Shalom in our exalted Messiah,
Zhava and I just returned from Israel, and I want to share a few impressions regarding what God is doing in the Land and invite you to pray for the Lord’s work there. First of all, I am happy to tell you that there is a movement of the Holy Spirit in Israel today, and many young Israelis are open to the Gospel.
Believe it or not, we have now sent out over 1,000 Hebrew versions of the evangelistic book Isaiah 53 Explained and most of these were sent to Israelis under the age of 40. Our staff in Israel have been following up on these contacts and discovered that there is a genuine, sincere curiosity about the Gospel among them.
We have also noticed that there is a great need for ongoing discipleship among the Israeli Messianic Jews we meet through the online campaigns.
Let me share a quick story from Gabriel, one of our Israeli staff members:
Recently there was a Facebook message on the Isaiah 53 Explained Facebook page. It was a believer asking to order a book. I responded and asked for his full address. Yoram*mentioned that he believes in Yeshua, but doesn’t know how to share his faith with co-workers so he hopes the Isaiah 53 Explained book will help him with this. I shared that a good way he can tell people about Yeshua is through his testimony. So I asked him why he believed in Yeshua. It was clear as he tried to share his testimony that he didn’t know why he believed. He read parts of the New Testament and in a truly powerful way came to understand that God is real and through Yeshua, he can have peace with God.
I asked Yoram if he attends a local congregation. His response was typical for many new believers in Israel. He responded by asking me what I meant by “congregation.” I shared with him that the Bible speaks about the fellowship of believers who come together to worship God and pray together. Yoram said that he didn’t even know there were other believers in Israel and had not heard of any congregations.
He lives in Haifa, the third largest city in Israel and has never met a fellow believer in Yeshua…imagine that! Yoram was unfamiliar with the few local congregations in the Haifa area and as a result, he is not meeting other believers, which also means he is not being discipled.
Everything he has learned about Yeshua is from online sources and from the New Testament itself.
I would say that this young man is fairly typical of many of the young Israelis who are coming to faith. They are not coming to the Lord through a local congregation and not even through some evangelistic mission agency like Chosen People Ministries. Rather, they are coming to faith directly through the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Just as it was in the Jesus Movement of the 1970s when I was saved, the work of discipleship begins after the Lord has transformed the lives of individuals by the power of His Holy Spirit.
An online discipleship program would greatly help Yoram be discipled and become planted in a local congregation.
This is one of the reasons why Chosen People Ministries, in partnership with other Israeli ministries, is now working on an online, video-based personal discipleship website so that those who are seeking the Lord and who have already come to faith will be able to learn more about the Bible and the Savior by engaging with us online.
The second impression I have after being in Israel for almost three weeks is that local, indigenous Israeli ministries are growing by leaps and bounds! I remember my first trip to Israel when there were very few local Messianic congregations that spoke Hebrew. I remember singing “Amazing Grace” in Hebrew! I love the hymn, but at the time, there was very little original Israeli-style music that allowed Israelis to express their love for the Lord in a more Israeli way.
Now, young Israeli believers are producing their music, and it is beautiful! The worship services I attended while in the Land gave me a foretaste of heaven—worshiping Jesus the Messiah, in Hebrew, in a more authentically Israeli way. It was just fantastic!
We also see the growth of national evangelistic ministries like Bible colleges and discipleship programs for both future and former soldiers. Local congregations are growing, and the leaders are developing. I think we have entered a new day. This causes me to believe that Paul’s words in Romans 11:25 will come to pass soon. As the apostle wrote,
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your 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.
Your Mission to the Jewish People in Israel is led by Israeli nationals. We have 20 full-time staff members within Israel, and the entire work is led by Michael, a dedicated Russian Jewish brother who came to faith in Jesus after he made aliyah (immigrated to Israel).
Our work in Israel is exciting as we are reaching out to elderly Holocaust survivors, feeding the hungry, planting congregations, conducting online evangelistic campaigns, discipling new believers, working among single mothers with young children, conducting children’s camps and so much more. The scope of the work and energy of our staff leaves me breathless!
Recently, we had a terrific Bible conference in Orlando with the theme, “Israel’s Glorious Future.” After this conference and now after spending time in Israel, I am more confident than ever that the Lord will fulfill His promises to the Jewish people!
We are living in a great day, but we also understand that there are great challenges.
There are challenges of safety as Israel is still surrounded by enemies that are seeking her destruction. Israel also has many internal problems and is still a divided country. The government officials both on the Israeli Jewish and Palestinian side need our prayers desperately.
I could go on and on with prayer requests, but I also feel compelled for the sake of the Gospel to ask you for the needed funds that allow us to continue this great work in Israel.
We could not minister in Israel without our dedicated team back in the United States, who provide the administrative and logistical support for our workers in Israel. It takes thousands of dollars a year of office support to keep a missionary on the field in Israel. So I am asking if you would consider giving a generous donation this month to help both our field staff in Israel and our faithful workers in the United States, who make it possible for our Israeli evangelists to continue their work.
For your generous donation of $50 or more, we would like to send you a beautiful copy of the following prayer declaration for Israel that I hope you will hang somewhere prominent in your home so that you can remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. All you need to do is frame it, and I believe this declaration will become a cherished reminder of the faithfulness of God to His covenants and promises to the Jewish people. The declaration states the following:
A Prayer Declaration on Behalf of Israel
I will pray for the peace of Jerusalem as commanded in Psalm 122:6 because I love the Jewish Messiah, the Jewish people, the non-Jewish citizens of Israel, and am committed to obeying the Word of God.
My prayers will include petitions for the political leaders of the Land of Israel, both Jews and Arabs; the spiritual leaders of Israel: Jewish, Christian and Muslim; the military leaders of Israel, and for business and academic leaders as well.
I will pray that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will dwell in the hearts of the leaders, citizens and residents of the Holy Land and that His Spirit might empower His true disciples living in Israel today.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, “May peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good (Psalm 122:6-9).
We have created a beautiful version of this prayer declaration that we would love to send you! Your gift of $50 or more will mean so much to us this month as the summer is often a difficult season to raise funds for our ongoing ministries. Our total budget for our work in Israel is a half million dollars each year, so if you can give more generously—that would be wonderful! Thank you so much for considering this gift, and of course, for your prayers.
Thanks for loving the Lord and His chosen people!
Have a great summer in the Messiah,
P.S. If you would like to listen to some of the messages given at the “Israel’s Glorious Future” conference, all you need to do is visit www.chosenpeople.com/IGFmessages and it will take you to a site where you can freely listen to these great messages!