Prayer Update

Your labor is not in vain

Friends, It was just after dinner on Sunday evening when coworker Quinlan texted me that one-year-old Sohaib’s oxygen saturation, normally in the upper 90s, was 65%. “Are you sure?” I asked a minute later when I arrived. Sohaib was his usual content and relaxed self, rosy-cheeked and happily munching on a banana. But sure enough, when… Read more »

Courage in unlikely places

Friends, It’s been just over a month since sweet one-year-old Lara arrived from Kurdistan and was rushed to the emergency room at Sheba hospital with oxygen saturations in the 40s. She’s made a beautiful and mostly smooth recovery, but after last week’s news that she has some narrowing near one of her valves, her mother has spent… Read more »

Brimming with gratitude

Friends, On Tuesday afternoon we got a surprise phone call from Sheba hospital; a surgery had been canceled at the last second, which opened up a spot for the year-old Yazidi refugee Sohaib to come for his much-needed operation. He was admitted to Sheba on Tuesday afternoon: The multiple holes in Sohaib’s heart were causing pulmonary hypertension… Read more »

So many astonishing recoveries

Friends, Tuesday night one-week-old Tahsin from Gaza arrived by ICU ambulance at Sheba hospital. Tahsin was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta (narrowing of the artery that carries blood to the body), and needed urgent surgery to correct this condition: This afternoon he went into surgery and just a few short hours later he was back in… Read more »

Hold fast to the anchor

Friends, Yesterday evening two-year-old Sohaib and his mother arrived at Ben Gurion airport, from a refugee camp in northern Iraq. Sohaib has a hole between the large chambers of his heart, as well as severe pulmonary hypertension—high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries that can seriously damage the right side of the heart: Sohaib had a catheterization in… Read more »

Waiting for the dawn

Friends, A week ago doctors in the ICU at Sheba hospital worked late into the night to connect baby Racheal from Kurdistan to the ECMO machine for heart and lung support. Going on ECMO is a difficult process that carries a lot of risk, and after the procedure was done the doctor’s report was gentle, but honest: “Tell… Read more »

Do people here hate Muslims?

Dear friends, Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7). First thing Sunday morning, coworker Joanne and I drove to Ben Gurion airport to pick up two families arriving from Kurdistan. One-year-old Lara (seated above) had Tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of… Read more »

Give a child a chance

Friends, As we come to the end of another week, please pray for baby Racheal from Kurdistan, whose situation is growing increasingly serious. First thing Sunday morning, we got the call from Sheba hospital that Racheal was going into surgery to place a BT shunt, a connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery, and to close… Read more »

A week of grief and joy

Friends, The doctors in the pediatric ICU at Sheba hospital fought all weekend for baby Adam from Gaza, whose chest closure surgery was canceled after his condition deteriorated further. He developed an infection and his kidneys began to fail. On Monday morning, our coworker Frank found Adam in fragile condition, unable to breathe on his… Read more »

Battling without compromise

Friends, Please pray for little Racheal from Kurdistan, whose situation remains very difficult. A week after a failed attempt at weaning, she is still on the ventilator and receiving sedatives to keep her from resisting ventilation. This morning she began to wake up a little and her oxygen saturation dropped very low. In addition, she has been experiencing… Read more »

Even if he does not

Friends, Less than a week after he was rushed by ambulance from Gaza to Israel’s largest hospital, newborn Adam went into surgery first thing Monday morning to switch his transposed great arteries. It was a big operation but praise God, it went without complication. Because Adam is so tiny and had some fluid in his chest after… Read more »

Walking in the light

  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. 1 John 1:5 Friends, This week began with a quiet sunrise over Israel on Sunday morning, an echo and celebration of the morning two thousand years ago when Messiah’s resurrection marked… Read more »

Little keepers of the promise

Friends, Our home in Ashdod is filling up quickly as we welcomed two new families from Kurdistan yesterday evening! Toddler Eliana‘s family is from the ancient Assyrian Christian community in Kurdistan: Eliana has a problem with one of the valves in her heart that was discovered when she was a baby, and she now needs surgery to… Read more »

Don’t you want to thank someone?

