Uganda 2024

Hello dear friends some updates from the Yeka family (Uganda mission):

Last year Jan-June we was a students at the family ministry school in Tanzania.

Then July-Dec. The same year we was a staffs in family ministry school in Uganda.

This year God open the way for us to co-lead the family ministry school in Kenya (which we are in now)… We are so humbled to follow God in the ways He prepared for us as a family and to be a blessing to other families.

We got an invention to join a conference for international Family ministry leaders that will take place in Germany this coming June.

Thank you family for being with us in different ways physically, spiritually and financially and also in prayers from day one up now, as we came to Kenya to co-lead the family ministry school in Athi River base you’re there for us, it was being a nice time for us as a family and the time has come for Miriam to leave to go back to Israel after three months but as for me I will remain behind due to the school in Arua for three months then join her in September.

The reason is, Miriam is six months pregnant so she’s going back due to this condition.

Continue praying for her flight and the remaining months and also continue praying for me as I remain to serve before I join her in September.

Miriam and Moses Yeka,

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

“You Are My Hiding Place”

“Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while

you may be found;

surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.

You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:6,7

Shalom Our Precious Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My choice of title for this report was inspired by a recent meeting with an old school friend who had sat beside me in a theatre in Palmerston North, NZ in 1978, watching the testimony of Corrie Ten Boom, “The Hiding Place.” That same night, in the darkness of my bedroom, Yeshua revealed himself to me as the Jewish Messiah. So, my faith journey began!

Interestingly, the context of the Hiding Place was war, grief and ultimately, redemption! How we long for Israel’s redemption!

Maala and I are just about to set off back to our home in Israel, from our period of respite here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, NZ. We are refreshed and ready to jump back into the fray. Our little family, Sara, Beni and Zoe, and the Beit Asaph community are SO ready for our return.

In this report, we will bring some perspectives from the war theatre in the Gaza Strip and the continuing hostilities with Hezbollah, across the northern border.

We also want to provide you with fresh updates on the Beit Asaph ‘Permanent Home Project.’ We trust this will be an encouragement to you all, as it is for us!

Who could have imagined that after more than 5 months we would still be at war? Although our wars since the foundation of the State have been manifold, they havebeen historically brief. This means that the national pain and suffering is usually only for a short season, then comes restoration. Currently, however, there is no end to the hostilities in sight. Sustaining the nation on an indefinite ‘war-footing’ has enormous ramifications:

  • Blood continues to be spilt in the Land and
  • Social divisions that all-but disappeared at the outset of the war, are now re-emerging, perhaps stronger than before.
  • Anger and distrust towards our government – both internally and internationally, is turning to widespread bitterness and recrimination.
  • Israel has become a pariah in the eyes of many nations and anti-Semitism continues to accelerate worldwide.
  • Economically, our main stay, tourism, has all but ceased.
  • Hundreds of thousands of our citizens from the north and the south remain evacuees, away from their jobs, businesses and farms.
  • Hundreds of thousands of our younger men remain on the battlefronts, separated from families, careers, and studies.
  • Entire settlements are living under a cloud of trauma and grief.
  • Over 100 Israeli hostages remain in captivity.

We share this ‘dark list’ with you as a reality check. Our intention is to galvanize prayer away from politics and towards subjects that truly matter, as stated above.

New Covenant Scripture teaches us to “Love your enemies and turn the other cheek,” but we must remind ourselves that Israel is still unredeemed, and when threatened, functions with an Old Covenant morality and world-view. That is, if you strike us, we will strike you back, a hundred. That translates as:

  • Tens of thousands of Gazan Palestinians dead (at least 40% of whom are women and children.)
  • Most of urban Gaza Strip is badly damaged and uninhabitable.
  • More than one million Gazan Palestinians are currently starving, including the Christian enclave sheltering in two churches.
  • The southern-most city of Rafah is poised for a massive IDF offensive.
  • Other Arab nations are helping with humanitarian aid BUT do not want the Gazans in their countries as refugees.
  • If Israel succeeds in destroying Hamas military infrastructure and its ability to rule the Strip, who will govern them in the future?

Would you please help us pray into these terrible realities?

