Shalom Family and Friends,
It is amazing how one phone call can turn your life upside down!
I am in Boulder City, NV with Mark’s mom, and the rest of the band/family, is in North Carolina! Mom ended up in the hospital emergency room and was in the ICU for three days. They found a mass in her brain, and Mark and I were asked how soon we could get there. The world began tilting in an unnerving way, as our “year” of touring with Andre’ and Kerah came to a halt and we began thinking how we should proceed.
We decided that I should fly out to be with mom, so that the cousin that had flown down from Seattle could get back to her family, and Mark would attempt to cram two months worth of repairs and remodeling on Andre’ and Kerah’s trailer into two weeks, and Kerah and Andre’ will finish up remainder of the tour, without us.
I am so thankful to God for the way he orchestrated the “changing of the guard” with the other members of Mark’s family. Mark’s Uncle and Aunt were able to get here while Mom was still in the hospital, and so, were able to get all the needed instructions, and information to pass on to me, overlapping their daughter’s time there. They are able to stay and help me to get a grasp on everything I need to know, so that I wouldn’t be “flying blind” in this very confusing medical situation. God is so good.
Mom is doing very well. She has times of confusion and mild headaches, but she’s in very good spirits and I’ve been having a wonderful time with her. She has to have someone with her all the time, and right now that’s fine because her brother, his wife and I are able to give each other time off. It will get more difficult when they leave, and Mark won’t be able to be here till at least a week later, possibly longer.
The RV has a problem with overheating every time he drives up a grade, and he has to stop frequently to allow it to cool off. This will be a problem as he and Natanyah drive across the country, and will slow them down considerably. He will try to get it repaired before they attempt to drive so far.
I’m very blessed that there is a Messianic Congregation in Las Vegas about 45 minutes away. That’s not close, but it’s doable, and everyone there is praying for us. When Mark gets here we can trade off, as they have both a Friday night and Saturday morning service.
There is also a small Calvary Chapel right behind Mom’s apartment complex, and she and I are able to walk there together. She doesn’t like to go far if she doesn’t have to, and it is good to be close enough to home that we can get back quickly if she is not feeling well.
So, you might be asking, “Is this the end of Zemer Levav?” I don’t believe so. Mark and I have several projects that kept getting shoved to the proverbial “back burner” because of time constraints, space, and the busyness of being full time on the road.
Two weeks later:
Things have calmed down wonderfully at this point and I feel like I'm just now coming up for air!
We have Mom enrolled in home hospice care, and Mark and Natanyah will be heading to Boulder City next week. Mom has a brain tumor. Right now she appears perfectly healthy, but the doctors have revoked her driving privileges because her vision is being affected, and they are concerned that as (I say "if") it grows, she may have seizures. She is very lucid most of the time mixed with moments of confusion.
I have us both on an eighty percent raw foods diet, and have incorporated as many foods that are known cancer fighters as possible. We are both feeling much better! We are having a really nice time together. I do all the food prep. and cooking, and most of the cleaning. Mom likes to feel useful so she does the dishes in the evening.
Mark, Natanyah and I have to be at Adrielle's wedding in the fall, and then we have a three week tour in Texas and New Mexico afterwards. Mark's Uncle and Aunt will come and stay with her till we get back.
After that we will just do concerts in the area if we can find someone to stay with her for from 6 hours to two days one or maybe two weekends a month. Hopefully and prayerfully, that will bring in enough funds to keep our bills paid!
We are planning on using the down time to get those Spanish translation CDs finished, and create a new CD. So Zemer Levav is not kaput! We will continue to create music (we can hardly help it!) and just travel on a much more limited basis.
I’ll keep the newsletters coming out to let you know how our projects are going, and give you sneak peeks of the new material that we create.
Our prayer needs are:
• Healing for Mark’s Mom, Dee Hanes
• Safety for Mark and Natanyah on their long journey to Nevada
• Confidence, guidance, and anointing for Kerah and Andre’ as they finish our tour
• Mechanical soundness for the RV!
• That Mark would be able to find occasional “handyman” jobs to supplement our income
• That more people would order custom jewelry from me
• For the Lord to pour new songs into us and strengthen us for the tasks ahead
• That God will provide all our needs for Adrielle and Baruch’s wedding September 29th
Thank you so much for your prayers. We especially thank those who have continued faithfully in monthly gifts to our ministry. You have enabled us to continue to move forward through many trials and rough times, and this time will be no exception. Thank you all, and thanks to our Lord God for His abundant mercies and blessings through all the chapters of our lives.
