Sunday, June 27, 2010

Missionary Monday - True Commitment

When I was in Junior High, maybe 13 years old, the Joe Collins family came to our church's Missions Conference to present their missionary work to Nepal. As was customary every year, our pastor asked the missionary wives to give a short testimony to the church during one of the weekly evening services. Tanna Collins gave a testimony that I have never forgotten... a testimony that bore deep into my soul... as I listened to this missionary wife talk about her commitment to Christ.

Tanna had been afraid to answer God's call to the mission field, but God showed her over and over again, specifically in the book of Philippians, how He would take care of her family, even in China. In her Bible, at the end of Philippians, Tanna wrote a personal commitment to the Lord, and she read this to us as she shared her testimony:

4-26-88

Lord, I here in your precious holy Word commit myself, my husband, and my children, and all that I possess, or ever shall possess all to you. I will follow your leadership, even to China. Lord, open the doors and I shall go and tell the Chinese of your great love. In time of need supply for us, in time of trouble send peace, in time of joy send someone to share. Help me never to murmur or complain. I love you!

Tanna Jo Sellers Collins

My Bible with a copy of Tanna's testimony taped inside

Our church fell in love with this honest lady who had an amazing faith in Christ. She allowed us to see her human side, but she also pointed us to Christ, showing us that God's Word is full of promises that we can and should claim. Later, we found out that, during one of the offerings that was taken up that week, Tanna took off her wedding ring and placed it in the offering plate, giving one of her most prized possessions to the Lord! This lady was serious about giving her all to Jesus! She knew that the price of her ring could be used to buy a few more tracts, a few more Bibles... to allow more souls to come to Christ. I am humbled at this lady's dedication to see souls saved.

During this Missions Conference, I went forward and promised God I would go to China too, if He so desired. At other times and various Missions Conferences, I gave my life to many countries, to many types of people! I desired for God to use me like He was using this beautiful missionary's wife.

I am not sure how much later it was that we found out (maybe a year?) that the entire Collins family was tragically killed in an airplane crash in the Himalayan Mountains. At the times of their death, Joe was only 26 years old and Tanna only 27 years old. Their five children were ages 6 and under. We were stunned.

It is natural to question why God would allow something like this to happen. It is natural to think back to Tanna's testimony and realize that she did indeed have a reason to fear the future for herself and her family.

In our human minds, it seems to make more sense for God to allow these missionaries to live and continue spreading God's Word in China. But, God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-11: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Tanna's parents have now taken over the children's home this young family had already started, and other missionaries have risen to the challenge to go forward and take their place. Because of their death, possibly many, many more souls will be brought to Jesus.

We cannot choose our futures, but we can choose our commitment to Christ.

I am committed to bring souls to Christ... even when it is not easy on the mission field. The daily difficulties seem so small in comparison, don't they? I don't want to stand before Christ one day and say, "Well, Lord, you know I wanted to serve you, but... {whatever excuse I found to leave the mission field}."

No. I am a sinner with many imperfections, but I am committed. How about you? Are you committed too?

To read more about the Collins family, click these links:
Obedience to the call of God
BIMI World Magazine Online

To get a DVD about this family, click here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

143 Million Orphans

I recently read this in a brochure:

143 million people is the population of Russia;

143 million pounds is the weight of 360 Boeing 747 jets;

143 million dollars could pay for 700 degrees at Harvard University;

