Shalom Shalom dear friends! Sivan 5777 / May 2018
Photo left: Jay & I celebrating our golden Wedding- 50 yrs.
Photo below: Our immediate family. Left to right: Chris flew in from Helsinki. He is a media designer. David produces news films for Media Line. Daniel is our ‘hands on’ film producer for Israel Vision. Josh is a media designer who “thinks” us all on. These men have stood with us all the way. They have given us 8 beautiful grandchildren ages, 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 12 and 11 year old twins. The grands indicate that they will stand tall upon our shoulders. Our hearts are filled with gratefulness to the LORD God of Israel who has never left us nor forsaken us and has led us every step of the way! Hallelujahs to our great Redeemer. We also remember to bless each one reading this letter for you have played a very significant part in our history. We love you! Share it.
2 Samuel 7:23 is Jay’s favourite verse…“And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself, as a people to make for Himself a name – and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations and their gods?”
Here in Israel, it is a new and lovely experience to be ‘accepted’ for who we are! Its just that simple. Prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. We celebrated Jerusalem’s 50th year of freedom from 1967, when Israel wrestled it out of Jordanian captivity 1948-1967. The Jewish Quarter had been systematically decimated; synagogues reduced to latrines or stables or left burned out shells. Ancient grave stones, stripped from the Mount of Olives became convenient paving stones for the Jordanian road leading East out of the city. For 19 years, Jerusalem had endured snippers aiming at civilians from those famous walls of the Old City. Bullet holes pocked mark the former City Hall, which stands a silent witness to war. Jerusalem was cut in two by a wall. Jews prayed that she be delivered from her captivity. Death had ruled too long. The Western Wall, forbidden to Jews was now OPEN! Exhausted soldiers rested their weary heads against her stones in agony and gratefulness!
Recently, the Palestinians in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, were cohearsed for 6 weeks to destroy the Israeli-Gaza border-wall (fence). Families brought their babies and toddlers to the front. Black smoke from hundreds of burning tyres polluted the air. Hamas operatives took kites marked with swastikas, set them on fire to fly over the fence and burn Israel’s wheat fields. They paid ‘blood money’ to the families for any death. I watched sickened as they draped a little donkey with an Israeli flag and burned them both. They burned their oil depots from Israel, at a loss of millions. Hamas activists and locals were killed trying to destroy the border so they could ‘return’. The lie of 4 generations grows as does the tragic loss of life, but Israel has the right to defend her borders. Pray for this people poisoned by hate. “We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes. We stumble in noon day as in the night: we are in desolate places as dead men.” Isaiah 59:10
It was 50 years ago in 1967, that Israel wrestled stunning victories from Egypt, Jordan and Syria in just 6 days! No war had ever been waged and won like this one. Jerusalem was the prize. The world was stunned when the Israel Defence Forces took Ammunition Hill in-spite of dreadful losses. When Arabs realised Israel would not retreat to 1948 lines, they ran for their lives. The Almighty returned everything to Israel at that time. The victory was overwhelming. Sadly our secular leaders were not prepared to cope with the enormous increase in territory and the weight of the Temple Mount. Moshe Dayan fearful of starting WW3 put the Arabs back in charge of theTemple Mount. They could not accept the answered prayers of their people for the last two thousand years. How short sighted and down right godless of them. They were not capable of receiving the blessings. The flash point then as now is Jerusalem, still fundamentally a divided city. Read Psalm 2.
Fast forward 23 years to July 1980 when the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which states: “Jerusalem is the Eternal, undivided capital of the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people!” Again the world went wild. Arab nations boycotted oil supplies to any country whose Embassy remained within Jerusalem. Arafat and the PLO stepped up their propaganda and hatred campaign globally. Israel was the most maligned nation in the world, seen as a pariah, to be shunned and isolated! They had proclaimed God’s Word over His city, and proclaimed it! Every nation that had their Embassy in Jerusalem was blackmailed by oil producing nations. All complied and left except Costa Rica. That was when a handful of us dared to establish an Embassy in Jerusalem in defiance of the boycott, where the voice of Christians from all nations could be heard!
