To The Jew First

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Grace my friends,

With God’s help I come to you again.  Thank you for praying for me these last 4 months while I was in Israel and back in France.  So many changes have occurred in the Middle East and they are still happening.   We trust God who is orchestrating these changes.  As I fear the Islamic fundamentalists will take advantage of these changes as they did in Gaza, let us also take advantage of the days left to us to witness.  Open doors may soon close.  Let us continue to remember Israel which is in the midst of these changes.  Psalm 83 is evident. Verses 4-5  “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.  5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:”  There is an international push on to divide the Land of Israel by creating the state of Palestine.  Joel 3:2  I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.   

At the airport in Paris in Oct. I met a Jew and we had a meaningful conversation.  He was open and I gave him a tract on the trinity in English.  It seemed he was ready for it.  I felt this was a sign of God’s blessing on the planned trip to Israel.  Before getting on the plane I met a Jewish family from Israel.  I was able to talk to them and they took a tract.   Atif & Raja Himadeh returned in Dec. to Jerusalem to the First Baptist Bible Church.   I was thankful to meet them.  They minister mainly to Arabic speaking people.  The pastor that took his place is Abdallah Khoury.  I am thankful I could take him one day to the Shefelah.  (Deut 1:7 vale KJV)  This is the lowlands and we visited Beit Shemesh & the Sorek valley (Samson & Danites Jdgs 13-17, 1 Sam 6:9) , the valley of Elah (David fought Goliath 1 Sam 17),   Moreshet ( Micah’s birthplace & where Asa fought a million Ethiopians 11 Chron 14:9-12) & Lachish (where Sennacherib had his last victory in Israel 11kgs 18:13-19:37).  Dov Bikas in Yavneh (Yavneh Group 70 AD. Jochanan ben Zacai) asks prayer for his son Yossi whose muscular dystrophy worsens.  Dov continues his ministry to Russian believers and outreach to Russian drug addicts. Dov cares for several Russian churches and a rehabilitation center in Haifa called Beit El for Russian ex drug addicts.   

My last 2 months in Israel I was based in Maaleh Adumim just 5 miles east of Jerusalem.  I was in Jerusalem on a Thursday.  One man to whom I gave a tract I said to him in parting that I will see him again. Usually when I say that I am thinking about the judgment after death. (Heb 9:27)  On Sunday I went for fellowsip at the meeting at Mary Kilbrides in Jerusalem.  I was able to speak there several times. Coming home to Maaleh Adumim near where I stayed I met the woman who lives close to where I was staying.  I had already met her.  I talked to her and her son and a man came up and said he knew me.  He is the husband of the woman.  He said I gave him a tract in Jerusalem this week and finished by saying I would see him again.  He said to himself I will never see that man again!  I gave him a copy of the Psalms with the Messianic verses in red.  Riding the bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem I sat next to a woman who was dressed as a secular Israeli. I took courage and tried to talk to her.  She responded and we had a wonderful spiritual talk.  She seemed to have spiritual understanding of Biblical truth.  It was hard for her to move into NT truth.  

In mid Dec. Abdallah let me use his car for the rest of my time in Israel and I traveled with a Finnish Bible teacher Hanoch to Haifa and Tiberius.  There is a great love for Israel among Finnish believers. I returned to Beit El in Haifa where Maxim ministers to Russian ex drug addicts.  Dov Bikas is part of this rehabilitation ministry.  I took part as usual in their morning devotions and spoke to them one evening.  I was thankful for opportunities to speak to Dr. Bryan Pokroy and Hanan Lucatz.  They are elders in the Beit Hesda meeting in Haifa.  I met with Jonathan Goldberg of OM.  I was blessed to visit again John & Ruth Salenger who live on Mt Carmel.  During my visit to Haifa in Oct. I did my prayer walk on Mt Carmel in the National Park where the tragic fire was soon to come. (End of Nov. first of Dec.) The chief of police of Haifa, a woman, was burned severally and died soon after.  Leaving the National Park I met a woman at a bus stop.  I began a spiritual conversation with her.  She showed me her Bible which she was carrying in her bag.  There was no time for an extended conversation.  The Bible OT quiz for adults was restarted while I was there.  It was amazing to hear their ability to recall passages of the OT and to quote them.  The Jews in the quiz were wearing cipas, the Jewish religious hat.  There was not one ultra orthodox, those that have black suits.  The son of prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu competes in Bible quizzes.  Some of the questions for the finalists were read by Binyamin Netanyahu.  For years I have prayed that the Holy Spirit would use the Bible knowledge these contestants have to reveal truth to them.  Yearly the OT quiz is held for the youth on Israel’s Independence Day in May.  It is an international competition.   