And 143 million children in the world are orphans.
My 3-year old daughter Brianna holding hands with a 3-year old orphan girl
Brianna and Marina, an orphan
The brochure went on to say:
This is a sobering number. Every year, approximately 3,000,000 more children become orphans worldwide. Most of these children face bleak futures, often turning to prostitution or crime by the time they're adults.
And yet, a mere 250,000 adoptions are completed each year - that's less than 0.2% of all the orphans in the world.
Pretty stagging statistics, aren't they? That is why it has given us great pleasure to meet THREE families from America who are here in Ukraine right now adopting from the baby orphanage "Yolochka." All three of these families are adopting children with down's syndrome. All three of these families had to raise about $25,000 to take home one of these children. Pretty overwhelming, don't you think?
My hats off to these families.
Our daughter Brianna (right) with three orphan girls
In America we have a lot of foster homes. These "foster homes" are the homes of families who have taken in neglected, abused children and these families are alloted funds by the government for caring for those children. Many times those children end up back with their own families. Sometimes they don't. In Ukraine, there are no foster homes. All of these type of children are placed in "children's homes" (orphanages). So, in these orphanages you find all types of children - not only "true" orphans (those whose parents have died), but also those who would be put into foster homes in America.
I lived in a foster home as a little girl. As a matter of fact, I was the same age as my daughter is now when I lived in a foster home. Looking back over the entirety of my childhood, I realize that, if I had been in Ukraine, I would have been in one of these children's homes. And I am also pretty sure that I never would have left. This is what my entire childhood would have consisted of had I lived here my entire life.
So, I have a big heart for these children because I was one of them. I told hubby just the other day, "You know, it would take NO convincing on my part if you ever decided to adopt one of these precious little ones." Well, God has not called us to do that. However, He has called us to bring the Gospel to them, and I feel honored that we have the privilege of doing this!
So, guess where I am headed tomorrow morning? You guessed - to the orphanage. And, guess what I am going to be doing? Something so very, very fun and exciting: scrapbooking with the girls!
One of the adopting families who is here, the Fritz family, graciously brought us three small suitcases of scrapbooking equipment in mint condition... scrapbooking papers, ribbons, stickers, scissors, punches, embellishments, etc. When they asked what they could bring to help with our ministry to the orphans, this is one of the things I requested. And boy, did they ever come through! {Thank you, Fritz family!}
One day I got to thinking about how sad it is that these kids do not have parents to take their pictures and show off. They do not have baby books. When I ask to see their photo albums, they show me about 20 pictures which is all they have for their entire childhood.
I want to make a difference in these children's lives. I want to share the love of Jesus with them. And I want them to remember that, even though they didn't have the love of their parents, they were loved in their childhood.
Next week we will be starting a week of Vacation Bible School. And guess where we will, Lord-willing, be holding it? Ahhh, yes... near the orphanage, so the orphans can participate.
Please be praying for us as we try to make a difference in these orphans' lives. Maybe we can not help all 143 million in the world, but we can help the ones here that the Lord has allowed us to cross paths with.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Missionary Monday - Laundry

Wanna see how I do laundry?

First, I wash in this front-loading washing machine that I have had for 7 years now. We recently had it serviced... for the very first time. I love my faithful friend that I spend time with on a daily basis... Isn't she a beauty?! (And, yes, as you can see in the picture, I CAN buy Tide laundry detergent here. They don't have liquid detergent yet, but I think it is coming soon because I have seen samples - although not Tide - attached to our liquid fabric softener.)

Most people here use washing machines that are a 2-in-1 washing machine/dryer. But from my experience of these machines, you still have to hang your clothes to dry when all of the cycles are done anyway. I guess the dryer part of it just gives you a head start. When we were able to buy our washing machine, we opted for a machine that JUST washes. I figured I would rather have my clothes super clean than half clean/half dry. I've never been a very big fan of all-in-one-technology anyway.

Now, dryers as we Americans know them, are a rare item in Ukraine. As a matter of fact, most people here do not know what they are, and I have yet to find a store that sells one. So, for the past (almost) 8 years, this is how I have dried my clothes:And, now that we are living in our new house, I have another option when I want to climb these stairs:In the picture below you can see part of the "roof area" of our home, which we plan to use as a second floor one day. Our dream is to one day build the boys a great big bedroom up here. For now, it makes great storage and an excellent place to hang my clothes... especially the sheets that I wash once a week.

I DO have to wash EVERY day, in order to have space on my clothes lines for all of my wet items. As soon as things dry, I start washing more clothes! And, I must confess that we re-wear a lot of clothing and even share towels to keep laundry at a minimum for our family of five.

And, doesn't this little invention look handy?! I love it for our small items, such as socks!One day we hope to put a clothes lines in our yard. We haven't done that yet because of all of the dirt outside. Since our home is still a "construction site," we do not have a lot of grass growing around our house. When we have a regular yard with grass, I will start hanging our clothes outside. But, for now, this system works well for me. Besides, nearly half of the year all Ukrainians hang their clothes indoor anyway because of the cold weather.

