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Prayer Letter Israel, May 5, 2017

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“Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them anymore.”                                                                                                       II Chronicles 17:9

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

           Greetings from Jerusalem!  This past week, Israel marked its 69th Independence Day.  The theme of this year’s Independence Day ceremony was the liberation and unification of Jerusalem.  Honorary torchbearers shared their own stories about the capital and their attachment to it.  Their testimonies were then followed by the song “Jerusalem of Gold.” Then, dancers and military units marching in precision joined in the festivities. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein delivered the first speech at the celebrations, proclaiming in accordance with the theme that “Jerusalem will remain the united capital of Israel forever and ever.”

           Later, ordinary citizens took to the parks and forests to celebrate, holding barbecues and having picnics.  It is a great day to rejoice in what only God could have brought about.  Israel is a miracle nation, breathed into being by a miracle making God.  This country declared its independence May 14th, 1948, but celebrates its holidays according to the dates on the Hebrew Calendar.

 

8.7 Million and Growing

           Israel’s Bureau of statistics released an updated accounting of the nation.  The current population stands at 8.7 million persons.  This figure is almost eleven times Israel’s population of 800,000 when it was established.  Only 6 percent of all the world’s Jewish citizens called Israel their home in 1948.  Now, according to the Bureau, Israel is home to 43 percent of all those who identify as being Jewish in the world.  God is bringing His people back.

           Since last Independence Day, the country’s overall population, Jews and Non-Jews, has grown by 159,000.  There were 174,000 births, 30,000 new immigrants and 44,000 deaths. In 1948, the “ingathering of the exiles” was a Zionist slogan.  Today it is statistically a fact.

 

UNESCO Vote

           UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, deliberately held a session on Israel’s Independence Day to pass a resolution denying Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.  This resolution called “Occupied Palestine” passed by a vote of 22 to 10.  Twenty six nations abstained.  The ten countries who opposed the measure were: the United States, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Germany, Paraguay, Togo and Ukraine.  Countries that supported the measure were: Russia, Sweden, Iran, South Africa, China, Brazil and Vietnam, as well as all of the Arab nations.

           The resolution called on Israel to rescind any “legislative and administrative measures and actions” it has taken to “alter the character and status” of Jerusalem. It refers to Israel as the occupying power when discussing Jerusalem, indicating that it has no legal or historical ties to any part of the city. (Times of Israel 5/4/17)

           Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called UNESCO and its latest resolution:  “The theater of the absurd.”  Later the Israeli Prime Minister directed the Foreign Ministry to deduct another $1 million from the funds Israel annually pays to the UN in response to UNESCO's "delusional” vote to disavow Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.“There is a price for harassment,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I directed the director-general of the Foreign Ministry to deduct a further million dollars from the money Israel transfers to the UN.”  (www.jpost.com 5/4/17)

 

P.A. President Abbas meets with President Trump

           Donald Trump welcomed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to the White House last Wednesday for what he hoped would be "terrific" talks on relaunching the Middle East peace process.  "Hopefully something terrific can come out between the Palestinians and Israel," the Republican president said as their meeting got underway in the Oval Office.

           During a joint statement, both leaders voiced their optimism for reaching an agreement.  Abbas stated that he believes the two-state solution is possible and he called upon Israel to "recognize the Palestinian state" and "end the occupation of Palestinian lands." Abbas affirmed that he is hopeful that the new US administration can broker a peace deal "based upon 67 borders." (These 1948 cease fire lines would include all of the Old City of Jerusalem and 2/3’s of Jerusalem).

           President Trump declared himself confident in the chances of making peace in the Middle East. “We want to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians. We will get it done," Trump said. Abbas echoed the US leader's optimism, saying: "We can be true partners to you to bring about a historic peace under your stewardship."

           Trump affirmed that he hopes to "start a process" for peace negotiations and said that he had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about jump starting peace talks. Trump stated that when he took office he was told by many that achieving peace would be an impossible task. "Let's prove them wrong," Trump said. (www.i24news 5/4/17)

 

The Promises of God are Yea and Amen

           The LORD God promised King David in II Chr. 17:9  “I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them anymore.”  There are many other Biblical promises made by the Lord which also affirm Israel’s right to live in its homeland.  The LORD through the Prophet Amos declares that “I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them” (Amos. 9:15). Malachi declares “Your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel” (Mal. 1:5).   

 

President Trump to Visit Israel

           White House Officials confirmed this week that President Trump will visit Israel, May 22 and 23rd.  This official visit will take place the day before “Jerusalem Day”, marking this city’s 50th year of celebrating its unification.  Sources also claim that Trump will make his first speech at Masada, a mountain top stronghold where the Jewish Zealots lost to Rome in 73 A.D.  Today the mountain is a symbol of freedom to all of Israel, that “never again will it fall.” It speaks of a determination and courage of a people to be free in their own land. Many think that President Trump at this time will then announce his intentions to move the U.S. Embassy back to Jerusalem.

Nahariya Hospital

           Decades ago Israel established one of its largest hospitals in the North, just six miles from the Lebanese border.  This 772 bed facility once treated IDF soldiers and civilians wounded in Israel’s conflicts. Then in 2013, the hospital in Nahariya mission was expanded to take in those who were wounded in Syria’s ongoing turmoil.  Since then, it has treated some 1600 Syrians, giving them advanced medical care and becoming a world leader in treating war wounds.  Children make up about 1/5 of all the patients treated.  Some of these children arrive without parents, with limbs missing, shattered faces, and in great pain.  Others arrive unconscious and don’t know where they are until they wake up.  Then they realize they are in Israel.  They remain fearful until they hear Arabic spoken to them by the staff, who have all taken courses in Arabic.  The hospital’s Doctors and staff have found that using a familiar language with these patients is one of the first things they can do to build trust, and quiet fearful hearts.

           The average stay of these patients in Israel is 23 days, until they return to Syria.  When asked if they had a message to deliver to the world, those who were wounded all had the same request.   They said “the whole world is looking at Syria and doing nothing.  There’s nobody to help us but God and Israel.  May all of the nations of the world intervene and end this war” (www.haaretz.com, R. Linder-Ganz 5/4/2017).

           Israel is making friends of those who once looked to it as an enemy.  Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Mt. 5:9).  Pray for those patients who are being treated in this hospital.  Pray that they know the love of Yeshua and learn to love those they hated.  Pray for peace to come to Syria and that this senseless war cease.

 

Sigi & David

           The House of Peace hosted Sigi & David Oblander, as well as two pastoral couples from South Africa.  The house was filled for three nights as Sigi, David, and others ministered the Word of God, and the gifts of the Spirit.  Many believers were blessed and encouraged in their walk of faith.   We look forward to David and Sigi visiting us once again at the House of Peace.

 

Flying to the U.S.

           Marylois and I will be flying home to the U.S. this Saturday.  We will be attending our daughter Joy’s graduation from Nursing school, then visiting other family members.  June will find us in Engeltal.  ETH Roy and Cindy Key will be hosting the House of Peace in Jerusalem until late June.  This week we will be starting a series of soaking and healing meetings at the House.  Roy and Cindy Key will be ministering  every Thursday night at 6:30 pm.  We also hope to see you at the ETH&S World Convention in Springdale, AR,  July 3rd-7th.  Please remember the House of Peace in your giving and prayers.  Your intercessions and offerings help us so much to continue this work.

Shabbat Shalom,

Gene and Marylois/House of Peace