Israel: A Desire, Long Held

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”     Psalm 48:1-2

A desire, long held in the Lord, but long delayed, is doubly sweet when it is fulfilled. So it was with Hannah Lowe’s stay in Jerusalem, a city the Scripture identifies as “the joy of the whole earth” (Psalm 48:2), in her final days.

There was no modern Israel when Hannah and her husband, Thomas Ernest Lowe, received the call of the Lord to the Jews—and, as they believed, to Palestine, in the early 1930’s. In 1934, they very nearly went out to that disputed territory, but the way did not open then.

Mr. Lowe turned instead to Colombia, South America, where he served with Hannah until his death in 1941, and where Hannah continued to work for over 40 years. But where the feet were not able to go, the heart could and did, bearing a never-diminished burden for the Jews and for Israel.

In 1952, Hannah at last had a full opening to go to the holy land for many months. It perplexed her initially when she found that she was among Arabs and Orthodox Christians, instead of with Jews. When she lifted this to the Lord, He showed her Genesis 21:12-21, regarding His preservation of the offspring of Hagar and His promise to the cast-out woman and her seed: so the Arabs and the Muslims are Gentiles, too, needing the salvation of Jesus Christ.

That understanding, and the prayers for the Arab people, led slowly but directly to Hannah’s visit in January 1980 to President Sadat (and separately with Mrs. Sadat at one of her offices) in Egypt as well as her hour-long visit with the terminally ill former Shah of Iran, to whom she presented a Bible in the Persian language, received with tears.

After half a century of prayer for the Jews, Hannah finally arrived in Jerusalem. With the two major spinal operations that she went through and the extreme pain that attended her afflictions in the sciatic nerve and the spine, her going to Israel was purely by faith.

In December 1980, after Hannah had gone from Cali to Bogotá—a move that had seemed impossible until the day it was made—Hannah pointed to a map of the Middle East in the small library at the Monte Sion mission station in Bogotá she founded in 1967. “I’ve got to get there,” she said.

“You mean Jerusalem?” Andrew asked.

“Of course,” Hannah said.

So it is, that, in the fourth year of the terrible pain that began in December 1978, Hannah reached where she had hoped to go in 1934. Mrs. Lowe, vibrant in service to her Lord until her final days, died at Jerusalem in June 1983, having spent a year in the beloved City.