Dear Brothers and Sisters in Messiah,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5&6
There are times when these very familiar words take on far greater significance. God’s wisdom for life is invaluable, especially in seasons of increased responsibility or challenge. In this report we will share with you the current challenges we face as a community living out our faith as followers of Yeshua in this amazing nation, Israel. We thank you all so much for your prayers, your words of encouragement and support, and most of all for your love and faithfulness towards your brothers and sisters in the Land.
We have just celebrated one of our great Feast Days, “Shavuot” or, as known throughout the Christian world, “Pentecost.” It is celebrated 50 days after the Passover, on the 5th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Sivan. It celebrates the wheat harvest and the “Giving of Torah on Sinai” and additionally for us, as followers of Yeshua, the “Giving of the Holy Spirit.” At Beit Asaph we enjoy preparing a special worship service each year followed by a shared table laden with traditional dishes. Should you be visiting Israel at this special time, please come and join us. The picture below depicts beautifully the ‘spirit of our community life’ as we celebrate together.
Our challenges: For three years we have been praying as a community in preparation for the time we would need to renew our lease contract on the congregational facility. Just six months short of 20 years, we have finally arrived to the negotiation table with the company that owns the building in which Beit Asaph is housed. We had anticipated a significant increase in the monthly fee and were concerned it would far exceed our ability to remain here. Although the negotiations are still taking place and a new contract not yet signed, we are confident that we will be able to remain. We know many of you have been interceding on our behalf – thank you, thank you! The photo following shows Beit Asaph’s pastors receiving the support and prayer of the congregation just days before the negotiation meeting.
The next challenge we face as a community is “Mission to the Nations.” As you are aware we have been very active in a variety of ‘short-term’ missions abroad, seeing this as an integral part of our vision and our national calling to be “a light to the nations.” Now we are poised to take the next step of faith by commissioning a member of Beit Asaph to a longer term in the field. In January 2020, Miriam will travel to the eastern mountains of Uganda and begin her first year ‘imbedded’ within a village community, learning the local language and culture and serving its children through her experience as a trained kindergarten teacher. Prior to that, she will complete a three-month “frontier missions” training with YWAM. Miriam has already spent time in the region over 4 previous short-term mission trips.
To prepare Miriam’s way, Maala and I (Evan) will travel to Uganda on July 2nd. Our hosts have already prepared a full program, including buying building materials, teaching teenagers, meeting and reinforcing relationships in the villages where Miriam will be, and hands-on painting of classrooms in the new school/orphanage. We will also have the honor of preaching in one of the local churches. We anticipate a very special time that will further build the relationship between the local Christian community of the Bulambuli region of Uganda and our local Messianic Jewish congregation in Israel.
We have ‘suffered’ all our inoculations relevant to the region and are preparing our finances, gifts and materials to take. Please pray for our health and safety while we are in the field (first half of July). We are excited for the future as this will be a big step for our Beit Asaph Messianic community as we consider our role as “living letters” being sent from Zion. If you would be willing to participate financially in this mission, please be in touch with us as soon as possible. We thank you in advance for your support.
We will have barely two weeks respite upon our return before we send out 10 Israeli youth (16-18 year olds) to ‘join hands’ with an equivalent number of young German Christians from the town of Weinstadt. Six of these youth are from Beit Asaph, Netanya and under the supervision and training of two young leaders, David and Moti and their German partner and youth leader, Sophie. For two weeks they will train, do local outreach and then travel to Poland over four days to the death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. We are thrilled to see this ‘cutting-edge’ youth reconciliation ministry of Yad b’Yad 1.0 (Hand-in Hand) revitalized this year! To enable this to happen, our German partners, “Philippus Ministries” raise the finances and care for the German arrangements. For this we are so grateful for Susanne and her team.
Maala and I will join the team as they return to Weinstadt to celebrate and tell their stories. The following day we will travel to Bavaria to receive the next team coming in for our summer mission. This team, known as Yad b’Yad 2.0, consists of balanced numbers of young adults – Israelis, Palestinian and Germans. This will be our third Philippus-sponsored outreach where we train and get out ‘into the field of harvest’ amongst local Germans, Moslem refugees, Israelis and people from all over the world. This will take place from August 17 for an intensive week in two key locations – Salzburg, Austria and central Munich in Bavaria.
We covet your prayers for these two initiatives, for their leaders and all the final preparations. The very character and make-up of these two teams (Yad b’Yad 1.0 and Yad b’Yad 2.0) are designed to demonstrate reconciliation in action – the very essence of John 17:21 – “that the world might believe…”
We look forward to filling our next report with testimonies from the field. We feel incredibly honored in Beit Asaph to be at the cutting-edge of these key mission ministries as such initiatives hold a vital key for the Body of Messiah in the Land and among our conflicted peoples.
During our recent Independence Day celebrations I (Evan) fell on the point of my shoulder. This resulted in a badly torn tendon causing the shoulder to dislocate and of course cause much pain since. Our family is beginning to believe I am ‘accident prone.’ However, in seeking the Lord about this new affliction, I sensed the Spirit saying, “I am giving you a picture of my Body in the Land and beyond. It too is impacted by conflicts (many of which are self-imposed). It is torn and dislocated and suffering. And more than that, it is not able to function as it is designed and called to do.” We share this very personal prophetic picture in the hope of mobilizing intercessors throughout the world. The Body is in desperate need of our heavenly physician, Yeshua.
Our love and blessings,
Evan and Lev