24 July 2014

Strong Nations in Jerusalem

“ Yes, many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the Lord.”
Zechariah 8:22

Nestled in the hills between the Carmel mountain range and the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), is the city of Nazareth.  What may once have been a village, is now a warren of busy streets, shops and markets, full of Jewish and Arab residents and businesses, churches, tourist buses and holy sites to visit.  Nazareth is also where you will find HOPE!  House of Prayer and Exploits is run by Arab believer Rania Sayegh, a woman that Your People My People has come to respect as a pioneer for prayer and reconciliation in Israel.  She is a gifted international speaker who shares about God’s passion for her nation, Israel, how the Arab and Jewish believers are coming together, and some of the prophetic prayer strategies she believes God has given for this time in Israel.

Here is some of the recent news Rania has shared with us:

Women of prayer
“The Lord has sent us during April to a very strategic prayer assignment in the Land for 20 days travelling around the land to pray over borders and strategic places to decree prophetically what The Lord was sharing with us. We had 4 women joining me in this, 2 American and 2 Chinese. It was profound and significant revelations The Lord was releasing to us to pray for the nations and for the land of Israel in such crucial season. 

Praying at the borders
Prayer watches at HOPE
Also I have been gathering pastors and leaders in HOPE for strategic time of prayer and sharing, urging the body of Christ in the Land to get together to build closer relationships and learning to be family. I have been in the core team planning the gathering that is going to take place in November this year where thousands are going to gather to seek The Lord in Jerusalem.  It's called 822 Call, from Zachariah 8:22. The gathering is going to take place from 10th -13th, with Arab pastors who adopted the vision to come together as we unite with our Jewish brethren to seek The Lord with the nations of the earth in Jerusalem. 

21 July 2014

War News from the Believers

As you will have heard by now, there has been much media concerning  Israel's response to the great escalation in the daily rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel.  At YPMP, our heart is to connect you with the local believers in the Land, so we want to share some of the reports and requests we have been receiving from throughout the country:

"Thank you for your prayers. I am up north at Katzir, a youth camp with over 120 young people, very close to the border with Lebanon  So far it is a safe area but this morning (Fri 11th Jul) there were rockets from Lebanon . Please pray that the situation does not escalate to include Hezballah in Lebanon. We might have to stop the camp and send people home . Also my wife is home in Tel-Aviv with 3 small children, one of them a new born. Please pray for their safety and for the innocent people on both sides. 
~ Pastor Shmuel Salway - Galilee

Please remember to keep our children in prayer as this war by Hamas and the Islamic Jihadists continues to escalate. Pray for their safety as they continue going to schools, daycare and some even to summer camps as the rockets continue to fall. Pray for wisdom and peace for each one of their parents at this time to know how to continue leading their children in the ways of God. As our secretary of Dugit was today getting prepared to leave for work, an air raid siren was sounded. She and her children ran to the bomb shelter just as the booms were heard. As she looked around to make sure everyone was there she noticed her 8 year old boy quite shaken, still with his toothbrush in his mouth in the middle of brushing his teeth. She explained to him and the rest of her children that their trust should only be in the God of Israel and nothing else."
~ Dugit Outreach Centre - Tel Aviv

"Due to a huge barrage of hundreds of rockets from Gaza, Chaim and many other reserve soldiers have been called up to defend this country and help restore security.  Please God restore peace so our husbands, brothers and fathers can stay home with their families!"  
~ Deanna M - Tel Aviv

"Due to a huge barrage of hundreds of rockets from Gaza, Luke and many other reserve soldiers have been called up today to defend Israel. Please God restore peace so all of them can be safe back home soon with their families!"  
~ Andre G - Ceasarea

"Sirens going off and 3 or 4 booms heard. I took the photo from our balcony. Small white area is where the rocket was intercepted.  It may have landed in the sea but maybe the Jaffa port area if not shot down. 
~ Pam H - Jaffa

"Dear praying friends, Please join us in prayer and fasting as we stand in alert for the sake of our land. Let's be aware not to take sides, but only God's side. The Lord wants Jews and Arabs living together in love in this land. We were born to be one family under His banner of love.  Let's declare that all evil schemes of the enemy to stir murder, hatred and war and accelerate and escalate the situation between both sides will be cancelled! Pray protection over Palestinian and Jewish homes from death and destruction!"
~ Rania Sayegh, HOPE - Nazareth

"Things continue to escalate in the land, and in the past few days, sirens (red code alerts) were heard over most parts of Israel, the north included. In Gaza life has become unbearable for the citizens as well.  
We continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude as we see God's protecting hand over Israel, when hundreds of rockets were shot (aimed at our cities), killing none, and leaving only a handful of physically injured civilians! That is a true miracle. However, many do suffer from stress and post trauma symptoms.
We would like to ask you to join us in prayer, as we will hold a joint prayer and intercession meeting at our congregation. The meeting will be for all Galilee congregations both Jew and Arab! Our prayer is that God will fill the place with His reconciling presence and glorify His name through the one new man in Him!"
~ Congregation in the Galilee

We have not heard any first hand reports from the believers in Gaza at this time, but in the past, such times of turmoil have sometimes intensified the persecution against them.  Please pray for their protection, for the protection of innocent lives in Israel and in Gaza.  

