A Wedding, A New Brother in the Kingdom, and A Japan Outreach

 Shalom All!

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.

New Outreaches:
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

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