Praise Born Through Trial
It was two years ago that our church received a concerning email from Eitan and Orit Kashtan, our missionaries in Israel. There had been a fire in their home started by some bad electrical wiring. Much of their home had to be rebuilt and the Kashtans spent several months renting an apartment in Tel Aviv. Yet, I remember their initial email telling us about the fire. After giving the practical details of what had happened and what needed to be done, they ended with thanksgiving.
“We are thankful for so many things:
That the fire started during the day and not while we were sleeping. This could cost in lives...
That the whole house did not burn
That no one of hurt
That we have a good insurance
That most of the books were saved
That we found a house to rent (and with two dogs it is not easy)
That so many people (believers and non believers) came to help and to encourage
That many people are praying
That the situation gives us many opportunities to tell about Christ (in fact, one of the workers is a guy from Nigeria and he came for our church service on Saturday!)
So we are trusting the Lord, looking forward and rejoice in our salvation. I am happy to say that none of us is sad and we are full with hope for the tasks God has for us.
Thank you for your concern.”
At the same time as the fire, Eitan’s mother’s health was declining dramatically. After a few months she passed away. It was a challenging season for them, but their faith in the Lord remained strong. They shared many stories with us about how these hardships had been used for the Lord’s glory and the advancement of HIs kingdom.
With the passage of time the dust seemed to settle. The Kashtans were back in their home and work seemed to be continuing as before. Then June of last year we received an email from Orit. She had fallen in the kitchen and sustained a serious head injury causing her to spend many days in the hospital. She was sent home only a day before their daughter Liel’s wedding. Again we began to pray, asking the Lord for healing and thanking Him that Orit’s injuries had not been worse.
The Kashtans would be the first to tell you that the Lord’s good plans for them were still being worked out through these trials. One manifestation of this is in the production of a new CD of music for the Israeli Church by HaChotam Publishing. It is a 12 track collection of original songs written by Eitan during this season and put to music by their longtime friend and colleague Alex Atlas. Each track sings praise to the wonder and glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
"In the last four years we went through so much for good and bad. Alon and Kristina got married. Our house was completely burned. Eitan’s mom died the same night after we were able to move back into our home. Amir and Jacqueline got married. I (Orit) fell and had a bad injury. Liel got married. Anaelle (their first grandchild) was born. Liel is pregnant. So much ups and downs. Eitan poured his heart in songs and Alex wrote music and here is a picture at an evening where a hundred of our friends came and listened to Eitan tell the story behind the lyrics and heard the songs. All the glory to God!” -Orit Kashtan
When my soul wrapped itself because of the loss
When my spirit runs without knowing where
then I will remember that you are the Lion from Judah
And I will whisper, "Thank you!".
You are my crutch, you are my blessing
I will find comfort in the cross of the Messiah
You have called me, "My son", I am yours
And will call again and again, "yours is the kingdom".
If I will pass through the waters, You will be with me
And through rivers, they shall not overwhelm me.
when I walk through fire, I shall not be burned
and flames shall not consume me.
Written after their house fire
Ahavticha Eli (I have loved you, my God)
Lyrics: Eitan Kashtan, Music: Alex Atlas
When smoke billows and the water run angry
When the darkness rules and I am helpless,
Then I will look up to the skies and call, "O, my Lord,
You are forever my savior, my redeemer".
When my life trembles with disturbance,
When a wave and another wave terrify me,
Then I will know that even when it is horrible
In your Grace you prepared for me a way of escape.
I have loved you, my God, because you first loved me
Your wonderful word is a light to my feet
I will announce your name with all of my might
Because you, only you, the savior of my soul.