Friends, Spring is all around us here in Israel. From the park behind our home in Ashdod to the bushes at the side of the highways to the fields beside the Gaza border crossing, everywhere has exploded in a burst of color. After months of cold winter rain, the arrival of spring is a welcome… Read more »

In deed and in truth

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. Friends, Two weekends ago volunteer Israeli ICU doctors helped evacuate two emergency newborns… Read more »

Sad things come untrue

The Lord is the strength of his people; He is a stronghold of salvation for his anointed. Save your people, bless your possession, Shepherd them, and bear them up forever. Psalm 28:8-9 Friends, Over the weekend, doctors in Gaza and Israel worked hard to transfer two of the three urgent babies we wrote of last… Read more »

His gifts to us

Friends, Urgent prayer is needed for three newborn children with complex, life-threatening heart defects, each now on mechanical ventilation in the European Hospital in the Gaza Strip. Over the last two days the ambulance services have changed their longstanding policies, and are now refusing to transport these tiny children to Israel without an accompanying doctor…. Read more »

A ray of sunshine

Friends, This week began with a long-awaited day for our community. On Sunday evening, after weeks of work and planning, we drove two vans full of volunteers, Kurdish families, and lots of luggage, from Jerusalem to our new home in Ashdod. Things are really taking shape in the new house, and it’s exciting to see… Read more »

Written in your book

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. –Psalm 139:15-16 Friends, This week,… Read more »

To lean on him

Friends, This week brought an exciting and long-awaited day for little Abed from Gaza. Early Monday morning, an ambulance arrived at Sheba hospital to take Abed (on his portable ventilator) and his mother back to their family in Gaza after nine months in Israel. I remember meeting Abed and his mother on my first day in the… Read more »

Wreaking joyful havoc

Friends, As this week drew to a close, we welcomed six-year-old Mizgeen and his mother to our guesthouse in Jerusalem, after nearly a month at Sheba hospital. It’s been an eventful few weeks for Mizgeen. He was admitted to Sheba for observation after episodes of tachycardia, and remained hospitalized for his dental surgery, followed by the Fontan… Read more »

Lambs in his arms

Friends, It’s been quite a journey for newborn Rohat from Kurdistan, who has been in the ICU at Sheba hospital almost since his arrival in Israel two months ago. His mother has grown increasingly anxious about him, and almost seemed to lose hope as the days stretched into weeks with no answers for her baby. A diagnostic… Read more »

Laughter, tears, growth and grace

Friends, This week began with a very big day for my good friend Mizgeen from Kurdistan. First thing Sunday morning he was taken into the operating room for his Fontan surgery, the last of a series of three operations needed to help him live with a single ventricle: This surgery is a difficult one, and truthfully Mizgeen’s mother… Read more »

Worth the living

Friends, Thank you for praying with us for precious three-year-old Akar for these last six weeks. He fought to hang on to life after his heart surgery, while bit by bit his body deteriorated and his strength waned. Finally, the strain became too much for his fragile heart, and early Wednesday morning, with his beautiful mother beside… Read more »

Hope and heartbreak for Akar

Friends, It’s been just over a month now since doctors at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel performed a complex heart surgery for Akar from Kurdistan, and he is still in desperate need of healing. The doctors have been gradually reducing his medications for the last couple of weeks, and when Jonathan stopped in for a visit… Read more »

Lead us home

‘Twas grace that brought us safe thus far, And grace will lead us home. Friends, This eventful week marked a number of changes in our community. A particularly joyful occasion was Tuesday, as we celebrated the return of Meer and his father home to Kurdistan: Meer has had quite a journey; this was his second time with… Read more »

Called you by name

I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, And the rivers will not overwhelm you. Isaiah 43:2a Friends, As the first week of the new year draws to a close, we continue in prayer for three-year-old Akar, who remains in critical condition in the… Read more »

A heart struggling to beat

Dear friends, Thank you for your continued prayers for three-year-old Akar from Iraq. Up until today there were some positive signs as the condition of his liver and kidneys improved and he was taken off dialysis. There is apparent paralysis of his right side, but no cause for this was found in the brain CT the doctors… Read more »

O come Emmanuel

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel Friends, As we come to the end of a challenging week, and draw near to the celebration of Messiah’s birth this weekend, I am reminded of the words of Zechariah in Luke 1: Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the dawn from on high will visit… Read more »

Saving three baby Gaza girls

Dear friends, Another week has passed, and the new year is quickly approaching. Each day brings new challenges that we often try to work through with our own human logic, but this week I was reminded of the words of Jeremiah: Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of… Read more »

Renew our strength

Dear friends, Please pray with us this week for the needs of those we serve, and in thanksgiving for how God already has brought about much good in their lives as well as ours. What stands out from this week was the night the mother of Fatima shared after dinner about her life in Gaza, and we… Read more »

