Dear and Precious Friends and Partners,
As I was praying about writing this letter to you this month, I felt the “Still Small Voice” say to me, “Tell them about your early days in Israel.” I wasn’t sure how far to go back, but then this verse came to me in my Bible reading,
And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!
1 Thessalonians 5:12 MSG
That’s it! I want to overwhelm you with appreciation and love – today. I want to honor, many of you leaders, pastors and evangelists, both men and women around the world, who have worked so hard and given so royally to help Meridel and myself and our team to educate a large worldwide audience about God’s faithfulness to His Word and keeping power concerning His covenants to Israel.
When we came to Israel as a family in 1969, we had no idea what we were going to do. All we knew was that our marching orders, way back 50 years ago, were twofold, First, Meridel heard the Lord say to her, “If you love me? Then love My people.
Secondly, the Lord gave me a scripture from Jeremiah 50:2a which says, in the MSG Bible,
“Get the word out to the nations! Preach it! Go public with this, broadcast it far and wide:
Back then, five decades ago, we were a young married couple with one son, David, nine months old. We had no clue how to be obedient to and to fulfill these clear and quite simple instructions. We felt like Meridel’s pioneering forefathers when they came to Canada from Switzerland, England, and Ireland in the 1800s. Likewise, my grandparents came to Canada in the early 1900s, very poor, uneducated, with a few clothes on their backs. They arrived from England, Scotland, and France. They too were pioneers!
Like countless thousands and thousands of thousands, they faced the cold, foreboding Canadian winters. A vast uninhabited wilderness lay before them. This scenario of settlers seeking a better life also happened in America, Australia, South Africa, and South America to name a few places.
We too felt like we were pioneers in Israel. We discovered, that our first task was to pray! Then to listen for His instructions and act upon them in obedience.
In 1969, Israel was a lot different than it is today. Following Israel’s miraculous victory in the 1967 Six Day War, there was a sense of euphoria in the nation. But this, however, would be short-lived, as by 1973 the Yom Kippur War, severely hurt Israel. In the beginning, Syrian and Egyptian tanks devastated the IDF or Israel Defence Forces in the Sinai and on the Golan Heights. Initially, this war, which the Arabs started on the Holiest Day of the Jewish year, caused huge losses in personnel and equipment. It was also a case of nuclear brinkmanship between the USA and the USSR. The current situation today is quite similar in that Syria involves Russia, Iran, Turkey against Israel and the USA.
Back then in the late 1970s, our first prayer meetings were held out in the woods where we could sing and praise God without calling attention to ourselves. Month by month a small group of us would turn up for these meetings. Our children played around us as we interceded and petitioned Heaven’s Gate.
At that time, I would estimate that there were about 25 to 50 Jewish believers in Yeshua in all of Israel. Slowly the numbers began to increase. The relations between the Arab believers and Jewish believers in Yeshua began to blossom. Miracles started to happen in spite of strong persecution by the ultra-Orthodox religious Jews. Thank God for the bravery, grit, and perseverance of the early believers, Arab and Jew, and internationals alike.
Today, there are about 20 to 25,000 Messianic believers and an equal number of Evangelical Arabs. This coupled with many vibrant congregations, Bible Schools, Pro-Life works, prayer groups plus services to the poorest of the poor in Israel today, represent His hands at work. Over the years I have made several promotional documentaries on the vibrancy of the Gospel work going on in Israel today. Thank God for these miracles.
In obedience to the Lord, we continue to send our regular TV and Internet reports on interesting prophetic subjects happening in Israel today. We have also started a pioneering work in Greece. In fact, our son Josh and I are there as I write this letter to you. Again it is pondering work for the Lord.
( I now know what the Apostle Paul must have felt like when writing in this part of the world, it’s a bit lonely)
We send our love and appreciation to you for your support to our ongoing, “pioneering works for the Lord.” May you be overwhelmed with love and appreciation, – TODAY
In His service,
Jay, Meridel, sons, and team.