Well, the big countdown is on and we head to Israel in approximately 7 weeks!
Why do we believe we’ve been called? It began roughly 18 months ago when James felt the Holy Spirit nudge him to pick up one of the volunteer applications for Bridges for Peace at the missions expo at Rangiora Baptist Church. Maddys initial response was limited in enthusiasm 😉 However, after praying and asking God to fill her heart with a desire to go there if that was where HE wanted them to be, she felt united with James in the conviction to serve the Jewish people in Jerusalem.
We sought counsel from our senior pastor and he advised that in order to confirm God’s will there are some things that need to line up and point in the same direction. 1. Our circumstances 2. Other (god-fearing) people 3. God’s word and 4. The Holy Spirit’s peace.
A couple of verses that have come up:
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
– Genesis 12:1-3
It is truly a privilege to be called to serve and bless God’s chosen people in His chosen land and we believe we will be blessed through our obedience.
Consequently you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,.
– Ephesians 2:19 (NIV)
As fellow citizens of God’s people we are just beginning to realise the importance of knowing more about Jewish culture and history and also our history as christians and where we fit in.
They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
– Romans 15:27 (NIV)
Just as this verse in Romans says, we are lucky enough to share in their spiritual blessings, so we owe it to share our material blessings. There are many ways to do this. We feel for us this means packing up our life in NZ and moving to Israel to be among them and bless them with service in Bridges for Peace. For others it means donating to an organisation or charity that helps the Jews, or simply dedicating decent prayer time to Israel and the Jewish people.
We have been preparing for this journey for a few months now. Some of the serious milestones we’ve achieved include selling our house and moving in with parents to save for the trip. We’ve celebrated being mortgage free. We have no house, BUT, we are mortgage free. And we’ve had a season with both sets of parents.
To each of our parents, thank you for having us. Staying living with others for over 12 months has been an essential part of our ability to free any debt and save towards our needs while we are away.
We have been untying ourselves from all our local commitments including business, associations, clubs and committees and downsizing our material things. We have most of our stuff in a 20 ft container now and are almost down to living out of our suit cases (Almost!).
Getting to the point, as parents, of being at peace with the move to such a volatile location (especially with 3 young children) has taken quite some time and effort. We have spent hours reading books, bible studies and websites on Israel and have had experienced and Godly people speak with us and offer wise counsel.
It’s all a process and a journey and we shall keep you all posted.
Feel free to get in contact with any questions or thoughts.
Thanks for reading!