HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM JERUSALEM: An update and some prayer requests

(Jerusalem, Israel) — ‎Happy New Year from the holy city of Jerusalem! Lynn and I are here on a quick trip. On Friday, I had the joy of officiating at the wedding of two dear friends — both of whom are strong followers of Jesus Christ — at the Ramat Rachel kibbutz & hotel here. I love this couple and their heart for the Lord. They asked me not only to lead the ceremony but also to share the Gospel with their many friends and family members in a loving and gentle way. What a joy to honor such a request! The rest of our time here has been celebrating Shabbat with Orthodox Jewish friends at a wonderful little dinner party; meeting with a number of Joshua Fund allies; and meeting with some Israelis who have read my books and have been curious about an evangelical Christian’s perspective on Bible prophecy. All have wanted to talk about the rising Iran threat. It’s weighing heavily on people’s hearts here as 2012 begins, and understandably so. Also, on Saturday I also had the opportunity to preach at a local congregation. Lord willing, I’ll post the notes from the wedding message and my Shabbat sermon when I get home in a few days.

As we head into a new years, let me say again thanks so, so much to everyone who prayed for and financially invested in The Joshua Fund in 2011. Lynn and I and the entire Joshua Fund team are so grateful to each of you. Here is a snapshot of how we were able to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus because of your help — please take a moment to read this report and share it with others. Just one example of God’s grace: we were able to expand the number of food distribution centers we support from 7 in 2010 to 12 centers currently, and thus currently bless more than 28,000 families in Israel with food and other humanitarian relief supplies. Please keep praying with us for God to pour out His amazing grace in the Mideast as 2012 will likely be dominated by the Iran threat and a possible major war. Also, please pray with us that the Lord would enable us to:

  • continue expanding our humanitarian relief efforts to care for poor and needy Jews and Arabs
  • stockpile more supplies ahead of the next war
  • continue educating and mobilizing Christians around the world to bless Israel and the people of the epicenter
  • continue encouraging, training and supporting harassed and persecuted followers of Jesus Christ in the Mideast
  • continue expanding our efforts to teach the Word of God to people throughout the Middle East and encourage them to begin studying the Bible for themselves in their own homes, just as Prime Minister Netanyahu has recently begun a Bible study in his official residence.
Above all, with the threat of war mounting day by day, would you join me personally in praying that the Church in the epicenter and around the world will be bold and courageous in giving everyone from Tel Aviv to Tehran the opportunity hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ before it is too late? Thank you so much. This year, may we all be guided by the words of the Apostle Paul — “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16) Amen, and God bless you.
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