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Israel Prayer Letter, December 1, 2017

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“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
John 10:14-16

 

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

 

The sight of sheep and goats is still very common in modern Israel.  Journey outside the large cities and into the hills and you will encounter shepherds minding sheep and goats.  Their presence is one reminder that some practices found in Biblical Israel still continue even today. 

 

Many of the shepherds today are Bedouin, continuing in their ancient practices, which are unchanged even today.  They prefer to live in the near deserts and in tents.  Israel has attempted to settle these wanderers, providing water sources and offering houses, with little success.  The European Union is also seeking their loyalty and is engaged is building simple pre-fabricated homes in contested areas – Judea and Samaria (West Bank).  The Israel Defense Forces also employ Bedouin as scouts and desert trackers. 

 

The Bedouin who live Israel and in the Palestinian Authority number about 250,000. They are a hidden, forgotten people group.  They are some of the most rejected people in this land.   Most Bedouin men marry up to four wives and have large families.  Children receive little schooling but learn the ways of the desert.  Many of these Bedouin live in unrecognized villages.  Their presence in the Negev is increasing and causing problems regarding land ownership and rights to graze on military firing ranges and national parklands.

 

“Other Sheep I have.”

This week we were able to join with another ministry and make a short visit to a Bedouin camp.  We parked by the side of the road and gave out clothes and chocolate bars.  Our visit was coordinated by a Christian Arab woman who has a contact in the camp.  The children swarmed out to our van, eager for “gifts.”  We gave what we had, and waved to our contact.  We were unable at this time to do much more than this.  We did not have our interpreter with us, as the Bedouin speak a different dialect of Arabic.  Afterwards we drove above the camp and prayed for these people.

 

I am asking this week for prayers for the Bedouin of Israel and the P.A.   Pray for these “lost sheep” that they too can hear the voice of the Good Shepherd Jesus.  Pray for dreams and visions.  Pray for favor for our Arab sister who ministers to the women in these camps.  She is arranging another longer visit in the camp next week.

Mortars from Gaza


One month ago, on October 30th, Israel destroyed a secret tunnel that Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives in the Gaza Strip were digging into Israel to kidnap soldiers and civilians.  Israel has been “waiting” since promised revenge attacks by these groups.  Today, November 30th, 12 mortar shells were fired at IDF positions, along with gunfire.  Moments after the mortar fire, IDF tanks and fighter jets attacked four Hamas lookout positions near Beit Hanoun on the northeast edge of the strip, which serves as a military stronghold for Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terror group.

 

In the wake of the attack, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot held a situation assessment meeting with the army's top generals. An IDF spokesman also announced in a press release that, "We know exactly who fired these mortars, on a personal level, as well as their names.  It's safe to assume it is the same group that is operating in an organized manner with instructions from Damascus" (www.ynetnews.com).  Whether this current attack will result in a further escalation still remains to be seen.

 

Pray for this situation as the Holy Spirit leads you.  Pray for the protection of the IDF soldiers stationed along the Gaza Border.  Pray for wisdom for Israel’s leadership on how to proceed.  Pray for protection for the agricultural workers along this border.  Hamas and Islamic Jihad are two terrorist groups in Gaza that have called for Israel’s destruction.  They are armed to the teeth with thousands of rockets and missiles, and take their orders from Iran’s leaders.

 

U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem?

Israel’s media announced this week that President Trump had definitely decided to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.  However by the next morning, the White House announced that these reports were “premature.”  Possibly this “early” news event came from a meeting hosted by the Israeli mission to the United Nations to mark the 70th anniversary of the historic United Nations General Assembly vote on Resolution 181, which endorsed the establishment of a Jewish state. US Vice President Mike Pence had said at that meeting that the president was “actively considering” moving the embassy, he called it a matter of “when and how.”

 

King Abdullah of Jordan has warned the U.S. that this upcoming move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem could jeopardize peace efforts in the region and prompt terrorist activity.  The King is not in favor of this move, unless it is a part of a “two-state” peace solution for Israel and Palestine, with East Jerusalem as the P.A. capital. Yet, this so called “Two-State solution” is all but dead diplomatically, with the Palestinian Authority unwilling to meet with Israel or yield on any of its demands.   

 

Russia to Share Egyptian Air Force Bases

Israel’s news sources revealed that Russia’s Prime Minister Medvedev had signed a preliminary draft agreement with Egyptian officials which allows both countries to use each other’s airspace and air bases.  An active Russian military presence in Egypt would greatly concern Israel.  The Russian military is currently active in Syria.  Its air forces are combating ISIS groups as well as Kurdish fighters. 

 

Russia is also expanding their Naval Base in Tartus, Syria.   Israel has gotten the message. “There have been instances in which we assessed the situation and changed or chose not to carry out operations,” Rear Adm. Dror Friedman, Israeli Navy chief of staff, told the Jerusalem Post. “You see their activities in the field and you see them putting down roots, you see their activities in the Port of Tartus and you understand that this isn’t the activity of someone who is planning to pack their bags and leave tomorrow morning” (www.nationalinterest.org Mar. 2017).

Dorcas Ministry


For nearly a month, the House of Peace has had a Dorcas in our midst.  The Book of Acts records that Dorcas or Tabitha was “full of good works and alms deeds” (Acts 9:36).  She was a maker of “coats and garments” for the widows of the community of Jaffa.  ETH Nidia from Cordova, Argentina, has been staying with us, and has helped us immensely in sewing new garments, repairing the old, preparing new curtains, and being “full of good works.”  We are sending her off with our blessings and are grateful for all the good works she has done to beautify the House. 

 

Shabbat Shalom, 

Gene and Marylois/House of Peace