Love in Yeshua from us all, ~Shimrit, Mark, Natanyah, Kerah, and Andre’
I pray you are all well and blessed, and that you had good time with family and friends over the holidays. I know that many of us are having a difficult time right now with the job and housing markets so depressed, but I’ve been encouraged by the many miracles I have witnessed, both in our ministry and in the lives of many of you who have shared your stories. God has a way of blessing us, not always the way we hope or expect; but we are encouraged by His hand in our lives, and desire to remember to have thankful hearts in spite of troubles.
For any of you who have not been following on our website, tweets, or FaceBook, our daughter Kerah Joy, was wed to Andre Oliviera (picture below) on October 20th. We’ve been so busy since then that I've only been able to shoot off a couple of news flashes. We have had a lot of long drives, to Florida, then to Texas, and now we are in California.
A Wedding, and A New Brother in the Kingdom!
The wedding was beautiful, a wonderful celebration that was woven with many other back-stories that made it really special. I'll just share one of those stories here. A young man who has been connected to our family for about a year and a half rededicated his life to the Lord at a Kol Nidre service (the eve of Yom Kippur) just a week before the wedding. It was so incredible spending four days with him during the preparations and after the wedding. He is excited about his newfound faith, and is continuing to grow. My mom and I had been praying for him together over the phone, and we were so blessed by this answer to our prayers.
We’ve had many blessings in ministry over the last few months from talking to and praying for people we meet in our travels, to sharing with the body of Messiah in our concert ministry.
We’ve been very blessed in the Word lately, Natanyah and I have been reading through the epistles. It is very humbling to read Rav Shaul’s (Paul’s) exhortations to work hard, be disciplined and steadfast in prayer and thanksgiving to God, persevering in and through all things, walking in purity and holiness, and rejoicing in the Lord always. Paul is an amazing example of a faithful soldier in the faith, loving and caring for the body of Messiah. We want to follow his example.
The Lord has opened an amazing door for us. Our desire was to go to Israel, and we were so disappointed when we realized that it was not going to happen this spring. Then a door opened up for us to go to Japan in a joint effort with some Luis Palau associates and YWAM. It is an opportunity to share Scriptures in music within the framework of a “Cultural Exchange” program, followed by a follow-up trip in the fall to train Japanese believers, in using the arts for outreach. We do need to raise funds for the first trip, but it will be much less than for the Israel trip and we feel that God is redirecting us.
Japan has been going through difficult times rebuilding after the earthquake and tsunami. Many people lost everything. In Japan only 2% of the population believe in Yeshua (Jesus), and surprisingly there is also a small Messianic movement there. Mark is half Japanese, and has family there. We are praying that we can stay for an extra few days to meet them. We are looking forward to what God will do during this trip, and it will be a growing experience for us as well.
God knows the desires of my heart, how I long to go to Israel and be of use to Him there, but His plans come first. He will do according to His will and that will be best.
God provided us with new computers! We were having problems as ours were groaning with old age.
All our kids are growing beautifully in the Lord!
Mark is healing up from his long illness.
Our Prayer needs:
Wisdom in choosing the songs, and dances for the Japan trip
Our spiritual preparation, that God would fill us with what He needs us to bring.
Funds to finish paying for the first album and for the trip to Japan
4 new tires for the rear of the bus
Adonai bless you with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua,
~Shimrit and Family
Shalom Friends and Family,
I'm keeping this newsletter simple, as I'm concerned that maybe we're being filtered out into junk mail folders because of the photos and formatting. Please be sure and mark us as "safe" in your email preferences.
I pray that the Lord is blessing you abundantly, that you are growing in wisdom and the knowledge of His grace. We have certainly been learning this past few weeks! I've spent time lately meditating on God's provision, His timing, and my own struggle with trusting Him with all my heart. In my heart and mind I know He will take care of me, and all that concerns me, but some part of me never seems to "get it!"
God did not provide in the way I expected, nor in the timing I felt we needed. Was He late? No, I don't think so, I forget to take into consideration that it's not my responsibility to take care of everyone. It's God's responsibility, and whether we have what we think we need, or believe that others need from us or not, He is working with everyone involved, and in everything involved. He will take care of everything in the right time, and in the right way.
