Several months ago our Australian coworker Rodney encouraged us to create a “Shevet Updates” group on WhatsApp, to which community members can post photos of meaningful events throughout the day, and others can comment and give glory to God. Some days it’s just amazing to watch the works of our Father rolling by on that screen. So much love, joy and healing flowing out of Zion to our neighbors!
But it’s a closed group, accessible by invitation only. And just tonight over dinner our German coworker Jana was recounting an all-too-familiar experience: a neighbor in Jaffa, upon hearing of what is happening in our community, exclaims “Why has no one ever told me this before?”
So we’re following Jesus’ instruction to let our light shine before men–and starting today we’re posting all these real-time snippets of good news to an open Instagram account. And for those of us who are not among the one billion Instagram users, we’re also including this live feed right at the top of our shevet.org website:
We can watch together as the stream of children coming to Israel is becoming a river. Already this year we’re committed to sponsor 40 children who’ve come to Israel (two more arrived tonight), and the opportunities and favor seem to keep increasing.
Please hear me now. Our community–this little circle of friends–cannot keep up with the demands of all this. And we’re not meant to. This priceless opportunity, to partner with the Jewish people to love their neighbors, is not a spectator sport to be practiced by a few. I believe that if this increase is born of God’s spirit then he will call many more members of the body of Messiah to enter in.
So our calling is to deliver to others what we have received from the Lord. It’s really just a mustard seed of faith. If any one of us will obey Jesus, and do likewise as the Good Samaritan, we know that God will open up relationships that we never would have dreamed of, and release resources that we never could have imagined. We’ve seen it happen again and again over 25 years now.
So we’re asking God tonight to nudge just one person, in response to just one child. We don’t want that person to make a contribution. We want that person to step up and say I will intercede for that child. I will pray, and share the story within my community, and give what little I have. And then watch what God will do to bring people together.
In whatever place we live, and whatever our circumstances, God can connect us with enough people to release the resources to save a child’s life, and reveal his love to that child’s family.
It’s a frightening thought, isn’t it? What if I step forward and then can’t come up with all the funds? That’s not our problem. It never has been, if you’ve watched the history of Shevet Achim. That’s our father’s business.
So here’s the child that we are offering this week to the body of Messiah: a one-year-old Syrian refugee named Mohammed. His heart defects have been neglected, and he is right at the point of becoming inoperable unless he reaches Israel in time, or God otherwise intervenes. We applied for his visa to Israel this morning.
Please don’t send a contribution. If you’d dare to believe you can be used of God to form a life-saving community, then you can learn more by clicking on this link.
Finally friends, let’s stir up our gifts and calling with the reminder that today it’s been six weeks since the Feast of First Fruits, on which day Jesus was raised from the dead. So one week from today we’ll celebrate the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), on which day the ascended Son of Man poured out the Holy Spirit from the right hand of the father. Let’s ask this week for the same power and boldness and love that turned frightened disciples like ourselves into world changers.
Jonathan for Shevet Achim
“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133).