Israel and the United States: A New Relationship?

Like you, my mind and prayers have been focused on the election this year.

Now the election is over, but our prayers must not stop. As America begins to heal and move forward, please continue praying for our nation and leaders.

There are two specific prayer requests I invite you to pray with me about:

  • Pray that the Lord will lead our new president to be a Psalm 1 type of person.
  • Pray for our new leaders to treat the nation of Israel with generosity and kindness, that Israel will be regarded as an ally and friend of America.

Both of these prayer requests are vitally important for our nation’s sake. Remember the words God spoke to our forefather Abraham:

“And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

This promise is as true today as when God made it to Abraham — which is why you and I must pray that our new president will follow after God’s heart and bless Israel by standing with the Jewish people.

At the same time, the rising tide of antisemitism around the world presents a critical opportunity for Christians to show their love — the love of the Messiah — to the Jewish people. In the midst of attacks and hostility, your love can be a powerful testimony of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus the Messiah.

And now more than ever, the Jewish people are responding to the loving and hopeful message of the Gospel … on the Internet!

Simply by posting ads on Facebook or other online sites, you and I are able to engage Jewish people around the world with the message of Jesus — often offering Isaiah 53 Explained or other written material for more information.

By God’s grace we have been digitally discovered by more than 10,000 Jewish seekers who have ordered an Isaiah 53 Explained book or some other type of Gospel material from our websites!

The Internet is just the starting point for an ongoing conversation. One of our team members or partners always follows up personally with a phone call or email …

Amazingly, the Jewish people are responding and asking questions about Jesus!

Gabriel, one of our young staff workers in the Tel Aviv area, recently shared with me about one of his follow-up efforts with an Israeli student named Lior* who discovered Isaiah 53 Explained online…

“Lior got in touch with me to let me know that she received the book and started reading it. She felt that the book was too evangelistic and was surprised that there was not a big warning label on the book of its ‘missionary’ purpose.

“So I asked her why she ordered the book in the first place. It turned out Lior’s professor commented that the entire Old Testament is important, but Isaiah 53 is forbidden by the rabbis to be read by Jewish people.

“That same day, Lior returned home, went onto her Facebook, and saw our advertisement, ‘Isaiah 53 — The chapter that will change your life!’ She ordered the book, shocked that — in fact — we are allowed to freely read this very important chapter of Scripture.

“Please pray for Lior as we are talking and looking into the role of Messiah according to God’s Word. It is exciting to share with Lior as she, in an honest and open way, wants to know more about Messiah and understand our need for forgiveness.”

Right now, we have had requests from more than 1,500 Israeli seekers to receive Isaiah 53 Explained in Hebrew — and this is happening in the United States, too!

Many years ago, I led my dear friend Boris, a Russian Jewish brother, to the Lord and discipled him. Now, Boris serves with Chosen People Ministries in Florida and recently wrote to me about Sam* …

“Sam was thrilled when he read the information he found on the Florida Isaiah 53 Facebook page. He shared with me that for the last ten years he has been very interested in Jesus, God, and the Bible. You can imagine my happiness …

“I spoke with Sam for a good hour and touched on many passages from the Scriptures, from Genesis through the books of the New Testament.

“Sam was very open and a bit argumentative— but at the end of the conversation, we agreed to meet together and talk more. I hope there will be a good friendship between the two of us and I will be able to witness to him about Yeshua!”

I could tell you story after story like these — of precious people who are discovering the Messiah through online ads, Isaiah53.com, and the faithful efforts of our missionaries.

Thank you for your prayer. I pray that the Lord will fill your heart with thanksgiving and joy!

Yours in Messiah,

Dr. Mitch Glaser

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A Christian Responds to the UNESCO Resolution on the Temple Mount

I asked my friend Dr. Randall Price to comment on the recent resolution by UNESCO which attempts to make a case for the Temple Mount having never been in Jewish hands.  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and this is why we have prepared a petition which I hope you will sign and pass along to others.  Please read Randall’s article as it provides some excellent basic information to counter resolution by UNESCO.

