The Israel Situation

People are becoming more and more open to talking and hearing about the Gospel.

Welcome to God’s Church on the Move, the podcast that takes you to all the spiritual hotspots around the world where God is definitely at work. With me in the studio today are Ron and Charis Pearce.

Joy: Hi, guys!

Ron, Charis: Hi!

Joy: So, Ron, you’ve been traveling a lot, and today you’re going to be giving us an update on Israel.

Ron: Yes, and it’s hard to give updates on Israel because it keeps changing.

Charis: Every day, it’s something different.

Ron: Yeah, so this is as of April 2023. The situation there is tense at times. They just came through protests, if you remember in the news, regarding the Supreme Court and the structure and all of that.

Joy: Right.

Ron: That seems to have calmed down for now. We’ll see what goes on in the future. As far as the political situation outside the country and the military situation, right now it is questionable as to what is going to happen. There are rumors around that Hezbollah and Hamas, Hezbollah up in Lebanon and Hamas down in Gaza, are threatening more attacks, etcetera. I hear this quite often, but right now, there is nothing in regard to that, but tensions are still high. The one that I really want to key in on today is that I definitely noticed in my conversations with pastors in the Arabic-speaking churches or the Messianic congregations or the leaders of some ministries that are country-wide like the Bible Society, etcetera, every one of them talked about the growth within the body of Christ in that country. This growth is continuing; it’s not stopping. People are becoming more and more open to talking and hearing about the Gospel. We are doing deliveries of scripture in various ways throughout the land, and this is in multiple languages. We work with the Bible Society there, and they are doing a great job of delivering and opening up their resources so that we can take these around and distribute; they are doing the distribution most of the time. And therefore, we have got these reports back of people soaking up the word of God, people that have never had it before and ministries that have never had it before, so we are going to continue to take it. One of these is a camouflage Hebrew Bible for the Jewish, how shall we say it, the Jewish background, new believers in Yeshua who are coming to the Lord and want to read about the Old and New Testament combined. And so many messianic soldiers, young people, are reading that, and there are requests from other soldiers saying we would like to read it too! Which means that we are going to our fourth printing right now, and it’s only been a couple of years that we have been doing this.

Joy: Was it 2019?

Ron: No, I think it was after that. I think it was 2020 that it was released. So, two or three years.

Charis: And they were excited about the first release, but I think they’ve been shocked as to the number that have gone out.

Ron: Exactly! So, this is very, very good news!

Joy: I think this is way more exciting than I initially understood it to be. I have grown in my learning of why this Bible is so incredible. They have never had anything like it before.

Ron: Not really, because you can’t take up to the front lines anything electronic, phones, etcetera. A lot of young people would just live on their phones when they’re sitting on a tank. You can’t do that. So, they are bored, and they want something to read, and they find out that their friends who are messianic, who have a tremendous reputation within the army, they are reading their Bible, and they want to read and see who this Jesus really was. I think I reported on one of the previous ones of these that the most Googled, or the most searched religious figure in Israel today is Jesus, Yeshua. And therefore, they are looking for answers: who is this guy? Why are so many people following him? Why are young people leaving behind the party life and turning to the Lord? Therefore, they want information, and this is why many of the young families, young couples, older people as well! I’ve just received a ton of pictures of Holocaust survivors being taken on bus trips and having banquets, and they are having all of these things to love them and to share with them, and people are accepting the Lord in these situations all the time. So, this is the good news that I heard.

I was sitting there with one Arabic pastor over lunch, we were sitting around the table and there were a number of us, but he is the one I am talking about. And I said, So, are you seeing growth in your congregation?” And he said, Yes, we are out the doors, and I don’t know what to do with all the people coming!” And these are people who are Arabic speaking! I won’t go into what religious group they are, but you can read between the lines. So, they are Arabic speaking, they are coming in, they are bringing their friends, they are bringing their relatives! I said, This is tremendous! Is this the most you’ve ever seen?” He said, Oh, yes,” but then he stopped, and he said, But this is nothing compared to the messianic congregations.” I said, Really, tell me more!” And he said, We see reports and hear about what is going on, and it is really exciting right now because it’s not just one background that is coming to the Lord, everybody is interested.” This is what we wanted, to spark interest.