Since we do not have dryers, we also do not have dryer sheets. One day I received a forwarded e-mail in my inbox stating all of the wonderful things you can use dryer sheets for (not just for drying clothes). And, I thought, "Oh boy, if only they really knew who/where they sent this to!" I just laughed!
So, there you have it... laundry on the mission field... at least for me anyway! When I am tempted to feel sorry for myself for all of the extra time it takes to do laundry the "old-fashioned" way, I just remind myself of the dear missionary wives who lived in different centuries and think of how jealous they would be of my modern washing machine!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Missionary Monday - "Glass Half Full"

The first piece of advice I remember hubby giving me when we got to the field nearly eight years ago was this, "We're not going to write anything negative back home."

Did negative things happen? Of course! Did I write about those things and send them back home? Well, I did write about them, in big, long e-mails to my sweet, understanding mother-in-law. She is a veteran missionary, and surely she would understand. But I never sent those e-mails. So, why did I write them? Because just typing it all out in black and white seemed to help me feel better. I felt like someone knew... even if it was just the 'ole computer.
The Lord knew the hard times we faced because I certainly talked to Him about them too. And that is enough. Some of the things we have gone through will never be known. Why? Because those things are not of eternal value.
Why do missionaries go through difficulties? Because the devil is against what we are trying to accomplish!
Through my "Missionary Mondays," I am going to share with you some of the "real side" of being a missionary. You need to see that. But we are going to laugh together and stay positive! Because, to this day, I am following hubby's advice, "We're not going to write anything negative back home."

(And, by the way, lots of positive things are happening on the mission field too! Just read this blog on a regular basis and you will agree!)

Below you will find a stanza from a poem that I found online.

...So when you're on the mission field and things look very drear,
Remember there's a recipe to fill your heart with cheer.
Don't dwell upon the differences or the culture seeming wrong --
Get on your knees and pray to God and ask Him for a song.

And think of how God's only Son left Heaven up above,
Coming to a foreign culture to bring to man God's love.
And all of the frustration and the hardship you go through
Really cannot be compared with what He did for you!!
--Author Unknown
Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. I have heard many pastors refer to this verse when trying to encourage their people to write and encourage missionaries. But, for me, this verse goes the other way: people want to hear good news from my far country... about the blessings and miracles that are taking place here on the mission field!

Davey and Daddy's piano duet

Here is a video of my sweet 8-year-old, Davey, playing the offertory (piano special) with his Daddy in church today.

Thank you, Jesus, for the fine example my children have in their earthly father.

And, thank you, Jesus for the desire of my children to love you, please you, and give you their talents.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ten Year Surprise!

Today is our ten-year wedding Anniversary. And today I surprised hubby with the news of this: We are expecting a baby! Our dear little one is due sometime around Valentine's Day next year... now isn't that appropriate?!

Every Wednesday night in church we have a prayer request / praises time. When everyone was done sharing, I raised my hand. Hubby was leading the services. I said that I was grateful for the ten years that God has given us and said that I would like to congratulate him and if no one was against it, I would like to give him his gift right then. Everyone lovingly agreed. So I walked to the platform with a little gift bag in my hand. He hugged and kissed me, then opened it and pulled out... a onesie! Imagine his surprise!

David later expressed how happy he was that I chose to tell him in this way, making our church people feel more a part of our personal lives. They are like family, so I could think of no better way to announce it to them as well.
It has been ten years since we said our vows, and I am even more happy now to be the bride of David Sloan than I was then. (And I was one ecstatic bride!) Ours has certainly been an adventurous journey, and I look forward to seeing all of the excitement that lies ahead for our family!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Joy in Heaven again!

Remember this post? Well, it has happened again!
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth... Luke 15: 7

I can't share the details, other than that all of this shouting and singing was happening Sunday.

Isn't God just GOOD?!

And I am shouting, singing, and smiling because my hubby is home from Israel! Life is always easier and more pleasant when Daddy is home!

