Mission Trip, Israel -Day 5: May 21, 2007
We started the day with worship at Beit Immanuel with the discipleship group. This morning they prayed for New Zealand and the Maori people who are the native islanders. The coolest thing I heard was that some Maori believers were canoeing all the way from New Zealand to Israel to honor Israel and repent for the gentile’s treatment of the Jews over the centuries. A canoe! That’s crazy.
We had a teaching on Proverbs 19:17 “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”
If everything in this world is God’s, how can you possibly lend to the Lord? What do I own that I can give to God, who owns everything? Yet, here it is, God says we can do exactly that. On this day, we went to serve the homeless and those who serve the homeless.
We went to Jaffa Gate Ministries. A man named Elton runs this ministry and they feed a tremendous number of homeless in Jerusalem. Elton is an English ex-heroin addict who met the Lord and has totally given his life to him since. He shared some amazing stories. He has several times run into very strange people who quickly lead him through the narrow streets only to find a man laying there dying, desperately in need of help. When he would look back up, the “man” would be gone even if it were a dead-end and nowhere for him to go. It’s a goal of Elton’s to finally see an angel disappear, but he hadn’t seen that happen yet. He never sees anything mystical other than these men with otherworldly eyes who always seem to lead him right to someone who desperately needs his help and then is gone.
We helped make sandwiches and then went on rounds throughout the city where Elton knew homeless people congregated. I’m going to leave out some details here, but we saw some rough areas where evil thrived and brought the love of Messiah to the people that we found.
We also helped Anna who has created a home for the homeless. She has a small apartment building with a few apartments and she has brought women off the streets and given them a place to live. She also has a heart to help the men, and more recently opened a home for men, but this has been incredibly dangerous for her.
We spent some time cleaning up their apartments. The men focused on cleaning Anna’s place and the women cleaned the other ladies’ apartments who lived there. It was really gratifying to do some kindness for someone who pours her life out for others with every day of her life. She was touched that we spent this time taking care of and praying for her.
This was a big theme of our trip. We spent much more time pouring into people so that they could be refreshed and then give of themselves to others than we did directly with non-believers. It didn’t occur to me before this, but these people are in the center of the world’s spiritual battle with very little support, and so it was the perfect thing to bring them refreshment. I wonder if there are areas in my life where God is calling me to serve that I am too blind to see because it doesn’t fit into the picture that I have of what service should look like?
Could there be anything like that in your life?