Joy: And it is new, relatively.

Ron: It’s within the last, I’m going to say from what One for Israel said, this is within the last ten years easily, I think they said eight years but definitely within the last ten years. So, this is brand new, and it’s growing, congregations are growing, new congregations are popping up. It’s really good!

Joy: And would you say it’s inspired by young people? Is this a rebellious thing, let’s find Jesus to spite our parents?

Ron: No, I think it’s probably more of, we’re tired, and we’re scared. We are tired of the same old answers and not seeing anything vital and real spiritually, and we are scared of where this world is going, and we don’t know what life after death really amounts to. And therefore, when they see the happiness and the joy and the peace on the faces and the hearts of the messianic young people, yes. I think when you add on to this the Isaiah 53 factor, it becomes a little more rebellious. In other words, Isaiah 53 is the Old Testament picture of what the Messiah will look like, and it is forbidden to be read in the synagogues of Israel, you are not supposed to read that chapter because it is so obviously Jesus, Yeshua. If you are told by the religious leaders that you are not to read this because there is something in there that is wrong and dangerous, most young people by nature want to read it! So, it’s not rebelling against parents but it’s rebelling against somebody telling me I can’t read something. That goes on to the peace that they are seeing in the hearts of the other young people and what they are reading in the New Testament and all of these things coming together, and the fear of what is going on in the world.

Charis: I was going to say, living in an environment where you are constantly under such stress of not knowing, are bombs going to drop? What is going to happen next? Just living with that looming, they want some hope and some peace.

We are tired of the same old answers and not seeing anything vital and real spiritually, and we are scared of where this world is going, and we don’t know what life after death really amounts to.

Ron: Exactly, in the one congregation, Arabic-speaking church that we have up in the north, sort of by Nazareth area, good friends with them, and I’m sitting in their front room, and I said, So, the people are becoming eager to hear?” Yes, yes, especially after the bomb fell.” And I said, What bomb?” He said, The one that fell on the backyard of our church.” In other words, it was a missile from Lebanon, got through, landed there, and this was a village setting, rather large, and a couple fell. Well, when that bomb fell, it is sort of like, uh oh, we are close to death! In other words, fear came into the equation. It didn’t hurt anything, miraculously.

Joy: I was going to say, does it explode? Is that a dumb question?

Ron: Oh, it exploded, it blew up but not near anybody or damaging anything, but it was right in the backyard.

Joy: So a bomb might inspire some.

Ron: It would inspire me if I wasn’t a believer! The pastor was saying all the emergency vehicles came, ambulances, there was everything, and they all came to the church, and the pastor said, relax, it’s ok, Jesus protected us. It’s ok, and he is waving them off, basically. All the neighbors watched this, and they weren’t afraid. They were probably shocked at the moment, sort of like, a bomb fell! They aren’t perfect when it comes to that, but at the same time, they didn’t panic because they knew their eternal destiny and they knew the fact that Jesus was the one that would take care of them either on this earth or taking them to a new place in heaven.

Joy: There is also the internet with these videos that you have talked about. That is very widespread, and there is something so powerful about a well-done video, and it is impacting and reaching so many people, and I see wave after wave of people watching that and then spreading it.

Ron: It’s millions now.

Joy: It’s quite the video!

Ron: Yeah, and they are talking about it, and they are replaying it, and they are playing it for friends, and they are probably arguing about it. That is the best thing for young people to do, is to argue about it with someone else saying you don’t believe it? Well, this is what it says in the Bible. They are not even believers yet, but they are saying this is Jesus! Read Isaiah 53! So, all of a sudden, even somebody who is not saved is defending the messianic position of the Gospel. That’s gold! Man oh man, you couldn’t ask for anything better! Now the older generation and the people that are coming, shall we say the second generation and third generation off the holocaust survivors, you’ve got that group, there is probably resistance among some of the older people that weren’t holocaust survivors or even related. So, probably in their 50’s to 70’s who are maybe economically blessed, they probably are as hard as ever, to be honest with you.