We have gotten a good deal of about six songs recorded last week. All of these still need more things added, but we have a good foundation. A couple of those left are going to go down pretty easily, three others we need to work very hard on between now and September. They are songs that are either brand new, or we haven't touched them in years as we were focusing the songs from our other two albums for concerts.
I'm going to begin listing the songs that will be on the new album, and put up parts of the lyrics and notes on where they came from (how I came to write them) on the web site, so visit and look for it in the next week or so! I'll also share about some of what we did with them and how they developed in the studio.
The Lord bless and keep you all, ~Shimrit
P.S. I did put a song up and you can click here to read the lyrics, and how I wrote it. You can also hear the song (bare Bones) as we recorded it in Utica. We'll add harp, violin and other instruments in Tennessee.
We need your prayer support right now. We are in Gainesville, FL and need to get to Utica, NY by Wed. night, to begin recording the new album Thurs. morning. The past three days almost everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, from illness to wrong turns we have been delayed, and held back. Then a huge bill we were not expecting has depleted our finances, at a time when we are trying very hard to raise funds for this new album. I'm afraid I didn't pass that final straw in this test with flying colors. I thought I was going to have my Uncle and his wife, and the producer/engineer and his family arriving in Utica and having nowhere to put them, as we don't pay for the cabins till we get there so that part of things wasn't pre-paid! Plus we had no funds for gas to get up there! Not only that, my phone disappeared for two days and I'm the only one who has the numbers to call everyone to let them know what's going on! "Disaster!" said my mind. I started having a panic attack (not fun). My family having mercy on my high strung temperment prayed for me and I calmed down. Things aren't quite that bad, we will be able to pay for the cabins, but we are borrowing money from Adrielle (one of our girls) for gas to get up there, till our funds from the last concert we played get deposited to our account (we have to mail them in). Nothing like living on the edge!
As a friend prayed for me over the phone, God reminded me of the new albums theme "Spiritual Warfare" and I had to smile. With songs like "Thus Sayeth The Lord" (I will make Jerusalem to be a drink, that sets the nations that surround her reeling...Zechariah 12) and L'David Mizmor from Ps. 110, also "O THat I Had Wings" and "Even There" from Ps 139. Everything for every aspect of spiritual battle from preparing the body for it, to healing the wounded! I don't think the enemy wants you all to have this album!
So please pray for us now! We need safety traveling, healing as three of us suddenly got sick,(Kerah just found my lost phone! Praise You Lord!) Angels to travel with us and protect us all the way up. Lastly, we need a financial miracle to bring us back up to snuff so that the wonderful people who are so good at what they do can be paid for doing it and feed their families!
Thank you so much for standing with us, we appreciate every one of you! ~Shimrit
I pray that the Lord is blessing you abundantly. There is much that is very disturbing going on in our world today, but God's word encourages us to "Look up, for our redemption draws near!" It is easy to get overwhelmed, and become fearful, but God has shown me that He will take care of His people. We need to trust Him completely in order to have His perfect peace. He is your Abba, He's taking care of business. Rest and continue faithful in Him.
We are in New Mexico, getting ready for a photo shoot. Kerah just finished her own shoot yesterday. I can't wait to see the pictures!
We are really blessed by our new management company "New Hope Management". In the four weeks we have been on board, Michael has already booked several concerts for us. I have actually had time to work on new music. It has been great!
Kerah has her own page on the new site "Kerah's Corner". You will enjoy reading her blog, and seeing how God is directing her. We are trying to update weekly, and add to our blogs. So visit us periodically to see what's new.
We had a mailing list of almost 600, and when I sent out the last newsletter I asked people to click on the link and sign up for the new news list, I expected that there would only be a percentage of that list who would actually sign up. I was glad for this, as I felt that only people who really wanted to be on our mailing list would sign up. Please let everyone you know who enjoys our music and would be interested in knowing what's happening in our ministry, that they can sign up for our newsletter at our website. You can even forward this newsletter to help us get the news out.