From the day of our calling back in 1969, Jay and I have been working for the good of Israel.Today our sons have taken up the banner. We spent 7 years visiting Jewish communities around the world before 1976 when we returned to Israel and settled our three small sons into Hebrew schools. With the blessing of David Mainse of Canada’s daily Christian TV talk show,100 Huntley Street Jay’s dream of film making became reality. We wrote the script for this our only joint film project. Jay escorted Bruce and Moira Allan and the film crew throughout Israel in 1979. Together we produced what quickly become the much loved historical Apples of Gold. Jay insisted the Israelis tell their stories. They had paid the price fulfilling prophecy. Many did not even realise they had performed prophectic acts foretold in their very own Hebrew scriptures. And tell their amazing stories they did! Apples of Gold was premiered in Jerusalem March of 1980. The prestigious Israel Museum was the venue with the ‘Who’s Who of Israel in attendance. It was miraculous. We gave President Navon a private screening. The Israeli Foreign Ministry purchased the first copies of Apples of Gold to be used in their Embassies world wide. Hallelujah!
So when the Arab boycott took place that July 1980 in response to the Jerusalem Law, we were ready for action. We knew our heart was in tune with the pulse of this tiny nation. We were determined to know God’s heart in this matter. We prepared to make history once again. Joining Jan Willem and Widad van der Hoeven, Merv and Merla Watson, Tim King and a handful of others, we prayed for direction. How well I remember that hot fall day. We all stood on the stage of the conference centre praying. I gathered up courage to raise my voice and prophesy: “Why do you look to the the East or the West, the North or the South for deliverance? Have I not said in My Word, that deliverance shall come from Zion!” It could have seemed audacious if it hadn’t been the voice of God’s heart crying through me. That Word broke confusion. In the pregnant silence that followed, we knew what we had to do and now were in agreement. Jan Willem declared that we would open The International Christian Embassy! We had the answer! God’s praying children around the world were going to have their very own Embassy in Jerusalem. This city deserted by the world’s embassies still remains forever the City of the Great King! The Watsons had already created the Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in 1979 and were busy preparing for the 1980 Feast. It was held in the prestigious Bin’ya’neh ha Omah. We had no idea who would come to a city boycotted by the world? 3,000 souls came for the Feast and remained for the opening of the People’s Embassy, the ICEJ!
That was a high day in Zion, September 30th 1980; the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was opened. I presented the Canadian flag at the Knesset of behalf of Canada, praying for our nation to see the truth of the matter. Our beloved Mayor Teddy Kollek of 25 years, exclaimed when cutting the ribbon at the opening, “This is the most significant ceremony I have ever attended.” Jay was in charge of media, and countless world famous newspapers and magazines including Time carried this unique story. Oh, these were heady, joyful days, in the midst of world wide turmoil. Nothing has changed. Merv Watson showed Apples of Gold twice weekly in the ICEJ those first two years. The film was an excellent educational tool for tourists and Israelis alike. Fishers and Hunters, my first book, was published at that time. Its theme was helping Jews return to Israel, just as the Prophets had prophesied, written from our personal experiences and travel. Aliyah continues to be of supreme importance to the Israeli government, and the Christian Embassy. Today the ICEJ is the largest Christian Zionist Organization in the world, established in 83 nations with Juergen Buhler, a German, its able Director. Hallelujah!
Fast forward… 38 years to this May 2018. We have witnessed the beginning of the return of the Embassies back into Jerusalem. This move signals a new movement among the nations on behalf of Israel. We also see a global moving away from the BDS movement now outlawed in 26 States in the USA. It has taken 38 years since the Jerusalem Law and the resultant oil boycott. The reality of truth is slowing beginning to dawn. God bless President Trump for refusing to bow to the threats and compromises of the past and present. With a sense of enormous anticipation and joy we witnessed the opening of the Embassy of the United States of America in our Eternal indivisible capital. It was Iyar 29 or May 14th 2018, Israel’s 70th birthday on the Gregorian date. History was made, the return has begun with Guatamala and Paraguay following suit. Gratefulness and Joy are palpable in the streets, cafes and homes! Everywhere, excitement and a life giving sense of new possibility hovers over the city… we are living out Psalm 126.
“When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing.
Then they said, among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
[YES!!! ] “The LORD has done great things for us and we were GLAD!
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Left photo: flags flying from the lamp posts in Jerusalem this May 2018.
Every blessing from Jerusalem in her 50th year of freedom and ours!
Meridel and Men – The Rawlings Family
Please support us at: Meridel Rawlings, Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097.