Keeping It Israel

Persecution & Palestinians Being Reached in Israel, David & Leah Ortiz

October 28, 2020 Jeff Futers Season 1 Episode 29
Keeping It Israel
Persecution & Palestinians Being Reached in Israel, David & Leah Ortiz
Chapters
Keeping It Israel
Persecution & Palestinians Being Reached in Israel, David & Leah Ortiz
Oct 28, 2020 Season 1 Episode 29
Jeff Futers

Jeff interviews David & Leah Ortiz again this week. David shares an amazing story of how God delivered he and a friend from a beating attack in an Arab village in Israel and essentially saved their lives. Later the next day, David and his friend returned to the same place because they knew they had something important to share, and God did an amazing miracle! David and Leah also share about the humanitarian aid distribution that the their congregation does for Holocaust survivors and for Palestinians in need as well.

Support the show (http://www.firstcenturyfoundations.com/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript

Jeff interviews David & Leah Ortiz again this week. David shares an amazing story of how God delivered he and a friend from a beating attack in an Arab village in Israel and essentially saved their lives. Later the next day, David and his friend returned to the same place because they knew they had something important to share, and God did an amazing miracle! David and Leah also share about the humanitarian aid distribution that the their congregation does for Holocaust survivors and for Palestinians in need as well.

Support the show (http://www.firstcenturyfoundations.com/donate/)

Chris Atkins, One Media:

Welcome to the Keeping at Israel podcast with Jeff Futers, where Jeff and his guests talk, everything Israel as it relates to Christian faith and the church. If you are a Christian and you stand with Israel, you will be encouraged and challenged by this podcast. And if you're not so sure about the whole Israel thing, you need to learn how your faith connects with Israel, and why standing with Israel matters. Now, here's Jeff with today's guest.

Jeff Futers:

Well, thank you for joining the podcast today. My name is Jeff and I'll be your host. If you listened to the podcast last week, then you know that there's another story coming from David and Leah Ortiz. If you didn't listen last week, then you want to be sure to listen to that episode as well, an amazing story of the power of forgiveness after a terror attack in Ariel, Israel. Today, David and Leah are going to share, David in particular will share a story about an incident that he and a friend got involved in in one of the Arab villages there in the land of Israel, near Arielle, and how God did just some amazing things, to enable them to reach out to the Muslims in the area with the gospel. So I hope you enjoy the rest of this interview today. And listen with me as we hear David's story and also David and Leah share about some of the ministry that they are able to do through humanitarian aid in the area where God has called them. So let's listen together. (fade in) situation happened or after I can't remember the timing. But one day you and a friend went to visit in a neighboring Arab town and and you had a little bit of an incident. Tell us a little bit about that.

David Ortiz:

Okay, by God's grace, we have more than 250 Muslims that became believers. And Muslims, that really... believers that were Muslims that love God's word and read the Bible. We have many Muslims that become believers at the same time, they're not rooted into God's word. These guys are really hungry and study the Word of God. So we're very blessed because of that. But during that time, I went into the villages. I got a knife in my back...somebody put a knife in my back, I was shot with a gun. And the bullets passed by my ears, they stole my car, they broke my windows twice, and they drove me off the road, and some other things like this. But my first time going to a village, I was very naive concerning the area. So there's an Israeli believer called Doron, and that time I had a car that worked by faith. It was a 1976, Volkswagen meaning sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. And I had to push it in order for it to work. The car was so bad that my neighbor downstairs says to me, David, you car reminds me of Moses. Because each time you move instead of the cloud following... you following the cloud, the cloud follows you or the smoke that comes out of your exhaust, and it was very true. So I said to Doron, I have people I had a person come up to my house to fight with me. They were threatening me and telling me they won't beat me up here in town. So I told Doron one day we are, we're about 600 meters above sea level. So surrounding us is all Muslim villages, all Muslim villages. In fact, they used to be Christian villages at one time before Islam came in. So I told Doron, you know Doron, hmm you know, something that if the Jews don't want me, I'll go to the Gentiles. He says, let's go. So we packed our bags full of Bibles, and we drove into the village. When we drove into the village, all of a sudden, people just came out. They thought...I didn't understand, they thought it was a message from the PLO, because during that time, it was by leaflets that they received messages and books. So they thought we were messengers of the PLO or something like that.

Leah Ortiz:

Yeah, This was 1990.