We are making progress on what we will do for the new album. I have a blog on the website that goes into detail, so if you'd like to be in on the process you can get the "inside scoop" there. In short, we have a studio in upstate NY that we have scheduled for the last half of June. We have asked Leonardo Bella to help us engineer and produce the new album. His latest work includes the album "Meha Shamayim" as well as Roman and Alaina Wood's New album "Sounds of Prayer". He also engineered "Adonai" and "Elohim" for Galilee of the Nations.
We need prayer for help financing the new album. We have been brainstorming to come up with ways to raise the needed funds and have come up with several ideas, some of which include creating special downloads on the website. Anyone who wants to help out (every dollar helps!) can go to our website "Giving" page and make a donation.
We are so thankful for everything the Lord is doing in our lives and ministry. We'll be in Texas soon, so all you Texans check our calendar to see where we will be! The Lord Bless you with every spiritual blessing in Messiah Yeshua, ~Shimrit
Shalom Family and Friends,
The God of all Shalom Bless you all, as you serve Him with all your hearts.
I'm so excited to get this newsletter out! We have lots of news for you. God is an awesome God to be sure. I'd have exclamation marks after all these sentences but then this newsletter would look like Natanyah typed it! If you've seen her comments on Facebook you are laughing right now. You can see that I'm still in the plodding old format, but this is the last time! The new website is up now so please come and visit. It's at the same address www.zemerlevav.org and while you are there, please sign up for our new newsletter on our homepage. If you would like to be dropped from our list don't do anything and you will no longer receive our newsletter.
As Long as I Breathe in Spanish:
We have Five of the eleven songs from "As Long as I Breathe" in Spanish!
This is something I have been praying for, for a long time! I have had a desire to minister in Spanish speaking countries and have just continued to pray and wait. Two years ago we went to Honduras, and that is when we had almost half of the songs from the album translated. We were so blessed ministering there, and we have used the Spanish translations in several Spanish congregations, but it has always been uncomfortable singing in Spanish, and having albums only in English. I am very blessed that God has opened this door to us.
New Album in the Works:
This summer we will be working on our next album project. At this time I've been working hard trying to get our calendar filled up for the spring, and getting the web-site finished, so that I can spend time working on all the half finished new songs I've been jotting down when I'm supposed to be sleeping. Please be in prayer for us as we do the prep work for this album. Pray that God will guide the writing, arranging, and choice of instrumentation.
We also need financial backing for the project so please be in prayer for this also.
New Open Doors:
We just spent two months in Florida, and as we were ministering in different congregations we met a man from the Brazilian Agency and his wife. He asked if we had anyone booking or promoting us in Brazil, and that he would like to do so. He had several photos taken with his wife and us to use for promotion. He asked if we could come in December.
We also met a woman from Guatemala who asked if we could go there with our music. I recently heard from her sister by email and we will be booking concerts there when the Spanish album is released. Pray for the financial provision for this trip. If you feel led to participate in sending us. Go to our support page and click on the link there.
I have been focusing on getting the new webpage up and running. I've had some good constructive criticism, and have changed things dramatically. I brought Aviad Cohen on board to rebuild the structure. It's been great working with him, and he's fast!
I have a few things that still need to be done, but it's up!
The Lord bless and keep you all in Messiah Yeshua, ~Shimrit
I can't believe it has been six months since our last newsletter in July of this year! We are all very well, through the ups and downs, the struggles and victories, God has blessed us and continues to bless as we seek His face in all we do.
We have had reports over the last six months of changed lives as people have gotten our CD and played it again and again. I know that God is working in all our hearts and preparing us for what is to come. I feel that soon we are going to have many opportunities to be a light in this world, and our faith will be exercised in new ways. Our concerts have been more and more focused on worship at God's throne.
We have been learning to give every area in our lives to God, to release our rights to Him. It is a struggle, as we have been so trained in this world to organize, order, plan, and work hard. Not that these things in and of themselves are bad, the scriptures speak of faithfulness and diligence, but we have to pray about everything, and let God move things into place. I've spent so much time in my life beating my head against a wall striving to get the calendar full making calls and sending emails out till i'm exhausted, and beating myself up when things don't seem to be working. Now we have just as many concerts as before, but I'm praying about every detail, and I'm not making as many calls, but my calls are getting more results and I have more time to spend with Natanyah for music and school. God needs to be in control of every detail.