– Dr. Mitch Glaser


A Christian Responds to the UNESCO Resolution on the Temple Mount

Randall Price, Ph.D.

On October 12, a resolution was passed by the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), which comprises representatives from 58 states. While not explicitly denying Jewish or Christian claims to the Temple Mount, the wording of the document used exclusively the Muslim term for the site while criticizing Israel of violations and affirming its Palestinian accusers. However, the resolution did state the importance of Jerusalem’s Old City for the three monotheistic religions. Nevertheless, the perception was that UNESCO had sought to change history by denying the claims of other religions to the Temple Mount and a firestorm of protests ensued, resulting in another vote being cast on the resolution on October 26. This vote, however, was the same as the former vote, referring to the Temple Mount compound solely by its Muslim names, “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” and defined it only as “a Muslim holy site of worship.” But there was one glaring omission from the previous document. It removed the statement mentioning the importance of Jerusalem for any religion but Islam!

For the Jewish People, the Temple Mount is the most sacred site in both ancient and modern times. The First Temple housing the Ark of the Covenant, was built by King Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. A Second Temple was rebuilt by Zerubbabel after the return from exile in Babylon and enlarged and refurbished by Herod the Great. It was subsequently destroyed by the Roman Tenth Legion in A.D. 70. However, the site has remained the focal point of Jewish daily prayers ever since, with a hope of its rebuilding uniting the Jewish People in every age.

For Muslims, the site is known as Al-Haram al-Sharif (“the Noble Sanctuary”), or more recently as simply Al-Aqsa (“the Far Mosque”). It is recognized as the place where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, though not, as popularly thought, the place where, according to Islamic tradition, Ibrahim intended to offer his son Ishmael. That place is agreed by Muslims as being in Mecca (Saudi Arabia).

Christendom has also universally recognized the site as essential to its faith.  Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein reminded Cardinal Parolin of this saying, the resolutions are “an assault on history and is deeply offensive to both Christianity and Judaism.”[1] In the New Testament, Christ was found in the Temple from His dedication as an infant to His final week teaching in its courts. Like every male Jew, He would have made several annual pilgrimages to the Temple, one of which is recorded for His 12th year. The adjacent Mt. of Olives was the place both of Christ’s arrest and ascension. In the Byzantine period, a church was erected on the Temple Mount, and later the Crusaders turned the Muslim Dome of the Rock into a church known as Templum Domini (“the Temple of the Lord”).

Since at the center of UNESCO are the words “Education” and “Science,” it would be fitting to bring some education on the history of the Temple Mount and from the science of the archaeology that evidences that history.

First, it should be understood that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have all historically recognized the site as that of the Jewish Temple(s). Judaism’s history is well-known, and archaeological excavations since 1967 from below the Temple Mount to a Sifting Project of remains from the Temple Mount have revealed countless evidence of the Jewish claim. Among these are inscriptions, such as the Soreg Inscription, that warned (in Greek) Gentiles lest they pass beyond the separation fence between the Court of the Gentiles (outside the Temple) and the Court of the Women (inside the Temple) and bring ritual defilement to the site and death to themselves. The best-preserved copy of this inscription, found just outside the Lion (St. Stephen’s) Gate in the 1800’s, is housed today in the Istanbul Museum in Turkey, an Islamic country. The museum description on the artifact states it came from “the Jerusalem Temple.” Josephus Favius, the first-century Jewish historian for the Romans, gave an account of these warning inscriptions as he did for another stone found in excavations at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. This stone, pushed down from the pinnacle of the wall when the Romans destroyed the Temple, bears an inscription that says “To the Place of Trumpeting.” This connects with Josephus statement of the practice of the Temple priests in blowing a trumpet from this high point to signal the beginning and ending of the Shabbat. And the discoveries continue. In recent weeks, the revelation of a First Temple period (7th century BC) Hebrew papyrus mentioning “Jerusalem” and an assemblage of floor tiles and Hebrew inscriptions from the Second Temple, further affirm that the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount is undeniable. The same may be said for Christianity since the New Testament unambiguously records a Jewish Temple and its history is tied into that of the late Second Temple period from which these evidences have come.