Guest Post by David - "In Alliance with God, Israel is Strong"

I am in the middle of my trip back home from having spent a week in Israel, taking part in a three-day event to honor the parents of the heroes of Israel—IDF soldiers who have been killed in action while protecting Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] from the enemies aligned against Jehovah God. Vice Prime Minister Moshe “Boogie” Ya’alon was scheduled to address the group, but due to the Turkish-Hamas flotilla conflict [I reject the notion that it was a “peace activist” group] taking place while PM Netanyahu was out of country, Minister Ya’alon was the Acting Prime Minister.

When Minister Ya’alon’s Personal Assistant, Anat, called Dr. Vineyard Tuesday, June 1, to inform him that the Minister would not be able to keep his appointment with us, Dr. Vineyard asked Anat to tell the Minister, “Jim Vineyard and Boogie plus God Almighty is a majority.”

I am reminded of the Scripture out of Isaiah where God promises Israel:

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

The God of Israel Who promised to be with Israel in the Old Testament is still alive and well in 2010. He has assured the whole world that He will never slumber nor sleep in His efforts to watch over, protect and preserve Israel. He has promised through His prophets that He will never again allow the nation of Israel to be destroyed.

It doesn't matter how small or weak Israel may seem compared to other nations. The power of all other nations combined is only like a drop in the Mediterranean compared to the power of the God of Israel. As our friend Caroline Glick said yesterday, “If that insults you, then you need to be insulted.”

The nations of the world are united against Israel. When Dr. Vineyard and I met with Raphael Ben-Hur, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Tourism, in Jerusalem a week ago, Minister Ben-Hur expressed the need to strengthen Israel’s friendship with Evangelical Christians worldwide. Dr. Vineyard spent a good 45 minutes sharing Scripture with Minister Ben-Hur concerning the end times and our unwavering support for Israel.

The Prophets revealed that one day a large coalition of armies will gather on Israel's land with plans to attack and destroy Jerusalem and the rest of the nation. This coalition is coming to fruition already today. But God will meet them on the plain of Megiddo and wipe out their armies.

Keep your eyes on this area of the world, and view current events through the prism of the Scriptures. And stand in solidarity and loyal friendship with the Nation of Israel! According to Psalm 83:5, anyone who has aligned himself against Israel is confederate against her God!

This post can also be found on David's blog.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Missionary Monday - "Thoughts for Missionary Wives"

I have a dear friend (thank you, Mindy!) who sends me her Christian Womanhood magazines once she has read them. Then I read them and SAVE them! They are well-written and full of helpful articles that I can pick up and read here and there, whenever I can find a free moment. (But between all of that cooking from scratch, sweeping dust, shopping, homeschooling little ones, etc... that you'll read about below, there are not too many of those free moments!) {wink!}

I am going to share an article with you here that was published in their August 2009 issue. It was written by Rita Vernoy (whom I have never met). The article mentioned a lot of things that I want to start addressing in my "Missionary Monday" posts, and I felt like it summed up a lot of my random thoughts. Enjoy!

"Thoughts for Missionary Wives" by Rita Vernoy (The Vernoys are veteran missionaries who served in Venezuela for 20 years until they were expelled by the dictator Hugo Chavez. They now serve in Paraguay.)

I am often asked what a typical day is like living on the mission field. It is a very hard question to answer. You must understand that every circumstance is different. The missionary's schedule will be dictated by the culture in which he works, the level of his language skills, the ministry role in which he has been placed, and even the missionary's personality. Our days in the jungle were completely different than our days in Paraguay. Both were full of ministry, but ministering to our flock was different in each country. For instance, we do not do any medical work in Paraguay, nor do we need to do translation work. Right now we are still discovering where we might serve best and where our particular skills are most needed.

A common misconception some people hold is in regard to what the role of the missionary wife should be. Wives on the mission field do indeed serve in various capacities, but their ministries will be different, depending on several factors including, but not limited to:

* How many chldren are in the home?

* Are there small children in the home?

* Do the children need to be homeschooled?

* What are the living conditions? Does she need to carry water, cook with firewood, or wash the laundry by hand? These tasks all require extra time.

* What help does her husband require of her?

A wife's ministry will be ever changing as the dynamics of her home change. My job is to be the wife my husband needs, finish rearing our children yet at home (including homeschooling them), and if my husband needs me to serve in a ministry capacity, I do that as well.

