Shalom from the Damkanis in Israel
December 2021 
Dearest brothers and sisters,
With a thankful heart we are sending you much love. We want to thank you for your faithfulness in your love and prayer for us. You will never understand what your friendship means to us, how encouraging it is to know you are there and that we are prayed for around the clock.You are such a great help and blessing to us! Thank you! It is also thanks to your prayers that the Lord did so many miracles for us. The doctors had no hope for Jacob to survive, and here he is, doing so well, long out of the coma and improving constantly. Hallelujah!We are praying that the Lord is abundantly blessing you in return!

Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness;
for we do not know what to pray for as we should,
but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is,
because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,
so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters;
and these whom He predestined, He also called;
and these whom He called, He also justified;
and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all,
how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Who will bring charges against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died,
but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Just as it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We were regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8

Many have asked how we are doing, how Jacob is doing. We are doing well, praise God!

These three and a half years after that open heart surgery and Jacob not coming back to full consciousness yet, have been a challenge. Still I would not want to miss one day. We are blessed beyond our most daring prayers, we have everything we need and much more, we have a lot of joy, good worship times and fellowship, precious friends, real brothers and sisters, and most important, our Good Lord is always there for us. He promised not to leave us or forsake us and He doesn’t!

Yes, there are times we do not know how to continue, how to deal with all the difficult small and big decisions, at times we are crying together, but the Lord in His great love and faithfulness always knows how to put us back on our feet, to encourage us and to give us new faith and hope. Without Him we would have given up a long time ago. We know better than anyone else that we have not deserved His mercy, but He does not let go of us, He is merciful, and His faithfulness is new every single morning! Hallelujah!

I love the LORD,
because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
Psalm 116:1-2

“Apparent adversity will finally turn out to be the advantage of the right if we are only willing to keep on working and to wait patiently. How steadfastly the great victor souls have kept at their work, dauntless and unafraid! There are blessings which we cannot obtain if we cannot accept and endure suffering. There are joys that can come to us only through sorrow. There are revealings of Divine truth which we can get only when earth’s lights have gone out. There are harvests which can grow only after the plowshare has done its work.”

Jacob is doing so well. I am very thankful to see that he is hanging in there, accepting what God has allowed to happen (or did He even orchestrate everything?), we never see him angry. I can see small steps, we see Jacob trying to communicate with movements of his legs or arms, and mostly with his eyes.

Jacob shows a genuine interest in people and touches their hearts when he watches them carefully and for a long time. With this he is opening up many opportunities for good conversations. People simply love to be around him. The souls we meet out there are so desperate for love, for forgiveness, for hope, for life! The Lord has given us much, we have a lot to share about the hope in our hearts. We pray for more opportunities to do that! And we pray for courage to speak into the hearts of the people we meet.