ANSWERING THE CALL
| By MARTIN SHOUB |
Don Finto leading in intercession. The people respond with hands and voices lifted to Heaven. (Courtesy Patrick Logan)
Eitan Shishkoff and David Silver blowing the silver trumpets to herald in the conference. (Courtesy Rick Barker)
The Haifa congregation treated us to an incredible dance routine

Guy Cohen leading the dance on Akko's walls
(Courtesy Patrick Logan)
"I want to issue a bold, impassioned summons to those who love Israel and want to make a difference in her future. Come; take your place on the watchman's wall. Now is the time to answer Esther's call and impact history for the glory of God" (Oasis Magazine, September 2006). With these words Eitan Shishkoff invited believers from all over the world to join us for our "Esther's Call" intercessors' conference. Looking back after the conference we are amazed at how enthusiastically over 150 beautiful people answered this summons.

As we planned the itinerary we anticipated moments for participatory prayer and intercession. But we never imagined just how committed people were to intercede for Israel. We knew God had something special in store when from the opening meeting people spontaneously led us in prayer and exhortation (contrary to our posted schedule!), uniting all our hearts together to follow after the Jewish queen's example.

Akko Congregation's Joseph Kim being lifted
up in intercession
Intercession and prayer permeated our time together. As I walked through the lobby of our hotel I would see small groups of people huddled together in prayer. Our archeological tour of Akko's crusader ruins never quite finished because a prayer meeting broke out before our guide could complete his lecture. Didn't these lovely folks know we had a prayer meeting scheduled after lunch?

The bond of gratitude to Yeshua. This dear
sister received healing at Capernaum
The presence of the Holy Spirit marked all of our activities. My dear friend Avishalom kept remarking in bewilderment, "Somebody has been praying for this conference." I don't think I can recall Eitan more passionate (and that is saying a lot) than when he reflected on the Sermon on the Mount at the Mt. of Beatitudes outdoor theatre. Asher Intrater shook us to our core with his call to the dual consecration of Esther and Mordachai. But more than the inspired preaching and teaching I will remember the simple heartfelt prayers of ordinary people moved deeply by our extraordinary God. I will savor the tears and the hugs and the hands raised in worship; the heartfelt gratitude of believers overjoyed to connect with the King's own country and people.

Katya Morrison lifted up by ladies in prayer
We know that this land, given to our people through covenant, holds a special promise for all people - in the latter days the prophet tells us, many nations and peoples will come to the mountain of the God of Jacob (Isaiah 2:2,3). "Esther's Call" stands out as a picture of the partnership between Jew and Gentile, between Israel and the nations.

Two Kosher Hams, Marty Shoub and Moshe
Morrison shpieling it up during the Purim play
(Courtesy Patrick Logan)
During the tour a gentile friend of mine returned to Israel for a volunteer opportunity. She spoke to my wife from the taxi leaving Ben Gurion Airport exclaiming, "It is good to be back home." I have heard this before from visitors and truth be told, I was not too sympathetic: "Back home? Please. This is not your home, you are just visiting." Dear readers, please forgive my arrogance. As I witnessed the passion, sacrificial dedication and love from our "Esther's Call" participants I came to a new realization: Israel belongs not just to us Jews but to all people. It is not trite to feel the connection - it is the Holy Spirit inside us affirming to our hearts, "You have a share in the people and the place that I love, for I love you too. Enter into the joy that makes my heart joyful."

We are so grateful to God for His blessings. It is difficult for me to convey the power of His presence that flooded our time together. "Awesome" is perhaps used too casually to describe events, but I can think of no better word. "Esther's Call" was truly awesome! We are also grateful for our extended family in the nations. We have been overwhelmed by how deeply and sincerely you entered into Esther's call.

 

By Martin Shoub


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Comments:
19:31 05Apr07 Ashley Cornwell -
Well said ... I know I went willing to pray, and was thrown high above my expectations with God doing far more than I imagined. It was a time I'll never forget. It is my home too, and I miss it! All you needed to do was open the doors, and the floodgates of heaven followed during this conference. Never ever underestimate the power of prayer!

Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: The Kingdom Surprise
Dmitry Kravtsov: Jacob's Generation
Asher Intrater: The Heavenly Man