At the end of Part Two of wHaT
tHe LoRd HaS dOnE wItH mE, the Lord informed us it was now time to go to Israel.
Particle – The Path of Truth
In the late winter of 1978-79, in Dauphin, Manitoba,
the Lord gave me this song as He prepared us to go to Israel. A
challenging path is the path of truth, but it is also an exhilarating
Each segment of this path brings its trials and troubles, and its
rewards, with continuing consistent evidence and assurance that
staying the course is more than worthwhile.
(Click HERE to listen to “The Path of Truth,” or
to read the lyrics.)
Particle – Satan Comes To Intervene
I gave two months notice at work, which gave Dal
Fulford plenty of time to find a ceramist to replace me. I didn’t
feel free to tell anyone where we were going, only that we were
selling everything and leaving the country. We began advertising
all our worldly belongings for sale.
A lady professing to believe came by to purchase some of our things.
She asked why we were selling. We told her the Lord was giving
us instructions to sell everything and obey something we weren’t
free to talk about.
She was skeptical and recommended that we speak to “Pastor
Greg” of the Pentecostal Bethel Tabernacle, with whom we
had visited nearly two years
earlier. “He is such a wonderful,
loving man of God. You really should talk to him and not do things
on your own,” she advised.
I knew we were dealing with Satan. The Lord gave me a song of
Particle – The Father Gave Me Words
We were learning that Satan’s servants are ever there, with
Bible under arm and God’s praises on their lips, prepared
to do battle “in love.” The strange thing is that while
I recall the Lord giving me what to say to this woman, I don’t
recall what it was.
(Click HERE to listen to “The Father Gave Me Words,” or
to read the lyrics.)
When I consider what God had in mind and what He did in sending
us to Israel, it is little wonder the enemy made the effort to
stop us. What a marvelous development coming up!
Particle – Disposing of Our Goods
We held a moving sale at our apartment. Such financial dealings
were always a challenge, because money was a problem to me. How
much do I charge? Did I sell it for too little or too much? Some
hard bargain seekers would come; it didn’t matter how low
the price was on anything, they would want it for less. We sold
our Queen Anne stainless steel cookware for much less than it was
worth, and many of our wedding gifts went for a song. Some people
went away fairly happy, some much happier than they let on while
“The customer always complains that the price is too high,
but then he goes off and brags about the bargain he got” (Proverbs
Particle – Getting
We were down to the last few days before leaving by Greyhound
bus to Winnipeg. It was now nearly two months since the Lord said, “Now
is the time.” Most of our goods were sold or distributed
to others. We only had remaining our biggest possession, the car,
to sell. How would we do this?
The lady who was taking over my job was a ceramist/potter from
Winnipegosis, about thirty-five miles north of Dauphin. A week
or two before we were to leave, her car broke down and she needed
transportation home, so I lent her our car. When she returned the
next day, she said her son might be interested in it.
They arrived the day before we were to leave, dickered on the
price some, and paid us cash for the car. What a timely gift from
the Lord it was, while lending to someone in need! He has often
shown Himself faithful in such circumstances.
Who thinks giving doesn’t pay?
Who says there is no God?
Particle – My Parents See Us Off
We paid my parents a visit the night before we left. They knew
we were leaving, but they didn’t know where we were going.
During the visit, I spoke to Dad about hearing the
Voice of the Lord, relating incidents to him. I was surprised to
hear him express
some credulity, because in the past he simply swept aside the
idea of having a personal relationship with God. He said, somewhat
if you do hear His Voice, you are one in millions!”
He had an expression on his face that indicated something was
dawning on him. That expression would be a faint hint of something
I would see of him six years later, in very different circumstances – a
world apart, in fact.
The next day, they drove us to the bus depot and saw us off. As
we sat in the bus, I saw them on the platform, both very sad and
crying. We were all crying.
Particle - A New Creation
Throughout my Christian life, my father refused to believe me.
