Happy Father’s Day from Jerusalem. Dad, I am so glad that I was able to see you just before taking off to Israel. You have always been my hero. I love you!Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem
This morning church bells were ringing all over the Old City calling Christians to Sunday worship and I thought about how privileged I was to be in Jerusalem again. The calm was quickly interrupted by screams and gunfire just down the street from where we are staying at the Notre Dame Center. A Palestinian Muslim just coming off the Temple Mount from Ramadan prayers stabbed an Israeli police man in the neck and was shot dead. I walked to the scene to pray and took this picture off of my phone. Miraculously, the scene stayed calm and this is rare during Ramadan.Prime Minister Netanyahu had been warning against coming attacks and sure enough 25 year old Danny Gohen of Israel was killed in the West Bank on Friday. In Gaza, Hamas is beginning to fire rockets into Israel gain. And in Lebanon to the north, Israeli Defense Forces came across the border in tanks along with fighter jets to destroy a Hezbollah stockpile of weapons. Israel has it’s hands full on all fronts. And I didn’t even mention how close Iran is to becoming nuclear armed.
And The There’s Jesus!
So this is my 60th trip to Israel. But I’m not leading it. Josh is the leader and Tommy is assisting him. How cool is that? God has answered so many prayers in all 6 of our kids lives. As a dad, I sit back in amazement this Father’s Day and see the hand of the Lord on each of them. Josh is leading the expedition to Israel and doing a great job. The group walked the Jesus trail from Nazareth to Mt. Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Then the e3 team which is stocked with great young people that we met through the Passion Conference partnership ministered in the West Bank for 3 days. They next teamed up with Chosen People Ministry and reached out to Holocaust Survivors in Sederot which is 1/2 mile from Gaza. The drive to get there was 3 hours each way. But these young people are hard workers and crazy fun. They love Jesus and have the best time serving Him!
1. In the West Bank, we saw 12 Palestinians come to faith in Christ!! Our national leaders are following them up and training them to help reach others. How blessed we are to have been working in Israel and the Middle East for 15 years now. God has led us to a tremendous team of Jews and Palestinians to work side by side with. One of the new workers in the West Bank is M who is a former Muslim who became a believer after reading the Bible because of several Dreams about Jesus. M has a tender heart for God. It was a privilege to see his love for Jesus.
2. We are very excited to tell you that Tommy is joining our e3 Middle East staff!God has truly transformed his life in the past few years. He has been on 7 e3 Mission trips and is so effective with both Jews and Muslims. This is a miraculous turnaround and we are amazed at the work of the Lord Jesus in Tommy’s life. Will you pray for him as he launches into ministry with us?
3. 8thirty8 which is our prayer initiative for believers in prison, persecution, and danger has a new phone app! It is really well done and you can download it free on the App Store for I Phones and Google Play for Droids. This is huge for us and we want to thank John and Bibi VanZandt of CEO Softcenters for all their hard work on this. What a team you have! Leaders in the Middle East are excited that this will generate more prayer in the midst of the danger that they face each day.
4. Killing Christians- Living the Faith Where it is Not Safe to Believer was just released in German. JoAnn and I will be traveling to Germany to speak in several churches and conferences this year or the beginning of 2016.
We also are finishing up an 8 lesson KC Bible Study and follow up on the lives of some of the heroes of our faith in the book. If you were moved by Azzam in The Pirates of Somalia, or Farid in The Only Empty Graveyard in Syria, this is for you. With the free download Bible Study, you’ll receive audio interviews from each chapter, a short video, and an opportunity to help your brothers and sisters who are standing firm for Christ in the midst of immense persecution. Their lives will continue to inspire you.
Would you please pray for Sarah our daughter? After giving birth to baby Bennett, her husband Matt and the Doyles-Ridleys were celebrating the safe arrival of this cute little guy! But then Sarah developed a Kidney Stone that caused a terrible infection. He blood pressure dropped dramatically, and her heart rate and fever soared. She was rushed into emergency surgery. The surgeon shocked us when she told us that Sarah went septic and almost died. We are in shock still… The surgeon inserted a stent and the infection is draining. She will have it surgically removed Tuesday and we are praying that all the infection is gone and the stone come out with it! I left for Israel after Sarah was stabilized and we are so glad that JoAnn could stay with Sarah and Matt through this challenging time with a new baby and the surgeries. Will you please pray for Sarah?
Would you also pray for my dad? I just found out he is in the hospital and he is extremely weak. Dad turns 91 in a few months and we are so thankful for the Lord allowing this special time with him. Please pray that God raises him up!
Thank you for praying for us. We feel it, especially when we are in high risk areas and working with Muslims in the midst of the days we are in. You are such a blessing to us. Sending love from Jerusalem.
For the King and from the City of the King, Tom