If you read my post of July 2007, "I've Been Tagged," you know that My dream is to one day sing, dance and pray at Succat Hallel (Hebrew for “Tabernacle of Praise”) in Jerusalem. Succat Hallel is currently in need of our prayers. Here is an update!!!
Thank you for any prayers you offer on their behalf!!!
Beautiful Grace :)
Aug 3, 2008
In our 26 years of “living by faith”, and 9 years of living in Israel, I have never had to issue as urgent a call as in this prayer letter. But it seems clear that Satan is “pulling out all the stops” to try to stop our ministry of 24/7 worship and prayer here in Jerusalem.
1. In the past two weeks, we were informed that the Ministry of Interior of Israel has made two new rulings that very much affect visas for all Christian ministries in Israel. They have ruled that those on “volunteer visas” can no longer have them for five years but only two. Already, that means that one of our main worship leaders (who had been here 4 years) must leave the country next week, and that our main administrator (who has been here 3 years) must leave soon. This ruling could affect many of our core staff and leadership over the next months, unless we are able to find another solution for visas (which our lawyer is working on). In addition, the Ministry of Interior has said they will not allow people more than two three-month tourist visas in one year, which means that already many who have helped here may not be allowed back in.
Please feel free to join us as we fast and pray this Friday - Sunday for a reversal of any ways in which the enemy is coming against Christian ministries in Israel.
2. In these same two weeks, we were informed by the dear brother who had been funding three apartments to provide housing for short-term workers and interns that he will no longer be able to continue that funding past this Autumn.
3. In these same two weeks, for the first time in a long time there are no funds on hand to pay the August rent on our 24/7 prayer facility ($9,817.50). The check should normally take about one more week before it arrives to be cashed at our bank in America.
4. Over this past year, the dollar has fallen sharply this year against the Israeli shekel. According to an accountant, ministries whose support is primarily in dollars now have one third less purchasing power in Israel with those dollars than a year ago. Though our support has stayed steady, the long-term result of the dollar’s decline has been a debt for us. Where for many years we have not had to carry a balance on our credit cards, we have had these past months to carry many increasing expenses for the ministry and our families on our cards, so we could pay the rent and utilities on the 24/7 facility. We now owe over $30,000 to pay off these debts. Unless there is a breakthrough, I will need to sell our car and the ministry van (each worth about $5,000) in order to pay next month’s rent on the facility.
Those of you who have received our prayer letters through the years know that we have seldom mentioned finances for ourselves. However, as I was praying about what to do in the present situation, I felt I was to humble myself and share this need openly.
As we have sought the Lord in all of this, we have felt more strongly than ever that He wants us to continue to stand here at Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. We have felt we are to move forward in a major way to bring more Israeli Jewish and Arab believers on staff. We have been moving forward on a recording of new Hebrew youth songs, written by local believers. We have felt we are to move forward on helping to plant out houses of prayer in the Middle East (in these same two weeks, we have been asked to help develop houses of prayer in Egypt and in United Arab Emirates, and another couple on our staff has received a call to plant one in Afghanistan, and another staff felt the same call toward Iraq).
If you would like to help us continue this ministry of 24/7 prayer and worship over Jerusalem, and all that flows out of that to help the youth of Israel, etc., you can send a check to: Light to the Nations, PO Box 406, New Cumberland, PA 17070. Or you can give online at our website: www.jerusalempraise.com. For those in Europe, you may email us for details to transfer to our Belgian account. If you can email us about what you are sending, it will help us to know where we are on the finances: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and support.
Grace and shalom,
Rick and Patti Ridings and family