In Islam, according to unbiased researchers, the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik originally had the Dome of the Rock built as a shrine for the Jews. Its octagonal structure in Byzantine Christian style was built in AD 691 by an architect named Yazid Ibn Salam, who was either Jewish or used Jewish assistants. They constructed the building around the Foundation Stone in the same manner as the Jewish Temple(s). In this early period, the Dome of the Rock also served as the site of Islamic worship services influenced by the Temple ceremonies such as ritual cleansing, offering incense, anointing the Foundation Stone with oil and enclosing it with curtains (as was done for the Holy of Holies).

As modern testimony to this lost history among Muslims, archaeologists recently discovered a 10th century Arabic inscription located above a mihrab-prayer niche inside an active mosque in the village of Nuba, located seven miles north-west of Hebron.[2] It confirms that the original name of the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhrah), was Beit al Maqdis (Arabic بيت المقدس ) = Hebrew Beit Hamikdash (the [Jewish] Temple, during the early Muslim era.[3] Research of the inscription’s provenance reveals that the Jewish tradition concerning the sanctity of the Temple Mount influenced Muslim perceptions leading them to adopt and re-label Jerusalem as a city holy to Muslims. Asaf Avraham and Peretz Reuven who conducted the research found numerous 8th century Arabic documents and inscriptions, some from the founding of the Islamic faith, naming the Dome of the rock “Solomon’s Temple” Islamic coins of that period coming from the Temple Mount and other parts of Jerusalem contain the image of the Jewish Temple’s seven-branched Menorah. There seems to have been no dispute within Islam about these facts until after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the 1967 Six day War in which the area of East Jerusalem (containing the Temple Mount) returned to Israeli control. As an example we can read the statement of the Supreme Muslim Council in their publication of a Guide to the Al-Haram al-Sharif: “This site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the Temple of Solomon is beyond dispute.” This statement in the Guide remained the same from the 1930’s-1950’s. Today, however, the same Islamic Authority has its official position that there was never a Jewish Jerusalem and that the Temple(s) never existed.

So why would UNESCO cast their vote to sever millennia-old Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount and declare it to be exclusively an Islamic site? This is the era of narratives, on display in this election year where fact-checking can be as tiresome as it is unwanted by the masses. In the Middle East, it has never been about personal conviction of right or wrong (what facts say), but about how one is affected by what others perceive as right or wrong (what facts do). Therefore, it can be understood that this decision had nothing to do with the facts of history or the rights of religions, but with the political bias based on propaganda and pressure from the Palestinian Authority and the Muslim world. However, for those who are still concerned with the facts, the facts are that the Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and the Temple Mount the site of its Jewish Temple(s). No resolution passed by UNESCO or any other men can counter that decreed by the Almighty, as recorded in Psalm 132:13: “For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: ‘This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”’


[1] “Pope Francis: God Promised the Holy Land to the Jews” (October 27, 2016). Accessed at: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/77605/pope-francis-god-promised-holy-land-jews/?utm_source=Breaking+Israel+News&utm_campaign=2751e5b2fd-BIN_evening_10_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b6d3627f72-2751e5b2fd-86892777&mc_cid=2751e5b2fd&mc_eid=a0a5ab280a

[2] “Muslim 9th C inscription names Jerusalem as Solomon’s Temple site,” DEBKAfile October 28, 2016.

[3] David Israel, “Ancient Muslim Inscription Confirms Dome of the Rock’s Jewish Temple Origin

(October 28th, 2016) accessed at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ancient-muslim-inscription-confirms-dome-of-the-rocks-jewish-temple-origin/2016/10/28/

 

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Learn to celebrate the Jewish holy days!

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyShalom dear friends in the Messiah,

Maybe for you, September means the start of the school year — or the return to a busy schedule after a restful summer.

