Friday, June 20, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom from Callie (and Devin)

Dear Family,

Devin had to guard the base this Shabbat, so he asked me to write this week's letter. First I'd like to note that Devin called several minutes ago and informed me that he had sprained his wrist during a wrestling lesson today. He needs prayer for healing since these next few days of training will be very vital to fulfilling is responsibilities in the Army.

Yesterday Devin dictated a brief thought, as we spoke on the phone, regarding his time as a guard in the army and how this is building his character for the next season of life we are coming into. He compares guarding a base to being a husband and father:

"When you're guarding over a family it doesn't matter how exhausted or how preoccupied you are, or what mood you are in. It doesn't matter if any one is watching you to make sure you are doing it right. It's a responsibility you've been given and one you've taken upon yourself. It needs to be done with diligence. This doesn't have to be restricted to being a husband and father, but it also applies to everyone's walk with the Lord. As believers we have been given a gift of salvation and we've taken salvation upon ourselves. We need to remember the responsibilities of our salvation, and then guard them with diligence."

It's these very responsibilities that give us greater kinds of freedom than we'd have with out them. Devin's wisdom brings to mind a season I went through last fall. Prior to the sparkly ring, I was working hard to find a job in Jerusalem for my winter internship, but I was caught in this terrible struggle. I wasn't finding any work in the land that suited my architectural interests, and I was by-passing good opportunities in America in order to work here in the land. My emotions were so torn during that season. After we became engaged, the Lord gave me revelation as to what I was going through. Somewhere in my heart, I felt as though I was laying down dreams for a relationship with an unknown end. Even as honorable as Devin's intentions were towards me, I was still resisting making great sacrifices with only the commitment of "dating." Honestly, that's not a wrong concern for a young woman to have, especially in a culture that tells us to be maximally vulnerable before marriage (the trend towards co-habitation), and then withhold protectively afterwards (can anyone say "pre-nup?"). Devin honored me by proposing. After we became engaged, that concern disappeared, and I was more than willing to only look for internships in Israel. The responsibility he took upon himself through his promise of love and marriage released my heart to freely lay down more than a few worldly desires. Ahhhh…. I love him. Sigh!

Just as Devin's proposal freed my heart to easily sacrifice my individual goals for ones we are now building together in the Lord, this season of daily living in Jerusalem is a calling in my life to take up responsibility with Devin. If we were in Jerusalem together it would be easy for me to rely on him too heavily, and not learn for myself the inner workings of Israeli life. As we are spending time apart, Devin just outside of Gaza, and me in Jerusalem, I'm in a position to rely on the Lord in my day to day outings in the Land. Through His strength I'm learning to be independent; buying groceries, going to the post office, navigating bus routes, and taking the initiative to build friendships on my own. This is laying a strong foundation for our life together after marriage. All of the knowledge I'm gaining by living in Jerusalem without Devin near by will free him to be in his calling when we are together. I'll be much more capable of helping him accomplish day to day tasks, therefore allowing us to grow into a position of being better teammates in ministry after we're able to fully cleave to each other in marriage. Do remember to pray for me while Devin and I are apart during the week. Shabbat Shalom!

Callie (and Devin)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom from Devin and Callie
July 5, 2008

Dear Family,

Blessings on you all for the prayers that you have been raising up for me and for this nation. I am sorry that there has been so much time between letters from me during this season of my life, but I am sure you can imagine the demands the army has on my life at the moment. In regards to that, this is my last week on my present base and on Thursday I should be receiving my next assignment. Please be praying for this, because no one seems to be telling us where we will be going or what exactly we will be doing. If I can get an assignment close to Jerusalem, there is a good chance that I will be able to come home every night to my apartment. They call it an "open" assignment and I would basically have a 9-5 job with the army. This would be wonderful especially with my fiance Callie living and working in Jerusalem this summer.

There are a couple areas of prayer other than what I have already mentioned. One is concerning the terrorist attack that happened this week in Jerusalem. I am sure many of you have heard about it, and I would just ask that you cover the situation in prayer. It has the potential to start another round of violence and the people here are very weary. They need a time of rest. I had an open door to share my faith with a few fellow soldiers over the last couple weeks and the response was pretty positive. One was a very secular Russian and the other was a very religious American. Please pray that the seeds that were planted would bear fruit.

This is going to be the first Shabbat letter that I have ever written with someone. Callie has been here for two weeks now, and since we are going to be married in a few months, we thought it would be important to start writing these letters together. She will share with you all now a little of what the Lord has been showing her since she has been here.

Hello everyone, this is Callie. :) It is such a blessing to be able to report to you along side my handsome fiance, who, I might add, looks especially nice in his uniform and bullet proof vest! So far, one of my favorite parts of being here is introducing myself as "Mrs. Devin-to-be." It is an honor to be engaged to a man of such strong character, and to have the promise of sharing in a Holy Spirit adventure with him for the rest of our lives. Over the last two weeks, I've experienced a sinus flu, a terrorist attack, and an odd last minute change in my summer job, but none of this has shaken me. I think this is primarily because of the confidence the Lord has been building in my heart about His plans for my life.

Shortly after I arrived, the Holy Spirit took me to Zechariah 8, which states the Lord's promises for Jerusalem. As I was reading, verse 5 stood out: "The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there." I sat and thought about it for a second, wondering why this caught my eye, then I realized, "MY children will play in the streets of Jerusalem!" Suddenly, this prophetic passage that would ordinarily be objective became personal. I am called to marry Devin and create a new family with him in the land. Neither of us needs the other to sustain our relationship with the Lord, but we do need each other to fully walk out the life He has called us to. Our up coming marriage is part of the Lord's destiny for our lives as a means of further consecrating us to Yeshua, and contributing to His plan to grow His people in the land before the Messiah's return. As a gentile girl from the south, this is not a calling I could fulfill as a single woman. Our marriage is a mitzvah, and it is a joy to know that the Lord is pleased by our relationship. This makes the trials of "leaving my father's house" (psalm 45) and enduring the difficulties of living in a spiritually charged foreign land so incredibly worth it. Shabbat Shalom!

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie