Zion's Glory Update
April 8 2022
The following is a Zion's Glory prayer update from Jackie Santoro in Israel. I encourage you to forward it to whomever you think might be interested in the following information. It is sent out in conjunction with a monthly newsletter. If you are currently not receiving this information and would like to become a regular subscriber, please forward your name, email and address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Faithful Friend,
My last update was written in January and it is incredible to look back and appreciate all that has been happening in the few short months since then. With the start of 2022, Omicron was beginning its spread amid dire predictions. Indeed it did come in like a storm, but happily, after a short intense season, the numbers began to recede, the airports opened up to tourists, vaccinated or not, and our tourist industry sighed with relief. Once again, there were international visitors on the streets of Jerusalem!
And then without a moment to really enjoy the happy interlude, Russia invaded the Ukraine and the nation of Israel was torn deep in its heart as we joined the world in watching devastation and destruction and a people fleeing from their homes with just a suitcase and the clothes on their backs. Israel is giving as much aid as possible including setting up a field hospital. More importantly, many thousands of Jewish Ukrainians are making aliyah as a result and coming to their new "home" that God promised them. Israel is "home" to all the Jewish people and it is so wonderful that no matter how dark this world becomes, no matter how great the anti semitism, Israel's gates are always open to welcome its people back. As a result of the war, there has also been a significant increase of aliyah applications from Russian Jews as well, as they read correctly the signs of the times.
Since the pandemic started, I have been increasingly impressed in a new way with what a wonderful and special place this nation is (albeit it is not perfect in any sense). Love for Israel and our people often wells up in my heart and I know it is the great love that God has for this Jewish nation that He created and which bears His name. Although freedom of religion is guaranteed and the majority of Israelis are secular, there is no separation of church and state and scriptures can and are posted everywhere, communities are named after specific passages, and the Tanach (Old Testament) is taught in all schools from 3rd grade through end of high school. It is their history class! Every combat soldier receives a gun and a Bible at a ceremony marking the end of training. The God of Israel is tightly woven into the fabric of this country and He is here to stay!
The challenge today is to bring the Gospel to this people and to reveal the Jewishness of their Messiah! This is happening in increasing measure and there is hope of a true harvest in this day. I had the joy of hosting the "Shelanu" team in my home as they filmed a clip called "Yeshua in the Passover." Evan, my son, is the manager of this internet station which is broadcasting many shows which present the gospel and Messianic faith in a variety of ways. They are using only local Messianic believers in every show and the Word is going out 24/7! Please pray that they would have all the resources they need to continue to move forward in these days to come. Pray that wherever Israelis are in the world, they would tune in and watch in increasing numbers!
I also hosted our "Third Season" group last week. It is always a blessing for those of us in the "third season" of our life to be together and and to celebrate the Shabbat and the presence of the Lord. This event was one of Eddie's favorite times and it is my joy to be able to continue his legacy.
I also have plans to host a "widows" group in the near future. We have much to share together and this group has great potential to be an encouragement and support for this new calling in our lives. What the enemy meant for harm, God will surely turn it into something victorious and purposeful.
In addition, I was asked to be a part of a weekly congregational meeting in which we discuss pastoral issues and plan for future events. We have many challenges facing us following this past difficult period of the pandemic. Pray that I will be able to lovingly impart to these younger leaders the wisdom that God has given me from my years of experience.
As I am writing this and about to report that the Muslim holiday of Ramadan had started and that there were a series of 4 terror attacks, and 11 people were killed in one week - there was just another horrific attack on Dizengoff Street, one of the most popular places for young people to gather after a long work week. Two people were killed and 11 wounded as a gunman walked in to a cafe and started shooting. It was a very tense, anxious and pressured time as it took the police all night to finally find the terrorist and kill him. These last few weeks have been an incredibly unnerving time for the population, as these attacks are happening in the most unsuspecting places. The army and police have been on very high alert and 15 possible attacks have been thwarted and after a week of calm, this happened again.
Please pray that calm prevails! Pray that all the evil plans for terrorist attacks will be exposed and eliminated. Please pray for all the grieving families in this Passover season of deliverance. May they be deeply comforted by the God who loves them so much and may they see Him in the midst of their mourning.
On the positive side, the Arab nations who are part of the Abraham Accord gathered for a summit in the Negev just as these earlier attacks happened and were unified in their condemnation. Even the President of the Palestinian Authority comdemned the killings, for the first time ever! May these attacks lead to a global movement against terrorism and especially among the Muslim nations.
And just a few days ago, a dramatic and surprise political crisis happened. The news called it a "Political Earthquake". One of the current coalition members who happens to be right wing, resigned suddenly in protest to a more liberal ruling that she disagreed with and which reflected the ideological divisions in the coalition. This means that the coalition no longer has a majority and may not be able to continue to govern. Once again, the nation is thrown into political turmoil and indecision. What happens next? At this moment, no one knows who will be able to gather enough votes to establish a government or if there will be new elections. Nothing is ever certain in Israeli politics!
Passover which is now one week away is the Biblical New Year and there is always a sense of "newness" in the air as we enter this season. God is always doing something new and so we have hope in our hearts and not despair! Now, more than any other time, as the evil in the world goes from dark to darker, from rumors of wars to economic instability, from one totalitarian government to another, we look forward to a new and greater increase of the manifestation of the goodness of God on the earth - His mercy and love are new every day! The world may be chaotic, but in Him all things hold together by His powerful word. Let us stand together and pray that His word will indeed go forth in "new" ways bringing many to faith, both Jew and Gentile and His light will increase in this dark world.
In this New Year, may the Jewish people come home to this nation in great numbers as He commanded and may He turn their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Below is a song which expresses the heart of God towards the regathering of His people home to this Land.
With love from Zion,
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