All getting along together

Hello friends,

We are thankful for the work of God’s Spirit, placing Gentile and Jewish believers together as living stones “being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” We are also thankful for all of you laboring in prayer with us, and together we can rejoice in the fruit that God is bearing through our prayers together.

Little Osaid from Hebron had a successful surgery on Wednesday and doctors are happy with the results. Max found him already breathing on his own yesterday; please pray for his quick recovery:

Osaid postop day 2We praise God that Jonathan, Michelle and Zeporah brought 13-year-old Rozh and her mom from Kurdistan, northern Iraq to join us this week.

Rozh at borderRozh had her first echocardiogram Thursday, and doctors will meet together and decide how to proceed. Pray God gives them wisdom and understanding of her condition and that she may receive the proper treatment and God’s healing touch.

rozh first echoMeanwhile, we are looking forward to getting to know Rozh and her mother, who both have a sweet and gentle presence and enjoy the antics of our littler Kurdish friends, Eva and Sohaib, who are chilling with the Bagley girls in Ashdod while waiting for the next hospital appointments:

bagley girlsSohaib needs a special appointment for dental work under full anesthesia, which must be completed before he can have any heart treatment:


And Eva has waiting in our Ashdod house for her catheterization appointment for weeks, enjoying the company of her “Aunt Bee”:


Understandably, Eva’s mother is growing weary, so we appreciate your intercession for her, believing that God will provide this opportunity soon.We have missed Zech being with us as he is in the United States to visit family and friends, but have faithfully continued our work here in order to assure that everything runs well while he is away. Please pray for his trip to be a time of blessing and refreshment for him.

Wednesday we welcomed his mother Michelle back into our community, and we have all benefited from her kindness and encouragement:

Michelle at airportQuickly she and Jonathan were called away to be with the families in Bethlehem, who are increasingly finding all getting along together dificult while away from their families in Gaza for these last several months. Pray for them as they continue to wait for the news that they can finally return home, and pray for us that we can encourage them in their waiting.

Our brother Philip from Australia joined our community Thursday evening after a 28-hour journey. We look forward to fellowship with him and appreciate the Spirit of God working in him and through him:

Phil in AshdodAnd our sister Selena, the next addition to our community, pictured below with her mother, is ready to travel from the US as soon as possible:

Selena and motherSelena is waiting on our Father for $500 still needed for her plane ticket. To support her, click here, select “General donation,” and write “Selena” as the designation.

In our morning meetings, we have been studying the exciting book of Acts, encouraging us to be led by the Holy Spirit in order to be bold as witnesses like Stephen and Peter. We are praying for continued unity of the Spirit in our community and in the body of the Messiah at large both here and in our home countries. We are reminded of Psalm 133, from which Shevet Achim derives its name, as we see that power and anointing of God comes from our unity with the head, our Messiah — it is like the oil that runs down the beard of Aaron. The anointing oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit and God’s separation unto himself.

We also need this separation, or holiness, and consecration — an absolute surrender to the Almighty God. Aaron the High Priest is a type of our High Priest, Messiah Yeshua, who ever lives to make intercession for us. The believers in Him are called the body of Messiah with Jesus as our head. We are called to work together as a body, connected to the head, abiding in fellowship with Jesus. When we come together in unity of Spirit, connected to Jesus, our head, there is power, anointing, blessing, and refreshment.

Jesus prayed for this unity for his followers in the gospel of John. Many scholars call this the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus. And he concludes: I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word.

This prayer is for future believers — it is for you and me! We should pay special attention to these words for that reason. Listen to the heart of God in these words of Jesus: …that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

God’s desire is to set us apart to Himself and to have a deep abiding fellowship and oneness with all of us. This is a wonderful fulfillment of the two greatest commandments—that we would love God with all of our heart, and soul, and strength, and that we would love our neighbor as our self. Oh, that we would pray for unity and to be set apart in the truth! That we would be a glorious bride, purified and holy unto God, consecrated and separated to Him, and operating properly as a body through love for His glory and purposes in these last days.

The King of Kings is returning, and may we be ready for Him, and equipping one another until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Messiah.

Pray for us as a community to have this unity and love for one another, that we together with our Muslim, Jewish, and Yazidi neighbors may know God’s love in Messiah.

The Glorious King is coming, prepare the way for Him, make yourself ready, and be in unity with Him, and the brethren. For behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!

Ben and Kerstin for Shevet Achim