We ended up with an unplanned 6 week break in the great northwest. At least it certainly wasn't my plan! I drove my self crazy trying to fill that calendar! I finally gave in and said God our time is Yours, all time is Yours, and since you have not allowed us to play anywhere except Vancouver (a wonderful festival, and outdoor concert) and Springfield(a small warm congregation where I taught dance as well) we'll just take a vacation! At that time we thought it was four weeks, but then we got a call that our Colorado concert cancelled, we had planned on taking Yom Kippur off, so that made it six weeks!
Mark called the office and found out that we had enough back-logged finances that we could make it for four weeks if we really squeaked (spent as close to nothing as possible). We had a National Parks pass, and Mark's research told us that these parks had no hook-ups, so they were very cheap to camp in with our RV. This wonderful RV has solar panels on the roof to charge the batteries, plus it was cooling off at the end of August into September up there, and we didn't have to run the air conditioner, so we got on very well. God had told me a month earlier when we were prospering that I was to purchase extra canned beans, rice, lentils, tomato sauce, pasta and all those easy to store dry foods. I told Mark what God had spoken to my heart and he said I should do it.
All we needed in that thin time were fresh fruits, vegies, and gas as we travelled. We stayed at Mt. St. Helens and learned about volcanic eruptions, ecological recovery, and glacial ecology. Then we visited my Uncle in Idaho and caught trout, cooked and ate them while we visited, laughed and shared music. Next we saw Craters of the Moon National Monument and learned more about volcanism, climbed a cinder cone volcano, learned about different kinds of lava, and hiked in a lava tube. Then it was on to Yellowstone. That was amazing! I can hardly begin to describe all that we saw and learned there! I have photos up on my facebook for those of you who are FBers. In short geysers, hot springs, boiling mud, stinky sulphurous lakes and ponds, several incredible waterfalls and lots of elk, bison, deer, and one wolf. Nope, we did not see a single bear, I was so glad! I'm going to skip the Colorado fish stories.
When we finally got to Texas for Sukkot we were so refreshed. It felt so good to be singing, and so right. We had some wonderful concerts, two in Dallas, one in Paragould, AR (look that one up!) then finished off Sukkot in Pensacola, FL. From there on out it has been pretty busy, and very blessed. We got to see Shalisha and Joseph with baby Rinah and the extended family we have in Gainesville, FL. Now we are in Tucker, GA and I'm preparing to sing in Spanish for a Friday night service!
That is the last six months incapsulated. We are heading to TN next week for a busy November and then we will head back to Florida for Chanukah with family. We have several concerts in Florida in December into January, and then we'll head north (burrrr) for a womens retreat. Kerah will lead worship there, and we'll visit Liorah. I'm in the process of booking in the Carolina's, Virginia, and Maryland on the way up and back, so if your congregation is along that route give me a call!
Kerah will send a short NewsFlash about her New York Stilettos run and walk for "Stop Child Trafficking Now". I'll tell you though that she came back hyped! You can go to youtube and type it in and see videos, one in which Kerah is actually interviewed!
Last but not least! (I'll try not wait six months between newsletters again!) Joseph and I are working on a new website! I'm really excited, as it pulls together several things that I need to do my job, all in one place. I'll send a Flash as soon as it's up so that you can go and sign up for our new newsletter that will include pictures, maybe some links and even music! Imagine that, music from musicians!
I hope that God has been blessing you all. That you are growing in grace and the knowledge of Him. That you have your eyes on the Prize, and are running the race with patience.
The Lord bless and keep you in Messiah,
Kerah fishing on the Snake river at twilight.
We are headed cross country, stopping along the way to do concerts. The memorial service for Mark's dad was beautiful, the scenery in Colorado made a lovely backdrop as the minister read scripture. The whole service was scripture, which we really appreciated.
I have finally begun a personal facebook account. I have had friends and family members ask me to start one as a way for them to connect with us in a more visual way. With the Facebook interface on my Blackberry phone I can snap pics and immediately upload them to Facebook, so I can give a good taste of our life on the road, and up to the minute reports on what's happening. If you are on Facebook you can find me at my name, or using this email address.
We spent two weeks with Mark's mom in Las Vegas, and then a weekend in Colorado with family, which created two weekends off from our usual ministry. It has been good, and necessary, and a nice break from our normal schedule. However it has created one problem.