Please pray that 'what man intends for evil, God will turn about for good, and for the salvation of many lives'!  (Gen 50:20)

Critical season for Israel and the Muslim nations

We just received a prayer update from our friend and faithful prayer warrior, Rania Sayegh, director of HOPE - House of Prayer and Exploits in Nazareth. This is a strategic time to pray for Israel and the Arab nations. Even while there is talk of a ceasefire to the current conflict, it is important for us to stay spiritually alert, knowing that the battle for 'souls' is key to seeing lasting change in the Middle East.

Here is what Rania has to say:

"In the midst of wide spread reports from the news stations, we are seeking the Lord's heart and perspective to see how to pray and stand in the land carrying His heart for both Jews and Arabs. It's so easy to be influenced by the media, and tend to take a stand with one of the sides. We do know that our warfare is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and rulers of darkness that are attacking our land and people, both Arabs and Jews as one.

This letter is to share a perspective and strategy to engage together as a family around the nations to worship and pray, to see victory and breakthrough for Israel, the church and the Muslim nations in this season. 

An explanation about this season:

Most of you know that the Jewish Temple was destroyed twice: once in 586 BC and again in 70 AD. There is also something called ,"The Three Weeks" which is called “dire straits.” Following is an explanation:

The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim (Hebrew: המצרים בין, "Between the Straits") (cf "dire straits") is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples. The Three Weeks start on the seventeenth day of the Jewish month of Tammuz — the fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz — and end on the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av — the fast of Tisha B'Av, which occurs exactly three weeks later. Both of these fasts commemorate events surrounding the destruction of the Jewish Temples and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the land of Israel. According to conventional chronology, the destruction of the first Temple, by Nebuchadnezzar II, occurred in 586 BC, and the second, by the Romans, in 70 AD.

Often brides do not marry during this time. It is a time of reflection, sobriety and mourning. Many Jews also fast for 25 hours on the 9th of Av.  The dates for this time of mourning change every year. In 2014 which is 5774 on the Hebrew calendar, the dates are from July 15, 2014, Shiva Asar B'Tamuz, ending on Aug. 5, 2014.

(For more detail on 9th Av, click: 10 Reasons for the 9th – A Disastrous Anniversary)

Prophetic revelations about the season:

We believe whatever happens in the land of Israel, is a picture in the natural of what's going on in the spiritual realm, manifesting in reality for God's people. We do know that we are in a season of warfare, and the Holy Spirit wants to impart revelations to the army of God to prevail and breakthrough for this crucial season for Israel and the church.

The Lord has given me several prophetic visions about Iran as we have been watching this nation since 2005. One of the main revelations He shared with me in a vision is, that in the moment the principality falls off Iran, the veil of Islam will be ripped over the Muslim world, and we will witness the greatest harvest among the Muslim nations church history has ever witnessed! I kept praying for Iran during these years, believing the Lord for the appointed time for this vision to start unfolding.

During Feb this year,

17 July 2014

On Jordan's Banks...

We love to share testimonies from the Believers in Israel who are reaching their nation and following after Yeshua (Jesus). This report is from Adonai Roi (The Lord is My Shepherd) Congregation that meets in Tel Aviv:

"A few months ago we were approached by a young man from our congregation,  he asked us about being immersed (baptized) and its importance. Little did we know, as we began counseling him and preparing him for immersion, that six others would come forward and asked to be immersed as well. As a united community we packed up our entire congregation on a Shabbat, put them on a bus, and trekked east to the River Jordan, near Jericho, so that we could join together and celebrate the immersion of these six individuals. Hallelujah! What an amazing sight to see young believers fully dedicate their lives to the Lord and to be filled with His, joy, love, and everlasting life. Please pray that these men and women will go even further in their walk with the Lord, as they learn to hear His voice and walk with Him daily.

Lilach’s Testimony

Lilach* was one of the new believers who was immersed this month and we are excited to share her story. Lilach was born into a large Messianic Jewish family who immigrated to Israel from North America when she was quite young. As the youngest of six children, she watched her siblings grow up, accept Yeshua, and learn what it means to follow Him. While Lilach knew the Lord was real, she still felt drawn to the ways of the world and preferred to spend more time with her school friends than with the believing community. She chose to follow her own will and really live for herself. Only recently, after finishing her service in the IDF, did she come to realize that the ways of the world did not fulfill her or make her happy. She began to attend Adonai Roi with several of her siblings and soon accepted that Yeshua was to be the only Lord of her life and decided that she wanted to be baptized. With tears of great joy she dedicated the rest of her life to the Lord as she was immersed in the River Jordan in front of the entire congregation. Praise the Lord!  
* Name Changed for Privacy Purposes

After the immersions, the congregation picnicked just up the road at Ein Mabua where a small

10 July 2014

"The Biggest Thing Is Hate Turned To Love."

