Pastor’s Update , June , 2023

June 2023

Our Precious Brothers and Sisters in Yeshua Messiah,

Acts 4:8, 10 – 12:

“Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: Rulers and elders of the people! … Know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Yeshua the Messiah of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Yeshua is “’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Maala and I returned home a month ago from our break away in NZ. It is extraordinary how different life is for us between there and here in Israel. The struggles and calamities experienced in NZ are usually from the forces of nature, while here they are generally man made, and political/ social in nature! As we prayerfully intercede for the people of both nations, the spiritual parallels are very apparent!

Despite the radical adjustment each time, we are happy to be home and enjoying resuming our familial and congregational duties. Our granddaughter, Zoe, is now 16 months old, inquisitive and full of life and energy. We thank God for our beautiful weather and plenty of outdoor living space. These, coupled with nearby playgrounds, provide Maala with the perfect amenities for this highly active little girl!

Ministry life for me, Evan, typically begins the moment we return, and is ‘full-on’ with services to run and Life-groups to facilitate. Various programs fill the gaps, including our first-ever Beit Asaph Spring Fair (organized by our daughter Sara), Shavuot celebrations (Pentecost), a funeral to conduct and even a new baby in the congregation to bless!

As we begin the month of June, our teams ‘gear up’ for the two annual Philippus-sponsored initiatives, Yad b’Yad 1.0 and Yad b’Yad 2.0. The programs are in place and both will take place in August. Please pray for the recruitment process. Currently our team leaders are seeking a few more participants for the German and Israeli teams.

I would like to return at this point to Beit Asaph and recent very encouraging developments! Firstly, to the event I mentioned earlier, our congregation’s first-ever Spring Fair.

Our daughter, Sara, despite a huge program of university studies and associated internship, a part-time job and being a busy mum, formed a team and organized a highly successful event at one of Netanya’s many parks! The event included food and refreshment tables, raffles, diverse game stations, as well as races (sack and three-legged races) and even a prayer station manned by some of our older intercessors!  To make it all ‘work’ required nearly 30% of the congregants, which in itself was a good thing. It took place in a public park that provided an opportunity for healthy testimony. Apart from being a lot of fun, we also raised 3,500 NIS (a little more than $US 1,000) for one of our national children’s ministries! We all agree this has to become an annual event!

Another development over these past 6 months has been the establishment of a monthly prayer and worship service where we have ‘grown’ in aspects of intercession and spiritual warfare.  Following a time of worship and a brief impulse from the Word of God, the congregation breaks into small groups to intercede on a variety of topics.

The vision for these services came from three of our young lay-leaders who desire to see the whole congregation engaged in community-based prayer. With perseverance, this has been very successful. Our seventh prayer service took place on Shabbat with David, David and Olga leading and more than 90 congregants committing themselves to this time of dedicated prayer. Please pray for the continued blessing of this service in our community.

In our neighboring city of Hadera, another team of young lay-leaders (three couples) from a Beit Asaph Life-group is now conducting a monthly worship service. Approximately 40 people are attending these services. Numbers of them are seekers personally connected to the core group and interested in the message they share. This as a direct result of ‘Kingdom life’ permeating the city from the healthy fellowship of that Life-group. Please pray for the team in Hadera!

Our colleagues Lev and Ora have been training two groups of our Russian-speakers in conducting “Alpha courses.” Those involved are keenly interested in reaching out to their non-believing friends and acquaintances and beginning courses of their own. This is also a direct outcome of our focus on Life-groups. The undergirding vision of Beit Asaph is being a community of disciples that makes disciples and thisweekend we will be baptizing three new disciples. Thank you in advance for your prayers for the Lord’s continued work through our Alpha groups.

As more and more new immigrants pour into Israel, particularly from Russia right now, many of the Believers among them are contacting us seeking fellowship. There are many new faces, even in our three months absence. The invasion of Ukraine has caused severe disenchantment with its government’s policies. Our bi-monthly Shabbat services are essential in absorbing them into congregational life and providing a sense of community. Slowly but surely many will be absorbed into Life-groups where they can receive personal attention and opportunities to begin to serve. Please pray for these new arrivals.

Finally, a brief update from our missionaries in the field: You will remember from previous reports that Miriam in Uganda, working as a training officer and outreach leader with YWAM, is now married to Moses.  

He is a fellow missionary and together they are now on assignment in Tanzania. They are doing very well but please keep them in your prayers. It has been a long and arduous process trying to obtain a visa for Moses to visit Israel with Miriam. This requires another very long journey overland to Nairobi, Kenya to the nearest Israeli consulate. Please pray they will find favor in the eyes of the Israeli authorities. Given the current political climate in Israel that is clearly anti-Christian, they will need some ‘divine intervention.’

Eliyakim, our young missionary in Osaka, Japan is due for a 6-week visit home to visit his family and Beit Asaph. After more than two years in the field, Eliyakim is now seeing the fruit of his labors. Last week, two young men he has been working with, were baptized into the local church.

Eliyakim works as a kindergarten teacher and has already become proficient in Japanese. He is currently studying Korean! Please pray for him and his upcoming visit to Israel – for refreshment and encouragement from us all here in the Beit Asaph community!

We are so grateful for you all and thank you for your continued support and faithfulness. We have not referred this time to the very difficult social and political climate in the Land, nor to the sense of division and widespread violence. These topics are well covered by other Israel reports. Nevertheless, please, please keep these as matters for prayer.

Our love and blessings,

Pastors Evan and Lev