As we do every year, we are in concert and teaching classes at Messiah Conference. It gives Mark and I the opportunity to network with leaders and open new doors for ministry for us. The girls also minister by helping lead worship for the youth. I am on staff this year so I am compensated for my time, but the rest of the family pays for their registration. We find ourselves coming up short this year. Our home congregation is helping, but they can't afford to pay everyone's way. (Adrielle and Liorah are trying to go also)
If you feel led to help us all be able to attend together (I must be there) please send a donation (tax deductible) to the Brentwood, TN address below.
There is much going on in our Government right now and I encourage you to stay informed. We stand to lose much freedom in the next couple of years and we must call and email our representatives, sign petitions, and make our voices heard. It really does make a difference! The Lord bless and strengthen us all in His Love!
In Messiah Yeshua,
Shalom Friends and Family,
I apologize that it has taken me so long to get this newsletter out. We landed running when we arrived from Israel. We had one day to rest and then did a three concert weekend. It was a great weekend, at one of our concerts a Jewish man came to know his Messiah for the first time. The next week was spent unpacking, and settling back into the motor home, as well as making many phone calls to family and friends, grocery shopping, etc. The next weekend we were in Las Vegas. It was our first time at the congregation there. It was restful setting up once before Shabbat, and just being a blessing at each service, sharing a few songs, then our concert Saturday night was the topper. Two weekends of blessings.
We have been visiting with Mark's mom here in Nevada. She is alone since pop passed away in December. There will be a memorial service for him in Colorado this June. God has provided for our family to be together again. We will pick the girls up at the airport in Albuquerque on Wed. and Thurs. and then drive up to the four corners area for the service. I haven't seen my grandbaby since she was 3 weeks old, so despite the sad occasion, I'm thrilled!
So What Else Happened in Israel?
We got to see Rotem and her family!
Rotem is progressing very well considering the extent of her injuries. She is very alert to everything around her. She has much more motor control. I have a video of her reaching up and stroking and twirling Natanyah's hair. She nods her agreement, and when someone amuses her she smiles a sweet little half smile. She draws circles and figure eights with her left hand for therapy. She has learned English now and she understands all the conversation going on around her. She can sit for a very short time without support, and is beginning therapy now to learn to walk.
Her Grandparents, and Aunt, Uncle, and cousins were there. We sang songs for the family, and Rotem's mom remembered the songs we had sung 2 yrs ago! She had her requests ready! We also added the new Hebrew songs I wrote while in the land. They loved the music and Rotem's Aunt told me when they were leaving that she really appreciated the spiritual depth of our music and family, God blessed our time together and new bonds were formed. We continue to pray for them all.
We also saw some new tools in play for outreach on the streets that is really having an impact. One is called a "Treasure Hunt" and presupposes that God has certain people that He has prepared for us to share with and pray for. A small group will pray with that in mind and ask God to prepare the person/persons and to prepare people within the group to speak with and pray for the person. Then you ask for direction, ask for God to reveal things about that person (this person is the treasure) then they wait on the Lord and write down what they feel He is revealing to them as "clues" to help them find this person. When prayer time is over the members of the group compare notes, and highlight the clues that more than one person in the group has on their list. These are the clues they use to help them find the person God wants them to speak with and pray for.
Here is an example from a group a friend was in. The clues they got that were on several peoples lists were:
1. A Pizza shop
2. A blue shirt
3. A knee injury
4. the name Yakov
They knew there was a Pizza place nearby, so they went there. Standing outside the Pizza shop was a young man in a blue shirt. They explained that they were on a treasure hunt and that they believed that he was God's treasure. They asked if he had a knee injury saying that God had told them that they were to pray for him. He was blown away and told them that he was a soccer player and had a knee injury. Though he had surgery, it was not very successful and he could no longer play! They prayed for his knee and the young man was healed! Next the guys asked him and his friend who Yakov was. The friend said that his brother's name was Yakov, so they said we need to pray for him, and prayed for him right then and there. Then they showed the guys the lists that they had made with all this info and explained how God loved them and wanted them to know Him and were able to share the Gospel with them. They were wide open because of the miracles God had done both in the revealing to total strangers where he was and what he needed, and the healing of his knee.
