I had the great privilege of getting to live in Israel for 3 months and the bible literally came to life for me. Our apartment was about a mile from the sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water! So quiet times were not dull. Most of our ministry took place down on the shores of the sea, this is where a cluster of Jews and Arabs hang out, eat, and have fun. At least once a week me and my team of 8 would go down with a guitar and worship. This drew a crowd almost every time which gave us a wide open door to open up a conversation about Jesus. Along with this ministry we passed out tracts and went worshipping, praying, and proclaiming the gospel in the 4 holy cities of Judaism.
3 Finnish Ladies
One Night while we were down by the sea of Galilee worshipping these three ladies came up and watched us and one of them was frozen just bawling. Finally, as we were getting ready to go one of the girls from our team went up to them and began a conversation. They asked her what we were singing and we told them that we were singing songs about Jesus, all of a sudden a spark of excitement lit up in two of the ladies’ eyes but the third one was still frozen and crying. So my teammate asked the two ladies why she was crying, and the other two began to explain that she didn’t speak English and they couldn’t figure out what we were singing but the one who was frozen had seen a huge angel above us and saw the reality of God in her own life. Of course I was looking above me to see if I could see any large figures. We conversed with them some more and had the opportunity to pray with them and they prayed for us too. All this happened in front of a crowd of Jews and Arabs together… Praise the Lamb! This was the beginning of my dream of seeing the sound of Heaven released! A few days later I thought of the idea of releasing the sounds of the nations as well through worship to Jesus
Ice Cream & The Gospel
There was an ice cream worker whose shop was right next to where we worshipped. I always got ice cream after we worshipped cause my throat was sore, and I would always talk to him, they would be great conversations too. Our last week there I went up to him just like I had done for the past three months except this time I asked him what he thought of Jesus and if I could pray for anything for him, (he respectfully declined) but I ended the conversation by giving him the gospel of John and telling him it was the best book I’ve read. I still keep in touch with him and I am praying for his salvation!
One day we went to the shopping district by the sea and began worshipping outside the stores, (not knowing how the owners would respond) but to our surprise almost all of them came out and gave us coke, money, or a knick knack from there store. and asked about Jesus! We made friends and had some awesome ministry time praying for them
During Hanukkah we passed out candles (it’s a Jewish tradition) and they had scriptures of the OT that pointed to Jesus. A man and his wife got one and the scripture on it was the one he had read at the temple earlier that day! He asked us questions about how we knew to give him that scripture and we got to tell him it wasn’t us it was Jesus and he let us pray for him (which is so uncommon).
3 Things I learned
- How to live and love in a community of people that are different from you.
- The power of setting our gaze on Jesus and walking out in faith to talk to people.
- That God’s story is so much bigger and better than my own.