In my case, I am a woman married to a missionary. Being a missionary is not my real job! I do not get paid to be a missionary, nor do I punch a time clock. I am a stay-at-home wife and mother, and I happen to live on the mission field. As a child of God, I do feel required to take part in Christian service as is every other Christian wherever they may live. I have the privilege of enjoying my life as the wife of a missionary, and I also feel fulfilled in my role as wife and mother. Serving my Lord on the mission field is just the icing on the cake!

I would like to be able to instruct younger missionary wives as to the role which they play on the field. Every woman is different and married to a different man. Every ministry will ask different things of different people, but the missionary wife must never feel guilty for putting her time and energy first into her family. Some families are able to find adequate education for their children on the field, and I am not assuming to know what may be best for another family. Even if your children are enrolled in a school, your job as a wife and mother will still require much time. Some women even need to have outside interests, and ministry may fulfill this need, but in balance. This time away from the home duties may allow her to come back refreshed.

The work of a homemaker seems to always be more time-consuming in third-world countries. We do not have the option of packaged foods or fast foods. We do not have central air and heat to keep the dust out of our homes. We sometimes lack time-saving appliances commonly found in the American home. Our electricity and water go out often, which requires more work. Buying groceries and other supplies takes much more time as we do not have the convenience of one-stop shopping. Even paying bills takes a long time. We cannot do it online or even mail in a check; we have to go stand in several lines to pay each one. Of course, that is after standing in line at the bank to change our money in order to pay the bills - all the while watching our backs to make sure we will not be robbed as we leave the bank.

How many times have I seen women on the mission field break under the pressure they feel to perform more than they are capable of! This often leads to depression and even leaving the mission field. Perhaps, if the missionary wife would relax a bit and give herself the opportunity to be "just another woman," this would not happen so often. Remember, dear wife, you are under extra stress just dealing with life in a new culture and language. To the younger wives, I would remind you that your children will grow up, and you will have more time available for ministry then. Never forget your people are observing you, and the best testimony is for you to show them a Christian woman who is at peace and content.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Guest Post by David - Family Vacation for the Families of Fallen Israeli Soldiers

We have had a special time with the dear mothers and fathers who are grieving the loss of their sons and daughters who have been killed in action while serving in the Givati Brigade of the IDF. There were about 400 parents in attendance for the opening ceremonies Thursday night. During the ceremony, the letter from Vice Prime Minister Ya'alon was read to the parents. They were very touched by that letter.

Dr. Vineyard spoke at the ceremony, expressing our support to Israel because of what the Bible says about God's chosen people.

Then our group sang to the parents, and following that the officer who was the Master of Ceremonies honored the friends of Givati Brigade with a verybeautiful plaque. I was humbled and honored to receive a plaque recognizing our friendship with Israel. The plaque reads: "Presented by the Givati Brigade to David & Jolene Sloan in Appreciation for their Generous Gift for the Givati Family Vacation June 3-5, 2010 Blue Bay Hotel Netanya, Israel".

On Friday morning after breakfast we all loaded up on six buses and went to visit the beautiful coastal town of Caesarea, which is just about a 15-minute drive from where we're staying. After spending all morning sightseeing, we went to a beautiful park and had a wonderful picnic. After lunch we went to a museum, then returned to the hotel.

Later tonight we will have Shabbat Dinner with the families.

Thank you for your prayers for our group. We will finish up the event Saturday with lunch, then we will have more meetings with our friends here before I return home to Ukraine on Monday, Lord-willing.

This post can also be found on my blog In Support of Israel.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guest Post by David - A letter from Israel

Jolene and I in January, with Moshe Ya'alon, Vice Prime Minister of Israel

Got up this morning at 2:30am...lots of work to do. One of the soldiers in the Givati Brigade, which is the brigade whose family members we are honoring, was shot during training this morning. We then got the sad news through the officers here at the convention that he had died. I've been in constant contact all day via cell phone, text messaging back and forth and e-mailing with Anat, Personal Assistant to the Vice Prime Minister, Moshe Ya'alon. While Prime Minister Netanyahu was in Canada and the States over the weekend, Minister Ya'alon was Acting Prime Minister. Anat and I worked on the drafting of a letter from Minister Ya'alon, which I will print out and give to each of the 400 family members here this weekend, and we will read tonight during the opening ceremonies. I thought you would enjoy reading this letter, which I am including below: (Words in parenthesis are my own, to make the letter clearer to you)...

