Breaking Dreams to Heal Hearts
It was a normal beehive of activity as the team was cleaning our lodge in New Zealand one morning—until the phone rang. “Hi, may we please bring Ron* back to the Zula? He’s had a bad accident and his leg is broken.”
Just a few days prior, Ron and his two friends said goodbye after their stay at the Zula to carry on with their adventures of conquering one mountain peak after the other. But as they approached a glacier on one of the mountains, Ron started to run toward it out of pure joy and lost his footing in a slippery stream. He slipped and fell seven meters (about twenty-three feet) down a cliff onto a rock shelf. There he lay with a broken leg, deep lacerations to his face, and a bruised body until his friends were able to summon the rescue helicopter.
Back at the Zula Lodge, leg in a cast and all bandaged up, we tried to make him as comfortable as possible. As our staff spoke with him, they perceived Ron’s disappointment in the abrupt end to his holiday dream and having to return to Israel was far more painful than the physical pain.
As one of our staff began to tell Ron of God’s deep love for him, he surprisingly displayed a hunger to know more. Our staff could sense the Holy Spirit cutting through a sea of confusion in Ron’s soul straight to his heart, and when they offered him a New Testament, he gladly accepted, eager to find out more for himself. Sometimes it takes extreme circumstances for us to turn our attention to God and understand how much He loves us and wants to offer us eternal life with Him. Every year, Israeli travelers get injured on the mountains or on the roads. Over the years, there have tragically been a few fatalities too.
Please pray for the safety of these young people—both their physical and eternal safety!
“You Talk to God as though You Know Him.”
Consider Reuven,* a recent guest at Zula Lodge [in New Zealand]. Upon arriving, he bluntly declared, “I know who you are and what you believe. I do not want you to talk to me about religion. May I still stay at your facility?” Our volunteer staff warmly welcomed Reuven and assured him their purpose was to serve him, not to force their beliefs on him.
At first, Reuven aggressively avoided everyone at the Zula—staff and guests alike. But he soon began to warm to the kind and sincere service our staff freely offered. They took him rock climbing and taught him board games. To his great surprise, Reuven was enjoying the company of this “forbidden” group of people.
Finally, one of our volunteers took a risk: “Reuven, do you believe the Torah?” They ended up having a great conversation with Reuven about God and the Bible. But our staff members’ love for God and for one another made the greatest impact on Reuven. After listening to the testimonies and prayers at our weekly Sabbath dinner, he was visibly moved, commenting, “You talk to Him as though you know Him.” Those he shunned only days before he was now inviting to visit him in Israel.
Learning from Prayer in Practice
After the Sabbath meal on Friday night, everyone settled in the lounge area of Zula to hang out. Chen,* one of our Israeli guests, began talking to a staff member about her life and beliefs. The conversation turned to prayer, and she told one of our staff members how women within Judaism do not often pray because it is normally the men who pray, and typically only from the Siddur (prayer book). She asked if and how our worker prayed. The Lord prompted our staff member to tell her, because of Jesus, she can go directly to her Abba (“father” in Hebrew) in prayer. The next day, the Lord gave an opportunity to display this type of prayer life to her boyfriend Eli.*
As everyone went to bed that evening, the Zula lost access to water. There were eight guests, four volunteers, and the owners of the property—all in need of running water. You can imagine the panic they felt over having so many people and no water. They spent Saturday trying to rectify the problem and informed the guests they would likely not be able to shower until the following day. During this chaos, our staff member felt the Lord prompting her to stop and pray. She invited the people who were standing with her to join her in asking our Father to provide water and a solution to the problem. The volunteers and Eli (Chen’s boyfriend) joined her in prayer.
The water eventually returned, and everyone was able to shower. We are trusting God will use this experience to draw Chen and Eli to Himself. Please join us in praying they saw our faith on display and would come to believe God wants a relationship with them where they, too, can pray to Him as their Abba. Pray they would come to know their Messiah and the God of Israel.