Your labor is not in vain

  For as in Adam all die, so in Messiah all will be made alive… For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. Friends, Sunday morning we received word from a doctor at the Sheba Medical Center that 5-year-old Yano was not improving almost… Read more »

The end of all those promises

Dear friends, As we approach the end of another week, our most urgent prayer request continues to be for Yano, our dearly beloved 5-year-old Kurdish girl who is still on the ECMO machine and fighting for her life. Tuesday marked one week since she came out of surgery on the ECMO, and the doctor in the… Read more »

Pray for Yano, please pray

Dear Friends, “Pray for Yano,” her mother asked even before the big and potentially-difficult Fontan surgery Tuesday and the replacement of the mitral valve. And indeed, Yano’s heart did not work well after the surgery, and doctors had to put her on ECMO for heart-lung support and also performed an emergency catheterization to check her coronary arteries…. Read more »

With boldness and courage

Dear praying friends, In our daily Bible study, we have reached this week the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. In John 19.38-40, we read about two men who apparently have previously been unable to openly declare their interest or affiliation to Jesus: After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus,… Read more »

Faithful until the end

Dear friends, At the start of this week three new children, Meer, Zheer, and Farooq, entered Israel. Meer is returning to continue his next stage of treatment; he was here previously at Sheba Medical Center in 2019 and had the first of three staged surgeries to help him live with a single ventricle: Zheer and Farooq are… Read more »

Where does my help come from?

Dear praying friends,  We have homes and hospitals filled with action it seems at the moment! Our coworker Margarita in Jerusalem is busy visiting two children from Gaza at Hadassah Medical Center. Ayham is a tiny newborn baby, rushed to Jerusalem on Friday for a life-saving catheterisation procedure, and now awaiting surgery to switch his great arteries:… Read more »

Be still my soul

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever—Psalm 107:1 Dear friends, What a week it has been here in our Shevet community! Through a busy week of highs and lows, we have truly seen God’s faithful love again and again. After six months in Israel, the premature Yazidi triplet Hena and… Read more »

18 families in our care this week

Dear friends, Ahmed T and his mother left for Kurdistan yesterday after his successful surgery, shedding tears of joy and thankfulness. Upon leaving they encountered a delay in their flight to Istanbul and missed their connecting flight. Ahmed’s mother handled these unexpected challenges with courage, and God willing, they will be on their way to Kurdistan… Read more »

A one kg (two pound) baby from Gaza

Dear friends, As this week comes to an end there is much to thank God for and much to pray for: Mohammed M is going home to Kurdistan at this hour! At his final echo this week, his cardiologist said that while his condition is not perfect, he is leaving much better than when he first… Read more »

Hena finally to surgery

Dear friends, It is Thursday evening in Israel and this day alone has been so full. The holidays have finished so yesterday and today were back to the normal working schedule. The Yazidi triplet Hena, who came to Israel in April when she was just two months old, had the second and final surgery of her… Read more »

Dina is a miracle

Dear friends, Today we are rejoicing that little Dina has been discharged and can finally return to Kurdistan! Given her fragile condition over the last few months (severe heart infection and ruptured aorta), her doctor remarked today that Dina is a miracle and is doing better than ever: The staff at Sheba gave Dina quite a send-off… Read more »

A glorious day

Dear praying friends, Julio our Kurdish-speaking coworker was called into the hospital to translate on Wednesday morning, the quiet day as everything prepared to close for Yom Kippur. The doctors had reached a treatment decision for Mohammed L, the long-neglected 33-year-old from Kurdistan. After all these weeks of tests in the hospital, they explained that it… Read more »

Help of the helpless

Dear praying friends, Today in our morning meeting we gathered and read John chapter 6, and we came to think how this describes Jesus’ life becoming our own, if only we humbly accept it and drink in, deeply.  Joanne, one of our new community members, led us in worship before our reading with a beautiful… Read more »

The strength of our hearts

Dear praying friends, It is from a happy and content morning, spent with two good-natured and peaceful Kurdish mothers sitting out on our balcony, that I am writing this prayer letter. Thank God that through all this difficult period of waiting for these mothers of Lava and Ahmed–and I will include the uncle of Hena… Read more »

Eight urgent children flying tonight

Dear praying friends, Nate and Colin are making last-minute preparations at this hour in preparation to fly tonight with eight new Kurdish children to Israel. They all need urgent life-saving heart surgeries, and two of them, Mohammed A and Marya, we are asking to be hospitalized upon arrival as they require oxygen. The others are… Read more »

