Still Small Voice – August 2020

Shalom dear friends:                                    August 2020     

Jesus taught in Mark 13:28-31 why we need to watch and pray.                         

Photo: Meridel, Josh and Jay on his 45th birthday. 

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near [May 14, 1948, Israel was reborn as a nation after 2,000 years.]  When you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass way.” 

“For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear this is written for a future generation, [dor ah ha roan Hebrew for the last generation] that a people not yet created shall praise the LORD:” Psalm 102:16-18

What would we do if we couldn’t pray? Prayer has always been central to our lives, but now it is a vital 24/7 lifestyle. I am sure you, our faithful friends, are experiencing this calling just as we are. Jay and I agree together from a place of thanksgiving. No matter what we see and hear and experience we give praise first and foremost. Gratefulness fills our hearts and minds and peace is our portion. We pray the same for each one of you. I find myself saying “thank you” out loud through out the day.

Jay went back into Share Tzdek Hospital this morning with an irregular heartbeat. He has been suffering for two weeks now, so we are thankful today has arrived. He will get the attention he needs. His heart was beating at 110 beats per minute, but after prayer, it came down to 72 and this morning it was 58. Yes, we are grateful, but it remains irregular. It is humbling for me to ask for your prayers at this time, forgive me Father because I hope you, our friends will love us even when we are weak and vulnerable, just like the rest of humanity. Will you please lift Jay up in prayer immediately. Thank you.

Our long term book keeper of 17 years was terminated yesterday because Jerusalem Vistas/Israel Vision can no longer afford to pay her salary. This is just one of many changes taking place here.  But, change can spur us ever onward. Let’s see what God will do with us. Gideon was reduced before the victory.

Another Artist in our Midst

Daniel’s fiancé Shelly, has been tutored for the last month and take over the bookkeeping until a more permanent solution can be found. She is a gifted business woman. I saw some of her paintings for the first time this week. She is also a portrait artist. Her passion is painting the heavens, sky, clouds and stars.

Shelly’s self portrait of  her painting, Star Gazing. 

Corona Virus War in Israel.

The heat is being turned up in Israel! The temperatures are in the high 90’s in Jerusalem. A 1000 souls a day are being admitted to corona facilities in our hospitals. The hospitals have reached over 100% capacity. Israel who had the best track record in March, is now at number 6 in the world for the resurgence of Corona. Let us pray for one another, and for the nations and lives hanging in the balance.

Israel Prepares for ‘Coronavirus Aliyah’ 

Our dear friend Howard Flower, heads up the Aliyah desk for the International Christian Embassy in Saint Petersberg Russia. He sent me this piece from Ha’aretz this morning.

Israel’s leaders are forecasting a coronavirus aliyah, the direct result of the economic distress created by the pandemic. Diaspora Jewry has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, officials say. At the end of March, 13% of those infected in New York were Haredim. At the end of April, Jews accounted for 10% of all coronavirus deaths in Morocco. They account for just 0.01% of the population. In Britain as of mid-May, Jews made up 5% of coronavirus deaths. Their mortality rate was four times their share of the population.

Figures like these, have hurt Diaspora Jews’ sense of personal security. They also contribute to the growing antisemitism, which weakens Diaspora Jewish communities. My first book Fishers and Hunters traces our travels to the Jewish Communities of the world calling the Jews to come home.

No less than 3,236 immigration applications from North Americans were opened in July; a seven-fold increase from a year earlier, according to the Immigration and Absorption Ministry. In France, 731 applications were submitted, a 269% rise in a year ago. In Latin America, the number doubled to 583.

Officials say that about 95% of all new applicants eventually immigrate to Israel. In 2021 they expect about 48,000 new immigrants. That compares with between 30,000 and 32,000 annually in recent years. Officials say the higher rate will continue after 2021 to an average 45,000 to 50,000 a year.

In response, Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata and senior officials have begun working on a program to prepare. ‘Immigrants become an economic growth engine and advance the economy. Immigration is the foundation of the state of Israel and remains its basis.’”  by Hagit Amit

War in Israel’s North

This week Israel remains on “high alert”. Lebanon is near collapse with 80% of her population hungry. What better time for Hezbollah to pick a fight. The poor people there have no security, and no protection. In southern Beirut, almost all of the exposed military sites are inside private houses, medical centers, churches, fast food chains, and open spaces.  By TPS

The Israeli Alma Research and Education Center found multiple missile launching sites deployed by the Hezbollah terrorist organization in heavily populated civilian areas. They continue to hide behind the civilian population, using them as  human shields. The highest concentration is in Beirut, the Beqaa Valley, and southern Lebanon. Hezbollah plans to launch these weapons toward our civilian targets and population centers inside of Israel.  Terrorists continue to hide for decades  in  civilian areas or adjacent to residential buildings for a reason. Hezbollah believes this tactic will grant it immunity against the IDF’s counterstrikes. In the Golan this week, Israel responded to a Hezbollah incursion with force. Hezbollah denies it, of course.   By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Seeing is Believing!

An Israeli developed artificial cornea is set to revolutionize the world of cornea transplants, the bio-tech company CorNeat announced this week. “The cornea is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye that helps the eye focus light. Our device’s implantation procedure does not rely on donor tissue and takes less than an hour to perform. We expect millions of blind patients around the world to regain their sight,” said K-Pro inventor Dr. Gilad Litvin, CorNeat Vision’s Chief Medical Officer. 

Professor David Rootman, a world-renowned Canadian ophthalmologist who has trained nearly a hundred cornea specialists around the world, said, “the new device is poised to revolutionize corneal transplants. With more than 44,000 corneal transplants being  performed in the US every year and with new fears for virus transmission from the COVID-19 pandemic affecting anything relating to human tissue, CorNeat’s new artificial cornea overcomes that problem.”

 The company is approved to start human testing this year in Israel with10 blind patients who for various reasons are not candidates for a cornea transplant. Some have had one or more human corneal transplants that failed. Additional testing will take place later this year in eight leading hospitals in Canada and the United States.

2,700 year old Treasure Trove Unearthed

Israeli archaeologists discover a trove of artifacts in Jerusalem dating back 2,700 years to the time of the biblical King Hezekiah during the First Temple period. Over 120 seal impressions stamped on jar handles were recently discovered near the US Embassy in Jerusalem. They date back to the era of the Judean kings. Many handles bore the title “KING-Melek” in Hebrew. Back then, local inhabitants paid their taxes  in olive oil and wine. Dr. Yuval Baruch, archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA): said, “The archeological discoveries at Arnona identify the most important [location] as a key site in the history of the final days of the Kingdom of Judah. We can also trace the return to Zion decades after the destruction of the Kingdom.”             By Ezra Stone, United with Israel

The Conclusion of the Whole Matter

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Messiah as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Messiah may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will to suffer for doing good rather than for doing evil.”     1 Peter 3: 13-17

On behalf of our family at this time, I send you love from our home to yours,

Blessings from Meridel Rawlings and family.

Shelly Bandel artist

“The heavens declare the glory of God! The firmament shows His handiwork.

Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.

Their line has gone out through all the earth.

And their words to the end of the world.”

Psalm 19:1