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March 17, 2012 From Jerusalem
Submitted by BillyeBrim on Sat, 03/17/2012 - 17:29
Billye Brim Blog from Jerusalem
Shabbat March 17, 2012
Tour groups arrived! All is well. Let me catch you up on the two days before their arrival. Then take you on tour today.
Wednesday, March 14
Kylie and I took a taxi to a religious settlement of about 2500 residents a few miles outside Jerusalem in the tribe of Benjamin. We’d been invited by Avraham and his wife Racheli to visit them and their baby. I first met Avraham at the beautiful Aish HaTorah building facing the Western Wall plaza on a previous trip.
Avraham was born Alexandar to Russian Jewish parents just before the end of the Communist USSR. We saw a picture of his 10-year-old mother in the Red Guard Youth movement. Although they were Jews his parents, brought up in the 50s and 60s were immersed in the Soviet system which told them there was no God. When his mother gave birth to his older brother, her father wrote her a congratulatory note in which he advised her not to give the baby a Jewish name.
After the fall of communism, Alexandar moved with his family to San Francisco when he was nine. There he was first exposed to Jewish Shabbat in a friend’s home. Alexandar decided to take off a year after high school to see the world. Eventually he made it to Israel, where he thought to stay a short time. The time grew into years and he found his way back to Judaism. Now Avraham is a yeshiva teacher and lives out his faith as a settler redeeming land in the tribe of Benjamin.
Avraham drove us around the beautiful mountains of Benjamin’s land. Then we visited Migron, a place very much in the news. For 11 years Jews dedicated to settling the Land have lived here in caravans (small mobile units). The only building is the synagogue. We interviewed one woman whose family of 7 moved to the hill top from a large home elsewhere. Why? Because the Bible tell them to come back here. The land on which they sit is contested. It’s complicated. The government of Israel has signed a deal with them to move 2 kilometers down the hill. Where they sat would be a public property. Today France even weighed in on the matter saying to allow them to stay would send the wrong message.
Thursday, March 15
Took a taxi to Tel Aviv where our genius friend who introduced us to the Ezekiel tablets met us at the museum. We met his internationally famous sister at a showing of her art at the museum. This meeting held surprises I don’t feel at liberty to share.
In the afternoon we went with Ilan Sharon to Sheba hospital to visit Pastor Umar Mulinde. You WWP’s will remember that Pastor Mulinde spoke with us via Skype a few weeks ago and we have been praying for him as well as financially supporting him.
Pastor Mulinde, one of 52 children to his Muslim father, converted from Islam to Christianity as a young man. He’d been taught to hate Jews. However, upon reading the Bible he found God identified Himself with the Jewish people. So he decided that if God loved them, he needed to know something about them. In a search he discovered “Jerusalem Online” university. Became personally acquainted with the founders by phone. Took the courses. (Our friend Ilon Sharon is one of the teachers.) Then Pastor Mulinde began to show their movies in open venues in Uganda.
On Christmas Eve he was preparing a venue for a celebration. Some 300 people were born again in a weeklong meeting. And he announced that on Christmas they would rejoice over this as the angels rejoice over one lost who repents. As he prepared to drive away, a man called out, “Pastor. Pastor. Help me.” He knew it was not a real call for help and did not turn to face the men. Thereupon the men through acid into his eye and face.
A terrible story of pain and threatening is told in his flight from Uganda through India and finally by the efforts of his Jewish friends, especial Ilan, he finally came to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv. (You can follow his well-publicized story on line.)
The account of how Israel treated him with love and expertise is heart warming and revealing of this people of Israel. We interviewed the doctor who first saw him. I asked what he thought then. He said, “Unfortunately, our expertise is in the area of treating victims, not of just burns, but of explosions and acids.”
Pastor Mulinde is wearing a mask which is the latest technology in restoring skin.
We were told that the burn was down to the muscle. For one whole day, Pastor Mulinde was without skin.
Pastor Mulinde said that he never imagined one could endure such pain and suffering, but he is thankful that his platform to share regarding the evil that hurt him and the good of the people of the Bible who have helped him. Christians in Israel and around the world are praying and supporting the Mulindes.
WWP’s please pray for the family’s protection. They have six children and there has been a specific threat against on of their 6-year-old twins.
We will post clips of interviews when we get home.
It’s so cold! Sunny, but cold. So we began indoors with an hour and a half teaching on Jerusalem. “HaMakom” “The Place.” The place whose holiness is because God chose it to place His Name there. We followed it through Abraham and Genesis, then Deuteronomy 12, David’s finding the place. And ended with how all judgment takes place at Jerusalem. How Jesus took our place here. And what future judgments will happen here.
We visited The Upper Room, the place of the last supper (Passover), and the place of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Plenty of time to teach here. Then we sang. “Hallelujah.” This chorus flowed into singing in the Spirit. Our 125 voices in this wonderfully acoustical hall moved us into a place. And the Presence of the Lord was manifest upon us. A tongue and interpretation through Pastors Terri and George Pearsons informed us we would move to a high place in the Spirit that would allow us to see things we’d never seen. And then that the adage “what goes up must come down” was true in the Spirit. That as we “send up” ascend in the spirit, we will “draw down” from heaven.
If you are still with me, Shabbat is about to end here and we will go to supper. Lila Tov.