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Proof came to me of this truth when I visited Israel in 1983 with new friends from England. Our group had contacts with Sister Minnie Kemery in Bethlehem, an American lady who presided over a ministry there for some years after leaving missionary activity in Tunisia that lasted for several decades. We knew this faithful saint and missionary as “Sister Minnie,” and she had around her two younger women in a second house near hers, and in her own place of residence lived an Arab Christian blind lady named Najiel, and a young family visiting from the U.S. Besides them, she found room for our Holy Land tour!
Sister Minnie’s married daughter was also residing with her. She faced divorce proceedings by her husband in the U.S, yet she ministered to us beautifully on the piano at services held by Sister Minnie. I won’t forget her most sensitive accompaniment, so in touch with the Spirit’s leading in the service. Her hair had turned light with the passing years, yet her face was still delicate and pretty, and it was hard to see she was suffering within as she certainly had to be. Later, after the tour left, I heard she and her mother journeyed to the U.S. for the divorce court action, and then they returned to Bethlehem.
But the most startling thing happened before we finished our stay in Bethlehem. One day on the tour Minnie’s daughter told me about a recent experience at the Dead Sea (which we also visited). She was in the water, and feeling herself unstable in the strangely buoyant water she thrust a hand down toward the bottom close beneath her, and when she drew out her hand there was a sparkling, beautifully-patterned gold ring on her middle finger! I was in Sister Minnie’s house when she told me this, and then she got the ring to show it to me. I was somehow reluctant to touch it, feeling checked in my own spirit, and the ring, held outstretched in her fingers, flew out and rolled across the floor. We were both rather shocked. It was if an angel had knocked it away, since it was meant only for her and the Lord to touch.
I observed it close enough, however, to see the exquisite roses carved into it all around the band, and it was no thin band, for an expensive amount of gold had gone into making it. Not only was it impossible to conceive how a person could put a finger in the exact place to draw out a lost ring from the Dead Sea, but it was overwhelming to think that this was the Bridegroom’s special touch of love to a rejected bride.
A personal note: Since the tour I happened to be rejected by my wife, friends, and church (they all chose to stay with a false shepherd who has since ruined their lives). Jesus has been with me faithfully. He has not rejected me, as they all said He would do to me. He is blessing me with the same love and acceptance and comfort I saw once awarded Sister Minnie’s daughter. To be sure, it is still difficult, but Jesus is walking with me the rest of the way, and I believe He cries the same tears that we cry.
I am also reminded that Christ can turn bitter waters into sweet waters. It is prophesied by the Prophet Exekiel that one day a river of fresh water will spring forth from the Mount of Olives upon which Christ will set His foot in His second coming. This river will run down and make the bitter, salty Dead Sea live, and fish will thrive in it sweet, health-giving waters, and grass and flowers will grow on the shores, making the desert bloom like a garden! It is so wonderful to know that we do not have to wait--Christ's waters can make our most bitter experiences turn to sweet, life-giving ones--as only He can do it. But we must first surrender our bitterness to Him. Only then will the miracle come from His hands.