Israel is a land wealthy in the artifacts of antiquity, giving historical proof that Jews have always dwelt here for millenia. One of the ongoing wars at present is the loss of ancient treasures, stolen and sold to antique dealers around the world.
Shalom to our dear friends:
“The LORD is good to those who [expect],
wait for Him. To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should both hope and [expect]
wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD”
Lamentations 3: 25, 26.
I, Meridel am sending you a very personal note today. Because of your loving support to us, I have courage to share this with you.
First of all, by way of an update: next week Jay has an appointment with his Professor of cardiology, who will set out the next course of action. Until then, very little has changed since he was hospitalized in December. His fibrillating heart remains unstable. The doctors are keeping a close watch.
Therefore, I wondered, “What can I write by way of an up date?” But, I gave up trying to think of something. There is no news. Then I poured out my heart to the ONE who always listens. I have discovered, as many of you have: That “to know and to be known by heaven” is the essence of deep comfort. Often I sense no distance in thought or intent when praying or thinking… (as my sons say). Without this super-natural friendship, my soul would have shriveled and died.
“A treasured gift; my special prize,
The loving ONE…caused me find!
A beating heart in tune with mine.
‘Tis simply this… a QUIET MIND!”
The most basic blessing said in a Jewish home is over the bread in the course of a meal. Of course there’s the weekly Shabbat celebration. Jesus used this most basic thankful prayer to teach the mystery of our Father in Heaven. ‘Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh’ is an eternal indestructible bond.
Midmorning today, when sitting at my computer near our little Norwegian wood stove; I became aware of that invisible loving Presence. Worry, stress, business… It all melts away along with all preoccupation with the affairs of life. Without any words being consciously formed, we experienced “the intimacy of love reaching down and embracing us both.”
At times most unexpectedly, these invisible moments of ‘loving- kindness leave me breathless… and quiet and peaceful. You could say Its a “letting down” a supernatural “rest”, which is what the Shabbath is all about.
The modern nation of Israel has deep Biblical and historical roots in ancient Israel. One never knows when or where the next amazing archaeological discovery will be.
Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a Roman amphitheater in Hippos. This ancient city has been unearthed on the salt route to Damascus. It was on this road when Pau, the persecuto, was blinded by a heavenly light that caused him to fall off of his horse. Being the religious Jew that he was, he used an achronym for the unpronouncable name of God, always spelling with capitals. Wonderingly Paul inquired:
“Who are you LORD?”
The answer came back… “I am Jesus!”
He was stunned! That was the beginning of his transformation.
The rest is history.
“LORD, He whom you love is sick…” John 11:3
This is Meridel, bringing you an update on Jay’s health situation. For those of you who do not get email updates, or any social media I want you to pray for my husband. It is a challenging time for our family and prayer has become a waking-sleeping; a LIVING experience. This is simply another step on the pathway to a richer life in the mercy and love of Almighty God. He must increase and we must decrease… Jn 3:30.
Today, Jay says: “I am resting in Him and trusting my life into the hands of the Royal Physician.” I, Meridel want to take this opportunity to share an over view of Jay’s life, followed by some quotes from friends. Thank you for praying and caring as you do. All of us are grateful.
I will begin by saying: “Divine Mercy has overshadowed Jay’s life from it’s very inception.” I believe as a result Jay grew up in to the abundant grace he was given. Today, he is known for his grace and loving kindness. Perhaps, the result of this character quality causes him to try and be and do too much for others?
Over the past almost three weeks, I have thought of our marriage vows… especially the words…
“in sickness and in health”. Well, ‘that time’ is here!’ Jay and I have been married 48 years and have known each other 50. Like many of you we have been so blessed with the opportunities granted to live life fully.
His history is unusual. Jay was a still birth. BUT his auntie Netta, the operating room nurse attending the Dr. in Jay’s mother’s Caesarean section; refused to give this child up! She fought for him to live by dipping his little blue body in alternate tubs of water… one warm, the other cold. After 20 minutes her prayers were answered and he took his first breath. He was born in prayer.
Jay’s father Victor Alloway Rawlings, was killed in action in Holland just days before W W 11 ended. He was just 14 months old at the time. But… he does have one love letter from this father whom he never met.
