Read Only Version
Nachamu Nachamu Ami Yomar Eloheichem! (Isaiah 40:1)
Comfort, Comfort my People says your God. IN AUSTRALIA!
In the middle of the first week of the war in Israel, Celebrate Messiah has stepped out in faith and purchased a home in the beautiful Apollo Bay, on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. We believe that God urged us to buy this home so we can host Israeli Backpackers and give them a safe and comfy place (a Zula in Hebrew) to come and stay for a few days as they travel through Australia. We have named this home, Zula-Roo – a comfy place in Australia.
As we all come to grips with this tragic and devastating war in Israel, we now know more than ever, why God was urging us to step out in faith and purchase a ZulaRoo.
As young Israelis travel once again, after the horrors and trauma that they have been through in Israel, we want to be able to offer them a welcoming, loving, caring and healing place to stay in one of Australia’s most beautiful coastlines. Australia will become a sought after destination as travel to other countries will become more unsafe for young Israeli backpackers.
This is our opportunity to love and care for young Israelis, in Yeshua’s name. The hosting of Israeli backpackers has been described as the “sleeping giant” of ministry to the Jewish people.
God is calling us to comfort His people Israel HERE IN AUSTRALIA.
Please support this step of faith and obedience, and partner with us in Project ZulaRoo – comforting and caring for God’s people (Isa 40:1).
Our goal is to raise $1.8 million to fully acquire this property. Step out in faith with us!
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”(Matthew 25:40, ESV)
Yours for the Kingdom and the salvation of Israel,
Executive Director, Celebrate Messiah Australia
God in Action: The ZulaRoo Story…so far
In the space of only nine months, God orchestrated a series of amazing events, spurring us to establish our first dedicated guest house for Israeli travellers.
Approximately 40,000 Israelis travel each year after completing their military service, with a significant number venturing to Australia and New Zealand.
For over 20 years, Lawrence and Louise Hirsch have hosted many Israeli backpackers in their home,albeit one or two at a time. Knowing how effective their own hosting experience has been with opportunities to share their love of Yeshua with Israelis, their vision was to encourage others to host Israeli travellers.
This vision became a reality in February 2023 when Celebrate Messiah launched Host Israelis. Since then, individuals, couples and families have registered through our hostisraelis.com.au website and opened their homes to host Israeli travellers, free of charge.
As you can see from the testimonies of both hosts and travellers on pages 4 and 5, the experience is a blessing for all involved. Israeli travellers will often ask, “Why are you hosting us for free?” and “Why only to Israelis?”. This provides fruitful opportunities for the hosts to have interesting conversations regarding their love for the Jewish people due to their faith in Yeshua.
However, while the number of people hosting is growing, the Hirsch’s had a vision to have a dedicated guesthouse in Australia, that could accommodate more Israelis at one time than any one family could take in. The inspiration for this came from our partner ministry, Celebrate Messiah New Zealand, who have been successfully reaching out to young Israelis by hosting them in their two lodges on the South Island. The first lodge, aptly named “Zula” – Israeli slang for a “comfy place,” has been highly effective as they openly share Yeshua as the reason to provide Israelis with a few nights’ free accommodation.
For many years, it was our firm belief that God was calling us to do the same here in Australia, to provide a safe and peaceful haven for Israelis as they explore our land. We referred to this vision as ZulaRoo. A ‘comfy place’ in Australia.
Then, starting in April 2023, the Lord orchestrated a series of amazing events to make this a swift reality. Through various individuals, Celebrate Messiah received:
- a new lounge suite,
- a refrigerator and a washing machine,
- $357,000 specifically given as a house deposit for this vision, and
- a caravan!
We knew God was moving, however, there was one very important missing component: Who would live-in and run the ZulaRoo?
Amazingly, within weeks, the Hirschs received an email from an Australian missionary family living in Israel. The email read:
“Our time in Israel looks like it’s coming to an end…as we pray about what the Lord wants us to do next, we have been thinking about hostels and backpacking. We are aware there is the Zula lodge in NZ but noticed there is nothing like that in Australia. If you were thinking of setting up a hostel style place, we’d be interested in exploring that with you.”
Wow! God was clearly doing something here!
The family made plans to move back to Australia and we started looking for a house, trusting the Lord would provide the rest of the finances needed to pay it off.
Then, on October 7, 2023, tragedy struck in Israel as 1,200 Israelis lost their lives in a horrific Hamas invasion from the Gaza Strip. The Israel-Hamas War has become a time of grief and sorrow, and Israel seems increasing isolated across the world in their efforts to live in peace.
As the war unfolded, we realised that the ZulaRoo vision might have an even greater purpose than we initially thought. When Israeli travellers begin their journeys anew, they will be carrying the weight of trauma and heartache, seeking meaning and healing. With the rise in antisemitism worldwide, they may be questioning, “…Where is God in all of this?”