For Jewish people, the fall season usually means preparing for the High Holidays:

  • The New Year (Rosh Hashanah), Sunday, Oct. 2nd – Tuesday, Oct. 4th — In general, even the most secular Jewish people will celebrate Rosh Hashanah (literally— the head of the year).
  • The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), Tuesday, Oct. 11th – Wednesday, Oct. 12th — This is considered the holiest day of the Jewish calendar and will be observed in some way by nearly every Jewish person.
  • The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), Sunday, Oct. 16th – Sunday, Oct. 23rd — Fewer Jewish people celebrate this feast, although after the seriousness of the first two, the Feast of Tabernacles is a lot of fun and known as a time of great rejoicing!

Understanding the Jewish High Holidays can be a great blessing for followers of Jesus!This is why Chosen People Ministries offers you some wonderful resources to help you better understand the holidays.

I encourage you to investigate these resources to help you better understand your Jewish heritage in the Messiah!

Learn More…

The Temple and the Jewish People

Another important aspect of your heritage as a follower of Messiah is the Temple of Jerusalem. You may recall from the Book of Ezekiel references to “the Shekinah glory” in the Temple.

The Temple was the heart and soul of the Jewish faith in biblical times — the place where sacrifices were made for the forgiveness of sin. Since the Temple’s destruction over 2,000 years ago, Jewish people have told many well-known stories of great rabbis who went to their deathbeds wondering whether or not their sins were forgiven.

This is the problem, of course, when there is no recognizable means or moment when one knows that their sins are forgiven. Jewish people live with ambiguity, not knowing if our good works and repentance are enough for God to forgive us of our sins.

Continue Reading…

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Global Conference on Russian Jewish Church Planting

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyShalom!

I have exciting news:

Our fourth global conference on Russian Jewish church planting will take place on September 14-17, 2016.

Let me explain why this conference in Warsaw is perfect for honoring the past and affirming the bright future we have because of Jesus!

  • Before the Holocaust, Poland was home to the largest Jewish community in Europe.
  • Poland today still values its rich Jewish history.
  • Chosen People Ministries was at work in Warsaw before the Holocaust and touched the lives of many Jewish people for the Lord.

We expect more than 100 Russian Jewish believers to attend. These dedicated people who are leading or planting congregations in the former Soviet Union, the United States, Canada and of course, in Israel!

Over the last 25 years, thousands of Russian Jewish people have come to know Jesus as their Messiah and Lord!

Because of 70 years of atheistic communism in the USSR, Russian Jewish people often have a strong cultural and ethnic identity as Jews, but know little about God, the scriptures, or the Messiah.

Today we find that Russian Jews are hungry to know more about the Lord.

Since the fall of the USSR, 1.5 million+ Russian Jews returned to Israel — and most believers in Israel would say that 60% of the Messianic Jews within Israel speak Russian as their mother tongue!

Your Mission to the Jewish People is a vital part of this movement: evangelizing, discipling, planting congregations and raising up leaders among the Israeli-Russian Jewish believers.

In fact, the director of our Israel work is a Ukrainian Jewish believer who found Jesus in Israel!

Israel has provided wonderful opportunities and a new start for Jewish people who have come to the Holy Land from areas of the world where they were persecuted. And many Russian-speaking Jewish people bless Israel with their advanced degrees, expertise in the arts, technology, medicine and many other skills.

Other Russian Jewish people are elderly and in desperate financial straits, relying on welfare as many are too old to work and unable to learn Hebrew with adequate proficiency to continue their professions.

With your help, we’re providing food, clothing, enrichment programs and so much more. Many of those we reach are Holocaust survivors. Our being there for them opens their hearts to Yeshua.

War-Torn Ukraine
We are also working intensively in various areas of Ukraine and in Moscow where we have begun two Chosen People Ministries’ Messianic congregations. Just this summer:

  • We sponsored 14 services at Purim and Passover, attended by about 500-600 people.
  • At the same time, we visited 179 Jewish families to distribute food.
  • We launched three new “Fellowship groups” in 3 different cities: Kherson, Belaya Tzerkov, and Sevastopol.
  • We funded humanitarian aid for disabled people, widows, elderly and needy Jewish people.
  • 16 Jewish people became believers and began to attend to local Messianic congregations.
  • And one new congregation in Chernigov was started.

The Future Is Bright for Russian Jewish Evangelism
As you can see, the Lord is doing a great work today among Jewish people! And your support makes all this, and more, possible.