David Ortiz:

1990. So okay, I came in with an Israeli vehicle I started handing out Bibles all of a sudden someone tells me, you know, the children will be out of school soon. So I said to Doron 'what's wrong with the children?' These children were high school children. And when they came out, one of them took the Bible which we had the Old and New Testament, he lifted, he read it, he lifted it up and he said, 'Jihad, Jihad.' He starte to scream, I saw his face jus completely turn into somethin really bad and all of a sudden everybody started charging s, punching us, grabbing my ha r, doing everything to us, an I said to Doron, we bette get inside the car. So when w got inside the car, and, wel see my car couldn't open from. . my car had a special safety feature, you can't open t from the outside, I could onl open it up with a hanger. I ad a hanger, and I was able to o en up the lock. So they were tr ing to open up it wouldn't op n up, the windows wouldn' go up or down because I ad like a silicone just holding he windows because if I didn't, the window would just comple ely go down. So even in winterti e I would drive with a window o en. So they were trying to open p the car, they couldn't, they rabbed, it was a space about th s much. They put their hands i side and they started grabbing m hair and just pun And a guy came to the window on the wrong side and said, 'Today you're going to die, you will not leave this place.' I believed him. There were about 80 people around us just kind of banging on the car. So I said to the Lord, Lord into your hands, And I believe He resurrected, and I am willing to give my life I commit my spirit. I believe I'm not going to live forever. So it looks like my time has come. So here am I. So all of a sudden Doron started screaming at me. He says 'David turn on the car.' I said 'Doron, you know the car doesn't turn on.' He says, 'David? I don't want to die here.' Try. I said 'Doron'...I said 'Doron, what do you want me to do?' You want me to tell these people to push us out of here. I can't do that. So I tried. I tried I tried. It wasn't working. All of a sudden, the car turned on. When it turned on a guy got to the back. He took a big boulder. And he's just trying to smash the car. He was trying to break the windows to take us out. But the windows didn't break... reason why, it was a Volkswagen. It was a 1976 Volkswagen. Everyone knows, in those years, those windows, there was no safety glass during that time. So that glass wouldn't break. But they tried to turn the car upside down. But by God's grace the car turned on. In fact, when I was driving out there was one guy on top of the windshield trying to...still holding on. I was so nervous. And I just couldn't see... Doron was the one giving me directions how to leave. Because there's no urban planning. It's just roads... They go, I don't know where they go to. But by God's grace, we left. We got out. I kissed the ground. I said, 'Lord, thank God I came out alive. Amen.' So the next morning, I...Doron and I we talk about what happened. And Doron says to me, 'you know something is not good the way we left. We left all scared, all shaky.' He says 'we should go back.' And I said, 'you're right. Not good. Let's go back.' So we drove again and took the car again, we drove inside the village. It was about nine o'clock at night. Excuse me in the morning. And ah...where took place it was in a mosque in front of a mosque. In fact, next to it is the tomb of Joshua the son of Nun. So we... as we were there, everybody looks like everybody was gone to school or they were at work and on my side there were four Muslim guys that came over to me. And as they're walking towards me, they approached me and they said, 'Aren't we the guy...Aren't you the guy we beat up yesterday?' I want to say it was my cousin somebody that looked like me? I said, 'yes.' And he says 'if if what happened, took place yesterday. If you got beat up Why do you come back?' I said 'I forgot to tell you something.' He says 'is it that important?' I said 'very important.' He says 'okay, if it's that important, come to my house, we'll sit down and have some tea.' For those that are familiar with Muslim culture. Coffee means bad news. Tea means good news. So we drank tea in his house. After two hours, the guy gets so excited. He says 'this is so exciting. You have to tell my brother.' So we got in the car. We drove toward his brother's house. We were there. They made a meal for us. He says the same thing. 'This is so exciting. You have to tell my other brother.' So we get in the car. We go to his other brother. And then he says but...we kept on going. See Mohammed has eight brothers. So we went to their house to house to house, to house to house. And it was about one o'clock in the morning. There was no cellular phones. They didn't exists at that time. Leah did not know where I was, but by God's grace I got... came home safe. And from that group all of a sudden, we started to grow and many of them became believers, real true believers. And one thing about the difference between these men that become believers and other believers in the Western world which is, here you have to say this. I receive you Yeshua as my Messiah. I believe he died on the cross. for my brother for the gospel's sake. If he doesn't say that no one's going to receive him. So for them receiving the Lord means also dying for him... that's together. Because the Muslims when they... when Christians wake up, one of them told me, which is very interesting. He says, 'when Christians wake up, they think about what am I going to live for, I'm gonna get a new car, I'm going to get a new house.' He says, 'We don't think that way. We think about what we're going to die for. Not what we're going to live for.' Then he says, 'Now I know where to live. If I live or die, I die for the Lord.' So it's just...they're fantastic.

