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I read it through the Grapevine

Life is seldom black or white. There are shades of grey in most areas of our lives, and when it comes to Israel, you don’t only find shades of grey, but the entire spectrum of colour! Israel is known as a place where there is never a dull moment and the most certain thing about the country is its uncertainty. You will have read about the recent unrest in the region in the previous edition of the Herald. Another good example of this can be seen in what has been happening in recent months in Israel.

Events began on 15th May when Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syria ‘peacefully’ infiltrated the Northern borders. Few succeeded in their efforts to cross the border illegally and in the aftermath nine were killed. This was the first time that a civilian infiltration of the borders has taken place. In addition rockets have been falling again on Israel from the south, although not with the same intensity as before. This is particularly alarming as Syria’s government is going through its most challenging opposition, and the Palestinian Authority is planning to bring a resolution to be admitted as a nation in the UN.


Doctors in Israel have been on the strike for weeks now, demanding better salaries for their hard and sleepless work. Many surgeries are affected and crucial procedures and treatments have been postponed. In addition to this, for the last two weeks, there has been a demand for providing affordable housing as rent and home prices have rocketed sky high, making it impossible for the average Israeli couple to buy or even rent an apartment. In between we have had other social action ongoing through Facebook protesting against the high price of essentials such as dairy products, as well as another threat of ‘peaceful’ ships trying to enter Gaza ports.


Each of these events in and of itself is not atypical, but their intensity in a short time has been unusual. However, there is something interesting that is happening parallel to these events. It appears that more and more people are visiting various evangelistic websites, we are publishing more evangelistic books, and an increasing amount of outreach ministry is being conducted by various churches.


The words ‘God’ and ‘Salvation’ were searched for on the internet about 100,000 times a month, and the ‘end days’ and ‘Gog and Magog’ some 11,500 times a month according to statistics provided by the One for Israel organization (oneforisrael.org). Besides the 1000 copies of The Case for God book we have just printed, we have also provided 5000 copies of a new evangelistic booklet for one of the churches in the area. My own church, Grace and Truth, as well as other congregations in the land have intensified their outreach ministry. More emphasis is being put on outreach at various concert and cultural events that are plentiful now that summer is upon us (for example at a recent Paul Simon concert) where a smiling face and an evangelistic booklet awaits those coming out of the concert hall or stadiums.


So, uncertainties are not necessarily all that bad, although naturally we wouldn’t say no to a bit of stability!

This article first appeared in the Autumn Herald 2011

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