Happy New Year dear friends!
I awoke with the Still Small Voice whispering: “I make all things new …!” This thrilled me. The LORD has always given me hope for the ‘can do’ in my life. I want you to have hope and confidence in the new year.
“Cast not away your confidence,
which has great recompense of reward.”
Remind yourself, that your faith is based upon the faithfulness of our loving Father. All of heaven is behind us and yes, our reality is; 2023 in the Gregorian calendar is ahead and it is unknown territory. But our God, who has created the beginning and the end is here with us! Ask Him for the unshakeable confidence that He IS in control. Right now choose not to allow fear to disturb or destroy your life. You must work to distance fear from your thoughts and emotions. TRUST in the LORD my dear friends as we go through this.
That promise is implanted into my life this 2023. It is a new day and a new time.
I will not drag yesterday into today. I will believe my God to be continually at my right side doing wonders. We must go on and believe to make a difference in how we give thanks, see, and relate to the world we live in.
Jay and I are resting in His love at this moment with our dear family in Finland. Yes, we enjoy the snow views, from inside our son’s cosy comfortable home. We are loving every moment with our 16-year-old identical twin grandsons, who remind me of rambunctious pups… full of energy and fun. Just what a Grandma and Grandpa need. I give thanks to their big brother, Noam who sets my letter week by week. We give thanks for our sons and their wives and our beautiful grandchildren found in many nations and you, friends.
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and His glory appears over you.”Daniel 12:3, Isaiah 60:1
Israel has a new government.
Both the outgoing and the incoming Prime Ministers spoke in the Knesset before going to the President’s House for the official ceremony. Yair Lapid outlined the multiple successes of his and Naftali Bennet’s government. It was a long list emphasizing the extensive security measures. “I want to tell you what we have achieved so that history will not be changed.” His careful listing of achievements was impressive and clear. Mr. Netanyahu then spoke about the intentions of the incoming government and here the emphasis was on security, Iran, the cost of living, including the cost of housing and the denial that the religious status quo would change. I pray that the last statement is true because the rest is a natural part of governance.
Christian leaders welcomed by the President:
Every year during this Christmas season, President Isaac Herzog holds a large reception for the many Christian leaders whose centres are in Jerusalem. Copts, Catholics, the many Orthodox sectors, Protestants, Evangelicals and many others. There is nothing exceptional in that, the Israeli Presidents throughout time have had a close relationship with all the Christian leaders.
Coming Home – New Immigrants:
The Jewish Agency in Jerusalem sent this data on immigration for 2022.
Russia – 37,364, Ukraine – 14,680, North America – 3,500, France – 2,049,
Belarus – 1,993, Ethiopia – 1,498, Argentina – 985, Great Britain – 526,
South Africa – 426, Brazil – 356.
The present count is 70,000 new immigrants from 95 different countries with the assistance of the Jewish Agency for Israel, in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration. This is the most olim or new immigrants in 23 years. So in spite of miserable times, our God sees the end from the beginning. The children are returning home to their own borders as prophesied by Jeremiah so long ago.
2022 – A Year of Challenges:
Evangelist David Hathaway wrote: “For all of us, this has been a most troubled year, with the war in Ukraine, Russia under ‘spiritual lockdown’, the nurses strike in Britain, economic woes affecting us all, and true Biblical Christianity being threatened everywhere. I spent the war years in a London under threat, and yet cannot remember a more troubled time in the world than today.”
I, Meridel, was born, when my Dad and three uncles were already serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Army. They were gone until mid-1945. Thankfully we did not live in a war zone, but we all have memories of lack. Jay was also born with his Dad overseas and Victoria was often blacked out at night for fear of an invasion from Japan. Then fear stalked the world with dire news reports. Today we are given alerts and warnings of the bad stuff just waiting to happen. Media reinforces the bad news upon us continually; but who controls the on and off buttons of your TV? I suggest we all choose a different alternative.
Our Reality was a bad Dream:
This last year, Jay and I awoke to the terrible reality of the debt owed by Jerusalem Vistas. It was a whopping CD of $100,000. Our bookkeepers, auditors, the Israeli government and staff went unpaid most of the year. Giving had evaporated. Our work was still going up on Facebook, but no one gives in to that venue. We were feeling very vulnerable and culpable. After prayer and round table discussions; our Board members in Canada, the US, and Israel voted to close. It was a hard call, but totally necessary.
Jay got to work and arranged an extensive 7-week speaking tour from September 1st to October 22nd. We began in Holland and then on to Victoria Canada and across the nation to Charlottetown Prince Edward Island.
It was a very joyful, yet painful experience as we were saying goodbye. We met so many of our faithful partners at this time. We were overwhelmed by the goodness of God’s people and returned home weary in body but refreshed in spirit. Funds were coming in to meet the financial needs, which helped to lift the load of responsibility we felt for Jerusalem Vistas.
As of December 29th 2022, we were still $23,000. short of paying the outstanding bills. But at this writing today, I am thrilled to announce that our prayers and yours have been rewarded. What we need has now been given. Jay was up early this morning, sending the figures to our bookkeeper who will now pay the outstanding bills. Please rejoice with us.l
A Short History: Jesus called Jay and I to Israel in 1969. From Jerusalem, He sent us globe trotting for years, visiting Jewish and Christian communities until we made Israel our permanent home in 1976. By then we had three small sons, David, Chris and Josh. They had been born in Canada, Honk Kong and the USA. We began our lives in Israel in Haifa.
Jay envisioned a film that would show ordinary Israelis living out prophecy. Most were not even aware of it, not being familiar with Bible prophecy. He told his heart’s desire to film director Bruce Allen at 100 Huntley Street in Toronto in 1979. Together they laid their dream before Founder Rev. David Mainse of blessed memory. The rest is history. I believe that you can view ‘Apples of Gold’ on YouTube. Jay then established Jerusalem Vistas in 1982. Gates of Brass, the historical and prophetic film on Soviet Jewry was launched worldwide in 1986. One hundred and fifty documentaries later, and hundreds of TV shows that went global through the decades. We have never looked back. Our four sons all played a significant role in achieving these productions centered upon the nation of Israel. Israel remains our permanent home and that of eight other family members.
Canada: “Your Canadian visit was a blessing. You brought so much joy and encouragement to us. We pray that you will continue to be blessed with good health and strength. May the Lord’s anointing rest upon you always and be a blessing to many.” Pastor Teck & Myra Wuy. Friends of Jesus Christ Canada.
Germany: “We are in the midst of major changes in Germany. But we believe that God has a plan and is preparing His people. We want to be available and do the right thing for Him. Please pray for wisdom and courage.” Kerstin Mende Germany
Nepal: “The Year 2022 was very painful for me as my father passed away due to carelessness of the doctor. It is just two and half months now. It is very hard to believe that he passed away without being told any details. All families here in Nepal are suffering from different types of trauma, but God is good and He is keeping us safe. Love to see u but now the covid is rising again, we never know . We will pray for your trip to Nepal. God bless u.” Indira Ghale, Kathmandu Nepal
For our Canadian Friends:
For every one of us:
Let Jay and I pray for you:
“Father, let us not look at the past, except to give You glory. We want to look to the future today! Jay and I pray for those of us who live in trepidation, in fear of an unknown future. During the bad times, it was Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, unwell but a wise man who was raised to encourage the people of war-torn Britain and the world. He said, and I quote: “Go out into the unknown and the darkness and put. Your hand into the Hand of God. This shall be better than a light and after that a new way. What more can You give us, O God?”
He makes our faces shine!
We see 2023 as a year of new pathways and exploits.
Love from our home to yours;
Jay and Meridel Rawlings.