Joel of Jerusalem Feb/Mar 1969
My Beloved Friends—SHALOM!
I was thinking these days, now they will leave me alone, but it was not so, the Arabs are preparing much trouble.
As I told you in my last letter I was away for three days, but was not given the joy of home and family for long. Now they called me to patrol in Jerusalem to look for mines in the city. The Arabs try to sneak some mines in all the time. It is a dangerous job. They plant grenades, mines and time bombs. When we discover one we have to dismantle it right away, and that can mean the last moment of your life. I am tired of wars. For ten years I have been under arms all the time. So far the Lord has spared me, but how long, how soon will my time come?
I went on patrol along the dark streets of Jerusalem with a partner, and we went to the Mea Shearim (the quarter of the religious fanatics). It was three in the morning, I was dead tired and exhausted from a night of patrolling. All of a sudden I heard the cry: “Steht auf zu Sliches,” (Get up to say the prayers of repentance)—the customary prayers before the Day of Atonement. As they shouted, they knocked on every door and called people to go to the synagogue. When they noticed us they invited us for a cup of tea, and we gladly went in for a minute to warm our chilled bones. After I had drunk my tea and listened for a while, one of them asked me whether we are also going to the synagogue for the prayers of repentance? “No,I do not say the prayers of repentance, because I don’t need to. I have once asked the Lord to forgive me, and He died
once and for all.” He said to me: “You talk like a goy.” (a Gentile). I said to him: “All night I have been patrolling the streets and guarding you, so that you could sleep without fear and be able to go to the Wailing Wall or the synagogue to pray when you want.” His wife said to me: “Are you without faith;” “No,” I said, “I have faith and I believe in the living God as revealed by the prophets.” The man said: “There is something about you I don’t like—I can smell a rat.”
“Well,” I said, “just to relieve your mind I will tell you straight out. I am a Messianist—I believe in the Messiah.” As soon as he heard that he screamed: “Gewalt (horrors) whom did I invite into my house! ?” I answered: “Maybe it was the Lord’s guidance so that you might hear the truth.” “What have you done,” he continued, “it is not too late, you can still repent.”
He asked me how did it happen? I then told him my whole story and how I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, and in what darkness I lived before I found Him. He took out a big red handkerchief, about a square yard in size, and started wiping away his sweat. As long as I talked there was perfect silence, no questions, no attack as it is customary with these people. When I finished I said to the wife, “Give me another glass of tea.” As I drank the second glass of tea I continued my testimony and said: “Now that you have heard me, are you still going to the synagogue to repeat your customary prayers and offer a rooster for a sacrifice?” Then he said to his wife: “What do you say to this.?” She answered: “I am asking you that question, you were the one who invited him, why don’t you answer him?”
He said: “I will give my answer to the newspapers and you are going to read about it.” I said: “I shall be very honored.”
Then I said goodbye and continued patrolling the streets so that they could continue going to the synagogues and offer prayers of repentance. Please pray for us.