Big news by Israeli congregation Arabic-speaking
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Jerusalem Encounter 2018 – Building the living stones of Messiah’s kingdom in Israel
The heart and vision of the three-day powerhouse conference, sponsored by the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, was to inspire, network and build the living stones of Messiah’s kingdom in Israel.
Throughout the conference, hosts featured ministries serving the Body of Messiah in Israel through outreach and discipleship, local congregations, social justice, resources and training, prayer and worship and ministry to families. During the opening session of the conference, three local ministry leaders testified about their life-changing and strategic work in Israel.
The first ministry, Lech L’cha, a youth ministry that takes its name from Genesis 12:1, where God commands Abraham to “Go,” ministers to youth prior to and after their army service in Israel. It is the only Israeli organization that offers a comprehensive discipleship training program empowering young Israelis to build a firm foundation for their walk with Yeshua.
The second ministry, Netivah, encourages and equips the youth of Israel, pre- and post-military, to know God, live for Him and remain connected to the believing community.
The third ministry, Derech Avraham, sends Jewish believers to testify and serve throughout the Middle East. More Arabs than ever are coming to faith and that is something that Jewish believers want to be a part of. They shared the powerful testimony of a Jewish and Palestinian believer who ministered together in Iraq. This example of kingdom ministry defies the patterns of this world and shows a radically different approach to life.
The evening’s main speaker, Don Finto of the Caleb Company and former pastor of Belmont church, stirred conference goers with a message about the interplay between the Bible’s promises and our prayer life: If it’s in the Bible, you can own it. The promises and commands are life-giving and they are ours to pray in and walk out.
Finto spoke about the duality of the times using as an illustration the parable of farmer who allows the weeds to grow together with the wheat until harvest. Finto said this indicates that both evil and good will reach full maturity by the end of the age. We will be living in a generation that is simultaneously the most wicked and the most holy the world has seen since the days of Noah.
This paradox, described in Daniel 12 where some awake to “everlasting life” and some to shame and everlasting contempt, characterizes the challenge of our faith: to know that as the world gets darker that God’s kingdom is growing stronger. We must stand fast on the promises in the Word of God rather than listen to the bad reports in the news, he said.
Finto used Iran as an example: The country is dominated by a dark religion, but underground Christianity is flourishing. He exhorted listeners to live with constant expectation and confidence, to identify God’s purpose at this current stage of their lives and to take on an attitude of unrealistic optimism.
Local speakers at the conference included Wayne Hilsden, president of FIRM and co-founder and president of King of Kings Community; Samuel Smadja, pastor, regional director of TBN in Israel and president of Sar-El Tours; Dan Sered, Israel director of Jews for Jesus; and Erez Soref, president of One for Israel.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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CBN: The Voice of Christian News
Paul Calvert speaks to CEO Gordon Robertson, about the role of CBN, and his opinions on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Paul: What is CBN News?
Gordon: CBN is a broadcasting and media production company based out of Virginia Beach. We have offices in Washington DC, New York, and Jerusalem and some bases scattered around the world. The idea is to tell news of interest to Christians.
Paul: When was CBN started, and why?
Gordon: We were started in the late 1970’s. It was a dream that my father had, that there needed to be a Christian alternative to the major news organisations, that didn’t have the same interests and the same stories. Currently in the US you are not going to find many stories about the christian persecution that is happening in the Middle East and other countries. We wanted to fill that gap, and let Christians know stories of interest to them.
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Every mom needs a break
The goal was to give a group of single mothers in Jerusalem a much needed break from their daily grind and to show them how much they were loved and cared for. The staff of CBN Israel prepared a two day weekend funded by generous donors where the women could enjoy time with their kids, each other and the Lord. The weekend began with several hours of fun in the sun at a swimming pool located in a beautiful forest in central Israel. The mothers talked, the children played and everyone enjoyed some light snacks and refreshing popsicles!
Later Friday evening, the group was checked into a hotel and then treated to a sit down dinner. As one single mother picked up a plate before dishing up her meal she gasped, “Ah! I didn’t have to make this food myself! This is so wonderful!”
After the women and children were physically fed, it was time for some spiritual food. The evening meeting began with songs of praise to God and then an elderly woman took her place at the front to speak. “You may think the worst things only happen to you”, she said. “But remember, God is with you and He WILL bring you through this”. The words held weight coming from this widowed, single mother who held this status for many-many years. She identified with the women in the room but had learned to overcome the struggles they shared in common. Like a group of young soldiers listening intently to an experienced general, every mother present seemed to glean something from the buffet of wisdom before then that night. After the message was over, many of the moms approached the “general” to have a personal exchange of conversation and to share their appreciation.
The next morning was Shabbat. The group was well rested and rather ecstatic about being in a hotel. For these women who work hard to pay rent and feed their little ones, the thought of dining out or enjoying a vacation is often nothing more than a wish or a dream. For the staff of CBN Israel, seeing the ecstasy of these often exhausted mothers only added to their joy in giving.
The shabbat schedule was full of more times of worship, anointed messages and enjoyable experiences for both the women and their children. In order for the moms to be able to spend some time alone with the Lord and to share more personally with one other, the staff of CBN Israel treated all the children to an innocent movie in a near by theater followed by a meal at McDonald’s.