The picture is one of human suffering on a horrific scale! As followers of Yeshua our hearts must be stirred with compassion, for our own people and for our neighbors, with whom we are currently at war! Both need God’s salvation through belief in the Messiah!

Update on the Project: “A Permanent Home Base” for Beit Asaph:

During this break away in NZ, I, Evan, have devoted much time to fundraising correspondence: reaching out to the Global Christian and Messianic community with our appeal for financial help, answering a myriad of questions and reporting in to my pastoral colleague Lev, as results come in.

Lev, meanwhile back home in Netanya, has kept the congregation on course, while administering the funds as they arrive. To date, approximately one million of the three million shekels needed has come in! We are so grateful to all have given so generously! Thanks too, to those of you have pledged, and to those of you still considering! Although we have still a way to go, we are making excellent progress!

By the beginning of March, we received the keys to the premises and Lev immediately began to invite groups of Beit Asaph congregants, on each consecutive Shabbat during the month, to ‘come and see’ and to ‘bathe the empty space’ in prayer. And so the journey began! Meanwhile, as finances continue to flow, we will carefully design the facility to maximize the space. Then we will engage a building team to bring it from concept to reality. Exciting!

Being situated on the twelfth floor of a commercial building and at the central ‘gateway to Netanya,’ affords us dramatic views of the city, north and south and outward over the Sharon Plain towards Samaria (West Bank.) One immediately perceives its potential as a ‘Prayer Tower’ for the region. Over the past few years, God has been establishing a network of prayer towers throughout Israel. Not only do these benefit the local congregation responsible for the facility, but also for the broader community of faith. We are excited to develop this ministry! We look forward to making you welcome in the not-too-distant future, hopefully in more settled times.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, thank you for walking alongside of us all these years, in hard times and in times of celebration. God is at the helm through it all! In Him we trust! He will complete ALL he has promised to accomplish in us, in Israel and in the nations! We finish by recommending to you a prophetic text the Spirit of the Lord led us to these past days during moments of uncertainty … EZEKIEL 37:15-28

God bless and thank you ALL,

Evan and Lev

Donations for the “Permanent Home for Beit Asaph” Project (please designate clearly)

Project : “Permanent community center”

Among the many lessons we, the Beit Asaph community have learnt, is how vulnerable to outside circumstances we are without a permanent community center. For the first two months of the war, we were unable to gather as a whole congregation. Whatever was available could not provide adequate shelter in the case of a missile attack. Everything else was providing shelter for evacuees from the southern towns and cities. We also learnt how much more we could accomplish among the multitudes of needy if we had a community center of our own to work from.

During the month of December, our two pastors, Evan and Lev, began to research possibilities of purchasing floor space in a strategic location in the center of our city, Netanya. We found the ideal place! Immediately we began negotiations with the owner and preparations with our congregational members, from whom we have received a full vote of confidence and sufficient finances to make the 15% downpayment.

This announcement is intended, however, as a ‘taster.’ In the coming days we will send to those of you who have yet to receive it, an introductory appeal letter and attached, the “Project Proposal.”

Meanwhile, we ask you to pray and ask the Lord for the wisdom and grace to know how to respond.

Some of you may be asking, “Yes, but what about the finances needed for war relief?” Here is our opportunity to report that the generosity of the international Body and you, in particular, has been overwhelming! All that you have sent, is being spent! And we still have some reserve for the weeks ahead! Thanks to every individual and every congregation who have provided the means by partnering with us. It has been a joy to witness the mobilisation of the Body in such strength of purpose!

We send this with our love and sincere gratitude for all your efforts on our behalf and on behalf of God’s Kingdom in Israel!

Evan and Lev

“Consider my Lament” Update # 6: Israel at War

“Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.” Psalm 5:1, 2

“… but let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as a shield.” Verses 11, 12

Precious Brothers and Sisters in Yeshua Messiah, we have been waiting patiently since sending you update # 5, in the hope we would see a ‘turning of the tide’ in our war with Hamas and with our regional conflicts. Our hope was (and still is) for a cessation of all hostilities, the release of the hostages, whether dead or alive, the ability of all our citizens to return to their homes and jobs in the south and north and for Palestinian Gazans to begin rebuilding their lives. It seems we are still far from seeing these prayers answered, hence the choice of Psalms as our chief Scriptural focus right now…

