This next Sonday, Aug 11, will mark 37 years since my wife and I became Israeli citizens (and dual citizens of the U.S.)! We arrived in Netanya, Israel on Sept 21, 1981, and settled in Beer Sheva in Feb of ’82, as the Lord led us to choose once it became certain that we were here to stay. It was not an experiment, but a walk of faith in obedience to the Word of the Lord to me to “Go to Israel” when we were born-again seven months before we came. We had gotten married 10 months before that life-changing moment for us both!
It is interesting to me at times to think of how God has located us. Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, we were in the northern South of the original United States of America, and Richmond became the Capital of those southern states during America’s Civil War, which for Southerners was always “the War”. Richmond is rich in American history, both for the Revolutionary War of Independence and also for the Civil War. Most people drive by Richmond on the major highways as they head for somewhere else: Richmond is not their destination on their trip. In Beer Sheva, we are also in the northern South of Israel, and Beer Sheva is its administrative center.
Beer Sheva is rich in Biblical history ever since Abraham named the place where he made a covenantal oath with a Philistine king over the ownership of wells. Most people do not make Beer Sheva a destination point in their itinerary, as they bypass the city on the major highways to somewhere else. Richmond, though, was not a desert, but had four seasons. Washington, DC, the nation’s Capital, was accessible from Richmond; Jerusalem, Israel’s Capital, is likewise easily accessible. Richmond is about half-way along the eastern seaboard of the States; Beer Sheva is geographically near the center of the State of Israel. The Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea, are not so far away.