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Mt. Tabor...

by Pastor Jerry Theckston


This is Mount Tabor, where Jesus was transfigured!  Mark 9:2. We have committed to pray over Israel at all the sites where we stop to remember our Lord’s teaching and sacrifices!

Our hosts, Max and Tanya Garkavenko, reminded us that the last time we took a group here, the Israeli’s called us the ‘brave eagles’, because, like this time, there was War but no tourists! God had called each of us to go and He was absolutely faithful to protect us everywhere we went! 

On this very mountain the rockets sailed right over our head while we were praying, but at the end it was one of the best experiences of our lives- with God and one another!!

In last night’s post I talked about how different God’s thoughts are from our thoughts- Isa. 55:8,9. Instead of just substitutes, the back-up translators seemed, in large part, to be the focus of our time there and not just tools for our own ministry ideas!  I think each of the three had life-changing experiences as well as the churches they served in!

To piggyback last night’s thoughts, the same thing happened here in Israel! Our contacts for housing and ministry are almost always through pastor Israel and Vicky, their family and the church, Beit Hallel! But this time nothing was working.  Pastor Israel and Vicky had to leave on a mission trip just before we arrived and both of their boys, who are great friends, were called up for active duty, again!

We kept writing back and forth trying to figure out how things might work but nothing was coming together!  We finally got to the point where we were thinking, maybe God wants to take Israel off the table?!  But He wouldn’t let us do that either!  So, we just turned it back over to Him and said, “tell us what to do- we are all yours!”

The first thing He said to me in prayer was call Max and Tanya!  I asked Him if He was sure about that?!  What a dumb question!  He reaffirmed His command!  So, I did as my Lord said… my hesitation had come from our last ministry experience together.  It may surprise you, but I preached on love! And in particular, Luke 6:27,28!  There was no space in their theology for loving Palestinians, period!


We have written back and forth at times and had a couple of meals together over the years but it has been awkward! When I called this time about our plight, they invited Rolfe, Lev, and myself to stay with them in their new apartment! It has been a wonderful time right from our first night together! We have shared family, ministry, our hearts and histories and not just a few tears… that ended up really being tears of joy!

Because of our previous speed bump, I was totally surprised when they asked me to do the speaking at their Sabbat Service this past Friday evening!  It was a tremendous, Spirit-filled time that the folks are still basking in while they search the Scriptures to see if these things are really true!! Acts 17:11

Like Ukraine with the translators, God had a plan that was way outside of my thought process but it has borne fruit every day that we have been in Israel!  How can this be?  Proverbs 3:5,6

Thanks for your faithful prayers brothers and sisters, they are working (and, by the way, my eyes are all cleared up!)! Eccles 4:12… Romans 8:26,27 says the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God!  Heb. 7:25, says Jesus lives to make intercession for us! And you dear saints are the third strand that our enemy cannot break!! Our loving God is teaching us how to live and serve as One, according to His last prayer before the Cross!! John 17:20-23

May each of you be blessed according to the same blessing you’ve poured out over the saints here- we need each other, and Jesus has come to make us One!!!


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