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“The Jerusalem Assassin” book tour was scuttled. I’m now back in Jerusalem in quarantine for 14 days. Here’s what that really means and what I’m doing with my time.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — The Israeli Foreign Ministry is urging all Israelis to come home ASAP or risk all flights being canceled and the doors to the country being closed indefinitely.

So, after several weeks in the States, I flew back to Israel and arrived Sunday afternoon. Thanks so much to the amazing pilots and crew of United Airlines who got us back safe & sound!

Obviously, The Jerusalem Assassin book tour had to be scrapped. (That said, I do hope you’ll buy, read and post your review of my new novel. You can download the e-book reader on a Kindle, Nook or iPad, or download the audio version directly to your phone.)

Now that I’m home, I’ve had to enter a 14-day quarantine period. I thought that meant just staying home in our apartment here in Jerusalem with my family. Didn’t sound so bad. My wife, Lynn, however, informed me just before I got back on the plane what was actually in store for me.

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She said that she and one of our sons would drive both of our cars to the airport. They would leave the keys to my car on the front seat and wave to me from the other car. I would not be allowed to hug them, or kiss them. Then, wearing a protective mask and plastic gloves, I would follow them back up to Jerusalem.

When we got home, I would have to proceed directly through our apartment without stopping, heading straight for the master bedroom, and locking myself in for 14 straight days. Lynn said she had cleared out all of her things from our room, and was moving into our guest room. She was giving me the master bedroom since it’s the only one in our small apartment that has an adjoining bathroom.

Every day, she or our sons set meals and bottles of water, and occasional mugs of coffee outside my door. They knock and back away. I can open my door just enough to get the food and drinks, then quickly shut it again. Crazy, but true. Here’s a photo of me goofing around with my family, they in the backyard of our garden-level flat, and me looking through the barred-window of our bedroom.

I’ve just begun Day #3, so I’ve got a long ways to go. Still, I’m very grateful to the Lord and my family for taking care of me. So far, I’m healthy and peaceful. I can study the Bible and pray for so many family, friends, leaders and all of you. I’m doing radio and print interviews by phone and Skype, doing conference calls and Zoom meetings, posting on social media and keeping track of the latest news. Not terrible.

And while I’m deeply grateful for your prayers, please pray especially for all the Israelis and Palestinians who are elderly and infirm, poor, shut-ins, single parents, and even single young people who have little or no human contact these days, have lost their jobs or are about to, and are growing worried about their future.

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By God’s grace, The Joshua Fund ministry that Lynn and I founded in 2006 is delivering food, other practical supplies and encouragement to thousands of such people in Israel and the West Bank — and this work is more important than ever.

Unemployment here has shot up from 4% to nearly 20% in just a matter of weeks. About 500,000 people have applied for unemployment benefits just in March. The number of corona cases has shot past 1,600. Two Israelis have now died. And just like in many countries, anxiety — even fear — is mounting. These are the folks who really need our love, prayers and practical assistance.

May the Lord keep you and your family healthy and safe. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep you posted on the latest news and trends via this blog, Twitter and Instagram. Let’s pray this is all over soon.

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