Joy: I was going to ask if there are holocaust survivors that are accepting the Lord?

Ron: Oh yes, definitely, absolutely!

Joy: Because I know we have been supporting the trip that they take.

Ron: I get reports regularly about the meetings and numbers that are coming. They bless them, not just with food and attention but they are helping them with eyeglasses, they are helping them with various things. Now remember, they are very elderly now.

Joy: And a lot in poverty?

Ron: Yes. When they have come from Russia primarily or Europe, they have come in poor. They are honored and they are taken care of, but it is very, very basic, and there is a lot of poverty and a lot of hunger, and that is where we can step in and love. Our friends over there in the messianic congregations have got this under control so it’s very good.

Joy: There must be a lot of people volunteering to do all this work in these congregations because we do the hot meals as well and.

Ron: Oh yes, they’re warming up to the idea, shall we say, that when you become a believer you are saved for eternity, we have found the messiah, now let’s tell everyone and love everyone. So therefore, the love of Christ starts to emanate from new believers, and they start to work.

Joy: They have a clear mission.

Ron: A clear mission and its labor, it’s not just oh, thank you, I accept Christ as Lord, and now I’m going to go and hibernate in my house. That doesn’t happen. And honestly Joy, it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world, except maybe in the western situation and I’m not going to belabor this, but in these countries around the world, you see a definite difference whether it’s Asia or Ethiopia or Europe or various areas. When they accept the Lord, they get Gospel feet on them, and what that means is they will take the Gospel, they will walk, they will labor in going to tell others. So, it’s not quiet, and they also have a change of heart whereby they see ways to love other people. That is one of the fruits of the Spirit that really needs to be developed more here in the west.

Joy: Absolutely, we don’t see that here very often.

Ron: We see it periodically, and some churches are really strong in that, and it’s very, very good. Others are weak, and that’s just an observation.

Charis: I think also it’s that they know what they have been saved from, and they want to share that with their friends and their family, and they see the urgency in it.

Ron: Exactly, and Charis, it’s contagious. So, once you’ve got one person or a group of people really active in ministering love, delivering food, preaching the Gospel, etcetera, and they are in your church or in your group, it becomes contagious sort of like, I want to get involved in doing this too! This looks like fun! And then it grows and grows. It’s the opposite if you’ve got nobody that wants to do it, it’s hard to get it started. But once you get it going and it grows to a certain critical mass, it’s good. In all of these operations around the world, all of our partners in all the countries practice loving, and it’s part of the budget, shall we say, for them.

Joy: And you said that we work with the Bible Society in Israel, are they noticing a big increase for scripture?

Ron: Absolutely! Every time I meet with Viktor, he talks about how they are getting requests all the time now. This is what we were praying for. He says, we didn’t have a lot of this, some but not much. Now it’s off the scale.

Joy: Yeah, in the last five years, it’s definitely been increasing bit by bit.

Ron: Oh yes, pastors are driving up with hatchback, crossover type things where the back comes up, and they are loading in boxes and boxes and boxes. Charis and I just keep getting these WhatsApp pictures at two o’clock in the morning.

Charis: They always come in the middle of the night.

Ron: Always in the middle of the night, waking us up sort of, and then I roll over, open it up, and wow!” and then I can’t get back to sleep.

Joy: A car with Bibles in the back?

Ron: Yeah, but it’s not just one. And then they will give their thank you, and they are on camera, and they will say thank you to the people who supplied these, we have never had these before, these will be used so well with the young people and the children of the messianic believers and all the people that are wondering what the gospel is all about. So, the variety is there in all the languages, and so I pass that same thank you on to all you folks at home that are listening to this. Thank you because the Word of God and all the support you are giving changes lives for eternity.

Joy: Ok, well thank you Ron and Charis.

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