Family Life | A Father’s Legacy

A Father’s Legacy

As a young girl growing up on the Canadian prairies, I never dreamed I would end up in the heartland of Israel (Biblical Judea and Samaria), known by the world as the West Bank.

My father died in his thirties, when I was seven years old. He was tormented in his mind and finally used a gun to end the torment. He had four daughters, whom he felt would be better off without him. He believed a lie and we were left fatherless.

Years later, I too felt tormented in my mind and wanted an end. Generational fears controlled me. I inherited a very low self-esteem and was plagued with eating disorders. On a regular basis, I exercised obsessively, binged, and purged.

My mother remarried an awesome man, but I still missed the affirmation of a caring father and looked for love in all the wrong ways. This torment and emptiness pushed me to seek an answer, which I found in Christ. Yeshua became my personal Savior in the middle of dark times, fighting for my life, and seeking peace.

During these years of struggle, I attended University and graduated with a B.A. degree. After University, at the age of 25, God miraculously delivered me from my eating disorders. As I sat on a sheltered bay of the Pacific Ocean, I finally accepted His will for my life. I dove straight into the ice-cold water and experienced a personal baptism. Eating disorders disappeared overnight, but the fight-to-live was not over.

One tragic day, in the middle of a complicated relationship, I tried to end my life, following the footsteps of my father. Eventually, an ambulance arrived and took me to the hospital. I was close to dying and they put me on life support immediately.

In my spirit, however, I traveled up a tunnel of light. The experience was heavenly. At the top, I saw a dazzling lion and was told I would return to earth. I experienced supernatural peace, calm, and total deliverance from my earthly struggles. When I awoke in the ICU, I was being extubated (breathing tube removal) and was happier than I had ever been in my life.

However, the bliss was short lived. Once again, generational fears attacked my mind. I was rushed to the hospital—this time having fallen asleep via an overdose, while alone in my apartment. When I awoke, I saw demons in the corners of the room, but with the name of Jesus, fended off their attacks. His power was real, even in my weakest state of fighting to live.

I was a shell of a person after that experience, but slowly God restored my life. I returned to life with my parents and became like a child again. My loving parents were very patient and helped me to live independently in a small condominium in the city. My step-father was especially kind and spent hours playing cards or reading books with me.

I recovered--ready for life again. Eventually I met a man who directed my life to God’s plan. Kim Alan Mitchell, a handsome American, wouldn’t stop following me around. We were attending a Christian event, “Gathering for the Nations,” at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. Kim was incredibly persistent; I felt like I had a shadow. One evening, we talked in the hot springs and ate together. He left early the next morning, but called me a month later for my birthday. Within six months, we were married! I was 32 and he was 40.

We built a strong marriage and God blessed us with four incredible sons. One thing I loved about Kim was his gift for prayer and intercession. He prayed us through struggles and loved being a father at home with his family. He also loved Israel. He wanted everyone to understand that God’s chosen people and His land were still important and not replaced by Christianity.

Before our marriage, Kim made several intercession trips to Israel and while at home he constantly prayed over the land. It was like breathing to him. He filled every spare moment of his life learning more about Israel and looking for ways to bless God’s chosen land and people.

Eventually, Kim and our eldest son, Levi, ventured to Israel with HaYovel, a wonderful family ministry dedicated to rebuilding God’s land by helping the farmers in Judea and Samaria. When he and Levi served the farmers in Samaria, Kim found a place to both physically and spiritually walk out his calling with his family.

Unfortunately, we faced marriage difficulties and almost lost our relationship in 2009. However, Abba Father rescued our marriage and worked wonders that led to a beautiful remarriage in 2010. This turnaround was very significant. We didn’t know then how short our life together would be.

Kim began to age quickly and a year after our remarriage, many unusual symptoms surfaced. He had a very strong personality and resisted seeking medical help. It wasn’t until his digestion completely shut that he finally agreed to hear what the medical community had to say. A week later, Kim was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer.

I took Kim to the hospital on August 29th and he passed into glory on October 5th 2011.

The intensity of this time was beyond words. Eventually, the tumor completely prevented any eating. The doctor tried a colonoscopy to help bypass the tumor, but during the surgery, Kim aspirated into his lungs. He stopped breathing in recovery, was immediately rushed to the ICU, and put on life support. During those extremely intense 11 days in the ICU, Kim slowly regained strength.

When Kim awoke in the ICU, I cried into his embrace and pleaded for a chance to live the dreams he wanted to give our family. “I only want to do what you want. I want to go to Israel and find out why this place is so important to you. I want to follow you with all I have, my precious Kim. Please forgive me for holding us back.” Kim was happy! He’d won my heart! We only had two more weeks together, but they were very precious times and Kim had peace to leave us in our Father’s care.

Kim instructed me regarding some finances he’d been saving. He wanted it all to go to bless Israel as soon as possible after his passing. But he had a more important request. He took my face in his hands and said, “I want you to go to Israel and I want you and the boys to stay there.”

I didn’t know what to say. “How can I promise you this, Kim? I will do it, if it’s God’s will.”

After Kim passed away, the boys and I returned to our lives at home. However, our faces were set towards Jerusalem. Kim’s vision changed me forever. I knew our family had a destiny to live the legacy of a father’s dream. The finances Kim pledged allowed us to work with HaYovel in Israel for three consecutive years.

Our first fall harvest, in 2012, was an incredible accomplishment. I always expected to go to Israel with Kim leading, but now I had to go on faith, with dependence on the unseen. We left Tel Aviv on November 12th 2012, as rockets from Gaza began to fall.

Our 2013 trip was a test in perseverance. Our third trip, the 2014 harvest, was mixed with a summer war in the land and an opportunity to remarry, which I turned down.

The journey is exciting, but tiring. The climb is steep. The greatest attacks are in my mind as I wonder how to continue as only one parent. I try to figure out each step, but then remember, I am doing the impossible. Only God can accomplish this. Homeschooling, working to provide, traveling year after year, and making all the decisions. He reminds me: “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).

I completed writing this testimony in early 2015, 1.5 years ago. Now, in the fall of 2016, we are serving once again in the vineyards and olive groves on the West Bank, preparing the land and ourselves for our Messiah’s return. Our Jewish family here believes our presence with them is a sign of the final redemption. Isaiah 61:5 prophesies: “The sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and vinedressers.” This is happening and my dear sons—Kim’s sons—are playing a part. Levi, our oldest says: “Dad’s vision has become my calling . . . For Zion’s sake, I will not be silent!”

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob watches over His land and over my little family who are called to follow in the path of a father’s dream. We are very blessed to be fulfilling Bible prophecy . . . and one day, if it’s His will, we will live permanently in Israel.

HOLLY MITCHELL
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Printed in Above Rubies #93.

HAYOVEL is a non-profit organization that brings Christian volunteers from all over the world to serve the Jewish farmers in Israel. If you would like to have the privilege of fulfilling Bible prophecy in the heartland of Israel, go to: www.hayovel.com to find out more information.

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