Don’t Forget Beirut

We could call 2020 “the year of disaster,” but I prefer to call it “the year of opportunity.” Yes, terrible things have happened and are continuing to happen, but in times of trouble the people of God have opportunity to walk out what James calls “pure and undefiled religion.”

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27 TLV)

There are many ways to do this. Let me remind you of one more. Nearly six weeks ago, on August 4, 2020, a massive explosion rocked the city of Beirut. The devastation is still there. The people are still hurting. Those who are able to give aid are doing so, but their resources are stretched very thin. Please pray, and in praying ask if you can help in other ways.

The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) has just released another video update that you will find both encouraging and challenging. Take a look, and consider how to help:

If you are moved to help, start right now by praying for the people of Beirut and all of Lebanon. Then go to the Middle East Bible Outreach (MEBO) website and give as you are able.

Beirut Still Needs Help

It’s been over two weeks since the devastating explosion at the port of Beirut, Lebanon on August 4, 2020. As The Barking Fox shared, the shock of the explosion was devastating – and that says a lot for a country that’s suffered a generation of civil war, external conflict, instability, and terrorism. 

What has happened since then? The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) has just released a video update that you will find both encouraging and challenging. Encouraging in that good people doing the Lord’s work are making a difference in the lives of their neighbors. Challenging in that the need is so great. Please watch, pray, and consider what you can do to help make a difference in a land God loves.

Will it not be just a very little while before Lebanon turns into a garden, and a garden will seem like a forest?
In that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
The meek will add to their joy in Adonai, and the needy of humanity will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:17-19, TLV)

If you are moved to help, start right now by praying for the people of Beirut and all of Lebanon. Then go to the Middle East Bible Outreach (MEBO) website and give as you are able.

Help Beirut

Did you see what happened in Beirut on Tuesday, August 4, 2020? If you saw it, do you understand the magnitude of what happened? There are many unanswered questions, but as of now we know – 

    • 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of Beirut ignited and exploded with the force greater than that of the nuclear bomb that destroyed Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.
    • Hundreds are dead, thousands are injured, and thousands more are missing.
    • 300,000 people are now homeless.
    • Lebanon remains gripped by endless unrest and disaster that has kept its people in fear, despair, and great need for a generation.
    • There is a way to help.

Dr. Nabil Costa of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) joined us on Prayer Surge Now!  this morning to tell us about the situation he and his colleagues are facing in Beirut. If anything, it is more desperate than what you see on the news. This is the time for God’s people to provide help as we can. This is a chance for us to come together across denominational, confessional, and ethnic lines to help those who might otherwise perish. LSESD has shared a short video to help us understand:

If you are moved to help, start right now by praying for the people of Beirut and all of Lebanon. Then go to the Middle East Bible Outreach (MEBO) website and give as you are able.

via Help Beirut – MEBO

Christians to repent online for antisemitism on Tisha Be’av – The Jerusalem Post

“How do I repent for something I didn’t do?”

It’s a valid question, especially in these times when the wrongs of the past are placed before the public continuously. If our ancestors thought, said, and did things that bring grief to our heavenly Father, then what are we to do?

The first step is to acknowledge that something wrong was done by those who came before us, and that we must live out the consequences. Nothing will change until that acknowledgement happens. Once it happens, then the way is open for God to bring healing, reconciliation, and restoration.

That is the purpose of the Nations’ 9th of Av as we seek to help Christians understand our unpleasant history with the Jewish people. The Jerusalem Post has taken notice of this initiative and has recently published an article about our plans for observing Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av), the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. Read the article here, and then visit www.9-av.com to learn more.

 

There is still time to join our Virtual Tour of Israel and take part in this healing work between Christians and Jews. Click here to learn more:

Nations’ 9th of Av Virtual Tour of Israel


Christians to repent online for antisemitism on Tisha Be’av

The Jerusalem Post

   JULY 21, 2020 09:10

Tisha Be’av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, will become a time for Christians around the world to repent together for two millennia of antisemitism through a virtual prayer event hosted on the 9-av.com website.

While Jews will be reading Lamentations in and out of synagogues, Christians will participate in a nine-hour online vigil of prayers. There will also be a week of online tours of biblical sites and other key locations in Israel.

The event is being organized by a steering committee led by Al McCarn, Laura Densmore and Steve Wearp, a Christian and former national director of the March for Remembrance, which holds events against antisemitism in more than 50 US cities. This is his third year organizing Tisha Be’av events for Christians in Jerusalem and his first time hosting it online due to the coronavirus.

“We struggled with how to do it this year, but we realized we have a much greater audience potential online,” Wearp said.


Click here to continue reading: Christians to repent online for antisemitism on Tisha Be’av – The Jerusalem Post

Call for Prayer and Repentance

When do God’s people turn to Him? While we desire to cling to Him at all times, it is in times of trouble that this desire becomes a compelling need – a need to cry out to Him for deliverance, to ask Him to show us where we have sinned and turned from His righteous ways, to seek His forgiveness, and to learn from Him how to correct those things that separate us from His heart, and divide us from one another.

The world is in a season of distress. How shall we get through this trying time?

Many around the world, both from the Christian and the Jewish sides of Israel’s covenant family, are sensing the need to cry out to the Lord God in this season. As a way to enter into this process, B’ney Yosef North America is observing the week of July 5-11, 2020, as a time of fasting and repentance for our sins of division, discord, injustice, and failure to walk together in love.

Why now? It is a lesson we have learned from our Jewish brethren at this time. July 9 is the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, the Fast of the Fourth Month of Zechariah 8:19. This fast day begins a time known as the Dire Straits, a three week period ending on the 9th of Av, the Fast of the Fifth Month. This was the time the Babylonians breached the walls of Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of God, removing His visible presence from His holy city, devastating the land He cares for, and dispersing His covenant people of Israel to the nations. Ever since then, Jews have fasted and mourned, not merely for themselves as a people, but for the nations of the earth, to whom Israel is a witness of the Most High God.

Our call for prayer and fasting in this week of 17 Tammuz is the beginning of a season of repentance from now until Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on September 28, 2020. We are joining with other prayer initiatives throughout this season, and we invite you to do the same.

Do we truly want to see our Father’s Kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven? Then let us humble our hearts, bow our knees, and seek Him together.

Prayer and Repentance Initiatives

    • 17 Tammuz Call for Prayer and Repentance, July 5-11, 2020. Call for all of God’s covenant people to enter into fasting and repentance at the beginning of the Dire Straits. B’ney Yosef North America (bneyyosefna.com).
    • Nations’ 9th of Av Virtual Solemn Assembly, July 29-30, 2020. Time of mourning and fasting in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters on the Fast of the Fifth month. Nation’s 9th of Av (9-av.com).
    • 40 Days of Repentance, August 19-September 28, 2020. Daily pause for prayer and reflection during the weeks leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. B’ney Yosef North America (bneyyosefna.com).
    • 10 Days of Prayer, September 19-28, 2020. A Global Upper Room calling on cities to stop for United Prayer and Worship with Repentance during the Days of Awe. 10 Days (10days.net).
    • The Return, September 26, 2020. National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance on the National Mall, Washington, DC. The Return (www.thereturn.org).