Keyword:

I read it through the Grapevine

I was sitting at my desk having a long conversation about one of the discipleship programmes we are publishing electronically, when Skype began to ring on my computer. It was Igal, my good friend from Australia. I declined the call and sent a short message saying that I would call him back a few minutes later. After about ten minutes I received a message saying that Igal had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and was in hospital! It was 11:30pm in Australia but I immediately called back and spoke with his wife. She told me that he had not been feeling well for couple of days and had been suffering with pain in his feet and in his face. Following a C T Scan the doctors discovered that Igal had a brain tumour. He is now waiting for other tests before they can decide on the best way forward in regard to treatment.

Igal is in his early 30s with two children aged 5 and 3. We have known each other for more than a decade and I had some influence in his conversion. Whenever the family come to Israel they also visit and stay with us. Eti and I spoke with them extensively later that night, both at home and in the hospital,so we could find out the best way we could pray and be of help. We pray that God will be glorified through the whole situation.

In addition to Igal’s sudden bad news, a week ago Susan, our accountant at HaGefen, had to go through surgery to remove a part of her liver affected by cancerous cells. It was not an easy operation. She had some internal bleeding but is doing much better now and has returned home.

It seems like we are hearing of people that are struggling with cancer and other life threatening diseases everywhere. In many ways it is one of the curses of the 21st century. This was one of the reasons that some months back we decided to translate some good sermons on the subject by Dr. John Piper, who himself had to deal with cancer a few years ago. In September I was at a Mission Conference organized by Desiring God (Dr Piper’s ministry) in Minneapolis.The main purpose of attending was to develop a partnership and to make some of his sermons available to a wider Israeli audience via the HaGefen, Desiring God and Gospel Translators websites. The first texts that we have translated are entitled Christ and Cancer and Don't Waste Your Cancer.   

Diana Shimon, our in-house graphic artist, recently completed some work for the Israel Postal Authority and created artwork for some new stamps. They were not only accepted and included as part of the 2011 set of stamps that are used publicly, but also won an international competition in San Gabriel, Italy. Above you can see one of the stamps, which depict Old Testament stories. We are excited about raising the flag of Israel in other parts of the world and wish Diana very heart-felt congratulations for her excellent work!

Please pray for Igal, Susan and many others that are suffering in different ways. Pray that through their hardship and suffering Christ will be glorified and honoured.Please also continue to pray for our work as we try to present the Messiah to our people.   

This article was first published in the Winter Herald 2011

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