They say, "Home is where the heart is". My heart is
for Israel! Interestingly enough, the
first time I stepped onto Israeli soil, it automatically felt like home.
I felt one with the land, the people and everything around me. I
had lived in America all my life, but never did I have such a strong
sense of belonging as I did in Israel!
In His infinite wisdom, the Lord had me live in Bethlehem among the
Arabs, that I might have His heart for ALL the people of that Holy Land. While living in Bethlehem, I
started volunteer work as the Accountant for a ministry in Jerusalem,
called Christian Friends of Israel (CFI). This meant I would
travel daily through the Jewish checkpoint to get back and forth from
work. It was then that I decided that the ministry God had for me
should be a Reconciliation Ministry. Not only did I
reconcile the accounts for the ministry, but daily I interacted with
both the Jew and the Arab, hoping to keep peace in the process.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Catherine
Chambers, I am the one on the right. I am a daughter of the one and only Living God, having
accepted Jesus Christ into my heart 30+ years ago. That's my cat
Angel, you see scratching her fleas in the middle of the screen. She's
my blessing of a companion for over 18 years.
The Lord has done a wonderful job with my life.
Unfortunately, I ran from him for many years until 1980 when I ran into a
dead end. Looking back, it was obvious to me how the Lord had tried to
spare me from the tragedy that has forever changed my life. Even
before I had dedicated my life to Him, He knew me. More then once He
had tried to get me to recognize Him, but I was too busy doing my own thing.
Sound familiar? I had no intention of giving up my freedom, to live the strict and
'unexciting' way of life that Christians seemed to exhibit. Hope
that's not you too, because how very wrong I was.
God had other plans! THANKFULLY!
It took being raped to
bring me running back into His protective arms. In the 1970's being
raped and drugged to forget it, was not as common a problem as it is today.
Although it was one of the worst things that has ever happened to me, by the
same token, it was one of the best. The reason being, because not only
was my life spared but so was my soul.
I knew my life was in danger and that if I stayed
where I was another night, I may not be alive. That was when I turned to
God, and I haven't looked back since. I started out by looking
for God and He led me to Jesus, who has been with me every step of the way.
After going through 4 counselors and 2 suicide attempts as a Christian, Jesus has been my
counselor, leading me through the first couple of years in 'survival mode'
to the 'faith walk' I have been in for the last thirty years.
The first scripture that I claimed for myself, was
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things thru Christ who has strengthened
me". I'm still claiming it today for a miracle of
healing from a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis!
In 1991, I walked into Israel as a Christian
volunteer with $600 on a 'Faith Walk' and stayed for 7 years.
God met my every need as I was not supported by a ministry or church.
In 1998, I left Israel to come
back to the States when I received the diagnosis of MS, of which the symptoms had
started a few years earlier. The only obvious symptom that is seriously affected is my walking.
God has plans here too, because I know that I am healed.
Both my physical walking and my 'Faith Walk' are affected by the MS.
After giving myself in service to the Lord the year
before going to Israel, a sister in the Lord, came to me with a word, which
was: "I was to be on a Faith Walk. I was to take one step at a time.
I would end up running in the Faith, and this would be used to teach others
to do the same". I confirmed that this was an accurate word, as I knew
my first step at that time. It clicked in my spirit.
It was my 'Faith Walk' that led me to Israel, it also provided and protected me for the
7 years I was there. Believe it or not, I lived in Bethlehem while
working in Jerusalem. I went to 3 church services every weekend:
the first was to a Messianic Assembly that the Lord had directed me to; the
second was to the Arab Christian Church where I was living; and the third
was to a Pentecostal church that I personally enjoyed. I've coined a
phrase (that evidently is not a new one), that Israel is a GOOD HARD!
As Good as it is, is as Hard as it is, or as Hard as it is, is as Good as it
That's the Gospel Truth!
I was a Christian volunteer, living a 'Faith Walk' among the Moslems and
Jews on a daily basis. Is it any surprise that I would walk into this
Faith-oriented land just fine and walk out with difficulty?
In 2006 I went back to Israel and
stayed on the Arab side for almost a year until I grew tired of not being
able to see friends or go to church. After making the move to the
Jewish side and bouncing around from place to place, I ended up in the
hospital. I was there a month for something that had nothing to do
with the MS. By now I was using a wheelchair and felt very much alone.
After another month in a nursing home and time to repack my belongings in
Israel, I headed back to the US where I volunteered for a year before
getting my own apartment again, complete with my cat, Angel, who traveled
with me through all this.
By faith I still believe that someday
I will be going back to Israel and I will not only be walking or running in
the Faith, I will be dancing! The good news is that God is not done
with me yet.