Tuesday, July 22, 2008


As part of our "pray for peace, but prepare for war" approach to trends in the epicenter, The Joshua Fund board of directors continues to meet with experts who are advising us how best to get ready for a possible new conflict in the Middle East.

At our July board meetings, we had the privilege of spending the weekend with Lt.-General Jerry Boykin and Bailey Marks, Sr., two dear friends and men of tremendous experience and wisdom. General Boykin, you may recall, was a keynote speaker at our EPICENTER conference in Jerusalem in April. He is the former head of Delta Force and recently retired as the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. He also used to be responsible for the training of all U.S. special forces at Fort Bragg, overseeing some 10,000 of America's best and brightest soldiers and Marines. Bailey Marks retired several years ago as Senior Vice President of Campus Crusade for Christ International. He served as a top aide to Bill Bright for several decades and was responsible for all CCC ministries outside the United States, overseeing some 22,000 American and foreign national staff members. Both were exceedingly gracious with their time and enormously helpful in helping us think through how to respond to a variety of eventualities.

Over the past week, we have also met in the D.C. area with a half-dozen other Israelis and evangelicals working in Israel who briefed us on what they are doing and discussed with us how we might be able work together. Among the questions we are asking:

* How can we stockpile emergency supplies in Israel to care for Israelis and Palestinians who may be caught in the crossfire of future hostilities? It is vitally important to us that we able to care for both communities, not just one or the other.

* How can we acquire additional warehouse facilities inside Israel that can be used to pre-position such supplies and complement the facilities other Jewish, Christian Arab and evangelical organizations already operate?

* How can we organize and train volunteeers to go into the region and assist churches, first responders, and local governments after the war ends?

* How can we mobilize more congregations to pray for the people of the epicenter, as well as for the staff and work of The Joshua Fund?

* How can we trust the Lord for the finances we need to move quickly, ahead of the coming conflict?

Please join us in praying for the Lord's wisdom in each of these areas.

Please also pray for:

* A Joshua Fund staff team that leaves Saturday for a two-week trip to Israel and the West Bank. They will be meeting with our key allies to pray with them and encourage them; fixing up and stocking bomb shelters as part of our pilot project; bringing more relief to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon; assessing new projects we may support; and looking for adequate warehouse space. Please pray Psalm 32:8 for them, that the Lord would lead them and guide them in the way that they should go, and counsel them with His eye upon them.

* The establishment of a Canadian branch of The Joshua Fund. Galatians 6:10 says, "While we have opportunity, let us do good to ALL people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith." There has been growing interest from our evangelical friends up north for a way to learn, pray, give and go to the work of The Joshua Fund. There is particular interest among many to make tax deductible contributions to TJF. At the same time, I have been invited by several groups to go up to Canada and speak either this fall or next spring about the work we are doing. We are deeply grateful for this interest and want to respond to it. Please pray that the Lord would continue to give us clarity and wise counsel on all this so we can bless Canadians who seek to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.

* Our next Joshua Fund trip to Iraq. For security reasons, I cannot give more details at this time. But we are praying about returning later this summer or fall to encourage Iraqi pastors, pray with and encourage local believers, speak in Iraqi churches, bring in more humanitarian relief supplies, and meet with top Iraqi leaders. Please join us in praying Colossians 4:2-5, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

* The Lord to bless TJF with an additional $1 million in the next 30 to 45 days, above and beyond our regular budget. This money will be used to accelerate the stockpiling of emergency supplies in Israel and acquiring the warehouse space, trucks, etc needed to store and distribute these supplies. Far more than this is needed, of course, but if the Lord would provide these funds quickly, this would be a big step forward in making the necessary preparations. Please pray that the Lord would be gracious. And please pray about joining our team and investing in the work of The Joshua Fund.

As the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:6-14, "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: 'He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.' Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"

If you are a pastor, would you and your congregation consider a one-time special gift to TJF of $50,000 to help meet this need? For individuals and families, would you consider making a $25, $50 or $100 monthly gift? Thank you so much for your prayers and your generosity.

As always, The Joshua Fund will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date on the kinds of projects we are doing, brief you on how those projects are proceeding. We will also let you know about the kinds of projects we are developing for the future. In no way do we want to pressure anyone to give financially. We fully believe the Lord will provide for the needs of the people we seek to serve. But if you or others wish to help, we welcome your support, and all financial gifts are tax-deductible.

To contribute to the work of The Joshua Fund through a secure, on-line donation, please click here. Or, please make your check payable to "The Joshua Fund" and send to:

The Joshua Fund
18950 Base Camp Road
Monument, Colorado 80132-8009

Thanks so much and may the Lord richly bless you and your family as you bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus -- especially at critical moment in history of the epicenter.