News from Israel
Asher and S and N were summoned again to the police station this week. A new file has been opened for charges of breaking "anti-missionary" laws. We thank you for continuing prayers and wisdom.
Our legal counsel in these matters has been the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, led by Caleb Meyers. They have been fruitful pioneers for the Body of Messiah in Israel concerning legal matters, media, and government. To find out more about their work, see www.jij.org.il
Glen Beck is planning a major rally on August 24 at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, called "Restoring Courage," advocating international support for Israel and opposition to terrorism. Pray for success for the rally and for a greater awareness within Israel of the importance of cooperation with believing Christians around the world.
The 10 day "Harvest" youth conference, led by Eitan Shishkoff, starts today in northern Israel. Pray for spiritual breakthroughs for all involved.
Outreach fellowships this weekend involved in-depth spiritual conversations with some 20 new local Israelis. Pray for salvation and discipleship for Yitsak, Judith, Matan, Irit, Orit, Yosi, David, Idit, Yair, and many others. Pray for continuing anointing for our sister Rachel Netanel in evangelism.
We have been seeing a breakthrough in our Jerusalem congregation, with more in attendance, renewed vision, presence of the Holy Spirit, fellowship, young leadership. Pray for Pastor Eddie Santoro and Cantor Chaim. Pray for a deeper sense of covenant community commitment for all and breakthrough in children's ministry.
There has been a historic conflict over money donated for the Body of Messiah in Israel. This conflict started back in the days of the early community of faith. Acts 6:1 – "In those days, when the number of disciples grew, the Greek-speaking Jews began to complain against the Hebrew-speaking Jews that they had neglected their widows in the distribution of daily support."
This conflict continues on to this day. The conflict is divided partly by language grouping and ethnic background. There was great stress concerning the use of funds between those of the local Israeli remnant and from among the nations. Integrity and strategic wisdom about money donated for ministry in Israel is a critical issue today.
Simon Cephah (Peter) and his fellow disciples were Galilee fishermen, who had given up all in order to follow Yeshua, just a short while ago. In the book of Acts, they found themselves responsible for huge sums of money. People even sold homes and laid the money at their feet (Acts 4:34-35). Pray for righteousness on these issues in order to further revival here in the land.
"Flotilla" and "Flytilla"
In the past week Israel has fended off two public relations attacks. The first was the planned flotilla, a sequel of the one in May. After much diplomatic efforts, the coastal countries of Europe agreed to prevent the ships from sailing towards Israel. In one case Greek Commandos boarded an American ship, which attempted to head out against the authorities' directives.
Over the past week Israeli authorities have been preparing for the "Flytilla," several hundred leftist activists who planned to fly into Israel. Israel successfully prevented the planned provocation by putting many of the known activists on a no-fly list passed on to airlines. They also prepared a large response force in the Tel Aviv airport, which was able to contain easily the few demonstrators who made it to the country.
The Israeli government learned the lesson from the media fiasco of the first flotilla. This time they outwitted the international anti-Israeli activists, rather than meeting them on their terms.
The Hague special tribunal on Lebanon has issued indictments for four Hezbollah members who are wanted for the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik El Hariri in 2005. Hariri was killed by a car bomb. By this indictment the Hague tribunal resisted Hezbollah's attempts to escape justice. In response to the charges the Interpol has issued warrants for the arrest of the four.
Hezbollah recently took over the Lebanese government, overthrowing Hariri's son, Sayid, who fled to Europe for fear of being assassinated like his father. Historically Lebanon had a Christian majority. As a consequence of the Muslim-Christian civil war in the 1980's, much of the Christian population evacuated the country. This is the first time that Lebanon has been ruled by a Muslim government in modern history.
Independence for Southern Sudan
A new country was born last night, July 10, as South Sudan became the 193rd country in the world. South Sudan broke off from Sudan after many years of civil war and suffering. The estimated death toll is more than two million casualties, and more than one million south Sudanese have become refugees.
Southern Sudan is predominantly Christian, while the northern part is mostly Muslim. This is a chance for South Sudan to break the cycle of death, poverty, and misery that has been its share for thirty years. Let us all pray they are successful in building a prosperous, democratic, and free country, built on Christian foundations.
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