The second is just praying and asking God to lead you to people who are hurting and/or who want to know the truth about God and Messiah Yeshua. Approaching people with the question "Do you have a need that I can pray for? Are you searching for answers, for who God is, and who is the Messiah?" and then just praying for those who respond. I used this approach on Ben Yehuda St. and God gave me two people to pray for. One of them actually came straight to me with questions! I didn't even approach her! In the end she prayed with me that God would reveal to her Yeshua His Messiah. Next I heard the crash of a bottle breaking and saw an old orthodox man who was drinking and had dropped his bottle. He shuffled over near a store and my heart went out to him. Mark came with me and I stood behind him and began to pray. He started to walk away and I could tell he was resisting. He got about twenty feet ahead of us and then stopped... and began walking backwards as though God was reeling him in, until he was just a half an arms length away. I continued to pray for him then finished with b'Shem Yeshua HaMashiach, omain. It was as though he was released, he walked away again never even turning to see who had prayed for him.
That was an amazing night.
Another amazing though not so wonderful experience was the night we were driving home to Nes Harim from Jerusalem. We decided to go a different way than usual and on the highway we suddenly saw a motorcycle down.
The man was either hit, or wiped out on the turn. His bike was laying sideways on the highway and he was nowhere to be seen. Mark jumped out of the car, looked at the bike and followed his intuition. Others had stopped by now and were looking along the side where the bike was. Mark crossed the highway a couple hundred feet ahead of where the bike was and found him in the under growth on the other side of the guard rail. He was barely conscious and sweating profusely. It is amazing that he was even alive. Mark was able to direct people to where the man was. It was a miracle from the Lord that we happened to be there, God was able to use Marks gift of intuative mechanics/physics to know just where to look for the man. This saved quite a bit of time which in this type of situation can mean the difference between life and death.
So Where are We Headed?
We are very excited about some new songs we have written, they minister so much to us that we love singing and playing them! We can't wait to share them with all of you. Our Summer tour is taking shape. We will be in Albuquerque the weekend of the 30th and 31st at Calvary Chapel East. Then we pick up Shalisha and Rinah on Wed. and Adrielle and Liorah on Thursday and spend the weekend with family in the four corners area.
Monday the girls go back home except for Adrielle who will ride with us to Kansas City. Our next concert is on Shabbat morning June 13th in Branson Missouri, at Rabbi Jeremy Storch's Congregation, the Tabernacle at 11:00 am. If anyone knows someone in that area you can let them know. We have Sunday free that weekend and are open to ministering wherever the Lord might open doors for us.
June 20th we are all the way to New Jersy (yes, that's a lot of driving!) Jackson to be exact at Beth Zion. We are looking for a Sunday there also and any midweek evenings we can be of service. The 27th we'll have two concerts, one in the morning and another in the evening in Yardley, PA at Lion of Judah, and in the evening at Beth Simcha in Allentown.
At Messiah conference we'll all be teaching classes. I'll be teaching how to teach a dance class, with tips and tools for new and not so new teachers on Monday, Tuesday Kerah and Adrielle will be teaching a silk painting class, Wednesday Mark will be teaching a seminar on harp building, Thursday I'll be teaching a jewelry making class, Friday I will be teaching a choreography class, and Saturday we will be doing a mini concert.
After the conference we will be heading across the country to Washington State where we are booked to play in Vancouver on August 1st and 2nd. We already have several concerts booked in the Pittsburg area the week and weekend after conference as we begin our journey across the country.
If you are along the way between Pittsburg and Chicago, or Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul, or Minneapolis and Vancouver, Washington and would like to have us, call Jonathan at the booking number below. We only have three weeks and two weekends in between Pittsburg and Vancouver, so call soon!
We'll be in Washington the month of August, and then head back to Florida to celebrate the end of Sukkot in Pensacola. So if you are in between Washington and Colorado Springs, Colorado (where we will be for Rosh HaShana), and then Florida. Give us a call. Your calls will often define our routes!
I pray that the Lord will bless and prosper your soul, and protect your income. I pray that we will all draw closer to the Lord during this time, and trust Him to be our provider, and keeper. I pray that we will all spend more time seeking His face, and entertain His presence in our lives, and in our households. May the Lord bless and keep you all,
~Shimrit and Family
Shalom Friends and family!
It is 2:23 (or 14:23 Israeli time). We are in Nes Harim, a beautiful village in the mountains between Yerushalaim and Bet Shemesh. It is very windy, and the whistling of the wind at the windows and around the corners of the house is a haunting but lovely sound.