The Russian Jewish Leadership Conference in Warsaw will greatly enhance our vision and work.

Yours in Messiah,

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President

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Antisemitism On the Rise in the UK

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyShalom in His wonderful grace. Today I write to you with a broken heart and a deep concern for the survival of the Jewish people. Just when you thought the world was safe for them—it is NOT!

Recently, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported the following,

Since 13 September 2015, 40 people have been killed in terrorist attacks and 511 people (including 4 Palestinians) injured. There have been 155 stabbing attacks (including 76 attempted attacks), 96 shootings, 45 vehicular (ramming) attacks and one vehicle (bus) bombing.1

All too often today it seems that innocent Israelis and Palestinians are being attacked by pedestrian terrorists, blinded by a mixture of radical Islam and misguided nationalism! How I wish this were not true…I would much rather speak about the great things God is doing among Israelis and Israeli Palestinians.

And believe me—there is much good to speak about as both the Israeli and Palestinian church continues to grow in the midst of violence and unrest within Israel. Yet, the attacks against Israelis have, in reality, been attacks against Jewish people as proven by what has taken place recently in countries like France and England. This growing group of anti-Semites claim to be politically motivated against Zionism when in fact it’s just old-fashioned racially driven antisemitism!

Though some of the most vicious attacks are taking place in Israel and France, antisemitism continues to rear its ugly head in Western countries—especially in the United Kingdom. A virulent form of antisemitism, racist in nature, has been growing by leaps and bounds within England and has recently come to light in reports by concerned officials in the UK.

The British government has formed a committee to study the issue and make recommendations. They have produced an extensive report detailing the growing antisemitism in the UK.2

This group affirms the findings of Community Security Trust (CST), an organization which operates within the Jewish community to report on antisemitism. In their most recent report, they claim that,

There were 924 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2015, the third-highest annual total CST has ever recorded. The total of 924 incidents is a fall of 22 per cent from the 2014 total of 1,179 anti-Semitic incidents, which was the highest annual total recorded by CST. The second-highest annual total recorded by CST was 931 anti-Semitic incidents in 2009.3

In fact, the current mayor of London, a Muslim, said the following in a recent interview,

Sadly, for many people here in London, anti-Semitism is a very present problem. Over the past five years, anti-Semitic offenses in the capital have increased by 153 percent with 267 more offenses in 2015 compared to 2011. There are schools in London that need security simply because they are Jewish faith schools. There are places of worship that require protection simply because they are synagogues. This simply isn’t good enough.4

There is no doubt in my mind, as I travel to London three or four times a year to help with our growing ministry there, that this is even worse than is being reported.

Thank you for your love, faithfulness and deep concern for the Jewish people.

Now is a critical time to reach out to the Jewish people. The hardships they are now facing because of the growth of antisemitism are causing them to be more open to a hope beyond this world—a hope even greater than the Land of Israel—a hope that is only found in the Lord Himself.

We know that the one who is behind all antisemitism is the devil and he is trying to destroy the Jewish people because he understands that God has a continuing role for them.

We still believe that the turning of the Jewish people to Jesus will lead to the very return of Jesus, according to the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 11:25-27.

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, HE will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” This is MY covenant with them when I take away their sins.

All of history is leading up to this great day of deliverance. The Jewish people survive because God is faithful to His promises! But that does not mean we will not face difficult times ahead.So please pray for the Jewish people and support us during these dire times so we can continue to reach out to Jewish people with the love of Jesus the Messiah. NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND TO TELL GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE ABOUT THE MESSIAH!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring, standing up and praying for the Jewish people at this time.

Your brother in the Messiah Jesus,

Mitch

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Project: Tel-Aviv

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyDear Friend,

Did you know that the greater Tel Aviv area is the largest and, demographically, the youngest metropolitan area in Israel with a population of 3.7 million people? In fact, the Jewish population of Israel is growing! And Tel Aviv is the financial and cultural hub of the country.

The character of Tel Aviv is distinct from that of Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is Israel’s most secular city, whereas Jerusalem is more religious. There are probably a dozen believing congregations scattered throughout the greater Tel Aviv area—averaging about 50 – 75 congregants.

