Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

We arrived in Israel two days ago and we are very happy to be home. We were supposed to arrive on Wednesday, but we we laid over in Atlanta for a day. For those who have ever flown standby, even with the blessings of cost and comfortable seats, it can be a little troublesome at times. If the plane is relatively empty, there is no problem getting a seat. However, when flights get canceled or it is high season for flying, it can be nearly impossible to get a seat...let alone two seats. So we ended up staying the night in Atlanta and leaving the next day. It really turned into a wonderful blessing in disguise. Just having that one day gave us some time to decompress a bit before entering into this heavy spiritual environment. We are both really happy bout being here and are excited to see what the Lord will do.

When I say heavy spiritual environment, I may by understating it a bit. I have never felt such a spirit of depression and hopelessness over this country before. It has always been part of the spiritual makeup here, but the intensity has grown since we were here last. It seems like nothing positive is happening in this country and there doesn't seem to be any answer. There was some real hope that a new government would bring some much needed change into the economy and government decisions in general. As things progress, it seems like there is little hope of that really happening. Please pray that those who are entering into this government will have a revelation of the Messiah and bring the true change this country needs. There is something else that really needs some prayer. In this new government coming in, the political party who is being given the control of the Ministry of Interior is the Shas party. Shas is the party that is ultra religious and very antagonistic towards believers. It may become extremely difficult for believers to enter and function in this Land while Shas has control of this ministry. Please pray that the Lord would intervene in a mighty way in this situation.

With the way things are going all over the world, I have really felt strongly from the Lord that we are to be about building community in a very concentrated way. I know there have been many books written about this concept and many ideas thrown around about what exactly this means. To me, it is a very simple concept. The form it takes is less important than the effort put forth to build it and the humility needed to keep it together. Communities are not started most of the time because of the effort it takes to build them. Communities break down because of the spiritual pride that we all seem to carry a measure of. Invariably it happens that someone you wouldn't think would carry pride, once in community, will feel that he or she is not getting the recognition they deserve and will allow this pride to direct their actions. Many of us have seen this type of thing happen, and it even further helps to discourage us from putting forth the effort to build community. What we don't quite get is that when the world really starts to crumble, God will use those who are in community to support each other through the calamity. Here is the deal, building community is about seeking Yeshua together, being changed by Him, and lovingly sticking together through that process. The numbers or shape that a community has is less important than this. We are MADE to have a relationship with God and each other. If were are not focusing our attention on these two things, we are NOT building community. The time has come for us to stop being religious snobs. This is when we look at songs we sing in the community or the positions we hold in the community before we see the need to cultivate the relationships involved in building a community. In a time of great trouble, we will suffer more if we have jumped from community to community because they didn't quite sing praise songs the way we wanted them to. The relationships we cultivate and the community we build will matter in this time of trouble ahead. I pray we would all start to build relationships for Kingdom glory.

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie

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