabs if they want the continuing happiness of being part of a compassionate and caring liberal democracy or if they prefer the abject misery of living under the infinitely corrupt Palestinian Authority.

No one can seriously doubt the result of such a referendum. During the Camp David talks, it was proposed that, as part of a peace agreement, some Israeli Arab towns should be placed on the Palestinian side of the border.

So the Israeli Arab weekly Kul Al-Arab polled the Arabs of Um al Fahm to ask what they thought of their city joining a Palestinian State. Only 11% were in favour; 83% said they preferred to remain Israeli.

A referendum among Arab Jerusalemites would have a similarly lopsided result. And allowing Jerusalem’s Arabs to tie themselves permanently to Israel of their own free choice would be an excellent way to begin a new stage in the relationship.

-Brian Henry is an occasional columnist for the Jewish Tribune.

Israel is not the same!

This has been a very long and exhausting day. BUT it has also been a productive day as I was able to arrange for Internet service and a land line. I know to Americans that doesn’t sound like a great achievement, but here in Israel it took almost two full days of phone calls to accomplish the herculean feat.

Life in Israel has always been challenging, especially as I’m limited in the language. But I discovered these two days that this is not the same Israel.

People seem to be unwilling to extend themselves beyond their own comfort zone, regardless of the customer needs. They are also much more aggressive than in the past and lie with impunity. Consider the Internet provider.

My Hebrew speaking friend got me past the all Hebrew menu and talked to a customer service representative. Bella explained that I was already a customer and wanted to expand the service. Would the sales rep please talk to me in English. “No” was the immediate answer. Rarely will anyone admit to speaking English although almost every Israeli is quite fluent. “Someone will call her back in four hours” was the promise.

No one called back.

So we called again and went through the same conversation. Again no one called back. So we started again today.

Same promise, same outcome.

After four more calls, I spoke to a supervisor who now made the promise of a call back…and that promise too was broken.

Finally I got past the menu and actually spoke to a sales person who WOULD speak to me and take the order.

Now multiply that by four different companies and you’ll understand the last two days of my life.

No, this isn’t the same Israel. Something is definitely in the air.

Home with a bang!

Flying over Mt Hood was breathtaking.  I was glad for a window seat – the first time I didn’t have a aisle seat.

The flight was easy, punctuted by bouts of sleeping, watching movies (nothing of value) and reading, “The Blind Spot (ignoring all the football trivia).

Inside Ben Gurion, a group of back coated religious huddled facing east saying their evening prayers. I was home!

My good friend Bella met me and shuttled me to Ashdod and to an ocean side restaurant for hummus and pita.  “Look at all those policeman” Bella mused.  “It must be a bomb from near by Gaza.  Something is going on.”

“Something” was forgotten in the face of Diago, our waiter, who had a heart for God and for music.  We prayed that he would soon be so filled with the love and knowledge of God that he would become a Psalmist like King David.

Suddenly the entire restaurant shook and I saw a bright flash.

“Something” had become SOME THING.

We were soon evacuated so the police could continue looking for bombs.

All agreed that this was revenge for the death of a Hamas leader in Dubai several days ago. The Israelis were blamed and Hammas vowed retaliation.  In the last two days, 55 gallon drums containing large bombs were floted to the shore waiting to be detonated and cause much destruction.  Instead it was the police who detonated the bombs – and no one was hurt.

Yes I’m home!  And with a bang!

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