We left Canada in 1969 with our first son David 9 months old and came to Israel. We have never looked back. It was in 1975, while we were visiting Jewish communities in France that the next incident took place. We were house guests of a known doctor in Marseille. It was January and Jay and I with our sons ages 5, 3 and six months were to leave in the morning for Spain. The plan was to visit the Jewish Community in Catalonia and Madrid. That very night Jay died! Yes, it is true, and very well documented in fact. It was a horrible experience; but the L_RD G_d Almighty heard my cries and brought Jay back to life after 24
LONG minutes without a pulse. The doctor was shaken to his core… this was after he tried to stimulate Jay’s heart with shots of adrenalin and mouth to mouth resuscitation. We have a Father in heaven! The good Doctor insisted that the ambulance take Jay to the Military hospital in the city… immediately He was alive when he left the house. I wondered what I would find an hour later, there in Emergency. Eight doctors stood around his stretcher amazed at what they saw and heard. They gave us permission to take him home. We rested three days before going on to Spain. You will read about this in detail in the next volume of our life’s story, I have a photo of him. You will see that again, he received a merciful, creative miracle.
Over the years we have travelled to 120 nations; always seeking out the Jewish communities first and speaking to their leaders about the “call” to come home to Israel. This was before Christians understood the need to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel. Some churches threw us out as heretics!
All was quiet heart-wise until May of 2011 when Jay was taken to the cardiac unit in the Jubilee Hospital in Victoria Canada for an angiogram. His heart was working overtime then, as it is now.
Then in July 2016 Jay was tested for a 24 hour period, again with a rapid heart beat. No conclusions were drawn until December 2016 when we took him to the Sharay Tezdek hospital in Jerusalem. He was tested over a week long stay; put to sleep twice. He heart was stopped and restarted. He was released to strict rest, and a regiment of medications and tests with the general diagnosis of “heart failure”.
A Professor of cardiology, demanded a month of complete rest. Jay is home with us, but without strength. Today, our family physician said, “His heart is unstable and needs to be monitored.” He is in a serious condition and after more tests and will be reassessed again.
Dear Family and Friends;
LORD… he whom You love is sick… John 11:3
Thank you for your prayers for Jay and for the whole family. He spent a week in the cardiac unit at Shar ha Tzedk and returned home feeling very low. He is home a week now and has under gone more blood tests an ECG and visits a Professor this afternoon. He still has trouble breathing and has to sleep sitting up. This is due to heart failure and the remains of fluid on his lungs and bronchitis. He is just finishing a regiment of antibiotics for this.
We as a family have gathered around him and know that he has to make changes. He works too hard. It is hard for him to learn to rest. Its time to “ease up”. You can pray in this direction for him and also for David, Chris, Josh and Daniel to know how much to be involved today and tomorrow.
Enclosed is a video that Daniel put together for you. I met Mr. Netanayhu at the International Christian Embassy last week. He chose this spot to give his greeting to the Christian world. Jay and I were co-founders of the ICEJ in October 1980. It is a blessed work. I spoke to him briefly about portraits of the Prime Ministers and Presidents that hang in the antechamber to the Cabinet room of Israel’s Parliament or Knesset. Joy Caros Rawlings is the artist, our cousin by marriage. It is a significant honor for her life’s work.
With that, I shall close for now. Thank you to each and every one for your thoughts and prayers.
Jay and Meridel
We at Israel Vision and Still Small Voice send to YOU our dear frends worldwide very best wishes for Christmas and Channuka.
Join us as Meridel gives personal greetings to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a reception at the International Christian Embassy. She was able to mention that the lovely life size oil painting porraits of the Presidents and Prime Ministers which hang in the entrance way to the cabinet room of Israel’s Parliament, Knesset; were painted by renowned Canadian artist, Joy Caros Rawlings of Vancouver, BC Canada. They are a gift to the country. PM Bibi’s response to Meridel was the warm Israeli expression, “Kol Ha Kavod” – meaning in English ” All the Honor or Congratulations”!
These are days of unprecedented attacks on Israel by the United Nations. What is happening hearkens back to the days of the Greek occupation of the land 2,300 years ago. Jews were not allowed to speak or teach Hebrew, or worship in the temple. Some were so ashamed of their heritage as Jews that they had their circumcisions reversed. War broke out, and eventually the Greeks were driven out.
We know that the LIGHT will always triumph over darkness.
In HIS love,
Jay and Meridel, sons and Team
Dear Friends and Partners
I, Meridel Rawlings am writing on behalf of Jay.
Five days ago he was admitted to the cardiac unit in Jerusalem’s Share Tzedek Hospital. (Gates of Righteousness) He is under supervision and intensive testing to discern the cause of his rapid heart beat, shortness of breath and fluid in his lungs. He is taking medication to slow his heart.
