Tuesday, September 24, 2013
We're talking to a lot of people over here - and without exception, no one trusts Obama. They're convinced that he's being set up to repeat exactly what happened with North Korea under Clinton - and he knows it, but doesn't give a heck. All he wants is to get the Middle East out of his hair; and if throwing Israel under the bus is what it takes, then so be it. [Please see our article, "OBAMA'S MIDEAST POLICY: Making peace with Islam by throwing Israel under the bus."]
They're still pretty confident in their own military. Their mantra is "Bring it on!" Sometime soon God will rattle their confidence. How? It's hard to say.
Please continue to pray for (1) an apartment that fits our needs; (2) that our finances hold out; and (3) that lots of contacts are made.
Really, it's so refreshing to be over here in Israel. The Israelis are tough - life over here makes it so. The believers are tough too. That's not necessarily true of some of the believers who have immigrated from the states, but it's certainly true of the "sabras" who have been brought to Christ here in Israel. They know what being a Christian is all about - and are willing to pay the price. They expect to pay it. Not like back home where becoming a believer doesn't entail much of a cost at all - and its purpose is thought to revolve around making me better able to enjoy the good life. God forbid that being a believer should actually require genuine sacrifices.
Having a blessed time over here. Again, please pray for us. We need your constant prayer support.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I'm on the roof of the building where I'm staying in downtown Tel Aviv. We're in the Florintine section, which is the artists' quarter. Luisa is over on my left talking to her dad about videos. Sita is over on my right on her iPad. I can't believe we're going to be here for three mos. We're still having trouble finding an apartment.
Yes, do what you can to get my newsletter out. You can forward it to your people. I'd sure like to know their feed-back.
Saturday, September 28, 2013 10:55 AM
We have just moved from the Rosen Center in the Florintine section of Tel Aviv to a neighborhood near the intersection of Allenby and Shenkin. We are ever so grateful for the hospitality Jews for Jesus showed us. It was a life-saver.
We haven't yet worked out our relationship with Jews for Jesus here in Tel Aviv; that's been on hold pending (1) Dan Sered's return from a retreat with his evangelism team and (2) our getting settled in an apartment of our own.
We've learned a lot about what's actually taking place with the gospel here in Israel. I'll be providing a more detailed account in a future newsletter. However, the bottom line is a little disturbing. There's very little - and that despite a surprising openness on the part of many Israelis, especially the young. And I might add here, street evangelism and sharing the gospel in any number of other ways is not illegal. The Orthodox will tell you differently, but their claims are untrue. It's just one of their many ways to intimidate believers and keep them from witnessing.
Most of the congregations - what churches are called here in Israel - don't engage in out-front witnessing. Like the churches in America, they suffer from a kind of siege mentality - and don't want to incur the anger of the "powers that be." More about this later. Jews for Jesus is unique in this regard. And, yes, I've looked into this matter personally - and will be doing more of that in the weeks ahead. I want very much to get to the bottom of this.
Here's a picture of the main room at the Rosen Center. They've done a great job putting it together. There are four floors - with some of the staff living on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors on a more or less permanent basis. Eli and Shoshanna Biernbaum are in charge - and they're using it for a youth and young adults center. They're doing a great job and it's very easy getting to know them. We've met many of the staff working here and a good number of the believers attending the meetings. It's great.
Until just recently, Eli and Shoshanna have been in India on the "Hippie Trail" evangelizing the many Israelis who, after their stint in the army, go to India for the adventure they can find there. They and the team they took with them talked to thousands of Jews and distributed many tracts and New Testaments. There was a great openness - with very little hostility.
The apartment we stayed in at the Rosen Center was on the fourth floor. Imagine! Four flights of stairs! Here's a picture of Sita and me climbing down from the 4th floor. Going down was a breeze; but, wow, the climb up was a real challenge. It sure built up our stamina and, of course, our leg muscles as well. Toward the end of our stay at the Rosen Center, though admittedly we weren't running up the stairs, we were making the climb with relative ease.
Here's a picture of where we're now staying, Ha Shomer 8, near the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. We've taken out a lease for two and a half months. It's good to have our own place.
Friday, October 4, 2013
We've been pretty hard pressed over the last several days. We couldn't get any money - at least not much - from our bank in the U.S. because of glitches in the transmission. What a mess! We eventually had to use the old true and proven stand-by American Express to get matters squared away. I was forced to go all over Tel Aviv by taxi looking for a Western Union to get an American Express emergency check for the amount I needed. Believe me, American Express, as it was so many years ago in Europe, is really your best bet when traveling abroad.
Friday, October 4, 2013
I've met so many Israeli soldiers here. Some of the stories they tell are pretty grim. One young soldier had someone in his unit killed by a sniper down in Hebron just the other day.
I've told them all about my twin brother hero who fought in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star. I also mention that you worked under Creighton Abrams - the general after whom their main battle tank is named. They're quite impressed. I've considered the possibility of just saying I was there - since, after all, we are twins and share the same DNA. That puts me there as well, doesn't it. So far I've resisted; but can't promise you that it will continue.
Hang in there,
October 13, 2013
Hi Steve and Lucy,
Wow! I can't believe that we're going to be here for another 75 days. We're actually beginning to adjust to living here. It's not quite the same as being at home. Still, after almost one full month, things begin to settle into a routine. We're starting to feel comfortable here - not so strange being here. Sita and I have talked about it, and we both feel that we could actually live here.
PS. Lucy, kick Steve in the shins for me.