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Young Israeli backpacker Aviad was staying with some believers who brought him along to the Beit HaMashiach Messianic Congregation in Melbourne. At the end of the service, Jay asked those who had not given their lives to Yeshua and wanted to know more about Him to come forward. Aviad went up hungry to find out who the true God was, and expressed a longing to know God personally. He grew up in an Ultra-orthodox home and in his teens became secular, causing a rift with his parents. While in the army some of his friends were killed, and he wanted to know why he survived and the others didn't. Jay shared the Gospel with him and showed him that Yeshua is the way to God through the Tanach (Old Testament). Please pray for Aviad that as he returns to Israel, that he will meet Messianic believers who’ll be able to disciple him, and he’ll encounter his Messiah Yeshua.


We have a great opportunity here in Australia to have “Israel” in our own homes. Every year, hundreds of young Israelis travellers (aka backpackers) tour around our beautiful country and would love to stay in your home for a night or two. There are two networks that help link Israelis with Christian or messianic hosts, HIT (Hosting Israeli Tourists) and Chiburim (Connections). Our family have had the privilege of hosting a dozen or so Israelis this year so far and we have had some wonderful times to just love on these young Israelis, share some great meals together and often we get to share our faith in Yeshua our Messiah and invite them to Beit HaMashiach, our messianic congregation in Caulfield.

We’ve had some great interactions and here is a sampling of some of the comments our Israeli guests have written:

“You made me feel, despite being on the other side of the world, like I’m right at home – a feeling of love and comfort I’ve never experienced in all my travels”

“Thank you for everything – for your motherly, fatherly and brotherly care, for your passion, for your wisdom, for your friendship, for your time and dedication, and… for washing my socks!”

“My gratitude goes beyond the ‘obvious’ of a comfortable bed, warm showers and meals. I thank you for doing more than expected. You treated me as a part of the family, with warm welcoming, great tips, eye to eye conversations and so much more.”

“It has been a very special time for us. We learned from you a lot about family, love and community.”

Thank you for the warm welcome, the amazing dinners, the music, the prayers, and especially the smile. We can’t wait to show you some of our favourite places in Israel.”

“We will never forget these amazing days and especially Pesach (Passover)… it was an amazing experience and I’m so grateful that I could experience this with you. It was such a happy and beautiful evening with amazing food, music and stories.

Louise and I highly recommend that you consider opening up your home to Israeli backpackers and show them true Christian love and hospitality.

For more information, please call our office on 03 9 563 5544. - Lawrence Hirsch


Melbourne's Dom Missi'ee (House of the Messiah) Russian speaking congregation has seen the Lord move in a mighty way over the past few months. The congregation is made up of mostly elderly Russian Jewish men and women, many of whom survived the Holocaust. Many of them have said that in the former USSR they didn't know God but since coming to Dom Missi'ee, they have experienced an intimate relationship with Him. At a meeting last month, most of the people prayed for Yeshua to come back saying, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord". Rita Ivenskis, who has been leading this ministry for many years says that people are now wanting to have a personal relationship with Yeshua, and they understand that they are all part of God's family. Rita says that she is seeing God do many miracles amongst these beautiful Russian-speaking Jews.

*Names have been changed for privacy


A new lodge in New Zealand for Israeli backpackers is already wildly popular among travelers in its first summer season. Celebrate Messiah New Zealand's Zula Lodge, in the resort town of Wanaka, is packed every night, and the born again Israeli hosts are faithfully sowing Gospel seeds every day. It's estimated that between Zula and the camp ground at Oamaru, several thousand young Israelis will have received a personal witness of the good news of Yeshua during this season alone. But, the popularity of the Zula has triggered opposition. An ultra-orthodox Jewish organization has hurriedly established a facility only a few minutes away in an effort to "save Jewish souls from the missionaries." However, their efforts have generated very little interest among local Israelis, while interest in the Zula continues to mount daily.

