Reflections From My Time In Israel
I begin by thanking Wellspring and the elders for the opportunity to travel and minister in Israel for the month of March. The days were filled with significance, from the first day to the last. Instead of a trip report, let me share some reflections and perspectives that I trust you will find encouraging and meaningful.
God is doing more than we know. It is easy, even natural, to view our world and God’s kingdom from our limited vantage point. We can make the assumption that what we see is the full extent of the matter. Even with today’s level of worldwide communication, our view is quite limited. I worshiped in a lively Arab Anglican Church, attended a gathering of Messianic Jewish leaders, and participated in a conference for Christian leaders throughout the Middle East (with attendees from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and more).
My spirit was awakened to the refreshing awareness of God’s kingdom’s advance, even in some of the harshest and most contested regions of the world. God has a plan, he knows what he’s doing, and his promises will be fulfilled. I’m very grateful for an expanded perspective and increased faith in God’s kingdom’s purposes.
I gained a heightened awareness of God’s presence and power all around us. Traveling throughout Israel and participating in varied activities, I noticed a growing increase in my awareness of God’s presence and my expectation that his presence was impacting and directing us and even me. This was not controlling or manipulative. In fact, I could express it with our year verse. I felt myself abiding in him, and he in me. And I also witnessed the natural result of loving others and bearing fruit. Most of this was relational and would be hard to quantify or measure, but when hearts are opened with peace and joy, we know the fruit of the Spirit is present.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Much of my time was spent traveling with the Gateways Training School based in Cyprus. (Three young Wellspring women are currently attending the school.) The entire school travels to and experiences Israel for the month of March, and I often served as a resident pastor/mentor. Over and over I was impressed by the level of hunger and thirst for righteousness and a discipled commitment to Jesus that was stirring in the hearts of the students. I also witnessed the faithfulness of God to satisfy their hunger and thirst.
I know the circumstances and the locations of traveling throughout Israel helped to create an open environment. It was special to study the Sermon on the Mount while overlooking the Sea of Galilee, or call forth faith in the Lord while standing on Mt Carmel. But beyond circumstances and locations, the Lord will always fulfill deep hunger and passionate thirst for the things of God.
Jesus said we are blessed when we are not content with lesser things than God’s righteousness. We are blessed because we will be filled. It was my joy and privilege to minister to the students and witness the Lord’s outpouring of living water, healing and filling their deep desire for righteousness. (As for specifics concerning our Wellspring students, it is not for me to tell their stories. You will have to wait to hear directly from them.)
Again, I am very grateful for the opportunity to take this trip. In addition to the initial fruit that I experienced personally and release through ministry while in Israel, I also look forward to more fruit in the days ahead. I’m confident that many seeds were planted, and I’m asking God for a great harvest for his glory.
|Preparing for baptisms in the Sea of Galilee|
|Worshiping in an Arab Anglican Church|