Detail from mural in Magdala chapel depicting finger of woman with issue of blood touching the hem of Yeshua’s garment. (Luke 8:43-48)
1. DAUGHTER OF ZION GATHERING THIS WEEKEND IN THE GALILEE.
Twenty-seven years ago when I moved to Israel, the Lord put two Scriptures on my heart:
* Jeremiah 8:11. “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, Peace!’ when there is no peace.”
* Jeremiah 8:21. “For the hurt of the daughter of my people, I am hurt; I am mourning.”
For the past two years, I have sensed that I was to gather the Daughters of Zion. It is time for an army of women to be healed and arise in the Land. I love Psalm 68:11: “The Lord gives the command; the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great army.” After meeting with women leaders a few times in 2017, I was able to see whom I could walk with in leading this. A Messianic pastor’s wife from Tel Aviv has the same heart as I do, and together we are gathering believing women of Israel in the Galilee this coming weekend, the 26th and 27th of January. We felt to begin this at Magdala, the site of an archeological dig on the Sea of Galilee where, in recent years, the original ruins of the oldest synagogue ever discovered in Israel were uncovered. It lay in an ancient fishing village, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. There is little question that Yeshua Himself would have visited this synagogue. And adjacent to this site, a new worship center has built with the specific purpose of honoring women.
Our theme for this gathering is “Hope for the Daughters of Zion!” The worship leaders and speakers are from Israel, with one coming from Europe. This being a first-time event, I honestly expected about 80-90 women. As of now, over 150 have registered to come. For Israel, this is a very large group! Most of the women coming are 40 years old or younger. They are hungry!
It is interesting that in the Parasha for this very weekend (See Torah Portion), the Torah Portion speaks of “Miriam the prophetess” (Exodus 15:20-21), and the Haftarah (reading from the Prophets) begins with Deborah a prophetess to whom the sons of Israel came for wise judgment (Judges 4:4-5) and goes on to speak of Ya’el, whom God used to defeat an enemy captain (4:21-22). We believe that it is indeed time for the women of Israel to come together as an army, to hear the Command of the LORD, and to proclaim the tidings!
* That many women at the conference be touched, healed and encouraged.
* For the army of believing women to begin to arise in the land of Israel, and come
into the array which the Lord has prepared for them.
* For anointed worship and messages and times of prayer and communion.
* Protection for the speakers, admin team and worship leaders.
* That the leaders and intercessors would stay alert to any attempts of the enemy to
sabotage what God wants to do for women in the Land.
Vice President Mike and His wife Karen Pence disembarking from their plane
at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel Sunday evening.
2. VICE PRESIDENT PENCE’S VISIT TO ISRAEL.
A little over a month ago we dedicated a Prayer Update to US Vice President Mike Pence’s pending visit to Israel. At the last moment that trip had to be cancelled. On Sunday evening, after quick visits to Egypt and Jordan, the Vice President and his wife Karen arrived in Israel for a 48 hour visit. As we write, Mr. Pence is meeting with Israeli President Rivlin (He had meetings with PM Netanyahu yesterday). Afterwards, he and his wife will go to the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem, after which they will visit the Western Wall. They leave later today for the US.
It has been a very important visit, the first by an American leader since President Trump’s historical declaration of Jerusalem as being Israel’s capital, and Israel went to unusual lengths to welcome the Vice President. He is known and respected here—he is known to be an Evangelical Christian who loves Israel, and his history in politics of standing up for that love is also known. Still—it was as though Divine favor was preceding him on this trip. There was an honor guard—something ordinarily reserved for heads of states ( i.e. presidents, prime ministers or royalty), not Vice Presidents. And Mr. Pence was invited to address the Knesset during his visit—the first time that honor has ever been extended to an American Vice President.