Please pray for the staff there who are experiencing significant spiritual warfare.


In Israel, Jewish seekers keep coming to Chosen People Ministries' events. Recently, Robynne, a staff member in Tel Aviv, met Haim*, who showed up for a Bible study. He is not yet a believer but has very consciously begun a journey to find his spiritual side. He said he was amazed that right in the heart of a most secular city, a city that usually isn't spiritual at all, he found a group of people thinking and dialoguing about God and how to have a relationship with Him. He enjoyed the openness of the discussion and said he will return. Pray that Haim comes to know Jesus in a very real way. While people like Haim are searching, others have found their Messiah. Our Israel director, Michael Z., reports that seven people were baptized this year


Barry B has been working with a couple of young Jewish men who have come to faith in Yeshua their Messiah. In the area where David* stays he has had over the past couple of years Yeshiva (Rabbinical training) students come to his home to visit and put on tefillin. On these occasions, David has readily shared his faith in Yeshua. What continues to be a mystery is that despite David's clear sharing of his faith in Yeshua as his personal Messiah, a continuous flow of new Yeshiva students keep coming to his door to visit and put on tefillin. Praise God for this wonderful open-eyed opportunity.

(Teffilin are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from theTorah).


Scott Brown shares an encouraging story from New Zealand and the work at the Zula Lodge: "God's blessings continue to overflow in our backpacking ministry. Eitan,* an Israeli journalist, was so moved by the free accommodation and loving hospitality that he experienced that he is writing an article about the Zula Lodge. He asked me dozens of questions about my faith as a Jewish believer in Jesus, which gives evidence of his own seeking heart," Scott said.

Eitan was particularly moved by the love of the Christians in New Zealand. He wrote in his article:
"As an Israeli, I was very surprised to see the amazing love and support I was given by the [Christians in NZ who host Israelis in their homes]. It was incredible to see that in the place which is the furthest away from Israel — the other side of the world, literally! — We are so loved, while in other Christian countries, such as in Europe, we are not treated in a similar way, and sometimes even treated in the opposite way! How do you explain the fact that in New Zealand [there are so many] Israeli-loving Christians?"

Eitan is one of many thousands of Israelis whom God is touching in the uttermost parts of the earth. Pray for him that he finds Messiah Jesus."

*Names changed for privacy


Vladimir Pikman, who leads the Chosen People Ministries Messianic congregation in Germany, reported that a Jewish member of the congregation became seriously ill and fell into a coma with the expectation that she would soon die. Her daughter, Ilena,* came from California to say goodbye to her. The mother was praying for Ilena and had been sharing the Gospel with her for a number of years, but Ilena was not interested. Because of the circumstances of her mother's illness, Ilena decided to attend the Yom Kippur services at the congregation.

While the congregation was praying and worshipping, the Spirit of God touched Ilena's heart, and she decided to pray. God instantly responded to her, filling her soul with joy, light, love, and the understanding that she is forgiven!

She could not stop talking about new life with Yeshua! And, at that very moment as the congregation prayed with her for her mother at the service, her mother opened her eyes and woke up from the coma! She left the critical care unit and was taken to a regular room. The doctors could not believe what they saw — but we can!


Our Tikkun Olam co-ordinator in Brisbane, Fraser, was catching up with a volunteer Phyl at the local train station to give her a food hamper to distribute to a local Jewish businessman. As they chatted about current events in Israel, a young man approached and said he'd overheard some of their conversation and wondered if they were for, or against, Israel. This opened up a great opportunity for Fraser and Phyl to share with this young Israeli traveler, Asaf. They talked about Israel, her people, world events and the world's attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people. They exchanged email addresses before giving Asaf directions to the local synagogue. Please pray that the seed sown with Asaf will grow, and that he'll continue to have encounters with believers, and soon have a personal encounter with Yeshua, the Messiah of both Jew and Gentile.

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