Leah Ortiz:

And the thing is that you know that, as you probably know, in Islam, if you change your religion, you have three days to repent and come back to Islam, or else you can be killed.

Jeff Futers:

Yeah, yeah.

Leah Ortiz:

Oh, so we've had we had to two of the guys were killed.

David Ortiz:

This is the Mufti of Jerusalem... This is the article, one of the articles. He said the head of David Ortiz should be removed from his shoulders. This was written in Arabic. So the Arabic believers call me up in the morning you said...said, they told me 'you know, it's in the newspaper this morning. Alquds newspaper, your name is there. It says your head shall be removed from your shoulder, and those that follow you should...their heads are going to be removed also. So they said, 'David, what are you going to do? You know it says your head shall be removed from your shoulders?' I said, 'I'll start using Head and Shoulders. Ha, ha, ha...'

Jeff Futers:

David, you crack me up. I I love hearing your tell a story. But, but underneath all of this is this incredible ministry and and influence that God has given to you both. And we're just we're just, you know, I say this to my wife all the time, after we visited in your home The last time we drove away, and we're just so humbled to just have any kind of connection at all. with you guys. You're doing such an amazing work there. And so I appreciate you sharing that with us today. And Leah, you were gonna say something I didn't mean to cut you off. I don't know if you remember what you were gonna say. But...

Leah Ortiz:

I do. Actually, you know, a lot of people say to me, Well, you know, how did you feel about this? You know, because his life was in danger. And you know, I've told the story about the forgiveness that the Lord brought in my heart. But the thing is that there was, it was a move of the Holy Spirit that was happening in this area. And they were getting, David said it was like picking fruit off the trees. When Israel had come taken over this area in 1967, there were Baptist missionaries, they came in and they handed out gospel literature and little records, little 45 recordings that used to play on a record player. And they were gospel messages, plus some books and leaflets and stuff. And there were many of them, many people that they were young at that time, and they had received the message and they were wondering they wanted. I mean, I believe that this was the fruit of that ministry, of that labor,

David Ortiz:

Somebody else's labor, I just came and picked the fruit.

Leah Ortiz:

But it was really was a move of the Holy Spirit. And so it was dangerous. But it was, you see, we had become believers, also during a time in the 70s, in the United States, and Canada, also where there was a move of the Holy Spirit. And so we knew what this was.Iit was a move of the Holy Spirit for sa vation for these people. And y u couldn't stop. You couldn't s op it, and you couldn't stop. An so it was actually a privil ge to be a part of it. And yo know, the LORD, the LORD protec

David Ortiz:

Someone said, if you're afraid you die every day, if you're not afraid, you only die once. That's a great deal.

Leah Ortiz:

And then, and like I said, the fellowship that we had was was glorious. It really was. And it was something new. And it was, it was really amazing. And it was for the glory of God.

David Ortiz:

They were amazing believers. They're very brave.

Leah Ortiz:

They, when the Oslo peace agreement happened, and Israel gave over sovereignty of many of the areas in the West Bank, to the PLO to the Palestinian Authority, most of the believers were arrested and put into jail for their faith and tortured very sadistically. And two of them were killed...were killed for their faith, but they went through torture. But God was with each and every one of them and each story was different. Each story was different how the Lord basically rescued them.

David Ortiz:

It's important to witness to the Muslims. Yeah, this is very, very important because they are hungry for the truth.

Leah Ortiz:

It's the only way to stop terroroism.

David Ortiz:

I say, as believers, we cannot live in a fortress, we have to come out of the fortress, because it says 'and the gates of hell will not prevail,' it means we're able to go into the enemy's territory, knock down their door and preach the gospel.

Jeff Futers:

Wonderful. Yeah. This is incredible. And what I want to maybe just chat about for a little bit, what we get involved with at First Century Foundations in helping you guys is a lot of the humanitarian aid that comes through donations from here in Canada. And I know that, that you're distributing those goods to both Arabs and to Jews. And talk just a little bit about about the ministry and how that...that sort of, that sort of helps, paves the way for relationship. And yeah...