Asmeen on her way home

Dear praying friends, This week has seen the arrival and departure of two much-prayed-for Kurdish patients. After almost eight months in hospital in Israel, beloved Asmeen and her mother said their final farewells to the Sheba hospital staff just an hour ago: And as I write they are enroute to Ben Gurion airport in an ambulance which will transfer them from… Read more »

Dina still very weak

Dear friends, The week began with the cleft-palate child Dina from Kurdistan in emergency surgery late on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning, as doctors tried to find and control post-surgical bleeding in her heart. Dina is still very weak, but has come through this her third heart surgery and is now breathing on… Read more »

Keep going, keep hoping, keep believing

Dear friends, Please pray for Mohammed E. from Gaza. He came to the Sheba Medical Center almost nine months ago for repair of a hole in his heart, but doctors also found severe problems in many of his bodily systems. They’ve withheld no effort since then in trying to heal Mohammed, but this week reached the point where… Read more »

Teaching us in each season

Dear friends, Please join us this week in prayer: For Shadi’s family – His mother left Israel (above left) yesterday and arrived home in Kurdistan today, to a different life from what she had been dearly hoping for, following Shadi’s death on Sunday. Please pray for the Spirit of God to surround and comfort her… Read more »

How beautiful is the work of God

Dear friends, Ishi Xwa chen khosha — “How beautiful is the work of God.” These were the words of Shadi’s mother on the day of his surgery, referring to his unique combination of heart defects; not only are his arteries are reversed but also the lower chambers of his heart. Because of his double-backwards anatomy, the… Read more »

God of all comforts

Dear friends, There is no more beautiful way to open this letter than with the news that Sulaiman had his chest closed on Sunday, was extubated yesterday and today was moved to the step-down unit of the ICU, to his mother’s great joy! So our Father is redeeming Sulaiman from the damaging consequences of his long… Read more »

A cry of the heart

Dear praying friends, Yesterday we received this message from Colin in Kurdistan, regarding the young man Mohammed who is close to dying from complications of his childhood heart defect: So far Mohammed has twice been denied a visa to enter Israel for treatment. At 33 years old, he is no longer a child and yet… Read more »

Death and life in the ICU

Dear friends, “Ayan, gyan, three months!” Two weeks ago Ayan’s mother marked his three months of life by decorating his hospital bed; she used candy and forks to write the number three: This past week she was asking “Hiwa hiya?” (There is hope?) as Ayan was taken off the ECMO machine after he had not… Read more »

No longer strangers

Dear friends, So much is happening every day that even yesterday seems like a long time ago! We’ll often have to ask each other whether something happened just yesterday or last week. So it seems like forever ago that we were praying for the nine new children’s visas, and before that the nine previous urgent… Read more »

Stand firm

Dear praying friends, In Exodus 15 Moses and the people of Israel praise the Lord with joyful hearts, as they have come to know Him as their rescuer: I will sing to the Lord for he has triumphed gloriously You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; You have guided… Read more »

A flow of praise and gratitude

Dear praying friends, This week began with another new opportunity to trust in God, and remember that we are living in His kingdom, and working in His strength. The families of Haveen, Meera, Samaa and Big Yousef returned to Kurdistan, each with a different story of their time spent in Israel. Three healthy children and… Read more »

A candle against the darkness

Dear friends, Seven of the nine Iraqi children who’ve waited for so long are now with us in Israel! Six of the most urgent, who all need correction of transposition of the great arteries, already have had first evaluations at the Sheba Medical Center: Yadgar was dressed in his finest clothes, which included a waistcoat and… Read more »

The great Bridge Builder

Dear friends, Firstly, thank God for the approval today of the nine new Kurdish children, seven of whom need emergency surgery to switch their great arteries: They will arrive next week, we think in two groups and the first will travel on Sunday via the the Jordan border. While they have been verbally approved we… Read more »

As the sirens blared

Dear friends, Our daily circumstances don’t always feel remarkable, but this week we saw in a new way the incredible significance of a Jewish surgeon performing a cardiac surgery for a baby from the Gaza Strip–even as the rocket sirens blared throughout Tel Aviv and the surrounding cities. Yesterday baby Ghena had a ten-hour surgery to repair… Read more »

Just look at her mother’s face

Dear friends, One of the Kurdish parents said that you don’t have to ask how Salwa is doing, just look at her mother’s face (below middle) and you’ll know! This week has brought immense improvement for Salwa; it began with her weaning from the ECMO machine on Sunday even as she was still unstable. Then… Read more »