It was a remarkable address, resulting in frequent outbursts of applause and standing ovations. There was something which Mr. Pence’s Israeli audience found deeply moving in a way they’re not used to. What captured their hearts and respect was the quiet authority and integrity of this leader, coupled with humility—a gracious and genuine respect, not only for those whom he was addressing, but for the land in which they lived, its history, and the sanctity of its heritage. Perhaps more than any senior foreign speakers before him, in this “Homeland of the Jewish People”, Mr. Pence, while not failing to make mention of other peoples living here, spoke specifically of the Jews. He spoke of the influence the “People of the Book”—their songs and stories, their Bible—have had on America since its founding. He spoke of the American people becoming “fierce advocates of the Jewish people’s aspiration to return to the land of your forefathers” after 2000 years of exile. And he sowed his words with quotations of allusions from the Scriptures (probably more than any foreign leader speaking to the knesset, ever)…he spoke of Mount Moriah, “here in Jerusalem [where] Abraham offered his son, Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God.” (This is of course, the Temple Mount, which radical Islam teaches has no connection to Jews or to their heritage). Towards the end of his speech, Mr. Pence likened Israel to a tree,
“that has grown deep roots in the soil of your forefathers, yet as it grows, it reaches ever closer to the heavens. And today and every day, the Jewish State of Israel, and all the Jewish people, bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as your own. It was the faith of the Jewish people that gathered the scattered fragments of a people and made them whole again; that took the language of the Bible and the landscape of the Psalms and made them live again. And it was faith that rebuilt the ruins of Jerusalem and made them strong again. The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world. And the United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends. As so we will “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” that “those who love you be secure,” that “there be peace within your walls, and security in your citadels.” [Psalm 122:6-7]
Earlier, related to the up-and-coming 70th anniversary,
“And this April, we will mark the day when the Jewish people answered that ancient question, “Can a country be born in a day, Can a nation be born in a moment?” As you prepare to commemorate this historic milestone, I say, along with the good people of Israel, here and around the world: She’hekheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh! (Who has given us life, sustained us and enabled us to come to this day.)”
For a foreign dignitary to speak out this ancient blessing (which every Jewish person has known from childhood) in Jerusalem in Hebrew—the chamber simply exploded!
There were some important announcements in Mr. Pence’s speech. On behalf of the Trump administration (Mr. Pence, as was fitting, persistently honored his boss), he declared decisively that the American Embassy will be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of 2019. He affirmed his government’s commitment to Israel’s security. He declared that, even though ISIS is crumbling, the US will not stop until it is completely destroyed “at its source.” He spoke of the work the US is doing to provide direct support to “Christian and other religious minorities” in the region as they rebuild after years of repression and war. And he urged allies in Israel, Europe and across the world to assist “Christian and other religious minorities across the wider Middle East.” (It is highly unusual to allude to “Christian” persecution in this part of the world). Regarding Iran, he labeled the “nuclear deal” made during the past regime a disaster, and said that unless it is fixed, the US will withdraw. He reiterated that the US will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. But the Vice President also sent a “better message” to the “proud and great people of Iran: We are your friends, and the day is coming when you will be free from the evil regime that suffocates your dreams and buries your hopes. And when your day of liberation finally comes…the friendship between our peoples will blossom once again.”
Yet, we suspect that, quite apart from the formalities and announcements and reassurances regarding policy, etc., the deepest importance of Mike Pence’s address to the Israeli parliament last Monday may prove to be (looking to the future) a strong bond of trust sovereignly brought into place between Israel’s leaders and this godly leader from America. After his speech, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked tweeted, “Vice President, I thank you for a consummately Zionist speech, a moral speech of the first order.” Science Minister Ofir Akunis said, “This is the greatest and most important Zionist speech ever delivered by a foreign leader at the Knesset plenum.” And Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan called him, “a great leader who really loves us with all his heart, not as a politician, but out of deep faith and understanding of the role and mission of the Jewish State. An exciting day. We are happy to hear his joyous and moving words.” 1)
*Blessings of strength and restoration over Mike Pence after what has been expended in his trip to the Middle East. Pray divine protection over him, his wife and family.
* That the God whom he serves will deepen his understanding of what he has seen
and experienced in these countries. That he will have heavenly insight regarding what God is doing in Egypt, Jordan and Israel—and how to influence his nation in the part they may most righteously play.
* For Keren Pence, for what God has and will reveal to her from her visit here with her husband. That God will grant her wisdom and insight to share with and support her husband in his office.
* That what God released into the Knesset Chamber, the Prime Minister’s and President’s dwellings and other places here in Israel through VP Pence’s presence and words will “not return to Him void, but will accomplish all for which He sent it forth!”
We would encourage our readers to read the speech for themselves by accessing the following site: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Full-transcript-of-Pences-Knesset-speech-539476
1) (“Pence address was a ‘consummately Zionist’ speech: Arutz Sheva 7, 22 Jan 2018.