Tomorrow he will under go a “shock” to the heart. The Doctors will stop it and start it again, hoping to regulate the heart beat. We need your prayers at this critical time~my sons and I thank You and we know You are there for us.
Jay and I hate having to ask for financial help. We find it very humbling, and in a perfect world we could just keep working and say nothing about expenses. But that is not the case. Stress is part of the load here, and financials are very close to the top of the list. If there is any way you could send a donation to help us keep Jerusalem Vistas/Israel Vision going at this very critical time, we would be most grateful. (Directions for giving are at the end of this message.)
2016 was an action packed year and there is reason to be a little weary. Upon return to Israel we have experienced one hit after the other on so many levels. It feels like an onslaught, but now, with Jay taken out of commission, we know we are under direct attack. We are being inundated with regulations and hidden fees. The office is currently squeezed into the living room of our home. At this time we have had to cancel everything, but try to carry on as best we can under the circumstances. We are being tried and tested.
Pray with us for Jay’s complete recovery Please. Pray also that he will allow himself to rest and heal when he returns home from the hospital. We Need Him in order to carry on with the Kingdom work.
Thank You All for remembering Israel in your prayers. We sense that things are changing for the better. Remember this is “a land the LORD our God cares for~always”…Deuteronomy 11:11-12
This comes with love from our home to yours…
Every blessing at this Hanukah and Christmas time,
Meridel Rawlings, sons and team
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The year 2016, filled with many challenges, has almost run its course. Meridel’s brother, Don Fowler, a Jerusalem Vistas Canada Society board member, had a word from the Lord for our family. “…you are being poured out; from the broken alabaster box, the perfume fills the house. John 12:3-8.
I believe this timely word is for each one, near and far, you included. Amen!
The same is true of Israel and her peoples. Created first as a family, then tribes, then slaves in Egypt, then a nation with two dispersions among the nations. Today we make up the ingathered exiles…never a smooth path. But we choose to rejoice and give thanks because we are secure in the Way… His way. Photos Lt Jay Canada/Aug/16. Rt. Jay & Meridel.
Thankfully we have completed the TV Special called You CAN Make a Difference that highlights the work of our friend, Indira Ghale rescuing trafficked girls and boys. The film is available only in English at this time. We are setting up the Board for the Change Action Nepal Foundation in Canada, to give Canadians tax receipts for donations for that work. The ignorance and depravation they face is so enormous we find it over whelming at times. WE must have your address to send you a copy. Our thanks to you for standing with us in the challenges of making this broadcast quality documentary into a reality!
Israel was engulfed by raging forest fires the last days of November. Fierce easterly winds drove 250 different fires into cities and villages. Palestinians and Israeli Arabs have been charged with arson. The rural Israeli village of Nataf just 3 kms from us burned to the ground. Volunteer firefighters from France, Croatia, Greece, USA, Russia,Turkey, Cyprus, Romania and the Palestinians came to our aid. In Haifa alone, 90,000 men, women and children were evacuated with only their clothes on their backs. In spite of the hundreds of homes lost and thousands of acres of land burned up, a sense of unity grew as Israelis took the evacuated, into their homes for hospitality and succor. Israelis standing together, brought calm peace for a chaotic Sabbath. The nation will rebuild and wait for sometime to replant the lost forests.
On December 2nd Israel strongly countered ISIS terrorists on our northern border with Syria. The Middle East is in tragic foment with unbelievable suffering in Aleppo and Mosul. Pray for the innocents caught in it.
We pray daily for the US President elect Donald Trump. Its time for ethical sanity to triumph! The still small voice gave Meridel a mandate to pray for him to be President 1.5 years ago. Change is here. Let us ALL stop criticizing and judging. We MUST PRAY for our leaders and speak the truth in love to everyone we meet. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE in your nation!!! After all, The earth is the Lords. We are just visitors here! Our prayers and actions are more valuable than we understand.
Last night the drought was broken by the first snow fall on Mount Hermon. Strong rains are washing over the entire land. We actually look forward to winter, with its relief from the intense sunlight. It allows us time to write and script. Meridel and I and our sons are grateful, and I can honestly say contented with our lot in life. We all ‘have something to do’ having a purpose brings contentment. Because I love what I do, you could say I have never worked a day in my life. Praise God! The LORD has made us all secure and anchored in Him. Can you say, AMEN!
We were in the process of sorting through a lifetime of productions kept in the boxes and files behind us.
We love your newsy notes and this year Hanukah and Christmas arrive on exactly the same date of December 25th. So…let us all rejoice!
Dr. Jay & Meridel Rawlings