Good news to the poor

Dear friends, Georgia and I watched the newest episode of The Chosen on Saturday night, in which Jesus comes back to his camp completely exhausted and worn. He looks utterly spent after a day of healing hundreds of people, as if he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. And one only needs to look at paintings or… Read more »

The difference it will mean

Dear friends, Thank you for praying for the needs of our community; as seven more urgent children’s visa applications are going in to the Ministry of the Interior, we bear in mind the difference it will mean for each of those lives if everything is approved in the next weeks. Please firstly pray that it… Read more »

Something we will all remember

Dear friends, Our beautiful Meera had her second surgery this week, after a first preparatory surgery. When the doctors first saw the extreme complexities of her heart, I remember thinking: Will there be something they can do to help her? So really praise God that the cardiologists and surgeons have been able to save her life, and that she… Read more »

Live the impossible

Dear friends, Since last week’s Shevet Prayer we’ve received eight new Kurdish families. Yousif, Lia, Yousef, Samaa, and Meena crossed by land from Jordan into Israel on Monday: And Salwa, Khanda and Maili arrived this afternoon also by land, following a warm welcome in Jordan by new Shevet friend Elizabeth: Because of a deterioration in her condition while traveling, Khanda was taken straight to… Read more »

Whom do you seek?

Dear friends, In John’s gospel Jesus asks a twice-recurrent question which bookends his crucifixion. “Whom do you seek?” he asks the guards who came to arrest him on Passover night in the garden of Gethsemane. He asks this same question of Mary, his disciple, friend, and first witness to his resurrection, in the garden of… Read more »

The upside-down kingdom

Dear friends, In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says something quite well-known: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” This may seem commonsense or even trite; of course this is how we should be treating others. But is… Read more »

Where Messiah is

Dear friends, As this week comes to a close Paul’s letter to the Colossians has been a consistent prayer through the very busy and long days: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven… Read more »

Effectively at work

Dear friends, At the beginning of the week, the likelihood of our six discharged Kurdish children traveling through Jordan home to Iraq seemed very small. Their flights through Ben Gurion airport for this week and next were canceled, and we were trying to plan how to deal with the impending arrival of six new Kurdish… Read more »

With him in paradise

Dear friends, In the ninth grade my English class read The Pearl, a novella by the American author John Steinbeck. I still remember my teacher belaboring a specific passage in which the protagonist watches an ant caught in a trap. His cool observation of the doomed creature is described as him watching with ‘the detachment of… Read more »

Be not dismayed

Dear praying friends, Thank God that he is with us, and thank you for praying for us. It is very encouraging to know that there are always people holding not only the needs of our families, but also us as a community in prayer. We have at our Jaffa house many families waiting for the… Read more »

What he can do with dust

Dear friends, Georgia and I brought three families to Jerusalem for the day this past Sunday. While they were visiting the mosque on the Temple Mount, we spent a few minutes in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher: Usually the enclosed courtyard is full of people milling around before entering the church but… Read more »

Our primary identity

Dear praying friends, Thank you for supporting us all here.  As our coworker Amar reminded me this morning, we are in a spiritual battle, not against flesh and blood, so to know that there are others across the world faithfully standing with us and our families is encouraging and important. Our staff numbers are quite… Read more »

This is my story

Dear friends, There is a Shevet tradition for new volunteers to share the story of how they became followers of Jesus, and while the five of us now in Jaffa have been here for months and years, we have started one day a week to share in the morning meeting the story of how the… Read more »

So dearly to redeem

Dear friends, As I wrote this letter word came that the Gaza baby Besan, who came urgently last week, died in surgery. As we waited with her for the death certificate the mother told us her baby’s life story; how Besan’s name was chosen, how she was after her birth but before she went to the… Read more »

Wiser eyes than mine

Dear friends, Looking back at the end of every week there is always so much that has happened; while we see in part what God is doing, his mind is such that we are only ever partially aware of what He is doing in ourselves and those around us. The total significance of events and… Read more »

Now choose life

Dear friends, In the morning meeting this week we read from the end of Luke chapter ten, together with a Gaza mother staying with us. This well-known story tells of Martha opening her house to Jesus and his disciples. At some point she asks Jesus to tell off her sister Mary for sitting at his… Read more »

How to share our lives

Dear praying friends, As we studied the scriptures together this week, we meditated on these words in James: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 Please pray with us that we would receive this wisdom, and be… Read more »

