What an amazing couple of weeks it has been! I wanted so much to be able to write to you all last week, but I was quite busy. For those who have not heard, Callie gave birth to our son on March 12th at 2 pm. He was 7 pounds and 4 ounces. We don't know how long he was at birth, because they don't really measure that here in Israel. Callie and I are overjoyed as you may imagine and we praise God that He was with us through the whole thing. The Lord opened the door for the entire birth to be paid for by the government, which was an answer to a lot of prayer. We had his circumcision yesterday, and according to Jewish custom, we did not tell anyone his name until the ceremony. His name is Aviel David Mitchell. Aviel in hebrew means "God is my Father". We still have a very real prayer request. Please pray that the Lord would show us how to proceed in getting his status here. Because Callie is still in process, and we are still not registered as married, the Ministry of Interior is giving us a hard time concerning his status too. We need the wisdom of the Lord to know how to move forward. Nothing is ever easy here, but the Lord has led us, the Lord is leading, and the Lord will lead us. Also, please continue to pray that the Lord would show me what to do concerning my language teaching. There are some opportunities still awaiting final approval, so please ask the Lord to open only those doors I need to walk through.
Israel is a in a very precarious position at the moment. The Obama administration has leveled an all out attack on Israel for the lack of progress towards "peace". Vice President Joseph Biden was here over the past week and in the middle of the trip, there was an announcement from the Interior ministry that 1,600 housing units had been approved to be built in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. The Palestinians are claiming that Israel is building in "their" East Jerusalem and the US Administration is completely supporting the PA in this. Since this strong, condemning stance was taken by the Obama Administration, the Palestinians saw a green light to begin violence again. Two people have been killed by Kassam rockets coming out of Gaza and violent protests have continued in Jerusalem this past week. There is a powder keg here waiting to go off. Please pray that the Lord would be merciful and prevent more blood from being shed. Please pray that the arrogant position taken by the Obama Administration against God's Land would be brought low. Pray that all believers here would stand as lights in this difficult situation.
Through the whole process of pregnancy and birth, I felt that I could be writing down a parable a week. I am sure someone else has already done it, because apart from personal salvation, there is nothing in life so profound as the birth of a child. A couple days ago, Aviel started getting some gunk in his eyes that made his eyelids stick together. My heart would break every time Aviel would try to look up at me and only manage to open one eye. I felt so helpless. His condition was not due to something we had done or hadn't done for him, and all we could to was wipe the gunk away with a warm, wet rag. All of a sudden, I thought about our Father in heaven. No matter how great the feelings I have as a father, it is nothing compared to His Father's heart for us multiplied by His eternity. I thought about how incredibly "helpless" the Lord must have felt when Adam and Eve sinned. How must He have felt when mankind continued to turn away from Him despite the Lord continuing to extend His grace (wipe away the gunk) to us? What about when we in His Body continue going about our own business indifferent to the grace and love that has been extended to us? This should break our hearts, shouldn't it?! We all, myself included, have taken advantage of this loving Father at one time or another. As a father now, who is so caught up in his feelings for his son, I have started to see the Lord in a new way. The Lord hasn't changed at all. It has been the miraculous birth of my son that has changed how I see things. I pray the Lord would continue to show me this side of Him that I was not able to see before. I pray that we would all, as a Body, continue to discover more about our Heavenly Father, instead of settling for the little we know. Blessings to you all on this Shabbat and know that we are truly blessed to be able to share this new joy with all of you.
Devin and Callie