He also couldn’t and wouldn’t understand that what
God had done in me made an irreconcilable difference between him
and me, not only in terms of thought and way of life, but in very
He lingered for the old Victor, not willing or able to accept
that I had died. If only he had desired, not the grave for the
two of us, but the resurrection! What man in his right mind would
trade the skies and birds for the earth and worms?
In all sadness, I turned my back on him, but I don’t regret
it; no, not for a moment.
I wrote a poem about him and our relationship:
You linger at my grave, longing for your son;
I’ve left the darkness for the light, and what is done is
The change in me is not perceived by frail human sight,
And so you think that I am wrong, and you are surely right.
Reason fails to comprehend the things in my new life;
Explanations will not do, they only lead to strife.
People, habits, and memories call, but I’ve traded old for
I’ve traded all that’s bad and false, for all that’s
good and true.
I’m a stranger in this world, whom you have
I’ve only kept this outer shell on which your heart is set.
My life is hid in Jesus Christ; believe me you will not;
Your heart is very hard and cold, for truth you have
I’d rather walk on foreign soil, than to this
evil world be loyal,
And trade the rags of dirt and toil, for robes magnificent and
Kingly blood flows through my veins, as I am led down holy lanes;
I’ve left the world of sorrow and pains, and
climb the heights for greater gains.
Someday I know I will return
for others who will
And each man will, in his own time, till all are in the sum.
Great and glorious will be the day when all men drop the sword
And raise their hands in harmony to praise our mighty Lord.
Particle - A Deadly Pull
I think one of the greatest battles I ever had was to forsake
family, more particularly my parents, most particularly my father.
His draw on my heart was very powerful and, in his last years,
his state was so pitiable that it was very hard for me to refuse
him anything. It was agonizing, indeed.
(Click HERE to listen to “A Deadly Pull,” or
to read the lyrics.)
Particle – Farewell to Canada
We were leaving Canada with the sense that we wouldn’t be
returning, having sold all our possessions, not free to tell anyone
where we were going, and departing from a peculiar, almost apocalyptic,
We had been subjected to –20 degrees F; temperatures that
began at the end of October and remained, for the most part, until
the beginning of April, just before we left. Meanwhile, there were
almost record amounts of snow, so much that maintenance crews couldn’t
dispose of it. Cars were buried in driveways, homes were deep in
snow, and city sidewalks were as trenches almost everywhere, walls
often over our heads. Snow came and remained, piling up.
When a late spring arrived, the snow began to melt all at once.
As we traveled by bus to Winnipeg, there was nothing but water
as far as the eye could see, through much of the countryside. It
was as though we were in a ferry crossing a lake, except for the
roadside markers to guide the Greyhound bus on the highway through
We thought we were escaping the judgment of God on
Canada. This took place at a time when, politically, socially,
economically, and atmospherically, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the Prime
Minister of Canada, had devastated the country with a socialistic,
cynical spiritual influence, and the majority of people seemed
to love to have it so. They saw him as a hero, and many still do.
(To us, he was evil incarnate - a selfish, arrogant scoundrel.)
He was even a nominee, years after he died, in the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation’s contest, “The Greatest Canadian.”
A Much Deserved Tribute: Thankfully,
the winner of the contest was one who deserved the honor of that
national contest title infinitely
more than Trudeau – Tommy Douglas, former Premier of Saskatchewan,
and founder and leader of the New Democratic Party.
Tommy did great good for the country, winning sorely-needed basic
rights for the common man by establishing governmental laws, policies,
and infrastructures. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment was
universal healthcare for Canadians who couldn’t afford most
Things have changed, however, and the NDP is no longer what it
was in Tommy’s day, not by a long shot. And the governmental
policies aren’t as he originally intended them. All is greatly
corrupted – the usual course of this world.