Leah Ortiz:

I want to say that First Century Foundations were

David Ortiz:

This is the last generation of Holocaust the first ones that were contributing to, to this, they survivors. The youngest is 80, she's 80. Because she was born were you, your organization was contributing to our ministry in the camps. The oldest is 97. before that, and I had a very good friend, a Russian speaking believer that lived in a, in i the same building as a woman wh was working in the cit government here in Ariel. And

Leah Ortiz:

In the beginning, she wouldn't take any books, he went to her and she said, 'he e's a list of Holocaust survi ors here in Ariel. We don't ave a budget to help them, can ou?' I mean, it was like, hat an opportunity, right? So y ah, we we took the money fro First Century Foundations and e did our first distribution. e, we ordered food from a bel eving ministry, wholesale, who esale food from a believer who has a ministry to needy people. nd we put together some package . And we invited them. We also ought Bibles and gospel tes imony books in Russian lan uage, because they are all R ssian speakers, and many of them don't even speak a word of Hebre . And we have many Russian sp aking people in our congregatio . And we just from then, I thin that was, I don't even know ho many years ago, maybe seven years ago, we began and it was t rough First Century Foundation that we had the money basicall , in the beginning to do this And God had provided already b fore it happened. So every...I j st made an order now for, we're oing 160 packets every time. nd you know, I'm also going to be handing out hoodies and for the winter, for the winter. An you know, we give things yo know, honey for Rosh Hashanah and, you know, seasonal thin s. And it's it's really and an we have people that man the b ok table that are Russian speake s, they pray for the people, t ey make contact with them, t ey call them, they visit them, if they want to visit there re those who have prayed to rece ve the Lord. We don't keep ny numbers. But you know, they re going into eternity v ry quickly. And so it's a ve y, very vital. this one that we're talking about the youngest one, she's an organizer of the group. She's one of the organizers. And now she's really, really open and you know,

Jeff Futers:

Yeah. That's amazing. And I think it's important for people to know and understand that, that you do this with no strings attached. You're just you're just blessing the people. And there's no requirement on their part to receive. And it's a it's a way for you to build relationship with them.

Leah Ortiz:

And the Lord has provided so beautifully, you know, and we're just continuing on and we do it from our congregation, basically from our own private property. So we're able to give out the books. And nobody is able to say to us then don't do it.

Unknown:

So, the Mayor, just a Mayor of the town approached us three times at least three. Yeah. He says, 'I want you to give out the food. We're very happy. We need it.'

Leah Ortiz:

Yeah. 'Thank you very much.'

David Ortiz:

She has invited him up to one of our..

Leah Ortiz:

Get Togethers... Yeah, we have we have in the in the community center. We have like a dinner for the for the Holocaust survivors and he came. And he talked and everything like that. So

David Ortiz:

He says 'hello' all the time.

Jeff Futers:

Now it's so you're doing this for the Holocaust survivors. Is there food distribution and aid distribution able to happen with the Palestinians as well?

Leah Ortiz:

Yes, we do. Also

David Ortiz:

ah.. we go. I go into some on the outskirts of some villages. And we give out flour. Now among the Palestinians. They use about 50 kilos of flour every month. They make their own bread. Right most of them have 8, 6, 7 children. So 60 kilos go very quickly. So we give oil, flour, sugar, tomato sauce and many things like this. Yeah. And then they in turn, they use the packages to give out Bibles. This is so because...

Leah Ortiz:

Yeah, they share the food with their unbelieving, you know, neighbors, their Muslim neighbors and they use it as a testimony also...

Jeff Futers:

Wonderful, wonderful. Now, we'll maybe finish with this thought. But for the last three weeks, four weeks, you've been under strict lockdowns? How does how does the help happen during that time? Are you able to get help out as an essential service? Can you you continue to do that kind of work?

Unknown:

Yeah, we continue because we invite the people to come over. And everybody comes over, because it's essential. It's food. So two things are essential food and the gospel. So that's essential.

Leah Ortiz:

Food is considered essential, so you can you can do that...

David Ortiz:

It hinders us, but by God's grace, we go forward.

Jeff Futers:

Wonderful, wonderful. And how are you guys doing? You know, after being locked down all this time as everything is okay.

David Ortiz:

It's been a blessing. I have...I've been studying the book of Zachariah, going, memorizing the book, and doing so many things like this. I'm putting together which we have a Bible study for leadership, which I'm doing with some young people. And it's been a tremendous blessing for the reason, see we are always on the run. So we wake up at five, I wake up at five, four thirty some mornings.. some, and when I do, we're not we're doing all these things that we're doing. But if we don't have time, to have a date, to have a quality time with the Lord, to study God's word, not to read Bible verses, but to study God's word. It's like going out in a beautiful car without gasoline. And this is the pity of many ministries, where they're doing many good things, but without the Word of God, being grounded and spending time and understanding the word of the Lord, and really taking time and studying God's word. And it is very, very powerless, very powerless, because it's the Word of God, that brings the power.