Members of the Givati family,
Colonel Moni Katz- Commander of the Givati Brigade,
Dr. Jim Vineyard, Yedidim of Israel
Dear Friends.

I'm honored to have this opportunity to offer my warmest greetings as you gather tonight in this Givati family Celebration. The Givati Brigade, formed in 1983, has always been in the forefront of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) forces in times of combat, as well as in the regular line of duty.

Dear Families, each one of you has become through sad circumstances a member of this special Givati group.

In fact, by sad coincidence today, another family has joined your ranks. I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my deepest condolences to the family of the Givati fallen soldier- a tragic accident which occurred earlier today while he was participating in army training - May his soul rest in peace.

To conclude, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all the efforts made on behalf of the IDF forces by one of Israel's most dedicated Yedidim (friends) Dr. Jim Vineyard and his very supportive assistant Mr. David Sloan.

As a Minister in the Israeli government and a former head chief of staff I send my warmest wishes and my thoughts are with all of you tonight.

Moshe Yaalon
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs

This post can also be found on my own blog In Support of Israel.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

10 DVD Set GIVEAWAY!

Raising Homemakers is doing a giveaway that I just had to share! They are offering a 10-DVD pack to one reader. Just for blogging about this great giveaway, I get to enter my name one more time, and ooohhh... how I would love to win! To enter, go here or to see some video clips of what these DVDs are all about, go here:
The set includes:
The Art of Quilting
The Art of Sewing
The Art of Dairy Delights
The Art of Canning
The Art of Gardening
The Art of Herbs
The Art of Cooking
The Art of Soap Making
The Art of Candle Making
The Art of Bread Making

Giveaway will end Friday, June 4th at 8pm EST.

Some of these DVDs would be so helpful for a missionary wife living in a village (like me), who {blush} doesn't know how to do some of these things! (Shhh... don't tell my neighbors!)

Guest Post by David

The silence is broken! David left me our external, portable modem, and with a little determination I was able to get it running on our desktop computer. So, I am back to blogging!

The following post was written by my favorite man in all of the world, my husband. He is in Israel right now, and I miss him... terribly. But, I know he is having a great time with the two church groups he met up with. I am sure there is an abundance of laughter on this trip because I personally know the people he is with (and they are a crazy bunch... but what else can you expect from Texans and Oklahomans?!)

This post can also be found on David's blog.

Jolene
Above is a picture of me (right) with Col Muni Katz. Muni is the Commander of the Givati Brigade, which is composed of over 4,500 soldiers. He asked us to pray that he and his wife would have a baby girl. Jolene and I have two boys and a baby girl. They also have two boys already, whom he calls “little terrorists”, and he and his wife really want a baby girl. I know he’d appreciate it if you would pray for this as well.

Our group made it in safely to Israel on Monday, and we are getting things prepared for a special three-day event to honor the families of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers killed in action. There have been 197 soldiers from the Givati Brigade killed while fighting the enemies of Israel since 1948. There will be about 400 family members whom we will honor beginning Thursday here in Netanya, on the beautiful shores of the Mediterranean.

We were supposed to meet with Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday. However, because of the conflict that took place with the “peace activists” out at sea, and because Prime Minister Netanyahu was out of country, Minister Ya’alon was standing in for the Prime Minister at Knesset, etc. Therefore, Anat, his personal assistant, called and asked if we could reschedule to meet with him in a few days.

Due to our change in schedule, we met with the Sr. Dep. Director-General of the Ministry of Tourism, Rafi Ben-Hur. Rafi is concerned about the consequences this will bring upon tourism amongst those who claim to be Christians, yet do not support Israel as the Eternally-Covenanted People of God. Therefore, he has asked us to help him set up meetings for the Minister of Tourism of Israel to come and speak to pastors about committing to stand with Israel and not abandon Israel during this vital time when Israel needs friends.

Please pray for us as we minister to these dear, precious grieving parents. I have already done a lot of singing, and will continue to try to comfort God’s people.

I will write another update soon with more pictures.

David