It has been an interesting two weeks for me here in Israel. I am sorry that I couldn't send out an update to you last week. There was so much going on, and there still is a lot going on in regards to my army service. Finally, I have been sent to the place where I will be for the rest of my army service. The time of jumping around from base to base has ended and now all I have before me is the job I have been assigned to. I have been placed on the southern border of Israel and I am joining other soldiers there to guard against illegal border crossing from Egypt. The border with Egypt is little more than a wire fence you would see on a farm in the States, so it naturally attracts people who would want to cross into Israel. These would include, terrorists, smugglers, and refugees from war torn African nations. Dealing with the refugees crossing the border is something we will have to work with from week to week, while the other groups crossing over are quite rare.
This is something I never could have imagined I would be doing. Six month soldiers usually become simple workers or drivers for the army. My little unit of 17 will be joining in with the real work the IDF does to protect this nation. I frequently ask myself why God would choose me to be so involved in this way. Asking this and listening for answers has become a wealth of revelation for my life. Please continue to pray for me through all of this and please pray that I will be a shining light for Yeshua on the southern borders of Israel.
It has been amazing to see how different the defenses are in various parts of this country. I have been on the border with Lebanon, through the Jordan valley, and close to the fence with Gaza. The defenses are different according to the perception of danger. The Lord really started speaking to me about the spiritual defenses we put up and how they are often very similar. We take our own calculations of where we feel we are vulnerable and we put up our spiritual defenses accordingly. The problem with this is that the enemy of our souls prowls around like a lion waiting to devour. He wants to exploit those places that we haven't defended well because we didn't see ourselves as vulnerable. For example, I met a missionary once who had been serving abroad for 20 years. The humility it had taken to serve a foreign people group for so many years was amazing to think about. Pride is not something you would expect from this man. However, once when I was talking to him, it was clear that he saw himself exalted over other believers who weren't missionaries overseas. This man didn't see the need to defend against pride because of the humility it had taken to serve the way he had. We must be ever watchful of our spiritual borders. We need to ask God to give us eyes to see where we are vulnerable and where we need to put up our defenses. We shouldn't think for one second that there is a place where the enemy can't hit us. I don't say this so that we become paranoid, but rather so that we understand how much we need the full protection of God. The believer of 20 years needs it just as much as the believer of 2 years. This can be difficult sometimes because we don't necessarily see the danger. That is why our walk with Yeshua is so important. He sees the danger and he sends his spirit to lead us in truth. May the Lord place his angels to watch over you all on this Shabbat.
This past week was my official last few regular days with my office. They had a planned holiday for this coming up week, and then I'll attend a few client meetings the next week before returning home. I ended up fitting in really well with everyone at the office and they have taken full of advantage of my 3-D Digital Modeling training. Thanks to all of your prayers, they have invited me to return in March. When I was a new believer, and a new design student, I used to joke around with my believing friends that the Lord was training me to do work on the Temple Mount. I regularly studied the passages that described the architecture of the temple and the tabernacles and incorporated a great deal of what I was learning in the bible into my architecture projects. Even my most liberal professors loved the way I could seamlessly weave together architecture theory and theology, and I was able to share the truth of Yeshua with many of my classmates through my project presentations. After our second year in school, one friend even came into the Kingdom as she was able to see the Lord through a school I had designed. Now she has an amazing ministry herself. The Lord was using me as a temple architect in those days. I was literally helping him build the kingdom and the temple of Ephesians 2:20-22 as I studied, and that was fine with me.
Well, my joking proved to be prophetic and much more literal than I ever expected. This summer I've been working with my office on an observation garden directly across from the Wailing Wall (between the archeological dig and the entry check point for those of you familiar with the area). The details of how it looks are top secret ;) but I can tell you that it will have olive trees and viewing levels for praying and observing the activity at the wall. I would imagine that the next time some of you visit the Old City, it will be complete and you might even find yourselves sitting under one of the trees. I love that I've been able to contribute to enhancing the experience of this space. It has been really exciting to work on such a high profile project, and one that required taking site visits as an office to the old city here and there. The Lord has really blessed my time in the Land, restoring the dreams of my heart. I only have about three more weeks before its time to leave. Devin is a little concerned about whether or not He'll be able to come home for Shabbat given the high intensity of his new job. Pray that we will have sufficient time together before I leave, and also keep in prayer the Lord's plans for me as an aspiring architect, especially regarding the completion of school. This is the area where I am most seeking Him for some clarity right now and I'd greatly appreciate your prayer support!
Make sure to really rest in the Lord this week, no matter how stressful or strange things are, take time to be still.
Devin and Callie