Reading the headlines of leading Israeli media outlets (January 25) gives us cause for pause:

“’We will continue to fight,’ vows IDF chief following incident in which 21 Israeli soldiers killed.” All Israel News

“Lebanon: Two anti-tank missiles were fired at northern Israel, according to the IDF.” HaAretz

“Yemen’s Houthis ordered U.S. and British UN staff to leave the country within a month. The U.S. military said it carried out two more strikes in Yemen early Wednesday, destroying Houthi anti-ship missiles prepped for launching aimed at the Red Sea.” HaAretz

 “Israeli sources involved in negotiations for a potential hostage release deal (are saying) that Israel and Hamas are still far from agreeing on terms and that talks may take time.” HaAretz

“140 women’s groups called for a new hostage deal in protests across Israel on Wednesday, and blocked intersections in several Israeli cities.” HaAretz

Suddenly, the next day (January 26) the main headline provides a ray of hope!

“Israel and Hamas have reached agreement on the basic principles for a 35-day ceasefire, the release of all Israeli hostages and of an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees from Israeli jails. Biden is dispatching CIA chief Bill Burns to Europe to meet with the head of the Mossad, the Qatari PM, and Egypt’s intelligence chief to broker a truce. Qatar slammed PM Netanyahu for saying he doesn’t trust Doha’s mediation efforts. Ahead of the ICJ’s ruling today (Jan 26) Israel sent the Court declassified documents to show the steps it is taking to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.” HaAretz

Does this signify ‘good news?’ Are these words, indications that God is answering our prayers? We sincerely hope so! Other headlines today indicate that Lebanon and Israel are seeking international help to negotiate a clearer definition of the border between our nations and signifying an end to hostilities, at least for a while. “Blessed are the Peace Makers” Matthew 5:9.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, whether or not these encouraging signs develop into tangible changes in the coming weeks, please let us continue to ‘press in’ to our Heavenly Father in lamentation and in supplication. There is simply way-too- much blood spilt in the Land. Because Biblical history teaches us so, we have good reason to be deeply concerned for the long-term consequences!

One thing is certain, regardless of the fragile nature of negotiations over peace in times of war, there will be long-term consequences for all that has taken place in Israel since October 7.

As we pray, we need to be looking ahead:

  • For the social and psychological rehabilitation of our nation and of our neighbors.
  • For the courage to face the outcomes of accountability – in both the political and military leadership of the nation.
  • For wisdom to forge new strategies and policies to ensure co-existence based on Biblical principles of justice and forgiveness and concern for the needs of others before our own (Philippians 2). These must replace former policies based on a ‘zero-sum mentality’ (in order for there to be a winner there must be a loser) that simply have not worked!
  • For the Body of Messiah to continue providing a strong testimony to the nation in all of the above prayer points. We must learn from the past three months how crucial our testimony of unity of prayer and purpose between the local Jewish and Arab followers of Yeshua.

Finally, our last prayer point for this update: Maala and I have managed to slip away to NZ for a break. Without let-up since April last year, we were in need of respite. Our son-in-law’s parents (retired pastors) kindly flew in from Sweden to relieve us on the home front. In addition to the refreshment we are receiving in a very quiet location, Evan is able to focus on the challenge of fundraising correspondence for the project. Please keep us in your prayers, that this would prove fruitful and that we could return to Israel with our ‘batteries fully charged!’

We send this with our love and sincere gratitude for all your efforts on our behalf and on behalf of God’s Kingdom in Israel!

Evan and Lev

Update #4 Israel at War

Update #4 Israel at War

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on themsuddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.”  I Thessalonians 5:1-4

Warm greetings from our ‘safe haven’ in Netanya. The above text served as part of my Shabbat message to Beit Asaph on November 25, our first opportunity to meet in two months, due to security requirements. This well-known text is so relevant to understanding our current situation that we see as ‘a dress rehearsal’ for the second coming of Yeshua. On that day, He will not come as gracious Savior, but as Righteous King with a scepter of judgement. Verse 4 onward, speaks of our role as Messiah’s followers, ‘as sons and daughters of the light.’