For example, Tommy never intended that Medicare coverage should
include abortions, sex changes, and the broad range of sorcerous
pharmaceuticals we have today. These are horrid travesties of a
policy meant to meet serious needs, not meant to murder, poison,
and cause mayhem.
Back to our story: I had just turned thirty-three. In the seventh
year of my spiritual conversion, we had no idea we were headed
to Israel to meet a new long-time friend to be, who would become
closer and much more than a brother.
Particle – The Truth about Trudeau
Marilyn had a vision of Pierre Trudeau and Canadians. He was
feeding the chickens, scattering feed to them with one hand,
while in the other hand he concealed an axe behind his back,
ready for use.
Particle – El Al, Oy Vey
We booked a direct El Al flight from Winnipeg to the Ben Gurion
airport near Tel Aviv, Israel.
The seat rows were uncustomarily compact, and my seat was dysfunctional – it
couldn’t recline. The whole plane was packed, so they couldn’t
give me another seat; I sat upright all the way.
I believe the flight, with time change, was about fourteen hours
- about nine in real time. They didn’t give satisfactory
compensation for inconvenience. With honor, they should and would
Why did this happen? The Lord was dealing with my fears and sympathetic
notions. I was afraid of losing our luggage with transfers (fear
inevitably breeds mistakes and invites trouble). I had also wanted
to support Israel (El Al being an Israeli company). I concluded
we would have been better off booking with another airline, with
a stopover. Perhaps my reaction shows how little I was willing
to suffer unselfishly?
Particle – Introductory Trials
Arriving at the Ben Gurion airport outside Tel Aviv, we had no
idea what to do or where to go. We knew nobody there, didn’t
speak the language or understand the customs, and had no plans,
reservations, or connections.
Cab drivers swarmed. I was dressed in gaudy summer clothes and
appeared the ideal sucker for those inclined to take advantage
of tourists. We were also lily-white in complexion, fresh out of
a six-month life of deep freeze, with little more sun than a deep
freeze would afford, into a land of tanned skin. It seemed somewhat
the reversal of coming out of a hot sauna and diving immediately
into an icy lake, as Swedes are reputed to do.
I was skeptical and fearful of con artists, for I had experienced
them in Tijuana and elsewhere, back in the sixties, so we passed
up a respectable and respectful older cabdriver, waited, and finally
got a con artist (as things work). He saw us coming, bounced our
luggage around, packed other people into his car with us, charged
us 50% more than he should have, and at the end, persistently demanded
a tip, all the while scorning us.
He dropped us off at a cheap old hotel in Tel Aviv, the Nes Ziona.
The manager was unpretentious and friendly. Prostitutes frequented
the lobby and rooms, indulging U.N. peacekeeping soldiers and young
tourists at all hours. Clicking their high heels on the uncarpeted
floors at night, they disturbed both those asleep and those awake
in neighboring rooms.
Particle – Holy or Hellish Land?
Marilyn was understandably not impressed with our humble accommodations,
so we upgraded to a better hotel down the street with less of similar
activity. While there, we began considering our options and decided
to go to a kibbutz or moshav.
At the hotel, Marilyn fell quite ill. Stress alone could have
been the cause, as could the heat - the xhamsin winds were in season,
hot and dry from the eastern desert regions. Marilyn had fever,
headache, and nausea, but she finally recovered.
We were told we could volunteer on a kibbutz as laborers,
so we made some phone calls, thinking we would try it out until
else came up. A moshav (something like a kibbutz) offered to take
us, though we refused to be vaccinated and were passing the maximum
qualifying age as volunteers. By then, we had somehow learned vaccinations
We enlisted another unscrupulous cabdriver, compliments of the
desk clerk, to “take us for a ride” to Moshav Habonim
on the Carmel coast, about 50 miles north of Tel Aviv and 20 miles
south of Haifa.
