Beloved Israel


Our friend Dimitri’s shop in the Old City Jerusalem
My beautiful artwork from Bethlehem

After visiting  Israel for 20 years, you become familiar with its people and its many different cultural customs. With each visit came more knowledge of how this beautiful country, with all it complexities, exists.

In the Old City of Jerusalem are hundreds of shops selling their goods. Most of these businesses depend on the generosity of tourists to make a living. For years I have made purchases of religious items from these vendors. The Old City, along with Bethlehem has the best deals. Bethlehem is located in the West Bank. This is also where Shepherd’s Field is located.


I pray for my friends in the Holy Land;  some are Muslim and some are Jewish. In particular I pray for Bethlehem, where the population of Christians is shrinking and is now less than 2%.

On one of my last visits to Bethlehem, I met a wonderful Christian couple who had a shop with beautiful artwork. I purchased several items from them, and they shared with me that their life in Bethlehem was becoming more and more difficult. With fear and uncertainty for their future, they were planning to leave their beloved city.


The beautiful eilat stone altar at  Church of St.Lazarus in Bethany

Bethany is also in the West Bank Where we always visit the Church of  St. Lazarus. We also visit The Tomb of Lazarus. Directly in front of the entrance is a mustard tree. A family waits for us to exit the tomb to sell mustard seeds.  This is one of the few places in the Holy Land  where mustard seeds can be purchased.  I always purchase these biblical seeds to share with my students.

Precious Franciscan Priest who is th pastor of the The Church of  St. Lazarus Church in Bethany

This Catholic Church is completely secluded from the rest of the city of  Bethany. The gardens are beautiful and well kept. The last time we were there the priest shared with me that there were only five families who were part of this parish.


There has always been mutual respect between the Jews and Muslims in matters of commerce. Our Jewish guides were always friendly with Muslim merchants because the guides bring them business. The vendors, in turn , will share part of their profits with the guides. Will they meet for dinner later? No! because it’s strictly business.

Drawing the Line of Division

With the recent war between Israel and Hamas, the guides and merchants must take sides.  Before the Palestinians and Jews were at peace with one another; but war changes everything.

The deeply embedded hatred rears its ugly head, and both groups are back to square one. This is the perfect plan for the Enemy. Setting the stage comes natural because all the props are easily accessible. It’s the same miserable play that has lasted for generations. As the bombs go off, it is music to Satan’s ears; after all he is the conductor.

Generations of Hatred

During the war there is no love lost, and without Jesus there is no love. The blood of hate runs deep within all the terrorists so when you are ruled by hate there is no escaping the generational curse.

God Takes Sides

We all know that God will rescue Israel because this is His beloved land. History will once and for all see this manifest. I pray that it is soon.

God loves the Palestinians just as much as he loves the Jews. There is no distinction of who He loves more because we are all His creation. He sees the oppression of the Palestinians brought on by Hamas. He hears the cries of all of His children, and He will intervene! God will bring justice to all who have been afflicted and He will restore peace to His land.

How Can We Help?

First of all stop listening to the news or watching hatred play out on social media. Satan has orchestrated and manipulated the news to his favor. Instead ask God to give you revelation. Set aside time to pray on a daily basis. Ask for God’s holy intervention and pray for the Lord to reveal Himself to all who are hurting because of this conflict.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, You know all the atrocities that the Jewish people have experienced because of  these heinous attacks by Hamas. Lord, You know the hearts of all Your people and only through a miracle can peace be attained. Lord, make Your presence known to Hamas, Hezbollah and all terrorist organizations. Touch the hearts of all those who have been affected by violence brought on by war. Lord, free the souls of those who are longing to see justice. Jesus, it is only through You that justice will prevail. Strengthen the hearts of those who are seeking comfort and hope. Restore Your faith in all humanity. For the sake of Your sorrowful passion, destroy the Enemy. Amen.




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