We are now two months into this terrible war. We enjoyed a brief hiatus of cease-fire while hostage and prisoner exchanges took place. Hamas broke the terms of the agreement with rocket-fire into our southern settlements and not returning agreed upon hostages. In response, the fighting resumed with the IDF focusing on the southern cities of the Gaza Strip. These are the remaining strongholds of Hamas and its affiliate factions (e.g. Islamic Jihad) BUT they are also densely populated cities with networks of subterranean tunnels and command centers. Inevitably, in the coming days, we, and the entire world, will learn of the horrors of war as the death toll rises dramatically and our hearts will be torn even further.

The stated goals of Israel’s military are two-fold: to restore the hostages to their families and nations and to destroy Hamas and its factions, completely, so they can no longer be a threat to Israel. The attack on our southern settlements on October 07 crossed all ‘red lines’ for our nation and at the time, for a broad representation of nations. Three weeks later, the ground invasion began with the outcomes you have been following via the media.

As Israel sent in ground forces, our northern enemy, Hezbollah, began missile barrages and drone attacks upon our forces and northern settlements, many of which have also been evacuated. Another Iranian affiliate, the Houthis of Yemen, are regularly sending long-range missiles and drones in an attempt to hit our southern city of Eilat. Until now, thank God, have all been intercepted.

These are the basic facts of what has, and continues to take place.

Now I will outline the social impact of these calamitous times to help you to pray with ‘Kingdom’ wisdom and understanding and to avoid the ‘traps’ caused by strong loyalties to either side, and/or by the political rhetoric and misinformation that various media platforms are ‘peddling.’

Recent surveys indicate that one third of Israelis are showing symptoms of post -traumatic stress syndrome since the ‘Black Sabbath’ of October 07. It is safe to assume that most of the two million Palestinians of Gaza are also suffering from PTSD.

Many of the victims and survivors of the border settlements adjacent to Gaza were ‘peace activists,’ employing Gazans; some were also engaged in helping Gazans secure medical treatment within Israel. When the armed terrorists broke through and began their slaughter, they invited ordinary citizens (men, women and children) to join them in the brutality. This is from multiple eyewitness accounts from survivors. Recent Palestinian polls indicate that 70% of Palestinians support what Hamas planned and executed. Socially, this has caused enormous damage to the trust that many of us have been building – from both sides of the conflict.

Most heartbreakingis the growing division that is occurring all around the world between the followers of Yeshua. We will never forget the words of warning of a former colleague (Palestinian Christian leader) speaking to a Palestinian conference with many international attendees, most of whom are of the pro-Palestinian/ anti-Israel lobby. He said, “If you cling to a theology that states that God has finished with Israel (transferring all His promises to the Church,) you will inevitably end up hating the Jews!” Various posts on social media sites lately, by Christians we know personally, have shown this to be true.

Last night Israel issued a serious warning to Israelis considering travel abroad. For those considering destinations in Europe and the UK and even as far away as Australia, travel should be restricted to “essential travel only.” This is due to the horrendous rise in overt anti-Semitism worldwide. Anti-Israel sentiment since the war began has rapidly gone to an entirely new level.

Among many other social impacts of the war to date, is the discovery of the extent of sexual offenses against women victims during the October 07 incursion. Ironically, this ‘came to light’ once video footage from the webcams taken from the terrorists killed in the ensuing action. From Hamas statements, their commanders ordered their fighters to film the brutalities to maximize the psych-warfare impact on Israeli society. Families received footage of their wives and daughters being raped and brutalized, and sent via the mobile phones of the victims themselves.

There is a department of the United Nations that focuses specifically on sexually based war crimes. Sadly, it took several weeks for this department in the UN to ‘wake up’ and begin to investigate. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is now fully engaged in the investigations.

As difficult as it is for us to write about such things, we do so to highlight key areas for prayer. The healing and restoration processes of the nation must begin now, even while we are still engaged in this terrible war.

One of our super right wing political ministers in charge of police and internal security, in ‘all his wisdom’ has minimized requirements for ordinary civilians to carry handguns. The sale of these weapons has ‘gone off the charts.’ However, arming civilians in a situation like this, where there is so much hostility, is courting disaster. For example, during a terrorist shooting in the past few days, at a bus stop in the entrance to Jerusalem, the civilian who shot the two terrorists was himself killed by another Israeli. Owing to the proliferation of personal weapons issued without proper screening protocols, women all over the nation are terrified of its potential to cause a sharp rise in domestic shootings (already bad.)