In the evening meeting, the ladies were encouraged to do something out of the ordinary. Each mother and child were given one helium balloon per family and a card to tie to the end of it. They were encouraged to write down what they felt the Lord wanted to set them free from in their lives. For some, it could be unforgiveness towards the man that left them. For others, it could be fear of the future. When the women were ready, they released the balloons into the air and watched as they vanished out of sight along with the burdens they wrote down.There was a time of prayer that followed and more worship to the Lord.
The sun set over the hills around Jerusalem, displaying colors of red and pink in the evening sky. It was time for the women and children to head back to their homes. Endless exchanges of ‘thank-yous’ and appreciation were expressed by the mothers who had been so refreshed by all that took place that weekend. One woman shared, “this group has become a real place of community for us single mothers and we are reminded every time that we are not alone”.
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, June 27, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Since its establishment in March 2012 CBN Israel has helped thousands of people through its various operations. As the foundation of Project Light Shine, CBN Israel gives help to the community through three avenues; Humanitarian aid, education and economic development. CBN Israel serves with a spirit of humility and love. Their mission is to prepare the Land and the people of Israel for the coming of Messiah Yeshua and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The vision of their work is to see the hungry fed, the needs of the needy met, businesses established and to improve the spiritual, physical and financial situation of the local body.
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Update from Messianic Pastor Santoro
As you know we are in an ongoing health battle. Last week I had an MRI and several days ago we went to see the oncologist to evaluate the results. Unfortunately, the MRI showed that the tumor in my brain is still there and growing. Due to my body’s negative reaction to the chemotherapy pills that I had started taking, the doctor recommended a treatment with a biological drug which I will start in one week. This drug is given intravenously twice a month. According to the doctor, this particular treatment is very effective in 60% of the cases.
Ultimately, we know that it is God who is our healer. So please join us in faith as we continue to pray for complete deliverance from this cancer. We are not giving up. The word of God is living and active and it declares that greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world and by His stripes I am healed. I still spend hours a day listening to healing scriptures, we pray alone and we pray with friends and we are confident that even after three years, we will see His victory.
Yesterday, I was in a store getting my phone fixed and the clerk was a young Muslim. We started sharing about who we were and not only was he very interested in hearing about Yeshua but he wanted to read my book! We gave him a copy through the email. Please pray that he is able to read it and that he is touched in his heart. Pray that the words we spoke to him of Yeshua would ignite something new in him.
I am committed to speaking about the Lord with whomever I meet. In the supermarket, gas station, on a walk in our neighbourhood or doing anything at any place, I endeavour to start a conversation and lift up the name of Yeshua. Remember; one plants, another waters but God brings the increase!
Please continue to pray for our monthly outreach meetings in our congregation. Once a month the Revive Israel worship and prayer meeting is held in our congregation meeting hall with whoever wants to participate. After a time of prayer and intercession and worship, they go on the street to share the good news of Yeshua. Please pray that increasing numbers of local believers will participate and that we will begin to see many coming to faith! Yeshua is still a very foreign concept to most and it can be a long and ongoing process as we evangelise and witness to people. We believe that the time is now for Israelis to know the truth of Yeshua and we encourage all our brothers and sisters to step out and to go forth in the truth and power that is resident within us.
Persecution of Believers
Israel is a land where there are complicated political realities. We are very pleased with Netanyahu and his government and the uncompromising stand he takes on the international scene. We are tremendously blessed with the warm relationship between the USA and Israel. The move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem is historic and the stand of the USA against those who want to destroy Israel is also stronger than ever.
On the other side is the reality that to insure the right wing support, the current Israeli governent also must include religious politicians in the coalition and they are often very anti Messianic. The Interior Ministry is controlled by one such party and as a result many Jewish believers have been denied citizenship because they are suspected of being believers in Yeshua. We personally know too many quality individuals who have had their legal right to move to this country be denied. Couples who marry here and where one spouse is a citizen and one is non Jewish must go through a 5 year process in order for the non Jewish partner to obtain citizenship. The Interior Ministry has a history of illegally harassing these couples and prolonging the process, not giving necessary visas and threatening to not give citizenship. As of this date, the situation is becoming increasingly difficult and many of our friends are enduring this harrassment. Please join us in praying that this “anti Messianic” force will be exposed as illegal and that all Jews, no matter what their individual religious beliefs will find Israel a nation open and welcoming to them.
Ahavat Yeshua is planning a weekend in the Golan Heights, July 5-7. The last time the congregation did this was three years ago and it was an incredible blessing for everyone who went. Please pray that many would participate, that it would be a refreshing and encouraging “family” time which will bond everyone together with deeper cords of love. The congregation subsidizes a good portion of the cost so many who could never get away are able to enjoy a special time with their natural and spiritual family.
We are very excited that our book is available. We have included at the bottom a summation and contact address and want to encourage everyone to get a copy. We believe that you will be blessed, encouraged and empowered, no matter what your battle may be as you read my story. I have included an introduction to the book and we want to encourage you to send it out to others. We really need your help to get the word out and thank you in advance for your assistance.
This article originally appeared in Zion’s Glory Update, June 22, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Eddie and his wife, Jackie, are senior leaders of Ahavat Yeshua Messianic Congregation in Jerusalem and also serve in positions of senior leadership in Revive Israel.