Tag Archives: Israel


Join us for pizza and salad with Mike Cousineau.  The pizza was better than we had on the Sea of Galilee.  I’d love to be back there, but eating tilapia.




                Long before we found The Prayer of Jabez (I Chr. 4:10) in our bookstores, Mike asked God to enlarge his territory.  In 1979, God took him to the Ivory Coast. 

                Mike Cousineau is a long-term missionary to Africa.  Our church has had the privilege of supporting his ministry with prayers and funds.   

                In July 2005, God again enlarged Mike’s territory with the Hanna Project.  God sent the fourth team to Ivory Coast.   They now had five medical doctors. 

                The surgeries, wound care, prescription glasses and so much more all led to the true mission—189 people came to Christ. 

                I didn’t realize the area covered by the Hanna project until I looked at a map.  Tajikistan is part of the former Soviet Union, located north of Afghanistan.  This is just one of the places blessed by the God through the Hanna Project. 

                We all like success stories, and Mike was glad to oblige:

                It is against the law to share the gospel with children in Tajikistan.   Max was a street kid at 7.  At 13, he was taken off the streets by the church.  His life turned around.  He completed his education in six years.  He came to Christ, dated and married the pastor’s daughter.  

                Now to North Africa:  Morocco is 99.9% Muslim.  O that we had that percentage of Christians in America.    Morocco’s king highlighted the country’s six best organizations, and the association with which The Hanna Project works was one of them. 

                Later, the prayer of Jabez popped up in Mike’s life again, “O that you would bless me.”    Many of us may be timid to pray that prayer.  Not Mike. 

                One evening, Mike was hungry for fruit.  He went to the store and bought some oranges and bananas.  A man on the street asked him for a piece of fruit.   Mike kept walking.  The still small voice reminded him, “Bless me, expand my territory.”   He realized God couldn’t bless him if he were going to keep the blessing to himself.  He went back and gave the man some of his fruit.  The man smiled.  They both were blessed. 

                Mike asked the question we should have asked him:  What do you want from New Hope? 

                His answer:  Not just finances, not just prayer support—but personal involvement—someone to go, someone with skills.  Mike is not shy. 

                Mike and the Hanna project need workers, from healthcare professionals to painters.  And he said he might even give you one day of R&R. 

They also need a generator, as their surgeons often perform operations by flashlight. 

                In February 2010, the Hanna Project plans to put a roof on a school.  They need someone who knows construction.  They also need nurses, doctors, assistants and more.   Do you wear one of these hats?

Mike concluded, “There are greater things to come.  Do you want to be involved?”


Check out Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends and learn about Pizza on the Sea of Galilee.  You can also read an exciting adventure about Mike Cousineau.  Fun stuff to read while you’re eating your pizza and salad. 

A short PS.  The pictures on my blog are independent of me.  Right before I push the button, they develop minds of their own.  If I’d been smarter than the pictures, I’d have placed Mike in the middle so it doesn’t look like he’s talking to himself.  Maybe they’ll be more submissive next time.  I wonder if God ever thinks that about us. 



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Our bus was going uphill.  A convoy of buses was coming downhill.  Something had to give.  I probably wasn’t the only female on the bus who held her breath the whole time.  Eli, our Israeli bus driver, got out and had a few words with the driver of the front bus going down.  Finally, Eli got back in and backed up the bus.  He never got rattled, just held his own and did what needed to be done.  

Sometimes we all have to back up and let the other guy have the right-of-way.  Sometimes we need to stop and rethink things.  Other times we need to go full speed ahead.  Please pray with us as we wait on the Lord about a long-term Israel trip.  We’re ready to go or stay. 

We’d even trust our lives to Eli’s experienced driving–and God’s steady Hand.  We do hope to meet Eli again some day.  He was just one bright spot on our amazing trip to the Holy Land two years ago. 

Check out Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends.  It might help you on some of your up-hill climbs.  It contains no story about a bus, but there are ones about Israel and one about getting stuck in the mud. 



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David and I are considering another trip to Israel.  We don’t know yet if it will be short or long.  Why would we want to go again?

Here are some of our reasons:

1.  It’s the land of Jesus.

2.  We are witnessing an amazing event.  God is bringing His people back as prophesied in the Old Testament.  (Ezekiel 11:17-20)

3.  God will bless those who bless the Jews (Genesis 12:3)

4.  We want to go beyond the emotion and be participants.  (A rough quote of Pastor Tim Rolen this morning)

We appreciate your prayers in this matter.  Also Ebenezer would like to go to your house so he’ll have a good home while we’re gone. 


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David with Israeli Soldier
David with Israeli Soldier

We went to a church downtown, yesterday to a portable museum to remember the holocaust, tonight for good Jewish-type music and Jews telling the stories of their families.  Pastor Jim Franklin arranged such a weekend lest we forget.  I pray our country will continue to support Israel. 