There are serious social impacts on West Bank Palestinian communities (e.g. Bethlehem) and on Israeli Arab communities (e.g. Nazareth). West Bankers are in total lockdown and cannot get out to work places in Israel, regardless of former permits to do so. Cities like Nazareth and Bethlehem are heavily dependent on tourism and the Christmas season is upon us. Of course, there are few if any tourists in the Land. The West Bank does not have a social security system so people are literally beginning to go hungry. Local churches are doing the best they can with finances provided by the international Christian community and with the help of several Israeli Messianic communities.

The plight of the Christian community in central Gaza is dire! They remain in sanctuary in two churches among the surrounding rubble, terrified and alone. They do not feel safe to evacuate to the south and are fearful of the IDF. They feel ‘caught between a rock and a hard place.’ Many are calling for intervention for these precious brothers and sisters (approximately 1000 in number) who have remained steadfast in their faith despite their suffering.

Please do not forget these last two prayer items, no less important than all the rest we have brought to your attention.

Finally, we wish to report on some very positive outcomes, made all the more possible by your generous financial contributions.

Our daughter Sara continues her social work at one of the hotels in Netanya, currently serving as a center for evacuees from the southern city of Sderot. Residents refer to her as “their angel.”

Many of the members of the Beit Asaph community continue to manage the purchasing of warm clothing, footwear and baby ‘stuff’ for the evacuees. The lists come frequently and the task takes hours, but our volunteers love to be able to help, often adding to your donations from their own purses as well.

Sara and her team are now branching out into organizing outings for the families and even guitar lessons and treats for the kids to relieve the tension of being ‘cooped up’ in small rooms. Our worship leader, Natan is purchasing guitars and offering guitar lessons for the kids.

The following photo is from one of the regular delivery runs and Maala and Evan ‘stuffing’ their little car with goods, destined for the center.

God Bless,

Evan and Maala

Updates Uganda / Japan

June 2023

Finally, a brief update from Uganda \ Japan’s 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 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!

Some of Our events this 2023

One day Philip said , ” Come and see ” John 1:46. We invite you to simply look at the aspects of our life in the community through photographs that speak for themselves.

This will help you continue to support us in your prayers, we sorely need.

May God bless you in all your doing for His glory,

With gratitude and respect , Evan and Lev

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

Pastor’s Update , September , 2022

Our Precious Brothers and Sisters in Yeshua Messiah,

“As Scripture says: “Anyone who believes in him (Yeshua) will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one in whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?

As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”                  Romans 10:11-15

Mission: My first priority is to bring you a brief, “Hot off the press” report from our Yad b’Yad mission trips you have been supporting in prayer.

Yad b’Yad 1.0 involves youth (16-18 year olds) led by my younger colleagues, David and his wife, Frede, and Motti. The German youth from Bavaria were ably led by Jenni and Sara from Agape Congregation, Freilassing. Despite the heat-wave conditions in Europe this summer they successfully conducted a brilliant program, combining lots of fun and warm hospitality with serious discipleship activities. The latter included a workshop at the Holocaust Documentation Center at Ober Salzburg, a day visit to Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, and a day of street outreach just across the border in Salzburg, Austria.

These photos ‘capture’ those moments perfectly…

Here is a brief statement from the pastor of several of the Israeli participants: “They all came home changed. Today four of the girls gave testimonies of how they experienced God and His love during the trip to Germany. God really touched their hearts and lives in a very special way…May the Lord bless abundantly all who became such a blessing to this young generation.”

Yad b’Yad 2.0 (means “Hand in Hand) and consists of a complex team of 27: five young Israeli Messianic Jews, five young Israeli Arab Christians, five young Palestinian Christians and ten young German Christians. Susanne, the Field Director of Philippus ministry (sponsor of the initiatives) and I, Evan, served as pastors in support of the younger leaders. I deliberately include these details to create ‘a picture’ of the challenges we faced, just by virtue of who we are.

