Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Marlin and Sally Vis Weigh In

Marlin and Sally, friends of FPI, divide their time between Michigan and the Middel (especially Isr/Pal). Here is their fresh "take" on conversations they are having with Jews and Palestinians "on the ground". JRK


Sally and I are preparing to leave for Jerusalem next week Tuesday, June 29. We are excited to be going back to our "second home." We love the people of this place, all the people, and miss them when we are in the States. We miss the place as well. It is a wonderful, mysterious, historic, conflicted and confusing land, and we love it and are drawn into it, because this is the place where God chose to flesh into and rise out of. You have to come with us some day. You just have to! (Look at details for trips in 2011.)

We hear from our many friends in the region that nothing much has changed, except to get worse. Our Jewish friends worry about the internal strife that is breaking out from under the surface and is threatening to further divide the Jewish population of Israel. The Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox are conducting daily protests, some which lead to ugly confrontation with Israeli police. The rest of the population is thoroughly fed up with their separatist ways and this tension is becoming more and more a problem within the Jewish population. Messianic Christians (Jewish people who claim Jesus as the Messiah, but still observe Jewish custom) are caught in the middle, often targeted by other Jewish people as traitors, or at best, "lesser Jewish." Pray for these brothers and sisters.

Israel's decision to ease the Gaza blockade is helpful and hopeful, even though we know it is a reluctant move that comes on the heels of the tragedy off the Gaza Coast. What we hear from our Palestinian friends is that this will help relieve some tension in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, but only a little, and only for a little while. Such is life for a people living under oppression. The primary flash point for Palestinians is the demolition of homes in East Jerusalem, and the expansion of settlements in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Our Christian brothers and sisters are caught up in both these issues and are as affected by them along with everyone else. We hear from these brothers and sisters that relations with Muslims continue to deteriorate as the pressure of the occupation takes its toll. When you can't strike out against your oppressor, then you strike out at those you can. Both our Christian and Muslim friends grieve this development, and we with them. Please pray for peace between all warring factions - the peace of Christ!
Twenty people will travel with us as we visit holy sites and with God's holy people. Pray for us. Pray for each person coming with us. Pray for the people we will meet along the way. Pray for eyes to see and ears to hear.
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Blessings and peace,
marlin and sally vis