Our schedule is shaping up nicely here. We have a couple of soup kitchens in Tel Aviv, and a congregation in the area. We've been given a good list of contacts, and we are all set to attend the School of Ministry next week, for some much needed input and refreshing in God's word, worship, and prayer.
Our trip here was much more restful than our last trip to Israel (some of us actually slept on the plane!), though our luggage was lost for two days and took an additional two days to get to us! I felt a bit lost without my instruments! We stayed in Netanyah while we waited, with Brian and Racheli Slater. We attended Beit Asaph on Shabbat. There we met a small group from Japan!
The School of Ministry:
We attended sessions of the School of Ministry last week, and we are so blessed. It felt so good to get this input as we studied scripture and saw the places where these things took place. We got new insights on well known stories and shared with one another the things God highlighted for us. We took lots of notes! One of the major scriptures that the Lord impressed on all of us was 1Kings 18:30. The people of Israel had been worshiping idols now for 62 years, by this time the people knew little if anything about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This scripture states that Elijah "...repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down." The Lord spoke to us that we are to do the same. We are working on this in our own lives and our family, and seeking the Lord about how this relates to our ministry, and how we are to obey this word in practice.
We did very little sightseeing last time we were here, so with the school we have been able to see more of the land, and the historic Biblical sights. We stayed at Bet Scandinavia in Bat Galim in Haifa while we attended the school, and we played twice for the group there, most of them are from Norway. They invite neighbors to their Shabbat dinners, so we had the opportunity to share with "pre-believers". The second Shabbat, a young girl asked how I came to know Messiah. This gave me an opportunity to share my testimony with her and another lady. Later I was able to pray with the girl as she had struggles at home.
To the South:
Next down to Omer near Be'er Sheva where we spent some time with our good friend Jeanie Gelbart. Her husband Steve passed away just as we were leaving for Israel. It is a very sad time for all of us who knew him. We miss his wonderful worship music. Now as he so aptly put it, he has exchanged new songs for the old and it delights our souls to think of him playing before God's throne. Please pray for her as she goes through the grieving process.
While we were there we worshiped in a home with a small group and shared with them. A Pastor from a Russian congregation was there and asked us to come and sing for his congregation, so we stayed an extra night in the area at another church that had some rooms, and shared a half hour of worship with the church in Be'er Sheva.
Back up to Haifa!
Kerah and I have each written a song since we've been here which is amazing considering this leg of our journey we have been very busy with school and then traveling! I'm excited to see what the Lord gives us when we finally get to sit still for a time again in Nes Harim!
We are right now on our way back to Haifa where we are going to participate in a night of praise and worship to the Lord, our slot is 3:00 to 4:00 AM! Then over the weekend we'll see what else God opens up for us. We will spend some time with a family friend who is in the IDF.
Finally Settling in:
We are now settled in Moshav Nes Harim. The all night Praise was wonderful. We ended up sitting in with two other worship leaders in their time slots, and I got to just relax and worship with my harp in a way I have never had an opportunity to do before. It was a growing experience in worship music for me. We've been here in Nes Harim for three days now, and have had some wonderful time in the word together as a family. We spent most of this Shabbat just digging into the scriptures and studying together. We are learning more about the musicians in the Tabernacle of David, and Solomon's Temple. It's a fascinating study, plus we've been continuing in the Parashas and reading through the book of Matthew, which has also led to some study in the prophets and Kings!
Kerah and I have written a couple more songs and are looking forward to more as we dig into God's word, and worship together. Natanyah is really growing during this time too. She joined us in the School of Ministry classes, and now she's back to a regular school schedule along with the Scriture studies we've been doing together. She will begin working with me on music and dance this week. We look forward to her taking a more active part in the music ministry before the Lord. She is excited about some new things that she can bring into the worship.
We still have the ministry in the Soup Kitchens in Tel Aviv before us, and I have been trying to get ahold of Rotem's family. We have had several opportunities to be an encouragement to different brethren as we have traveled. Truely this trip has been much different than the last one, as God spoke to us right before we left. He said we were not to have expectations because He was going to do something different this time. I'm excited to share in the next newsletter as our odyssey continues to unfold.
May the Lord bless you all, and we encourage you to "dig deeper" into the things of God. We will all need to keep our lamps trimmed and full at this time. We will post some pictures on our website soon.
~Shimrit and the Hanestribe