Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

Thank you all for praying for Callie and me. It has been a while since we have written, but as you can imagine, we have been quite busy. The Lord has been very good to us through this whole pregnancy and we almost have everything we need for the baby's arrival. We have been in and out of various government offices over the last few weeks. We finally got the last piece of paper we needed to officially file for Callie's permanent status. The process will last a while, but we won't have to worry about her visa now which is a huge relief. We also went into the national insurance office here to get the birth of our baby paid for. The Israeli government pays for every child born to an Israeli citizen and so we filed to receive that right. We are now waiting for the confirmation that it will be given to us, so please pray that it would come soon. Callie and I are waiting expectantly for our boy to come! Please continue to pray that everything would be smooth and that everyone would come through the birth safely.

This coming week, Vice President Biden and special envoy George Mitchell will come to see if they can start indirect talks in order to restart peace talks. Putting aside the fact that "indirect talks" seems to be a fairly ambiguous concept, the arrival of Biden is a very interesting development. He is the highest official in the Obama administration to visit Israel. The administration has not scored one foreign policy victory in the last year and they may be betting on the pressure they can put on Israel to get that victory. This puts the US in a very dangerous spiritual position! Over the last decade, the Lord has shown very clearly that He does not tolerate the arrogance of nations or individuals trying to divide His Land. The US looks to be coming back to that place of putting unholy pressure on Israel and the Lord will not tolerate it this time either. Please pray that the Lord would keep the leaders of Israel respectful and yet firm when they visit, so that the attempt to pressure would come to nothing. No government will ever have the solution to the problems Israel faces, only the Lord has the solution.

As a man who is about to become a father, it has been interesting to take stock of my faith. Faith is a fascinating subject and when ever there is big change in our lives, we can see where our faith is lacking. At the same time, we can also get a good look at where our faith is strong. I have been going through this examination of faith even though the change in my life has not officially come yet. The Lord has been showing me that I have a healthy faith when it comes to things that are out of my hands. If there is a situation that just can't be resolved without the intervention of the Lord, I have faith that the Lord will work things out. I know that I am not perfect, but I have always tried to live my life for the glory of God's kingdom. I have seen again and again that the Lord has provided miraculously over the years when I saw absolutely no solution for my situation. When I could do nothing, and my only option was for the Lord to come through, He came through. This has continued to be the case through the first year of our marriage, and I have complete faith that this will continue to be the case. Having faith in this way has been a continual part of the Lord's discipline in my particular walk.

Having said this, I have been floored by my apparent lack of faith when I have a part to play in how things proceed. When it is not just waiting on the deliverance of the Lord, I struggle to find the faith that everything will be taken care of in the end. I think about Noah being told he had to build an ark. The Lord didn't build an ark for him so that he and his family would be safe. Noah had to put his hands to work trusting that the Lord would bless his hands to the extent that the ark wouldn't cap-size and his family would be safe. Doubts can flood in (no pun intended) about how sure the Lord's hands are, but how incredibly UNSURE our hands are. I don't have enough faith in the Lord that He will watch over me as I work and that He will make my hands able to accomplish His work. Faith is something we need to bring into every situation. We all know this in theory, but God is not satisfied with us just knowing theories. It is vital that we take stock of our faith as we walk through life, so that we know what aspect of faith we need to work on with the Lord. It has been an eye-opening experience for me, and I pray that the Lord would never stop this process. No matter how uncomfortable it can get, this process will bring about tremendous character in us, which will in turn glorify our Father. Blessings to you all!

in Yeshua,

Devin and Callie

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