As I watch events being played out across the world stage, particularly what appears to be the increasing marginalization of America and the daily ratcheting up of the outcry against Israel to make even more concessions to those who would destroy Her, I am left with an ever increasing sense that time is short. It is almost as if the "birth pains" are now increasing in intensity by the day.

As the world looks on with dismay and perplexity, we as Believers need to focus our attention more and more on the "author and finisher of our faith," the Word, and the need to take inventory of those things in our lives that may hinder us from "running the race that is set before us."

And as we focus our attention on those things that are above and not on the temporal, may our Yahweh instill in our hearts a sense of urgency to redeem the time, that we may serve Him boldly and that our lives may in every way glorify the King of Glory.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update From Sderot 11/30/10

Thought you might find the following interesting. It was recorded a couple of weeks ago at Calvary Chapel Albuquerque. The guest speaker is Joel Rosenburg and he explores the critical issues facing the people of the epicenter (Israel and her neighbors).

As radical Islam threatens Israel with annihilation and replacement theology threatens to delegitimize Israel, we as believers must be grounded in the Word so that we may be able to understand the times we are living in and be able to distinguish between the truth of Ha’Shem’s Word and the false misinformation that is out there. Are the Jews the Chosen and Why Does it Matter? Were the Jews Given the Promised Land and Why Does it

matter? Why Does the World Hate Israel and the Jewish People and

Why Does it Matter? Does God Love Israel's Neighbors and Why Does it Matter? How Can the Church Bless Israel and Her Neighbors?

On the lighter side, Hanukkah begins tomorrow and preparation for this year’s Hanukkah party for the children of Sderot continues. Yesterday we picked up all the wonderful decorations that were made for us by local kindergarten children. The festive decorations will cover the walls and hang from the ceiling of the large room where the party will take place.

Hanukkah is an eight-day festival commemorating the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian tyrant Antiochus and his army. Called the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the tiny cruse of oil which burned for eight days. Today this holiday is a reminder to us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and need to keep our light, the light of Yeshua, shining brightly so that we may be a light to the nations and to am Yisrael (the people of Israel).

Traditionally, Hanukkah has many meaningful customs. Every year, starting on the twenty-fifth of Kislev, (December 1st) the Jewish community begins its eight-day celebration. The day focuses on the hanukkiyah, the nine-branched Hanukkah menorah. The usual menorah, like the modern symbol of the State of Israel, is seven-branched. Eight branches remind us of the eight-day miracle of oil; and, the appropriate numbers of candles are kindled each day. The ninth branch (in the center with four branches on either side) stands out. It is used to light the other candles and is called the shamash (Hebrew for "servant"). The menorah is lit after dark, usually in connection with a festive meal. The phrase; Nes gadol haya sham (A great miracle happened there) is the common Hanukkah greeting.

I am hoping to be able to video record the party activities so I will post the clip when it is finished. Wishing you all a Happy Hanukkah. Shalom.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Update From Sderot 11/13/10

The mystery man strikes once again. A week or so ago, Hope for Sderot received a notification from PayPal that a donation had been made to the organization. Shortly afterward an email arrived from an unknown source. The email sender introduced themselves and said they had just sent a donation via PayPal and hoped that there would not be any problem in the processing of the donation. They then continued on to tell the story behind the donation.

The family, was from Israel, and were vacationing in Rome, Italy a few weeks back. During their travels the wife had gone into a little shop to purchase a new scarf. The shop sold a variety of items, including Italian leather bags and wallets.

The proprietor of the shop, having recognized the couple as Israeli from their accent, engaged them in a few moments of pleasant conversation about Israel. When it was time to pay for their purchases, the owner of the shop would not accept any payment from them, but instead insisted that they make a donation to Hope For Sderot in an amount equivalent to their purchase when they returned home.

The email went on to explain that the donation was in the amount of their purchases in that little Italian leather shop, plus a little extra. Cool story, right?

The real cool thing is that on at least four or five other occasions, donations have been made all with a similar story. They are in Rome… they wander into this little leather shop… the owner recognizes them as Israeli… and when the time comes to pay for their purchase, the proprietor refuses payment… but asks them to send the purchase amount to Hope For Sderot when they return home.

We don’t know who the mystery shopkeeper is or how he knows about Hope For Sderot, but we are thankful for his faithful heart for Israel and his generous spirit. So if you’re ever in Rome….

This past week, Deanna a nurse from Canada, came to help us for a few days. She had come as a volunteer before and had returned to Israel to participate in a week-long training conference. The conference focused on Israeli medical response protocols in time of crisis. As a trauma nurse, Deanna has been to Haiti twice to help and is planning a third trip. Her training here was to prepare medical personnel who would be able to participate in teams that would come to Israel in time of war to replace those Israeli called back to active duty.

We are thankful for the few days that Deanna was able to volunteer with us and for the 116 beautiful handmade baby blankets that she brought with her. May Ha’Shem bless the loving hands of all those women that spent the countless hours making them.

We plan to distribute the blankets at the children’s ward of the medical center, an orphanage, and to those families that we serve who have little ones. We already paid a visit to Elana our new mom and her twin girls.

L’hit ra’ote!