Word from Pastor

June 2024

“A Plumb Line” War Update # 8

“This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see Amos?”

“A plumb line,” I replied.

Then the Lord said,

”Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel;” Amos 7: 7-8

Greetings Precious Brothers and Sisters,

During the past weeks, we continue to study the Minor Prophets as a Life-group. Often these prophetic scriptures use symbols to convey profound messages – warnings and exhortations to Israel (and the nations) regarding events that have yet to take place. Particularly, in times of great distress, like these, these prophetic messages have great relevance. The “plumb line” is a powerful symbol that appears both in Zechariah and in Amos. God wants Israel (and the nations) to be in right relationship with Him. The ‘plumb line’ represents God’s standard so that we have a means by which we can make choices in accordance with his kingdom’s values…

We are approaching eight months since the inception of the war. On October 7, Hamas’ forces launched a brutal attack on Israel’s southern settlements, leading to a full-scale offensive by Israel’s Defense Forces throughout the Gaza Strip. Today’s estimate of the number of Israelis that remain in the hands of the various terrorists militias is 124. As our forces find more and more bodies of hostages, the hope of their families is rapidly dwindling. Sadly, the body count of our soldiers continues to rise almost daily! Meanwhile, the cost in civilian lives and suffering of the general Gazan population is enormous.

Across our northern border, the conflict rages and deepens between Hezbollah and IDF forces. In the past days, Israel has increased the call-up for troops to an all-time-high of 350,000. A major ground offensive into southern Lebanon is imminent!  On both sides of the border, towns and villages have been evacuated, lessening the likelihood of widespread civilian deaths. Nevertheless, daily missile and drone attacks exact a heavy toll in property damage, while fires destroy large swathes of forest and farmland. A Messianic pastoral colleague from the northern city of Kiryat Shemona reported this past week that their worship facility took a direct hit from a Hezbollah missile and was destroyed. Fortunately, the community itself was evacuated weeks before to Tiberius.

No less troubling is the social and political divide within Israeli society. Huge demonstrations calling for a change in government and an end to the war are growing in size, frequency and ferocity with violent clashes between police and protesters.

Congregations throughout the nation continue to mobilize prayer and ‘good works’ and a message of hope to relieve the pain and suffering that is everywhere. Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian communities from the Lower Galilee region to the Golan Heights are preparing themselves for hard days ahead! Please, please mobilize prayer for the nation and for your Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Pray too for the peoples of this region: Jews, Moslems and Christians, that we might look to God’s plumb line, call out to Him in our distress, and receive his salvation!

Beit Asaph Updates: At a local level, life goes on as best we can and we look for creative ways to encourage one another and to present the Gospel to our neighbors in Netanya. The following is a praise report!

For the past two years, our daughter, Sara, has taken the initiative to create a ‘Spring Festival’ by mobilizing her team from Beit Asaph members. These take place on a Shabbat as an alternative to a regular service. We hold the event in Netanya’s largest park, so lots of room to put up colorful bunting, food stalls, raffles, multiple games for children (and adults) and even a prayer corner! Last year we raised money for one of the national children’s ministries. This year, we raised over 7,000 shekels towards the purchase of Beit Asaph’s new facility.

This year we invited the local Ethiopian Messianic congregation and they too, canceled their service to join us. What a joyous occasion! The photos capture some of the wonderful fellowship we all enjoyed! No less important was the thrill of seeing many non-Believers/ passers-by, come in with their kids to take part in the festivities!

We are very happy to report that we are making good progress on the new Beit Asaph facility. Although we are still many months out from seeing it active as a worship facility and community center for outreach, the Lord has blessed our fundraising to date! Currently, after only six months we are very close to raising 50% of the purchase price (total purchase price 3.3M shekels or equivalent to nearly $900,000 US.) We have a year and a half to raise the rest + approximately half a million shekels for the renovations and equipment needed to turn it into an operating facility. So this too is a praise report and of course an appeal to partner with us in prayer for the financial goals to be reached! If the Lord leads you to advocate on our behalf among other Believers or their congregations or organizations, we would be so appreciative!

Meanwhile, we have time to work on internal designs, and seek professional counsel for the inevitable technical challenges we will face (security, acoustics, air-conditioning, and many more.)

The Bible says in I Corinthians 1:22 that we Jews seeks signs. Here are two or three relating to the building that will make you smile; the official name of the building is, “The Pioneers Tower.” Its location is on “Gate of Hope street” and our floor-space is situated on the 12th floor!

One entire side is glass, with a magnificent view overlooking the main entrance to the city and beyond to the entire Sharon Plain and even further to the hills of Samaria (West Bank). The city stretches north and south below us. We hope one day many of you from the nations will join us to worship, pray, and help us dedicate the facility as a ‘Prayer Tower’ for the nation and for the nations of our troubled region.

Two brief prayer points to finish with:

Please pray for the Yad b’Yad Israeli youth team that is in its final stages of preparation before setting of to Germany during the first week of August. There they will ‘partner up’ with their German counterparts for a program of outreach and reconciliation, as we do every year. Pray please for the team leaders, David and Moti (on the Israeli side) and Sophie (on the German side.) Pray God would use them as an example of ‘Kingdom unity’ for the young people in their charge.

Beit Asaph’s missionary in Africa, Miriam (now responsible for ‘Family Ministry’ programs in several countries, together with her husband Moses) will be returning to Israel this month. Miriam is close to entering her final trimester and will give birth to her first child in September. Pray with us please that Moses will find favor with the Israeli authorities and receive a visa to join his wife for this happy event.

God bless you to use this report to good purpose as you intercede for the Land and our peoples. Thank you so much for your partnership and for your acts of love and support on our behalf.

Evan Thomas and Lev Guler