Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What’s The Point?

Recently I posted about our plans involving our family's going to Israel, and as I suspected, my Inbox has been flooded, and I have been answering (and asking) many questions privately. Lynne mentioned in the comments, "I don’t understand why the people of Israel need outside help with their farming" and I'd like to answer ~ at least this one ~ publicly.

The practical answer to this specific question is because they just need farming help. Israel already has over 25,000 seasonal workers coming into the country annually to help with the farming.They come mostly during the summer months, and the majority of these workers are Buddhists from Thailand. From a Christian perspective, replacing those paid seasonal workers with seasonal workers who volunteer out of love, is a tremendous opportunity to minister to the Israeli people. It is the same principle for most foreign missions ~ we exhibit the Savior's love through our willing service, and thereby earn an opportunity to speak truth into their lives. Farming has traditionally been one of the most humble jobs available. Our serving in this capacity is an attempt to undo some of the arrogancy of (some) Christians to force the Gospel down their throats.

The scenario above is enough to explain why 'someone' would choose these farmers as a people to serve. It is as valid a need as many others worldwide. There is simply no shortage of places and opportunities to serve Father and bring the message of salvation that will allow the blind to see and sinners to come to repentance. The whole world needs Jesus, and across the street is as good a place as any...so why Israel?

There is a veil over the eyes of the Jews now, that Yahweh has placed there, that will keep them from seeing the truth of who their Messiah really is. When in His good pleasure, He desires to remove that veil, we desire to be there, already in relationship with the Jewish people, in order to make the introduction. House of Judah...meet your Savior...Yeshua HaMashiach.

Just as here in the United States, the family situation in Israel is also very unstable. Even in the Orthodox communities, the families have Momma and Daddy both working away from home, the children raised by others, and little time for family. Add to that their laissez-faire attitude about discipline and training of the children, and it is a recipe for disaster. Israelis have the belief that, "Life is so hard here already, we should let the children have as much freedom as possible". We ought to all know what kind of chaos that creates in a family. These are a people who need healthy families to minister to them ~ sometimes by nothing more than living life in front of them.

But there's more...

Understanding that the Old 'Testament' contains shadows and types of the New, allow me to begin by recounting some details of a story in the Scriptures that many of us have heard before. If you are not familiar with the story of Ruth, or wish to refresh your memory, you may read it here (use arrows to read entire book of Ruth).
Please understand that Ruth is a picture of the Gentile church, and she senses the significance of cleaving to Naomi and Naomi's God. Just as the Gentile woman who asked Jesus if she could glean crumbs from Him, Ruth gleans from Boaz. He is a kinsman redeemer, the one who could redeem his kinsman from slavery, just as Jesus redeems us from the slavery of sin. Don Schwarz, in Identity Crisis, said, "It is the testimony of Ruth's love for Naomi and not her words that got the attention of Boaz. It is our actions of love toward the Jewish people and not our words that will get the attention of Jesus Christ our Kinsman Redeemer."

Father's word will not return void, and He is faithful who promised. We see Ruth being blessed by Father's Word in the Torah ~ being allowed to glean, and being filled (literally) by the grace of her kinsman redeemer ~ Boaz allowing grain to drop for her. Father promised that we will be blessed by our blessing Israel, and that is certainly what happened to Ruth, as she was given a husband and family. Just like Naomi did, Israel will take notice when Yahweh blesses us. We believe that Father has given us a command to make them jealous in order to bring salvation full circle, from the Jews to us, then from us back to the Jews.

We believe that being a Ruth to Naomi is a humble act of obedient trust that puts feet to our faith in our Messiah, Jesus. What better way to know Him better and love Him more?

8 comments:

  1. Amen sister :)God will bless you as you bless His people. It is so true that they need to have good examples of Christian families who are willing to love them unconditionally as much as everyone else in the world does. God often requires us to go cross culturally because sometimes it is easier to learn from people who are not in our own culture. Not explaining this very well, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say! LOL!

    Good to see you back again. I was worried that you hadn't got my email or were offended by something in it. I hope not!

    Blessings,

    Joy

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  2. Wonderfully put...wish we were younger and stronger...but the FATHER will use anyone willing, that we know. Blessings on you and your family as you prepare to serve!! Putting feet to your prayers...simply inspiring!

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  3. Well put!!!
    What's next in the process? When is your sale?
    Blessings & ((hugs))

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  4. Just wanted to say that I have been reading your blog since at the homestead blogging site. As a missionary in Taiwan (and married to a national pastor here), I got quite emotional when reading your post about feeling led to Israel. Missionaries around the world are retiring and there is no one taking their places. The idea of going to work on a farm may not seem like missionary work to many, but you are going to reach so many people. On the missionary field, building a relationship is so important. Many times pastors don't get themselves on the level with the people and get down and do the "dirty" work. Your missionary field will definetly be a "field" in the literal sense. It is rare to see young famiilies (small or large) follow the call to the foreign field now adays....many families don't even know missionaries.....ok, anyway, I just wanted to pop in and say "you go girl!!":p
    Deana
    also at www.homeschoolblogger.com/panshrmu

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  5. oldpathsfamilyfarmJuly 20, 2007 at 5:29 AM

    Elizabeth ~
    Forget about younger and stronger...He can use you as an intercessor if you feel led. Some go, some send...but all can do battle in the Heavenlies! I'd love to have a woman like you praying for our family!

    Joy~
    It took me a while to figure out the gist of it, too. I mostly learned from Holly. :)

    Jane~
    If you mean the yard sale, we did it already - just before the Wallers were here (had to make room). :)

    The next step in the process is Phil is selling his tractor so we can buy an RV to customize. We'll be working on that, fixing up the house to sell it, and of course, Phil is heading to Israel for the harvest and the Feast of Tabernacles celebration.

    The RV is because it looks like we may be traveling to build up a support base to send our family before we head over. Also, with 2008 being a Sabbath agricultural year in Israel, things are a bit up in the air about where we will be going over there. But we are praying through each step and walking slowly.

    Deana ~

    I truly believe that there is a remnant that Father is raising up for these last days ~ and that there will be more of us. Be encouraged, for Father DOES have a remnant, and He IS stirring them. I believe it is a tactic of the enemy to have the entire area surrounding Israel to be Muslim. Christians are afraid of Muslims, and that will keep them from ministering to Israel, and thereby ushering in the fulfillment of many last-days prophecies. One way or another, He WILL be glorified.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing...this was wonderful and exciting.

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  7. Welcome to Israel! My husband is a worker in the olives. We are a family of 8 and look forward to meeting you. When you are in the Galilee area, look us up, everyone knows us ; ) Or visit our blog on Yahoo 360 Boer family Israel journal. Just wanted to comment on this blog entry. Please keep in mind, people like my husband who legally works here, and some of the non-buddists, like ethiopian jews, whose jobs are affected when the volunteers come. I know your intent is pure, and we pray YHWH will bless your family here in the land. Intercessors are always welcomed! In Y'shua's love, Debi

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