I pray David and I can go again to Israel.  If not, we look forward to the New Jerusalem. 

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Looking out onto Mediterranean Sea

Looking out onto Mediterranean Sea

This is our first hotel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea,  in Tel Aviv.  A tel is made out of a number of layers of constructon that accumulated over the years, after each layer was grazed or burnt down by the conquering armies.  At a rate of destruction every 100 years or so, many layers have been accumulated, and the height of the hill grew from one layer to the next (from Israel Tour Book 2007).   

This is also close to the area where Jonah tried to run from God.  (Jonah 1:3)

I wonder if Jonah’s last name was Evans.  He seems a little like me.   God told him to preach to the people of Ninevah.  He didn’t want to, so he ran instead.  He found himself in the belly of a big fish, so had nothing to do but pray.  The fish probably thought he was being a little too religious, so he coughed him up.  Then God told him again to preach to Ninevah.   He did.   I can see Jonah’s hands on his hips as he hollered, “Forty more days and Ninevah will be overturned.”  Yikes, Jonah, couldn’t you sing a hymn and pray first?    Sure enough, the people confessed.  Jonah didn’t like that.  It was too simple.  These people were mean.  They didn’t deserve forgiveness.  God saw their hearts and had compassionon on them and did not bring the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:10).  Jonah pouted. 

No matter how many hills we hide under, we can’t really run from God.  Or we’ll find ourselves smelling like fish.

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            “There’s a party tonight.”


            “You know Simon?  It’s at his mother-in-law’s house.”

            “She’s sick.  I heard she was bad with a fever.  They don’t know if she’ll make it.  They must have planned the party before she got so sick.”

            “Nope.  She’s up and around.”

            “You’re kidding.”

            “Nope.  I saw her with my own eyes.”

            “Maybe she should rest a few days before she starts entertaining so she won’t have a relapse.”

            “Nope.  Simon said she got up out of her bed and went straight to the kitchen.   She has already made falafel and baklava.  They said she had just started mashing up the garbanzo beans for hummus.”

            “Oh, I love hummus with pita bread.”

            “She already started the dough for that too.”

            “How did she get well so fast?”

            “Have you heard about that guy named Jesus?”

            “Don’t you think he’s a kook?”


            “I still think she should rest a while, maybe have the party next week.”

            “Nope.  Are you coming?”

            “I sure do like that hummus with pita bread.   Even if I’d just been healed, I think I’d take it easy a while.  I’ve had her cooking before.  Maybe she doesn’t need to rest.  I’ll be there.   By the way, do you know her name?”

            “Nope, they just call her Simon’s mother-in-law.  I’d like to be the son-in-law of someone so famous.”


Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her.  So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up.  The fever left her and she began to wait on them.   Mark 6:30-31


Can’t you imagine Simon’s mother-in-law having a dinner party in this rock house?


Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends is still available, and no, I haven’t told you all the stories yet.  So, run and get your copy. 





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dsc00445I’m so happy.  I just found our Israel pictures.  Sooo, I’d like to share with you another story from my book.






 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”

When the disciples took a second look, they saw Jesus throwing something up into the air.  They looked more closely.  It was some kind of leavened dough.  He laughed as he continued tossing this raw bread into the air.  He seemed to be having a great time. 

None dared ask him what he was doing.  They just continued to watch. 

Finally Jesus broke the silence.  “I’m making breakfast pizzas.  Why do you look so puzzled?  Have you never eaten breakfast pizza?”


No, you won’t find that in any version of John 21:12-14.  But it reminded me of my lunch on the Sea of Galilee. 

We were eating at a kibbutz, an Israeli commune.  We could choose between fish straight from the sea or pizza.  Sometimes I like fish and sometimes I don’t.  After all our walking I was hungry and didn’t want to take any chances.  I chose pizza. 

I now think I know what those young cooks must have thought:  “If these Americans insult us by not eating our tilapia, we’ll give them heated up frozen pizza, straight from their country.  We’ll make it taste as much like cardboard as possible. 

I don’t blame them. 

I was offered a small piece of someone else’s fish—melt in your mouth, oh so good. 

I could have had fresh fish from the Sea of Galilee, but no, I chose the safety net—pizza.

Jesus wants to give us those fresh gifts from His bounty, from the River of Life, but we don’t want to take any chances.  So we pick the hard and tasteless, yet safe, pizza.

Sometimes our denominational dogma is like frozen pizza—hard and without any sustenance. 

Our morning quiet time can be more like leftover pizza—boring and lifeless.

We can be happy with merely filling in the blanks in our Bible study book, or we can feast on the Bread of Life. 

By the way, since I’ve been back to the States, I’ve had tilapia twice. 



May you feast on God’s good manna during this Easter season. 



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