Particle – Moshav Habonim
At Habonim, they took one look at us, with our clothes and white
complexion, decided we wouldn’t last long, and thought they
would get it over with. They assigned us to our quarters; we found
them filthy and began to clean house. It took us all day, the day
we were supposed to have to settle in and be given an accommodating
tour of introduction and acquaintance, as was customary with new
volunteers. That introductory day never happened for us, though
it did happen for all other volunteers who came after us.
The moshav members initially despised us, which they confided
to us months later, after realizing they had misjudged us by our
appearance when we arrived.
Habonim was an agricultural community, the residential section
situated on a rocky hill beside the Mediterranean. On its premises,
it had the rocky ruins of a small Crusader castle. Habonim, which
means “the workers” or “the builders,” prided
itself in hard work. Unlike a kibbutz, which traditionally has
a common dining hall, called a beit am (house of the nations),
for the whole community to use daily, moshav families eat in their
own private homes. There are other minor differences between these
two forms of socialistic communities.
As was the case with most moshavim and kibbutzim,
Habonim had many enterprises. It had a vermiculite factory and
a dairy, it
had orchards of bananas, mangoes, lychee nuts, and avocadoes, and
it grew cotton, onions, and other crops. Bananas have awesome,
gorgeous giant blossoms – I would gladly call them “blawesomes”!
I had occasion to work in all the food productions and the vermiculite
factory, though not in the dairy. Marilyn often worked with other
women and prepared meals for the volunteers (they preferred her
cooking over taking turns with those who couldn’t cook).
For interesting nature, occasionally we saw scorpions and snakes
that looked like, but were not, vipers. I loved the Mediterranean
Sea, but the beaches were littered with globs of tar or oil.
Particle – Imported and Home Grown
There are those who immigrated to Israel and those who were born
in the country. An Israeli-born is called a sabra, which is the
word for the fruit of a common cactus. And according to North American
social standards, sabras can be rather prickly.
We occasionally found a more favorable, even refreshing mentality
with the sabras than with the immigrants. One could often have
a meaningful conversation with them. They were more realistic,
sincere, sober, and humble - not in all cases, but several. Plainly,
these people have been born in fire, their lives in constant danger,
surrounded and greatly outnumbered by rabid enemies, having to
fight simply for the right to exist.
Their outlook and disposition were in clear contrast to those
of more affluent privileged Jews born in America, who were often
soft (yet hard), proud, selfish, satiated, self-confident, argumentative
ideologues raised without fear of harsh danger or life-threatening
As for the Americans who experienced the army and war, they had
a hardness, a callousness the Israeli soldiers we met generally
didn’t have. Americans seemed arrogant compared to Israelis.
Again, this wasn’t always the case, but often was, at least
in our limited experience.
Of immigrants, we found those who came for ideology’s sake
and those who came escaping persecution, often coming with nothing
to show for possessions. Those fleeing to Israel for their lives
were more like the sabras, substantially insecure, but with a measure
of humility and a greater sense of reality.
We were seeing a live demonstration of how suffering and hardship
can do much good. Being pampered, protected, and afforded one’s
desires of the things in this world are often detrimental to
body, soul, and spirit. Spoiled children miss out and have a
hard time catching up in life.
Particle – Our Friends at Habonim
Some of those we met at Habonim:
Raeli, our first volunteer supervisor. His wife didn’t have
good first impressions of us. Raeli later confessed they thought
we were lily-white and quite useless.
Leah, a Holocaust survivor.
Doron, son of Leah.
Raphaela, Doron’s wife. She was our second supervisor and
took a more personal interest in us.
Yaacov, Raphaela’s father, a wild, reckless truck driver,
reputedly responsible for some deaths on the highways, who offered
to take us on a complimentary tour while on a delivery trip to
the Negev, past Dimona, the location of Israel’s alleged
nuclear facility. Against the secret advice of some members concerned
for our safety, we accepted. We had asked the Lord, Who gave us
the peace to go, and we enjoyed his company and commentary.