Unlike Yad b’Yad 1.0, this was not primarily a reconciliation initiative. Based on Yeshua’s prayer from John’s Gospel 17:21, our declaration of unity was to show the world that Yeshua was sent by the Father. Given our historical and current conflict narratives, this was ‘easier said than done.’

The first three days were dedicated to intensive workshops: “Who are we in Yeshua?” and “Listening to ‘the still small voice.’” Other lessons were in understanding ‘Spiritual Warfare’ in the context of our mission location (Nuremberg). All these and more were conducted in an atmosphere of worship, prayer and team-building – even before we moved over to the center of

Nuremberg itself.

If you are interested, it is worthwhile to do a little ‘Google research’ on the city to fully appreciate the spiritual challenges we faced. Two salient points from the Nazi era: it is the city were the mass rallies were held that were designed to sway the minds of the masses. It was also the location of the famous, ‘Nuremberg Trials’ of the Nazi war criminals, post WWII. Amazingly, the local church that felt led to invite our team to conduct the Sunday service for them, worships in a facility on the site where the trials took place! We serve a redemptive God!

In the field, we operated in teams of three: each consisting of at least one German, an Arab and a Jew. And so, apart from being multi-lingual, each mini-team carried the spiritual DNA of John 17:21, and many times these factors acted as ‘keys’ to unlock resistant hearts.

The highlight of the outreach came about as we all gathered in Jacobs-platz in the city center. Our local German team leader, Johannes, had secured permission for us to set up a sound system and instruments to conduct a public outreach…that was a miracle in itself! A few local Christians joined us, more to observe and pray in support.

So, for at least two hours our musicians led worship in Arabic, German and Hebrew with others intermittently stepping up to the microphone and sharing brief testimonies of how the Messiah had changed their lives!  They did this with courage and incredible vulnerability. All the ‘hard work’ earlier in the week suddenly ‘paid off.’ Here is our Ethiopian Jewish Sister sharing publically:

The unique aspect of the ‘Jacobplatz outreach’ was the audience: very few Germans BUT lots of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers including Syrian and Iraqi Moslems, Turks, Ukrainians and even Ethiopians.

The ‘field was ripe’ and what an overwhelming pleasure to see our team of young men and women boldly step up to families and groups of men sharing their faith in the multiple languages needed.  Truly this was like a scene out of Acts 2. I know at one point I was so overwhelmed by what was taking place, I had to turn and walk up the street to try and control my tears…an extraordinary event!

During our final debrief and Lord’s Table before our respective journeys home, each team member expressed their gratitude. It had been really challenging at all levels, socially and spiritually, BUT all expressed it having been life-changing.

And that’s what it’s all about! Thanks so much for all your support…

On the home front: As the war in Ukraine intensifies, so too does the level of tensions between our congregational members of Beit Asaph. This is of great concern for us as pastors. The potential to literally split the congregation while it is still vulnerable, post-pandemic, is high. In their anger over Russian hostilities and military occupation, the Ukrainian immigrants in our community are tending towards nationalism in their stance towards their Russian-immigrant brethren. Such is their outrage that fellowship between the two groups is almost untenable.

One can understand the outrage and anxiety of our Ukrainian families. The situation is brutal. Their cities and villages are being destroyed and their loved ones are living under terrible duress as infrastructure breaks down. Presently this is summer-time. One cannot imagine the hardships they will face as the weather changes in another month or so if the war does not abate. PLEASE PRAY!

Here is small personal story of the past two days: One of our members V. (a Ukrainian immigrant) received word that his mother had died unexpectedly. He is the deceased’s only and beloved son. The Russian army recently entered and now occupies the city where he came from. It is literally impossible for him to go home and bury his mother. It might seem a small matter in comparison to the broader suffering, but it does serve to show us in a very personal way how our congregants are effected.

We realize this situation may be difficult to identify with for you readers in Australasia and the USA, but please know that for our Russian-speaking immigrants, this situation is far more critical to them than our own home-grown Israeli/ Palestinian conflict or the threat from Iran and its allies just across the border. I suspect that the intra-congregational tension we are experiencing is widespread throughout the Messianic community in Israel. Russian-speakers constitute more than 50% of the national community! As such please, please

We are so glad we can turn to you that we might share our blessings and our sorrows and know you stand with us through them both.

Evan and Lev