The new is breaking in

Dear friends, After John the Baptist was imprisoned, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he is the Messiah. Jesus replies by quoting Isaiah: “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are… Read more »

Healing in his wings

Dear friends, Thank you so much for praying for the Shevet community. Since I am in quarantine in Jaffa for the next week, Georgia and I have talked about what God has been doing in their lives amidst five new families coming, bringing us to a total of nine Kurdish families. She says that God… Read more »

He remains faithful

Dear praying friends, Thank God for the great promises of life with Jesus: The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—… Read more »

Lifting Alaa to the Father

Dear praying friends, Thank you for joining with us this week in intercession. Firstly for Alaa, who returned unexpectedly this week to Israel, very unwell following his heart surgery. He is in critical condition and on life support (the ECMO device) for four days now. Doctors report very slight improvement in his heart function, and will… Read more »

Upon this rock may we stand

Dear praying friends, Our new German coworkers Sebastian and Sabrina are about a month into the fullness of life at Shevet Achim. As we, the three Europeans, discussed the idea of a “hot Christmas,” away from everything we have been familiar with at this time of year, Sebastian described it as feeling like living in… Read more »

A motley crew giving thanks

Dear friends, In our community today we are celebrating Thanksgiving. It’s not a familiar holiday for many of us, but as members of God’s family it is a joy to have a holiday specifically centered around gratitude. Just as an ungrateful heart is a marker of those who are ungodly and unrighteous (Romans 1.18-21), so… Read more »

Restore our joy

Greetings from our Jaffa community, and thank you for praying with us. We have been working our way through God’s designs for the tabernacle in the book of Exodus. Today we read in chapter 30 about the holy incense to be offered on the altar, which led us to think about how we should be… Read more »

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 Dear praying friends, Thank you for your faithful intercession for the health and lives of the patients we receive here, and for the wellbeing of our little community. I returned this week to Jaffa after almost three… Read more »

Dawn begins to break

Dear friends, Over the past few months I’ve gotten into the habit of waking up early to go for a run as the sun rises, not chiefly as a regimental requirement but because watching the sunrise communicates the beauty and the goodness of God. There is something addictive about starting to run when it is… Read more »

Breaking bread together

Dear friends, It feels like it is a season of waiting, and we ask that you would join us in prayer for trusting in God’s perfect timing. The hospital is at full capacity, caring for children in need of critical care, including Ziad and Fayez who are currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at… Read more »

As warm as tears

Dear friends, Yesterday the few of us in the morning meeting discussed how our conception of God must be shaped by the Bible, rather than by presuppositions we impose on Scripture as to how we think God should act. This was such a good way to start the day, rehashing truth that should continually reorient… Read more »

Created to flourish

Dear friends, Maybe for the first time I’ve realized that in all the critiques I’ve heard of our faith, “it’s too good to be true” isn’t one I’ve come across (which of course doesn’t mean it isn’t out there). But this week I’ve been sitting with how in Jesus “all the fullness of the deity… Read more »

The garden of redemption

Dear friends, I want to start by saying thank you for praying for Ziad, pictured here with me a week and a half ago: Ziad’s surgery a week ago today turned into an endless night. It started at 8:30 in the morning, and his mother was only able to see him at midnight. The surgery… Read more »

In good times and bad

You are God alone from before time began You were on Your throne You are God alone and right now In the good times and bad You are on Your throne And you are God alone Unchangeable, unshakable, unstoppable That’s what You are (You are God Alone) For God alone, O my soul, wait in… Read more »

A sudden happy turn

I coined the word “eucatastrophe”: the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears (which I argued is the highest function of fairy-stories to produce). And I was there led to the view that it produces its peculiar effect because it is a sudden glimpse of Truth, your… Read more »

What does the LORD require?

With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my… Read more »

A mother’s sorrow

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the… Read more »

Costly inconvenient love

Dear friends, As we write the ten Kurdish families, long stranded in Israel by coronavirus travel restrictions, are in the Cairo airport and awaiting one last flight to finally bring them home to their loved ones late tonight. We have just heard from them after eight hours of silence since they landed in Cairo, and all… Read more »

Losing our lives for his sake

Dear friends, In chapter 27 of Matthew the gospel writer goes into specific detail of the events of Jesus’ death. In particular he mentions accessories with which the Romans sought to mock Jesus: the scarlet robe, the crown of thorns, the reed in place of a scepter, and the plaque above the cross which read… Read more »

Our trust is the LORD

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not… Read more »

Make your requests known to God

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will… Read more »

The peace of Messiah

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect… Read more »