The usual and more conservative estimate regarding the number of believers throughout the entire country is somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 – less than 0.5% of the overall population. This marks the modern state of Israel as having one of the lowest numbers of Jesus followers in the world.

Naturally, Israel is of great importance to the work of Chosen People Ministries, as we are a mission to the Jewish people. Tel Aviv is, therefore, critical to our ministry, as it is the home of the largest population of Jewish people in the Holy Land.

The Greater Tel Aviv Project
We believe that the bright future of Gospel ministry within Israel is with the younger Hebrew-speaking population. This is why we have initiated the Greater Tel Aviv Project designed to reach younger Israelis and their families—the building blocks of Israel’s future—with the life-transforming message of Jesus.

Our focus in Tel Aviv will be on two suburbs that border the downtown area – Ramat Gan2 and Givatayim.3 These urban suburbs consist of families who work downtown, but cannot afford the high cost of living in the city. Over 300,000 people live, shop, and have their social life in these two communities.

At present there is, only one small congregation serving these two urban suburbs, making the need great. Our great interest in these two communities is also driven by the nature of both suburbs as growing communities with young families as well as an “old guard” of original settlers within Israel who have probably never heard the Gospel.

The Plan
We have placed four missionary couples, all of whom are Israeli citizens, in these two suburbs, and they are already sharing the Gospel within the community. But, this is just the beginning! We are also ready to move forward as we have finally found a wonderful 1,600-square-foot commercial space in the midst of Ramat Gan to turn into an outreach center. We will offer Bible studies, public lectures, moms’ groups, children’s ministries, an outreach café and more through this center.

The ministry in the greater Tel Aviv area will be primarily focused on evangelism, discipleship, and congregational planting. We expect that the ministry will focus on younger people and their families, but we will also plan on working with middle-aged and older people—especially as we plant a congregation.

One of our goals during the next twelve months is to hire another staff evangelist—hopefully a young Israeli who is a graduate of Israel College of the Bible. If the plan goes well, we intend to hire a staff evangelist each year for the next three years to serve out of the Greater Tel Aviv Messianic Center and to also be involved in the congregational plant.

All of our missionaries in Israel currently raise their funding and, by God’s grace, the four couples and one single missionary already have the bulk of their support raised. It is difficult for them to continue raising additional support because they are in Israel, so we do our best to try and subsidize their shortfall.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my heart for my Jewish people and excitement for the Greater Tel Aviv Project. By God’s grace and faith we are going forward with this because we have no other choice—the days are dark, and we are growing closer and closer to the coming of the Lord.

We believe the Lord will provide for this work!

Our plan is to begin in the very place where it all began—in this instance Tel Aviv, as the Lord did tell His disciples to begin in Jerusalem and then to go to Judaea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world (Acts 1:8). The church has done a great job fulfilling this command, but now we need to return to the starting point of the Great Commission—to Israel itself—the very land where our Savior lived, died and rose from the grave…and the very place where He will return to reign as King!

Your Brother,

Mitch

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Reaching Wandering and Wondering Israeli Youth

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyShalom!

I was recently in Jerusalem and visited with a couple who served as volunteers for six months at the new Chosen People Ministries youth hostel in New Zealand. This is a strategic spot as thousands of Israelis wander through the South Island of New Zealand each year to enjoy the spectacular scenery and hiking trails. In fact, the word on the street is that the Israelis who go to New Zealand after the army are looking for God through nature—as opposed to those who go to India who are so often searching for God through drugs and eastern religions.

This wonderful young Israeli couple shared so many of their conversations and experiences with the 750+ Israeli young people who have wandered through what we call the Zula Lodge. They told my wife and me story after story about conversations they had with Israelis seeking the Lord. These spiritually focused conversations often took place late into the night and early hours of the morning.

I was encouraged to find out that the Hebrew version of the book I wrote, entitled Isaiah 53 Explained—which is at the heart of our Isaiah 53 outreach around the globe—was distributed to hundreds of these wandering Israelis.

