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From Jerusalem • March 23,2006

Shalom, from the place where the Lord put His Name, FOREVER!

Isaiah chapter 35 was the theme of the first Bible study in BLI’s apartment in Jerusalem. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose,” is how it begins.

I hope you will read the whole chapter and notice how gladness, rejoicing, singing, joy are all so closely associated with the desert. And the reason for this up-beat delight and happiness is the healing of the blind, the deaf, the lame and the loosening of dumb tongues - all as a result of the desert coming alive!

DeWayne Coxon was a special guest along with several of my friends. The oneness of heart and vision was so evident as we all sensed the Lord leading us to have part in this great project of developing the desert area. Another strong point in this chapter is the admonition to “Strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees” (Verse 3). For many years “Blossoming Rose” under the leadership of DeWayne Coxon has been faithfully working at this vision in the area of Biblical Tamar Park just south of the Dead Sea. Now, there seems to be a general awakening of other believers that this is the time of blossoming fulfillment there.

As a result of this meeting, three or more carloads of friends are making a visit to Biblical Tamar Park next week. I trust the Lord will call many helpers to “put their hands to the plow” to make the desert blossom. Isaiah also says a result will be a highway of holiness for the wayfaring man, and so simple that not even a fool shall err therein. Whew! We are talking about real down-to-earth physical work alongside of a spiritual awakening that will impact the whole world.

I’m so grateful for you who are helping Bible Light in our project of planting date palms at Tamar. I’ll have more to say about that after visiting there next week.

I do notice a big difference here in Jerusalem among believers than when I lived here before. There is a sincere move to love and cooperate with each other regardless of where we come from - physically and spiritually. There are many prophetic promises that there will be a cleansing as the tribes of Israel return to the Land. And I hear the beginning of a moving “in the mulberry trees” (A reference to II Samuel 5:24 and I Chronicles 14:15).

You are hearing the news items there - especially the bad! Israel is plagued with the bird flu virus, but Israelis don’t let that stop them from eating chicken! Also Israel is helping Arab farmers in Gaza cope with the plague! (You probably didn’t hear that one.)

There will be elections here in a few days - and I don’t hear predictions as to who will win. I’m sorry to say that some of the campaign promises from the leading political parties are not as most of us see the Torah. And the other side of the coin here is even worse: the “Palestinian” Arabs can’t agree among themselves on a government whose prime minister is Hamas (which name means “terror” in Hebrew; it is an acronym in Arabic) and whose president is “Palestinian Authority” who still claim to be the sole representative of the people.

So the Middle East is more and more a powder keg ready to blow it’s top. BUT GOD…. Let us continue to pray and help all we can to spread the Gospel of Love. That’s the winner!

Meantime life goes on and for an example of my days, I would like to share with you what happened today. Pulling my carry-on luggage which works marvelously as a shopping cart, I went first of all to check my P.O. Box. The Post Office is a few blocks from me on Bayt-lechem (Bethlehem) Road, that runs parallel to Derek Hevron , the street of my apartment. At a very narrow place in the sidewalk, I saw an elderly lady kind of crouching against the wall because a man with a cart was headed right toward her. I stopped and asked her if I could help. She talked to me in Hebrew and in Yiddish and I could understand almost nothing of what she said. But from gestures I understood she had a heart problem. Then she pulled up her sleeve and showed me the number the Nazis had put on her arm. I took her in my arms and hugged her good. That’s all I could do, so I walked on crying with frustration that I could not do more for her.

For weeks, I’ve been traveling to the center of town or to an industrial area many blocks from me to a Super Market which, like ours in the States, has much besides groceries. Now, I have discovered a new mall a few blocks from me whose chief store is “Super-Shuk”. (“Shuk” means market place.) I did some shopping there today and a nice woman helped me greatly by showing me choice items from many brands and why they were the best! I had among my purchases a package of bed sheets I needed for this week-end’s company. The clerk was asking me questions about it that I couldn’t understand. The same lady was in the other check out line and came to my rescue again. Three times altogether in different areas of the shuk, she helped me!

Back in the apartment, I did washing and house cleaning in anticipation of guests this week-end. On Saturday night I will have 5 women and one man from Tamar staying here. It works out great as the man can have the guest room and the women the sofas in the living room and computer room. (I have my own room!) On Sunday all but two of them will join others of the tour group and return to the States. The other two women and I plan to take a bus to Tamar and I will stay there until Wednesday when the cars with other friends come and I can catch a ride back to Jerusalem.

Sunday night April 2nd, is my turn to go to the airport and a little past midnight board an El Al plane for Chicago, then on to KC. My computer will be with me and I really love to get your e-mails. (And there is still time to receive them here.) I may need to be in the States until early June.

If my sharing in this e-mail is dull for you, please forgive. Thanks so much for listening and for your prayers. I really do need you!! 

                   In the Love of our Wonderful Redeemer,