"Know that my heart is full, that the people who wanted me dead, because I am a Jew: no other crime - now, they are praying, they love me, they walk [with me] - it is not easy. The biggest thing is hate turned to love." These were the heartfelt words of an elderly Holocaust survivor meeting with Christians from Germany, many of whom had parents and grandparents who had been soldiers in the Nazi forces.

In recent years, the 'veil' of silence that had hidden the truth about these German families' involvement in the atrocities of World War II , began to lift as families started to speak about it and to actively research historical records. Helping Hand Coalition (HHC), one of the local Israeli organisations we work with on the ground in Israel, has been facilitating the request of German groups to come to Israel, to express love and repentance to Holocaust Survivors living there today. One church from Germany regularly sends groups of young people to meet with the Survivors. They learn Israeli dances to perform and arrive with lovingly chosen gifts. Face to face, the young people interact, build relationships and break down barriers. As young and old learn to love each other, the pain of their shared history begins to melt away.

In June, a group of young Germans performed Jewish dances and musical pieces to around 70 Holocaust survivors in Rehovot. After the performance, they shared how they had discovered that their grandparents were SS officers who had committed dreadful crimes against the Jewish people during the Holocaust. They asked the elderly survivors in attendance for forgiveness. There were many tears shed by both the visitors and the survivors but through the tears and hugs, healing and new hope was birthed. From a history of hate - to a future of love.

Tears of reconciliation

Holocaust Survivor receives letters
from German sponsors

As well as, face to face encounters, HHC facilitates a sponsorship program whereby individual Holocaust survivors receive aid to help them overcome their financial struggles. The sponsors take their role very seriously and not only provide financial help but also regularly send letters, cards and gifts. The Holocaust Survivors are touched by this expression of love and care.  Programmes like this help to encourage them and remind them they are not forgotten.

To mark Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day this year, a major Israeli newspaper reported that the main issues affecting many of the 190,000 remaining Holocaust survivors in the State of Israel today are loneliness and poverty. According to official figures, 20 percent rely on charity and there are over 50,000 Holocaust Survivors currently living below the poverty line throughout the country. This subject is much debated by Israeli politicians, but with the national budget stretched beyond it's limits, it is hard to find extra resources for this need.

Around 13,000 survivors die each year, and with an average age of 85, we do not have long before time runs out to help them. In the words of a Survivor, “Let us live our final days in

03 July 2014

The View From Here: A personal walk through the Holy Land

"Walk With Me", a declaration of moving from being 'Victims' to 'Over Comers'. A prophetic statement through a week of coming alongside victims of terror and their families, and having the privilege of partaking in a small part of their journey. From the moment I heard about it I knew I had to be there. A common theme, it transpired, amongst many of the internationals who also travelled to take part. We all have challenges we've had to face and overcome in our lives. For me it was a personal statement as well as corporate. It was to be my first time in Israel.

Enjoying Jerusalem hospitality
Israelis certainly know how to party! Met at the airport by Karen and Amanda, we drove straight to Jerusalem for a Purim festival banquet, (marking God's deliverance of the Jewish people through Esther). Before I knew it, a glass of champagne in hand, I was dancing Hora-style on a packed dance floor of local families and internationals.

Excellent hospitality became a theme over the week. We were blessed with some delicious meals, provided through Springs of Hope and on one occasion by one of the local women and her friends who opened up her small, sparse apartment (which she shared with her husband and 9 of their 10 children) to over 20 visitors.

I was touched and challenged by the brave individuals and families we met who live with the physical and emotional scars of war everyday. For some their families have literally been torn apart. And yet they carry great dignity, hope and love. As they impart to one another, a growing sense of community is forming. I can see how God is poised to build on these powerful foundations, as they begin to take their vision beyond themselves.

A moment to pray at the Western Wall, Jerusalem
Being in Israel allowed me to experience a new kind of physical, as well as  spiritual connection to Jesus. I could 'place my feet on His feet' - literally on some of the places my Saviour walked, and talked, and gave Himself. Alongside this I was able to gain a geographical sense of the land, both within Jerusalem and other parts of the country.  In the Old City, landmarks are smaller and more compact than I had imagined, but beautiful and seemingly timeless. Praying at the Western Wall I found a particularly powerful experience. As we explored I was also absorbing some of the religious and cultural diversity of the country.

On day 4 we got to take a road trip. Within a 24-hour period I was able to stick my toes in the Sea of Galilee, the River Jordan and the Med! The latter was definitely