At the time of this writing a group of five ships are heading toward Israel's territorial waters in an attempt to "break the blockade" against Gaza, and to bring humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza. The true motive is not humanitarian, as Israel already allows trucks to enter Gaza with humanitarian goods, and Israel has already announced that they will allow the humanitarian goods on the ships to be transferred into Gaza.
The "Free Gaza" flotilla was originally eight ships, but due to technical problems and the fact that Cyprus stood with Israel by not allowing the flotilla to dock in their ports, the number has been trimmed and its arrival delayed. The sponsors of the ships are a coalition of leftist extremists and Islamic Jihadists. They are trying to stage a media event to make Israel look bad. If Israel lets them in, our sovereignty and security will be breached. If we stop the flotilla, the media will portray Israel as against humanitarian aid. Some Israeli commentators have said, "Whatever we do, we lose."
The "humanitarian" agencies supporting the flotilla are Jihadists who support Hamas and call for the destruction of Israel. The flotilla received its largest governmental backing from Turkey. Turkey has traditionally been a moderate Muslim country with a good relationship with Israel. In the past two years, Prime Minister Erdogan has been moving the country toward a more militant Islamic stance, both internally within Turkey and internationally. He has made an alliance with Iran, and strained relationships with Israel.
Our partner in Turkish ministry writes: "It's interesting that we have Islamists and secular leftists coming together in order to aid the people of Gaza with the expressed purpose of shaming Israel, knowing that without permission from authorities in Israel, they will not be allowed to enter Gazan waters."
Israel will not allow the ships to enter Gaza. The Israeli Navy plan is to bring the ships into the port at Ashdod, transfer the humanitarian goods to Gaza, and offer the demonstrators transport back to their home countries. However, a confrontation at sea or in Ashdod could be quite damaging. Pray for humanitarian aid to reach Gaza; for Israeli security and sovereignty to be enforced; for the media to wake up to this Jihadist propaganda attack; for the Israeli government to handle the situation with wisdom.
A team of people including some internationals and some local Israelis (several from our congregation) are traveling this week to Ukraine for evangelism and ministry. Please pray for this group, led by Ron Cantor, Eli Birnbaum, and SI. May many souls be touched for the Lord and may the Messianic community in Ukraine be strengthened!
U. S. Ministry
Please pray for Asher and Betty this week as they will be ministering at the Tikkun ministers and congregational conference, Immanuel's Church, and El Shaddai Congregation. The ministry will include a joint concert and teaching with our friend Paul Wilbur. This is our only week in the U. S. in all of 2010.
Academic Interest in New Covenant
We have had several opportunities to share recently with students who have expressed an interest in the New Covenant. This includes a group of four military academy students who were doing a report on Messianic Jews, two lecturers on New Covenant (not yet believers), a group of 20 students studying to be tour guides, and a group of middle school teachers and staff. Please pray for all of their salvation as they investigate issues concerning Messianic Judaism. May issues of Yeshua and the New Covenant receive their valid position in modern Israeli academics!
Nazareth Global Day of Prayer
This past Sunday we participated in the Global Day of Prayer assembly held in Nazareth. The event was coordinated by local Arab Christians. About 800 attended including Messianic Jews representing some twelve different congregations. At one point the Arab pastors washed the feet of the Jewish pastors, and then the Jewish pastors washed the feet of the Arab pastors (John 13). A new Israeli believer who came with us was shocked at the degree of love and fellowship there is between us. He said, "It's too bad all the politicians and the media couldn't see an event like this. It would change the world."
Proof of our Existence
by Amiel Intrater
Modern Israeli coins are replicas of ancient Jewish coins. The one shekel coin,
for example, is a replica of a Jewish coin from the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Since Israel was then ruled by Persia, the coin had an emblem similar to other
Persian provinces. However, on the side of the coin the word "Judea" was
engraved in ancient Hebrew letters.
These coins prove that Jews lived in the land of Israel over 2,000 years ago. By designing our modern coins with the ancient emblems, we are making note of the fact that this land was inhabited by our people in ancient times. It is a miracle that we Jewish people have returned to our ancestral homeland after so many years.
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Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.