Our Dear Brothers and Sisters in Messiah,
As we draw near to the festive season of Hanukkah and Christmas we wish to send you our love and blessings for the coming year, 2020, and most of all our deep gratitude for “hanging in there” with us throughout 2019.
It has been a wonderful year, full of good fruit and bold steps forward! We have seen such answers to prayer and have grown in faithfulness as a community. Specifically, it has been such a joy to see our younger generation flourish.
Our youth (14-18 year-olds) stand out as a model for our whole congregation. This year they have been the primary group requesting baptism and they love outreach and mission. They also love to serve in various capacities and several have regular roles in Shabbat services. In August, six of our older youth (pre-military service) took part in the Yad b’Yad 1.0 (Hand-in-Hand) Reconciliation Initiative.
When our new school year began in October, the new intake of younger teens joined our youth program. It’s usually a ‘nightmare’ for them figuring out how to fit in. This year it was seamless. Why? Because the older ones who had each had a personal encounter with Yeshua in the Yad b’Yad 1.0 program in Auschwitz simply opened their arms to the young ones, as their mentors. Thank you for your prayers for Natan and his team of youth leaders. They do a great job of primary pastoral care for our youth and prepare them spiritually for the ‘rough and tumble’ of military service when they hit 18!
Our group of young adults, “HaMilchiah” (the Saltshaker) are growing from strength-to-strength. Three couples have found each other within the group and married, and babies are beginning to emerge J. A fine home group is also well underway and over half of them are serving as preachers, service leaders, worship leaders and team members, Shabbat school and youth teachers. Evan and Lev mentor these young people one-on-one with spectacular results.
Many of our young adults’ lives were radically changed as a result of taking part in the Yad b’Yad 2.0 mission’s program in late August and for them the outreach simply continued when they got back home. Some examples of the outcomes include: regular prayer walks and open worship at Israel’s leading university campuses and monthly worship and street outreaches throughout Israel’s cities. It is a dream come true for us to see our Messianic young adults worshipping and witnessing alongside their Arab Christian peers in places like Nazareth (see photos) Haifa and Tel Aviv.
You will recall us asking for prayer in the middle of the year as we were about to renegotiate the leasing contract on Beit Asaph’s facility. This was successful and we were able to sign in late June. The new contract will take effect from January 2020. As we completed the High Holydays in early October we began to mobilize a large portion of the congregation towards giving our facility a complete “face lift.” After 20 years the place was looking decidedly tired and run down. It is amazing what a bit of tender love and care does. Men and women of all ages and backgrounds have been painting, cleaning, repairing and removing large amounts of accumulated ‘junk’. It’s been Passover cleaning “on turbo” and the results are outstanding!
Beyond the physical effect was the joy of working together for the common good of the community and the overall sense of accomplishment it produced. Wow!
Some Prayer Briefs:
Next week we will be participating in the, “Welcoming the King of Glory” conference in Nazareth. Israel Messianics and Arab Christians will be hosting significant numbers of delegates from indigenous peoples of the Pacific Rim (e.g. maritime nations of the South Pacific). Please pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit in intercession and outreach – welcoming Yeshua back to his hometown!
Prayer for Miriam – Beit Asaph’s missionary to Uganda. She returns to Israel in the coming week from intensive training at Frontier Ministry with YWAM and then flies to Uganda to begin her first year in the Eastern Mountains region. Good news: All the money she will need for 2020 (including coverage of her Israeli National Insurance) has been provided.
Prayer for building the teams – Yad b’Yad 1.0 & 2.0 youth and young adults programs for next summer 2020. Careful recruitment is required to find the balance as both discipleship programs are very demanding.
Reminder: Yb’Y 1.0 focuses on 16-18 year-old Messianic youth and their German Christian peers in an intercessory act of reconciliation. They will be hosted in the Nuremberg area of Germany and will travel to Auschwitz together.
Yb’Y 2.0 is a discipleship program that focuses on street mission. The team is made up of a balanced group of Israeli Arab and Jewish believers, Palestinian believers and German Christians. The outreach will take place in the Old City of Nuremberg – a place with enormous history from former Nazi times but also a city where huge numbers of people from all over the world come each summer. Both initiatives are sponsored and co-led by Philippus-Dienst of Germany.
Prayer for Evan and Maala leaving Israel in mid-January for a week of ministry in Switzerland together with Palestinian and Swiss colleagues. From Zurich they will travel to NZ to spend time with family followed by a number of ministry responsibilities and some focused time on writing! Thank you in advance for prayer for Beit Asaph during their three months away – for Lev and Ora and for the fine team of young adults that help carry a wide variety of the responsibilities.
Last but not least, please pray for our politically beleaguered nation. We have no suggestions regarding leadership as the entire country is very disappointed in our politicians and the political system. However, we pray that this would be the season when God would remove the scales off our people’s eyes that we might see the One who is true leader over Israel – Yeshua himself!
We send you our blessings for a season of joy, light, good fellowship around your tables and for a spirit of unity to prevail in your church communities.
Evan and Lev (for Beit Asaph)