Jeff Futers:

Yeah, A men. Well, you've had lots of extra time to do that for sure. And lots of quality time together.

David Ortiz:

That's right. No, we always have quality time for the reason that, you know, every week, maybe we go out to McDonald's and sit down and talk.

Leah Ortiz:

Before, before the lockdown...

Jeff Futers:

When you could get to McDonald's. Yeah, yeah. No, somebody asked me, you know, how things were going? And I said, Well, I said, You know, we've been alone in the house together for all these months now. And Sharon hasn't kicked me out yet. So I'm good. I'm, I'm happy. She's wonderful. But I think I get on her nerves sometimes. Yeah, well, listen, thank you so much for your time today for sharing so openly and for for just chatting with us, you know, much of what you shared, we had talked about before, but I just wanted people to have the opportunity to hear these incredible stories and to know that, that God is working, God is working in Israel. And he's, he's still, you know, one of the things that that I pray for, on a very regular basis daily is, is that God would continue to call people to to the Jewish people that he would, he would work in the hearts of young people to to receive that same kind of call that that you got at the age of 18. I don't hear it happening as often, certainly not in our North American context. I'm really excited about about a group of young leaders that's coming up in the land of Israel. And we're seeing lots of ministries, you know, sort of sort of legacy ministries, where the first some of the first believers in the land are now getting to the age where they're handing off, you know, ministries to younger folk, and it's amazing to see, and I think that, that the future is in good hands. But, you know, we we go around, we talk to people in churches here and I say to them, you know, don't forget, you know, don't forget that, that God has a plan for the Jewish people as well. And I know that some of that is is fraught with complication in terms of visas and being able to be in the country and all of that kind of thing. But there, there are opportunities to... for people to go and volunteer and, and to have a part in that way. And we just pray and believe that young people will receive that call.

Leah Ortiz:

And we'd like to thank First Century Foundations also for being with us from the beginning. Basically, not from you know, from a certain point where you were really, have been with us praying for us all these years, and especially during what happened with Ami, very much very supportive, and also praying, you know, and with this ministry to the Holocaust survivors also so thank you so much for I mean, it's been very faithful, giving for many, many years now.

Jeff Futers:

Yeah. Well, I can say You're welcome. On behalf of Clyde and Marion, you know, my time just the last four years connected with you guys. I still feel fairly new but but Clyde and Marion have built this incredible legacy ministry as well. And we just know, we know that none of this is here without them. And so we honor them by by saying thank you, because I know that I certainly know that Clyde, his his heart for Ami, and that whole situation. He's shared with me about about a time when God really spoke to him directly about that and about, about the young people in Israel, you know, a burden and a passion. And so I think that he would want me to say thank you. I know that he would. And we, you know, Clyde and Marion are, are gradually...Clyde is done the end of this year in terms of sort of his his active role in the ministry. And Marion is going to continue with us for another year. But yeah, it's been an amazing journey, and transition and we just want to continue to celebrate and honour them as we go ahead. Yeah, yeah. Well bless you guys. Like I said, Great to see you. I wish we could have done this in the comfort of your beautiful home there and Ariel, but we will be back we'll come and be able to visit again. And David, you know, you'll have to come up with some other good stories to tell me and make me laugh because I love I love coming to listen to you share. You always have a great way to bring humour into, you know, everything that God is doing through you guys. And so, Lord bless you both

David Ortiz:

Amen, God bless...love to everyone. God bless.

Jeff Futers:

Well, that was amazing. I hope you enjoyed it, my interview with David and Leah Ortiz. And I hope you're challenged today to know that God is working God is moving in the land of Israel. We appreciate so much you tuning in and listening week after week. And trust that you enjoy these podcasts. We want to remind you that these ministries, David and Leah's ministry and many other ministries, around 70 ministries in the land of Israel, are ministries that we help that First Century Foundations comes alongside, and helps with financial assistance in order so that they can do things like reach out with humanitarian aid to Holocaust survivors, to Palestinians, to new Muslim believers and their neighbors. So if you would like to help us with that, I would just encourage you, would you please go to our website firstcenturyf undations.com/donate and if yo are a Canadian, or an American citizen, you can give there and be receipted for your giving. We are a charitable organ zation in both of those countrie and would love to be able t get your donation so that e can help these ministries n the land of Israel. God bless you so much for tuning in tod y. Thank you for considering p rtnering with us, please, above all, would you pray, and we wan to just encourage you an remind you that as Christia s, we stand with Israel.