While in Haifa Hanoch & I went to the Valley of Jezreel.  While visiting the old site of the city of Jezreel (Naboth’s town  1 Kgs 21:1, Jehu killed Jezebel here 11 Kgs 9:30-37) I had a good talk with a man who lives in Beit Shean (where the bodies of Saul and his 3 sons were pinned on a wall 1 Sam 31:10-13).  He was blessed by my dedication to God, especially because I never married.   In Tiberius I was with Benjamin Brenner.  He is walking without crutches after his leg was broken in 8 places in a car-bicycle accident.  He is 75 and continues his ministry.  I was glad to be with Issachar with whom I was friends in the 70 ‘s and 80’s.  I rejoice that his son is an active believer.  I met a relative of his this trip that also is a believer.   

In Baer Sheva I had a good opportunity to talk with Olavi Syvanto. He follows in his father’s footsteps providing Bibles in Israel.  I have 2 copies of his father’s testimony if you would like to read it. Olavi recently provided 9 tons of Bibles for Israel.  His health and the health of his wife Esther are not good.  He needs a Finnish brother to replace him.  Just before I met with Olavi I attended Dov Bikas’ Russian meeting in Baer Sheva where there were about 100 in the meeting.  I was given a chance to speak to them.  It was hard to leave Israel but I was on my way to Prague, CZ in early Jan.  It was cold. I usually find Jews here.  I saw some but no personal contact was possible.  Only at the end of my searches on the third day did I get my Jewish contact.  He was a Russian Jew and he took a tract in Russian.  

I had planned to work on my autobiography when back in France but it has not yet happened.  I enjoy giving out tracts in France and putting up Biblical posters.  It is now vacation time and I have seen 4 of my posters up for a week.  The posters are on vacation!  I filled in for Bill Hansen in his Baptist church in Maisons-Laffitte as he and his wife Elie were at the funeral of David Knickerbocker in FL.  Elie’s sister Carol was married to David.  Two of the five Knickerbocker sons are missionaries in France.  A trip south of Paris is planned probably in March for 2 weeks.  March 6 I will speak in Tours.  After that I will continue south.  I may get into Spain for tract distribution and into Switzerland to get tracts.  Br. Jean-Paul Burgat has wool blankets for me to take to East Europe.  He is in France near Switzerland.  I would appreciate prayer that I would find discipline to work on my autobiography.  In the beginning of June I plan to leave for East Europe.

In weakness, 1Co 2:3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 1Co 2:3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

Michael David Bentley   Feb 24, 2011

Prayer requests

1. I will give a short testimony of my trip in Israel at my home church in Longjumeau, FR on Feb 26.  March 5 I will leave for Tours and will preach Mar 6 there and then head south in France to Vichy, then to area of Lyon for week end 11-14 with Fred frank, then to Lourdes with Serge Coffrini, then to Anglet with Richard Rosner 18-21, then to Lyon with François Blum and Mar 25-28 with Jean-Paul Burgat near Besancon, then to Switzerland for literature and then return to Paris.  The only date confirmed is Mar 6.

2. March 1 Tony Simons in Israel has a court case with a policeman who has been harassing believers who hand out tracks at public events in Israel.  His name is Vladimir R.  Tony is taking the policeman to court.

3.  March 1  In Arad, Israel the religious group Hasidi Gur will held their annual manifestation in front of houses of believers.  There can be 300 to 700 Hasidim there.



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