Understanding God’s heart for Israel and from that fountain drinking in His love for the nations has been by far one of the most beautiful gifts that I have ever received. Because of that, the journey in Israel felt like intensive training in the way God sees the nations and people. The daily invitation was to retrieve (aside from our tidal wave work schedule) the jewels that He planted along the way and not fall into the trap of thinking we were there just working.
By the time I began the second trip I had a clearer idea of why Israel is so pivotal in God’s heart. However, the spiritual need of the Land versus the apathy for the gospel and the open rejection to Yeshua (Jesus) where difficult things to witness while completing the recordings. Why does this happen here, in Israel? was a constant question in my mind. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that the only geographical location where Jesus walked on earth was the one where with only pronounce His name you could face a strong rejection. Religion was ok, rituals are ok, they are received, but His presence, His reality, His Majesty are simply not tolerated.
One day, I was juggling with those thoughts and completing a recording program when my friend Sara and I were making our way through the little alleys of Jerusalem and we stumbled with a confusing situation: in the distant we could see an older man speaking loudly, waving the speaker of an old telephone to the air and speaking loudly in Hebrew.
Wondering if he was needing help we got closer. Now he turned his attention to us and with a fast phrased Hebrew asked for assistance, or at least that was what we assumed. We tried to communicate him that we didn’t speak Hebrew, he obviously didn’t speak any English, so with confused eyes, he abandoned the effort to talk to us and directed his attention to other passers-by. Before we kept going on our way I was able to see a hearing aid device on his right ear. The tone of his desperation and the phone speaker was making sense. He had a phone call but couldn’t listen and was asking assistance. We stood a few minutes hoping that someone that spoke Hebrew would jump in his help, but no one did. Two women, one guy, and two teenagers. All of them ignored him.
By that time I couldn’t stand the situation and I approached him again with the desire of making a second try to help. Maybe in the last four minutes something changed and he understands now English I told to myself (don’t judge me too hard, I am not that bright under stress circumstances). The truth is that after a minute trying to communicate with him I kept bringing this confused look to his eyes and I couldn’t remove my eyes from the wavering phone speaker with one thought: I need to help him! This may be an important call...To my delight a guy in a Vespa passed by the small alley close and slow enough for me to say Hi while waving at him. Thankfully he fully stopped giving me enough time to ask if he spoke Hebrew and if we would be willing to help the old man. He smiled and this stranger picked up the speaker and stepped into the situation to be an answer. As we walked out, the man, who now has a completely different expression, looked at us and smiled.
Sara and I didn’t say too much, we just walked. The four or five minutes that the whole incident lasted was charged with the frustration of not speaking the language, the desperation of seeing a need that we couldn’t meet and the indolence of whom was able to help but wouldn’t do it.
“No one stopped,” she recalled with an unbelief tone, trying to convince herself that what we just witnessed did actually happened. The tears running down my friend’s face after we experienced one of many cultural shocks came with a strong sense of God pointing out a deep truth: “This is the why I called you. This is way what I called you to do is relevant.”
At the end of that day, I couldn’t shake off the image and the situation. I was so grateful for the result, but above that, I felt that the Lord had painted a picture of the purpose of what we were doing.
It took me days to verbalize all that image captured and all the truth that God spoke to me. In the following weeks, God revealed that Israel is receiving that call and they are there, unable to fully understand the message, and while others are passing by thinking that is not relevant enough to do something about. You and I have the immense honor to be part of those who equip, pray, encourage and launch those who do speak their language and give the message.
I thought it was so tender from God to give us a clear picture of the relevance of our work. Creating resources to make aware all those in Vespas to stop and be a part of what He is doing in Israel is paramount. He also gifted us with a clear image of the heart of the Jewish people and why some of them won’t listen. I think we have a huge invitation to get involved actively in what God is doing in Israel and from there ask Him for His heart for the nations.
He needs us. They are there. Confused, receiving the call but not understanding the message, and you and I my friend by His grace are able to translate to this beautiful people His words of Grace.