After 7 weeks in Israel, we made it back to New Zealand safe and sound!
Firstly we want to start off by saying thank you so so so much to all of you who have stood with us in prayer and supported us while we have been in Israel. We really were aware of the effects of your prayers and encouragement while we were there, and know it wouldn’t have been the same without you all. And we don’t just say that as a nice thing to say, but say that having had many times where in our own strength we would have really struggled, but God’s grace and strength kept us going.
It’s great to be back here and able to blog again and post about what we got up to while we were away. Although we were allowed to(and even encouraged to) post on social media any tourist activities we did in Israel; as we mentioned before we left, we had been asked by the various ministries we were working with not to mention online where we were and who we were working with while we were there. In the past this has caused a lot of problems for the ministries there, as for one thing, the government monitor the internet traffic out of Israel, and if they find out teams have been coming to Israel to do ‘missionary work’ they will crack down on whoever they are working with.
There are a variety of reasons for this but one of the main reasons for this that we discovered while we were there is how their history has influenced their view of Christians. Throughout history the Jewish people have been regularly persecuted and a lot of that persecution has come from, what has been perceived to be, the church. Whether that was the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, or even the Holocaust, as they considered Germany as a Catholic country. We were even told while we were there, that in some ways the Jewish people see missionaries as worse than the Holocaust, as the Holocaust destroyed their bodies but missionaries want to come and take away/’destroy’ their entire faith. So, while we still won’t be able to mention all the ministries we worked with, although for some it’s OK, we are finally able to write about what we have been up to! We’ll be posting a few different blogs over the next few weeks to cover our time there as one blog would probably be a little too long!
Thanks again for bearing with us while we were absent from being able to blog. Hopefully over the next few weeks you’ll feel caught up with what’s been going on for us over the last 2 months!
To end this post, here’s a picture of us from a Jewish settlement we visited in the West Bank.