Ben Yehuda, the engineer and custodian of the water system of
Habonim. He was a bachelor who invited us to his place for slides
of his trips around the world, focusing on buildings and architecture.
He made us some delicious juice from his pomegranate tree.
Artur, originally from the U.S., sought us out and encouraged
us to be a part of the community; he became a closer friend.
Aharon, a man who fought in or against the British army when it
was still in “Palestine”; I quite appreciated him.
Miriam, Artur’s wife, daughter of Aharon.
Moti, the appointed farm manager for a term, with whom we had
some friendship. He was looking to leave Israel for greater financial
opportunities and independent living, perhaps in South America.
Chanaan, the orchard keeper whose yard was a beautiful cactus
garden with great variety. He invited us for a visit to his home
(I had some words for him about God that were encouraging to him).
David Hooker, the bookkeeper’s eldest son. He took us sailing
on the Mediterranean.
Jonathan Hooker, David’s younger brother, about 20 years
old. He was our thorn in the side.
David and Jonathan’s parents, who raised four children (or
more) in a small one-room house. The father was the moshav bookkeeper.
Katriel, a sabra, and his American wife, who was having a hard
time in Israel.
Monty, the vermiculite factory manager. He was an intellectual,
an aggressive, outspoken, opinionated man with not a great amount
of tolerance or patience.
Eli, Monty’s assistant, married, quiet. He was a sabra,
Don, from Texas. He believed he had a calling of God on his life
as a prophet and held many strange beliefs, like sleeping with
other women, including other men’s wives (without shame).
His Anglicized Hebrew with a Texas drawl provided constant entertainment
Shoshanna, Don’s wife, who shrugged off her husband’s
sexual exploitations, saying he would grow out of it (he was close
to fifty). At a wedding on the moshav, Shoshanna, in her evening
dress, cleared tables of garbage after the meal, and got into a
garbage can to stomp down the contents to make room for more.
Nadab, a ten- or eleven-year-old, son of a woman sleeping with
Don. He was full of adventure, and could speak Hebrew and English
Victor, married, originally from England, who sought me out when
hearing we had spiritual beliefs. He claimed he saw a vision of
Israel being invaded and mostly destroyed (with which I disagreed);
he and his wife were getting together with Don in their “cult.”
Neil and Linda (Sedorsky?) from South Africa, who were very friendly
and entertaining. They were quite uncertain about being in Israel
after a life of having wealth, leisure, independence, and servants.
Linda related to us as though we ought to be doing things for them.
Perhaps it was my dark tan - Neil once quipped that if I got any
more tanned, they’d have to reclassify me.
Moshe, a young active fellow turning eighteen and not looking
forward to his three-year stint in the army (I have red that recruitment
age in Israel is now seventeen).
Ezra, who thought we were searching for deeper meaning and suggested
we go back to our “hometown church,” until he found
out that the Lord had spoken to us to come to Israel (he literally
gulped with surprise).
Ezra’s daughter, who was embarrassed with her father’s
approach to us (I wished she hadn’t been).
Yankeleh, a pleasant, rather tender fellow, who tried fitting
into the farm scene, but was having a bit of difficulty doing so.
Daniel (“Danny”), who spoke of his part in the war
in which they charged up a hill and took the Golan Heights. He
had carefully, desperately sought cover behind every rock as he
advanced, and he survived when many soldiers did not.
Yael, a pretty young girl, born of a blond father and a mother
that looked East Indian. Her father was a truck driver hauling
Johnny, a fellow originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, and who
came to support Israel in the wars, likely the Six-Day War or maybe
even the ‘56 Suez War.
I appreciated all of them but one - Jonathan Hooker, the young
selfish, arrogant, insulting spoiled brat, though a sabra and army-trained.
He knew nothing and everything. He was a test of all virtue. Not
at all like most sabras.
Of all people, Jonathan was the one who lived next to us in the
same building, noisy and inconsiderate altogether. So goes life....
Habonim’s answer to the Thorndale