Sometimes it is really difficult to share the Good News with people who know little about Jesus or who are resistant to the Gospel. Most Israelis fall into this category as they are raised in traditional, but modern Jewish homes that simply do not know anything about the Lord Yeshua, our Messiah.

Many of these young and, most often secular Israelis also pick up on the resistance to the Gospel prevalent among Jewish people for so many generations. I am happy to say that this attitude seems to be changing and many Israelis are opening up to Jesus! This is especially true of Israeli young people who are traveling around the globe looking for the answers to life after having gone through a stressful season of military service.

There is no doubt that we have undergone a slight shift in our strategy for reaching these wandering and wondering Israelis. In the past, we have sent short-term mission teams, usually Israeli believers who live in Israel, to reach their counterparts across the globe—from New Zealand and South America to India and even in the United States. However, we have now discovered that setting up permanent facilities where we can house wandering Israelis allows for a deeper and more intimate ministry. This enables us to take our presentation of the Gospel to a new level!

This is why we have recently established another center for traveling Israelis in Buenos Aires, Argentina—a city of almost 300,000 Jewish people. Chosen People Ministries has been serving in Argentina since 1942, when one of our missionaries from Austria helped many Jewish believers and non-believers escape the Holocaust and flee to Argentina from Vienna. He followed them and began the ministry of Chosen People Ministries in Argentina.

We have two wonderful facilities in Buenos Aires where we are teaching Bible studies, planting a congregation and utilizing the Spanish version of our Isaiah 53 online campaign. God has really blessed this work, which is now a partnership between Chosen People Ministries and the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptists.

The Lord has recently provided us a believing Argentine Jewish couple who also lived in Israel for many years and learned to speak Hebrew. Their knowledge of Israeli culture will allow them to connect with the young Israelis who travel through our centers. Thousands of Israeli former soldiers travel to South America to hike near the lakes and through the mountains.

We have renovated a large house in Buenos Aires that serves as living space for our missionary couple, some volunteer staff, and as a hostel for about twelve Israeli backpackers. These young Israeli travelers begin their journey in Buenos Aires before they embark on the trek across South America. We greet them warmly and provide housing in a safe and comfortable atmosphere; all with a loving Argentine Jewish couple who are willing to have hours of conversation with them about Jesus!

There are lots of ways you can get involved in helping us reach wandering Israelis throughout the world. We especially need your prayers. Please pray that God will open the hearts of these wandering young Israelis to the Messiah. When this happens everything else is easy! But we do need your prayers also for God’s wisdom in running these various youth hostels, His guidance during late-night conversations and very simply for His hand in directing those He wants to reach through our efforts in Argentina, New Zealand and elsewhere.

I also ask you to get the word out that Chosen People Ministries is offering these opportunities to serve the Lord in short-term ministry in both New Zealand and Argentina. These are great winter ministries as they fall during school breaks and some are in our target areas. This is a perfect mission trip for those who are looking for something to do during the winter, as the touring season in both Argentina and New Zealand is at its height during January and February. Do you know any young people who have a heart for Jewish people or are avid hikers and are capable of sharing the Gospel with Israelis if trained? I am inserting a card that you can fill out and send to us so that we can then contact those you know and give them an invitation to these wonderful short-term ministries.

Finally, we value your support for these ministries, as we need to underwrite the hostels since we charge the Israelis very little money to stay there. Also, we would like to provide scholarship support for young Israelis who would like to go into short-term missions in either New Zealand or Argentina or perhaps India, depending on our short-term mission schedule. It takes about $2,500 to scholarship a short-term missionary to go from Israel to New Zealand for a couple of weeks and just about the same for Argentina. It is also very difficult for our dedicated staff in Argentina, Israel and New Zealand to raise funds for their ministries and so some of what you give can also go to help them.

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and engagement with Your Mission to the Jewish People as we reach Israelis around the globe with the message of eternal life through Jesus the Messiah.

This post-army season is so critical in the lives of these young Israelis. They might never again be as open to the Gospel as they will be during this time of travel.

So please pray fervently and give generously so that we can bring the Gospel to these wandering Israelis.

Your brother,

Mitch

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