Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PRAY FOR PEACE, PREPARE FOR WAR: Update on Joshua Fund's latest project trip

Let me bring you up to date on the doors the Lord is opening for The Joshua Fund as we pursue the goals & objectives He has set before us -- to obtain a warehouse, offices and vehicles in Israel and as quickly as possible to stockpile $1 million dollars in food and emergency relief supplies. We are praying we can have all these facilities, resources and systems in place by November 1st, given the rising threat of war with Iran.

A team from The Joshua Fund led by our Executive Director John Moser has just returned from an 18 day work trip to the Holy Land to continue the planning and implementation of these projects. They accomplished an enormous amount in just a short time. As a result we are currently in negotiations to procure warehouse space. We have also just rented office space and have purchased a large van with which we can transport staff, volunteers and relief supplies.

During their stay, they were blessed to visit and encourage many of our valued allies in the Land, including leaders from Jewish and Arab hospitals, directors of other relief organizations, government officials, pastors and other ministry leaders. They received briefings on the latest developments in these organizations and took time to pray with and for these leaders, their families and the important work they are doing. The had a particularly special time visiting with Israeli Pastor David and Leah Ortiz, and their son, Ami, who continues recovering after being targeted for assassination for his faith in Jesus. I'll write more on that visit in my next email, but the Lord has made it very clear to us that our connection to precious believers such as these will be even more critical in the days ahead. Despite the fact that Israel is a wonderful democracy and provides more personal freedom than any other country in the Middle East, it is still not easy to be a follower of Jesus in the land of his birth, death and resurrection. We need to continue standing with our brothers and sisters and finding ways to bless them, even as we find ways to bless all Israelis with unconditional love and unwavering support. So we are actively listening to and working with these leaders to hear their needs and help them get ready for the coming war.

Our team also seized the opportunity to initiate relationships with several potential new ministry partners as well. The Joshua Fund team included Cheryl Moser, our Office Manager and Operations Coordinator; Jeremy Grafman our Director of Special Projects; as well as a husband and wife doctor team that are the co-chairs of The Joshua Fund's new medical advisory council. We are learning a lot and don't have a concrete answer yet as to how American and Canadian doctors and other medical personnel can be a blessing to needy Israelis, so please keep us in prayer as we really want a clear answer from the Lord on this.

We continued in our commitment to support medical relief in the south of Israel by delivering additional funds to the Barzilai Medical Center. These funds will be used to procure critically important medical equipment. We are also praying that the Lord would provide the hospital the funds they need for the construction of a fortified, underground treatment facility. This sheltered facility will provide staff and patients with a desperately needed shield from the missile and rocket attacks which are almost continuously launched from Gaza. Recent media reports reveal Hamas is feverishly stockpiling weaponry during the current "truce." Our concern, of course, is that these tools of hatred will be unleashed very soon on this civilian population.

We were also able to step into a partnership with a wonderful Israeli ministry that is literally helping rescue young Muslim Iraqi children from the jaws of death. Just this week we have provided the resources to enable three Iraqi children with life threatening heart defects to be brought into Israel for the surgeries that will sustain them. Think about that for a moment: your contributions are allowing us as evangelical Christians help Israeli Jews provide life-saving medical treatment for Iraqi Muslim children and their families. What an honor.

Each of these beautiful young Iraqi girls has been accompanied by their mother, and are housed and cared for during the time of their medical treatment. This is such an amazing opportunity to express our love for Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. These three families have travelled from Kurdistan in northern Iraq and have willingly come to a country they fear for the help they must have. Please keep this entire project in fervent prayer. Israeli cardiologists are examining and assessing these 3 lovely young ladies right now. Unfortunately there are no guarantees that the surgeries will be successful. Also pray faithfully for their mothers, that as they desperately seek for hope and a future for their children, that the lives, words and actions of the believers who are surrounding them will lead them a true hope and future. Our team was humbled and blessed to be able to personally deliver a number of Kurdish Bibles to give to these families as they arrived in Israel. By having the Word of God in their own language, we pray they will begin to understand the unconditional love that has constrained us to share with them, and to freely provide for their children.

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?'

"'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.'

"'Well said, teacher,' the man replied. 'You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.' "When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions." (Mark 12:28-34)

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 on-going work of The Joshua Fund please make your check payable to "The Joshua Fund" and send to:

The Joshua Fund
18950 Base Camp Road
Monument, Colorado

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.

Would you consider making a donation of $25, $40 or $60 a month to The Joshua Fund? Please click here to find out more, and/or to make a secure donation on-line.