Thank-you for your prayers connected with the events here in Beer Sheva for the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC Beer Sheva Charge and victory. The city has never had a day like this before! The PM of Australia and of Israel were present; the Governor-General of New Zealand was there (the NZ gov’t has just had a change of PM). Security was at an all-time employment; the municipality put out a tremendous effort to put on a spectacular day that has received very high remarks from the Aussies (especially) and Kiwis that we have spoken with. I was very impressed with the remarks made by the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull. Also the new ANZAC Museum was dedicated, and, thankfully, the ones I know who have been praying and acting for years for it are very pleased!
On the evening of the 30th, we had about 200 join us in praising and worshiping the Lord God of history. Groups led by Norman and Barbara Miller, and by Ross and Bronwyn Poulton, and others streamed together to the ‘Old House’. Ruth Webb and her team from Australia led most of the time of praise and worship. It was a celebratory evening as we came before the Sovereign God who intervenes into history to accomplish His will and advance His Kingdom purposes. We also brought out our flags of most of the cities of the Negev, and prayed for them: that God would breakthrough in the Spirit to bring many more souls to know the Father and the Son in this dry and thirsty desert. YHVH of Hosts (Armies) is able to capture the hearts of sinful people who are thirsty for living water through their repentance and faith in the good news of Yeshua the Messiah that God still proclaims. The Holy Spirit is in the world to convict persons of their unbelief in Jesus as the Messiah (Anointed One) and Son of God.
The 31st, which also marked the 500th anniversary of the ‘official beginning’ of the Reformation, was a long but beautiful day in Beer Sheva. We awoke at 4:30am in order to be at the football (soccer) stadium before 6:00, where the initial screening process took place. Buses transported people to the British WW1 War Memorial Cemetery, where the main commemorative event was held. Airport-type security was set up there for those who had entry passes. There were more than 4000 people, with even more from the city coming for the open-to-the-public parade following, and for the peaceful ‘re-enactment’ of the charge in the afternoon. The Kiwis held a special ceremony at Tel B-S, which was where their forces captured this strategic site from the Turks prior to the Light Horse charge on that fateful Oct 31, 1917. The day closed for those with passes with the largest bar-b-q in Israel for 2000 persons at the Park of the Australian Soldier. Randi and I were able to speak about our faith in Yeshua with an Israeli Jewish Australian, and we met some descendants of those who had a role in the victories of that day, and again were able to let them know of our interest in how the Lord was active in that day’s events and outcomes.
Much of the Israeli media made note of the fact that the Balfour Declaration went out as a result of that courageous victory, yet there is much debate (as usual) whether or not the declaration was a good thing or not. As Yeshua asked the leaders of the people in His day: was the baptism of John of God or of men, so today the question can be put: is the reestablishment of Israel in its ancient homeland of God or of men? The destinies of peoples and nations are wrapped up one’s heart attitude and choice to this question. While it is not in itself a salvation issue whether one ‘gets it’ regarding Israel, the attitude of one’s heart and mind towards her may indicate other issues of the heart that do relate to our relationship with the one true God. Thanks to all of you who stand with the Lord for His name’s sake, and for His stake, in Israel’s salvation!