“You Are My Hiding Place”

“Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while

you may be found;

surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.

You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:6,7

Shalom Our Precious Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My choice of title for this report was inspired by a recent meeting with an old school friend who had sat beside me in a theatre in Palmerston North, NZ in 1978, watching the testimony of Corrie Ten Boom, “The Hiding Place.” That same night, in the darkness of my bedroom, Yeshua revealed himself to me as the Jewish Messiah. So, my faith journey began!

Interestingly, the context of the Hiding Place was war, grief and ultimately, redemption! How we long for Israel’s redemption!

Maala and I are just about to set off back to our home in Israel, from our period of respite here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, NZ. We are refreshed and ready to jump back into the fray. Our little family, Sara, Beni and Zoe, and the Beit Asaph community are SO ready for our return.

In this report, we will bring some perspectives from the war theatre in the Gaza Strip and the continuing hostilities with Hezbollah, across the northern border.

We also want to provide you with fresh updates on the Beit Asaph ‘Permanent Home Project.’ We trust this will be an encouragement to you all, as it is for us!

Who could have imagined that after more than 5 months we would still be at war? Although our wars since the foundation of the State have been manifold, they havebeen historically brief. This means that the national pain and suffering is usually only for a short season, then comes restoration. Currently, however, there is no end to the hostilities in sight. Sustaining the nation on an indefinite ‘war-footing’ has enormous ramifications:

  • Blood continues to be spilt in the Land and
  • Social divisions that all-but disappeared at the outset of the war, are now re-emerging, perhaps stronger than before.
  • Anger and distrust towards our government – both internally and internationally, is turning to widespread bitterness and recrimination.
  • Israel has become a pariah in the eyes of many nations and anti-Semitism continues to accelerate worldwide.
  • Economically, our main stay, tourism, has all but ceased.
  • Hundreds of thousands of our citizens from the north and the south remain evacuees, away from their jobs, businesses and farms.
  • Hundreds of thousands of our younger men remain on the battlefronts, separated from families, careers, and studies.
  • Entire settlements are living under a cloud of trauma and grief.
  • Over 100 Israeli hostages remain in captivity.

We share this ‘dark list’ with you as a reality check. Our intention is to galvanize prayer away from politics and towards subjects that truly matter, as stated above.

New Covenant Scripture teaches us to “Love your enemies and turn the other cheek,” but we must remind ourselves that Israel is still unredeemed, and when threatened, functions with an Old Covenant morality and world-view. That is, if you strike us, we will strike you back, a hundred. That translates as:

  • Tens of thousands of Gazan Palestinians dead (at least 40% of whom are women and children.)
  • Most of urban Gaza Strip is badly damaged and uninhabitable.
  • More than one million Gazan Palestinians are currently starving, including the Christian enclave sheltering in two churches.
  • The southern-most city of Rafah is poised for a massive IDF offensive.
  • Other Arab nations are helping with humanitarian aid BUT do not want the Gazans in their countries as refugees.
  • If Israel succeeds in destroying Hamas military infrastructure and its ability to rule the Strip, who will govern them in the future?

Would you please help us pray into these terrible realities?

The picture is one of human suffering on a horrific scale! As followers of Yeshua our hearts must be stirred with compassion, for our own people and for our neighbors, with whom we are currently at war! Both need God’s salvation through belief in the Messiah!

Update on the Project: “A Permanent Home Base” for Beit Asaph:

During this break away in NZ, I, Evan, have devoted much time to fundraising correspondence: reaching out to the Global Christian and Messianic community with our appeal for financial help, answering a myriad of questions and reporting in to my pastoral colleague Lev, as results come in.

Lev, meanwhile back home in Netanya, has kept the congregation on course, while administering the funds as they arrive. To date, approximately one million of the three million shekels needed has come in! We are so grateful to all have given so generously! Thanks too, to those of you have pledged, and to those of you still considering! Although we have still a way to go, we are making excellent progress!

By the beginning of March, we received the keys to the premises and Lev immediately began to invite groups of Beit Asaph congregants, on each consecutive Shabbat during the month, to ‘come and see’ and to ‘bathe the empty space’ in prayer. And so the journey began! Meanwhile, as finances continue to flow, we will carefully design the facility to maximize the space. Then we will engage a building team to bring it from concept to reality. Exciting!

Being situated on the twelfth floor of a commercial building and at the central ‘gateway to Netanya,’ affords us dramatic views of the city, north and south and outward over the Sharon Plain towards Samaria (West Bank.) One immediately perceives its potential as a ‘Prayer Tower’ for the region. Over the past few years, God has been establishing a network of prayer towers throughout Israel. Not only do these benefit the local congregation responsible for the facility, but also for the broader community of faith. We are excited to develop this ministry! We look forward to making you welcome in the not-too-distant future, hopefully in more settled times.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, thank you for walking alongside of us all these years, in hard times and in times of celebration. God is at the helm through it all! In Him we trust! He will complete ALL he has promised to accomplish in us, in Israel and in the nations! We finish by recommending to you a prophetic text the Spirit of the Lord led us to these past days during moments of uncertainty … EZEKIEL 37:15-28

God bless and thank you ALL,

Evan and Lev

Donations for the “Permanent Home for Beit Asaph” Project (please designate clearly)