Merry Christmas & Happy New Year dear friends!
With joy, I write my last Still Small Voice letter for 2017. Above is a photo taken at the Mandala Center on the shores of Galilee. This location rests within the biblical fishing village of Mary of Magdalene.
The painting above represents the time when Jesus stood still in the midst of a moving throng of humanity and demanded: “Who touched me?” Luke 8:44a. A woman with a flow of blood for 12 years, dared to reach out and touch the tallit on Jesus’ prayer shawl. No one noticed, but He did! She had to come forward in front of all to receive her healing. Let each one reading this letter do the same. Come, reach out, push through until you touch Him. You hold the keys to your life, for only you can allow Jesus to renovate your life. Take this step now.
The unusual photo Rt. taken by my nephew Paul Chobaniuk from Vancouver, is of the S.W. corner of the Temple Mount. In this place the Almighty said 45 times in the Bible: “I have put my Name there!” Believe it and tremble! For your own good, I hope that you are praying for the Peace of Jerusalem!
2017 is 100 years on from the Balfour Declaration. It marks 50 years since the Six Day War when God put Jerusalem back Jewish hands. Our secular politicians feared WW3 could break out and returned the Temple Mount to Islam. In 2017 UNESCO declared “Jews have no right here!!! In the time of Jesus, from this corner priests blew the shofar out over the city announcing the arrival of the Sabbath and the High holy days.
“For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of Hosts is His name: and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, He is called the God of the whole earth.” Isa. 54:5
There are disappointments in life, but never in His love. This is what holds us steadfast. Well, for the Rawlings Family, 2017 has proven to be a year of the unexpected. First, after open heart surgery, our beloved husband and Abba is back. We are eternally grateful! All of us have had momentous challenges this year, but we have come through by God’s grace. David now enjoys filming and editing for Media Line Jerusalem. He helps to keep the Jewish world abreast of the latest happenings in the Holy Land. Photo Rt. David with Amitai 17 & Adi. Liyah 13, (Lt.) loves playing and singing.
Chris in Helsinki has been promoted to manager and heads a design team of 20. He has done our web work forever. He gives freely of his many gifts and time to keep Jerusalem Vistas and Still Small Voice websites up and running, also our work in Nepal, at the CAN website. Thank you son. He and Terhi celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year. See Rt. Their eldest son Noam, (above) goes to the Finnish Navy in January. Recently he came to visit.
Joshua is very busy in an incubator program in Tel Aviv for one of those famous Start Ups. The future looks very promising. Photo above. we are enjoying coffee at a patisserie in Old Jaffa. It was a HOT. Rt. Our granddaughters, 3 belong to Josh.
Daniel left. He is Dad’s right hand man and loves to cook as well as being our editor and valuable member of our film crew. Even tho there has been a drastic decrease in correspondence and support, we remain grateful and expectant. Else McPake writes from Glasgow Scotland. “I pray for you and Jay and sons individually every night. My prayers are being answered.”
Thank you for your prayers. We all live on the front lines of life here. Never under estimate the power of prayer. Keep standing heart to heart with Jesus, Israel and the Rawlings Tribe. “The blessing of the Lord makes rich and he adds no sorrow to it!”
We want to honor an adopted Israeli son, Iliyah, who came and lived with us for two years. He poured himself into the work of the Jerusalem Vistas studio. Recently, Daniel attended his wedding. He was a child immigrant from Russia and his beautiful bride immigrated from France. It was a marriage made in heaven, an answer to our prayers. Congratulations Iliyah!
The Media Buzz
This fall, Jay was commissioned by Mt. Moriah Trust in Britain to create a 3rd film for them. Tony and Kathy Stewart love to support fledgling ministries in Israel. Imagine! We are very grateful that Jay was able to produce and direct this film. The team travelled all over Israel interviewing 13 Messianic ministries. You will meet believers in Bethlehem and Ramallah in the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem, Eilat, S. Tel Aviv, Ramle, Afula, and on up the coast to Nazareth and Carmel in Galilee. The film gives a refreshing and inspirational look at brave souls raised up both Jew and Arab.
This December 6th, marks 100 years since General Allenby entered Jerusalem on behalf of Great Britain. It marked the death knell of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Our team is presently busy creating a unique film to commemorate the importance of this time in history. This is happening through Tracey Elliot, a brave young British woman, who is riding her horses ‘by faith’ throughout the length of Israel, “I learn the history of the land from the people of the land.” she said. See photos below.
We’ve already enjoyed days of heavy rain in Jerusalem. But we are in an ongoing 7 year drought. The Sea of Galilee almost 5 meters below the normal level, rose 3 cm. Snow now crowns Mt. Hermon. We are believing for a severe winter. I see it as a protection at this tumultuous bloody time on our Northern borders. Keep praying. Israel’s IDF and Christians have built a hospital to treat the injured Syrians.
“Meridel, I really am very moved by your letters. The Lord is amazing for the way in which He has brought you all through this year. I prayed, ‘Lord, we seriously do thank you for all you’ve done for Jay. You said, ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’, but it’s a lot easier said than done. Don’t stop pouring down on this family. I keep hearing the phrase, ‘the best is yet to come’ May it be so.’” Janet Damary England.YES! is our response. May the LORD accomplish for us, what we cannot do for ourselves!
War Time and Harvest
War is on every side, l but It is also harvest time. Corn, cotton and olives have just been harvested here in Israel. Oranges, strawberries and avocados now fill market stalls. Spiritually, the harvest moves across the earth, for the Gates of Eternity are open for the persecuted and destitute to find their rest. Pray for those in the valley of decision. One Muslim person said, “I didn’t know which book was truth, the Koran or the Bible? Then I realized the Bible calls God, ‘our Father’ and ‘Abba’ and calls me to be, ‘His child’. It shows me an intimate God and as a Muslim, I made my choice for Jesus.”
This fall we harvested 44.5 kilos of olives. They were so rich and plump that when pressed, they gave us 15 kilos of golden organic oil. What a picture for each one of us.
Thank you for your support to me personally and to my on going work in sexual abuse. My prayer for you in 2018 is: May our spiritual roots grow deeper and stronger in 2018. May we decode to be obedient to the Still Small Voice. Only, then will His Word grow in our minds and hearts and bring increase.
May we be willing for the challenge to change. May we rid ourselves of the dead broken branches and make room for new growth and strength! Like the olive, let us cut out the diseased, and develop strong healthy root systems.
Each olive tree produces a unique fruit, no two trees are the same. Let us discover our unique abilities and calling into His glorious kingdom. May we not shrink back when Abba-Father prunes, shapes, grafts, pressures & crushes. May our lives produce beauty in His likeness.
May His Spirit fill us and grow lasting fruit.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Every blessing from the Rawlings and team
Meridel, Jay, David, Chris, Josh and Daniel
Meridel Rawlings, Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097, Israel