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October 14, 1999
"Truth is nowhere to be found and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord
looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no
one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;" Isaiah 59:15-16.
It is appalling to think that God could ever be appalled! One would think that an omniscient God who knows the beginning from the end could never reach that shock point. Yet the one time that it is recorded in Scripture that God is appalled is when there were no interveners on behalf of those who stood for Truth and suffered grave injustice as a result.
Ten years ago this month the Berlin Wall fell. Shortly thereafter we saw the breakup of the Evil Empire. Over 400 million people who had lived under the tyrannical bondage of communism for up to 70 years were now free to build societies grounded in justice. But it has not been an easy or steady transition. Evil and injustice are difficult to uproot. Justice does not happen overnight.
The Fall of the Wall changed my life's focus. There was a great need for interveners on behalf of those who had suffered persecution and discrimination for so long. There was a great need to help "keep the window open" that had been closed for decades. Advocates International was created with that mission as its first priority. Ten years later we stand back amazed at what the Lord can do with "the very little thing" if we remain faithful to the mission of "doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with your God" Micah 6:8. Let me share two recent significant results.
Marvin Kramer participated in our 1998 International Convocation. He is the only Messianic Jew practicing law in Israel. Last month, Marvin won a major decision in Israel's Supreme Court establishing the right of Christian believers who are married to Israeli citizens to obtain permanent status and even citizenship. He took the case for no fee! Marvin is an intervener in the truest sense of the word. The decision is a monumental victory for religious freedom. This month Marvin and an Arab Christian law colleague will attend the 1999 Convocation. In February, 2000 Marvin, Peacemakers Ministries and Advocates will co-host a reconciliation conference in Israel.
On October 3, Egypt was set to execute a 23 year-old Christian man on trumped-up charges. Thanks to the intervention of Nagi Kheir, our Director of Middle East Affairs, and Morris Sadik, our Counsel for Middle East Affairs, the execution was set aside and a new trial ordered. The matter is not over, but the intervention paid off. Both Nagi and Morris will be at the 1999 Convocation. These men shattered the silence. Thank God for Marvin, Nagi and Morris!!
The enclosed roster lists the 110 guests from 48 nations who will participate in the 1999 Convocation which brings together interveners committed to religious freedom, reconciliation and ethics. On the backside you will see the Convocation financial status. We have raised 50% of the budget in six weeks. Will you help us with the remainder so that we can help the interveners?
Living in His-story,
Samuel E. Ericsson, President