17-OCT-2015

Shabbat shalom! Last night we had an amazing dinner at Scott and Theresa where we met so many new friends. It was an amazing time with the the leadership team as well where we heard many great testimonies.

Today we drove up to Golony Junction where the largest gathering of messianic believers (Arab, Christian and Jew) assembled for Shabbat service. It was the largest gathering ever since Israel became a state in 1948.

Instead of me writing a bunch today I’ve included some testimonies from other team members:

Jim Culpepper:
Yesterday I was walking not far from our hotel. We stopped at a local pharmacy to ask directions to the closes place to buy wine as a gift for Scott and Theresa for dinner. The two ladies at the make up counter were very helpful and eager to tell us where we should go. Upon hearing my accent; one of the ladies asked me where I was from and why I was not afraid of all the violence going on in Jerusalem at the time. I stated that I was perfectly calm and peaceful about being in her lovely city. She then began to tell me that she had a chance to leave and go to the states to live with relatives. She confessed that she had left Jerusalem only once and made up her mind that she knew after that trip, that Jerusalem was where she wanted to be. She was born and raised here and quickly knew that this was the most beautiful city she had the most beautiful house and she will not leave again. She had a delightful testament to the heart of the Jewish people. I thanked her and told her that I had traveled all over the United States and lived there most of my life; but, agreed with her and confessed that her city was indeed very special and she should indeed stay in her homeland and remain blessed!!

Sonya Martinez:

Shabbat shalom Knoxville! For Shabbat our team joined the leadership team once again for a large worship gathering in a wooded park near Golani junction not far from Tiberius. Arab, Jewish, and Christian messianic believers all joined together under the trees for a morning of spirit filled worship and praises to the LORD! Coming back to Jerusalem we stopped into the Megiddo national park and looked out over the plain where the battle we call Armageddon will take place. We truly had a blessed day worshipping and singing praises to the LORD all the way home. And so we joyously say Shabbat Shalom y’all!!!

 

15-OCT-2015

We arose early to try to find some coffee, but there was nothing yet open. The place we intended to go had a power failure, so we went back to the room and waited.

Today’s venture took us to Revive Israel where we met up with the leadership team. We spent a couple hours in prayer and worship (which was so incredible) and then Asher Intrater spoke about the current events going on in  Israel. He then did a brief overview teaching on the book of Ephesians.

After the completion of Ashers talk the leadership team, some people from Revive Israel and our team went to eat lunch at a nice restaurant in Abu Gosh (a subburb of Jerusalem), we then moved on to picking olives. imageimage

Danny Mayuseff did get out of the hospital yesterday, but was unable to make it to the olive grove (understandably). His wife Tammy did come and do an interview with the leaders of Fellowship while we started to pick olives. It seems we were a few weeks early for the picking, out we were able to get a few buckets of olives in the hours we worked.  It was an enjoyable time to work hand and hand with a he remaining members of the leadership team while the interview was being completed with Tammy.

After we picked olives we cleaned up and met Herzl and Donna for a nice dinner over at the Shuk.

 

14-OCT-2014

Today was a joyous filled day. We got an early start in order to get some crutches from the clinic for Teresa. Her hip is doing better, but the crutches enable her to get about easier. We drove from Jerusalem to Natanya to Brian Slater’s meal kitchen where he provides 50-60 people with a nice sit down meal each Wednesday. These groups are composed of holocaust survivors, single mothers, and Russian-Jewish migrants. Todays crowd was smaller than normal with a little over 30 people.

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When we arrived today around 1:00 we met up with a Chinese-Christian group that was also volunteering today that was from Hong Kong. They were an amazing group to work with and it was such a blessing to serve with them. The preparation for these weekly dinners takes several hours as we not only prepare the 4-course meal, but also put together tables of free clothes for any sex and age that have been donated from all over the world. Today he also had toilet paper, diapers, dry soup base and reading glasses to hand out…all for free. Our group went to the local grocery store and bought the store out of bread and provided it for them to take home, and it was all taken.

When the time came to start serving we greeted all our guests with a double-column greeting line as they came through the door. We were hugging and blessing them as they walked down the hall to the dinning room.  We were introduced by Brian Slater (both us and the Chinese group) as people who loved Israelis and prayed all the time for peace in their country. He detailed how all of us had a desire and love to be there today, as it could have been easy for us to cancel our trip or return home immediately due to the conflicts occurring in the land.

It was amazing to see the smiling faces and the gratitude of all of our guests. Due to the nature of our guests’ backgrounds, Brian asked us not to take any pictures. I can tell you there was one lady that did come to know Yeshua as her Lord and Saviour today and both groups prayed over her. Brian also introduced one other lady who came to know Yeshua through this same group about a year ago.image

There is a definite language barrier as you sit with them (as many of them spoke mostly Russian and little Hebrew), but the body language from us to them made their faces shine with gratitude. They knew we loved them and wanted to serve them.

The Chinese group had also prepared gifts and an amazing Chinese fan dance in which they performed for the crowd.  I just was left speechless. After the dance they gave all the fans away to the guests. Again it was all smiles.

Jim Culpepper and I were working the bread line when the lady that came to know Yeshua today came through to get her bread. She was all smiles and she pulled two pieces of banana taffy out of her pocket and gave each of us a piece. I felt such amazing gratitude. I’m sure that is how they also felt with all the gifts and love.

As the time wound to a close, we (all the volunteers) cleaned everything and spent our last few minutes in a celebration after everyone had left. Maybe today wasn’t the day for all of them to come to know Yeshua, but today was certainly the day where they could feel the love and the blessings prayed over them.

 

 

13-OCT-2015

We awoke to another beautiful day. Today’s journey was to paint Scott and Theresa’s home. We painted the two upstairs boys room, the stairwell and the pantry. We also cleaned all the kitchen cabinets and ceilings fans.  On Friday Tom will return to install two new ceiling fans and rewire a light.

One unfortunate thing did happen. Teresa Tate adjusted to a poor position while painting the stairwell and ended up pulling her right hip out of place hyperextending the muscle. Tom took her to the local clinic. They gave her a shot and a prescription for a muscle relaxer. Please pray for complete healing as she is in a great deal of pain.

We did enjoy a fantastic lunch at Scott and Theresa’s. While we were there, there was some more events that occurred in the city today.  As we were painting we did hear six shots fired not too far off. An older man had gotten on a local bus and opened fired, killing one and injuring several. On the other end of town another stabbing occurred as well as one in Tel Aviv.  We were advised by our contacts to stay clear of the Old City again today. We spent our evening on Ben Yehuda street where there were several rallies were going on. They were handing out free Israelli flags. “Am Yisrael Chai”. This is how they unite in tragic times. It was a very moving experience. From my opinion, what we are seeing here really is no different from what we are seeing in the states. It just happens that the smallest of events in Israel make international news.  Please continue to pray for our continued protection.

The team is doing well and our spirits our high!  Tomorrow we are serving at the soup kitchen all day. Come back for more tomorrow!imageimageimageimageimageimage