In the days following the attack in Israel, God continued to show us favour. We were able to acquire a spacious home along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, exemplifying the tranquillity we aimed to offer Israeli travellers. This house surpassed our expectations in every way, a clear sign that the Lord was guiding this project.
We got the keys to the home in December, and the first Israelis enjoyed their first stay eight days later. The home has the capacity to take in over 150 Israelis per year!
We invite you to join us in this vision, to show these young Israelis the love of Yeshua, their Messiah whom they so desperately need to know.
Now, we need to secure the full cost of purchasing this home – $1.4 million.
Will you join us?
Your prayers for this project are appreciated. If you would like to help purchase this ZulaRoo Surf House, please phone us or visit celebratemessiah.com.au/zularoo.
Our ZulaRoo Hosts: The Boltons Family
“In 2019 God called our family to serve in Israel.
We learned so much about the culture, language and He gave us many beautiful friendships and opportunities to talk to about Yeshua (Jesus).
But after several years God has called us back to Australia to continue the next part of His exciting plan.
Every Israeli when they finish school must serve 2-3 years in the army. This can be a difficult and trying experience and for many it can be very traumatic.
Over time an interesting cultural phenomenon has developed in which these young Israelis take off around the world after their army service, almost as a rite of passage. Some deliberately getting as far from Israel as they can.
Each year more than 75,000 soldiers are discharged after their service and approximately one-third of them head to India and South-East Asia, to South America and many make it as far as Australia and New Zealand.
One of the most fruitful ways to meet Israelis and engage in Gospel conversations is by meeting them on the backpacker trail. And in New Zealand this has been done for many years now at the Zula Lodge, a ministry of Celebrate Messiah.
Zula is Hebrew for a comfortable place. They offer accommodation and loving hospitality to backpackers as they travel. But for all the visitors coming to Australia, there is no such place for them to rest…until now!
Our family will be joining Celebrate Messiah to establish a guest house in Apollo Bay, Victoria. The ZulaRoo Surf House will offer Israeli backpackers a place to explore, experience and encounter the Great Ocean Road, but most importantly, life in Yeshua.
We would love for you to partner with us through prayer and giving as we offer hospitality, hope and the Gospel message to the original messengers.”
– Corey and Sarah Bolton
Corey Bolton is an outreach worker for Celebrate Messiah. You can contribute to the Boltons’ ministry and invite Corey to speak at your organisation by visiting celebratemessiah.com.au/bolton-family
Opening Our Doors and Hearts: Host Israelis
For more than two decades, Celebrate Messiah staff members have opened our homes to Israelis. This year, in collaboration with Chosen People Ministries, we launched Host Israelis—an official organisation dedicated to training hosts for welcoming Israeli backpackers into their homes. This ministry provides an avenue to extend hospitality and share the love of Yeshua with these young Israelis who have recently completed their military service. Here are a few testimonials from both our Israeli backpackers and hosts:
NOTES FROM PAST ISRAELI GUESTS
“Thank you so much for hosting us at your beautiful, loving, open, happy home.
We feel lucky to meet you here, so far away from home. It has been a very special time for us. We learned from you a lot, about family, love, community…
Thank you for everything you do! You are amazing! We are waiting for you at Israel, at our home! With love.”
Hai and Hagar
“Thank you wouldn’t express how grateful we are for all you did for us. We feel so lucky to have this amazing experience with you. We really and truly appreciate all you are doing for Israeli travelers, for Israel and of course personally deep thank you from our bottom of our hearts for making us feel home and family such far away from Israel. We really felt special being here. Just watching movies with you all in the living room like friends! Thank for being our Australian Aba and Ima!! Hope seeing you again.”
Gil and Reut
“Thank you very much for your amazing hosting, you are such nice, warm, happy and good family. You opened your heart and your house for us, wanted to make us happy and we really appreciate you for that.
You are an amazing family, thank you for accepting us without asking questions. We wish you health and love. We will be happy to keep in touch with you and host you in our houses. Always waiting for you in Israel. Love very much.”
Yair and Noya
“So after being at the Himalayan mountains, at Honeymoon in private islands, and trekking at the bush, we can definitely say: your house is one of our best.
Thank you so much 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 favorite places in Israel.
We wish you a lot of nice guests, happiness, health, and LOVE. Many years of “no worries” for Australia and for Israel, too. Thank you for everything!”
Lena and Shaul
“So here we are again, saying goodbye. I really don’t know how to thank you enough for everything you have done and been for me these past few months. A real home away from home. Somewhere safe and warm and loving. Endless love. I’m really gonna miss my Aussie family… A really, beautiful family I was lucky enough to be apart of.
Can’t wait to see you again, maybe in Israel, maybe here in Australia. Lots of love.”
Noa and Keren
TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR HOSTS
“A year ago, around mid 2022, the Rabbi/Pastor from Celebrate Messiah came to our church to preach and share a little of what is going on in their ministry. I personally love it when he comes to visit, as I have a deep passion and heart for Israel and the Israeli people. Like Ruth, a gentile just as I am, I say to them, your God will by my God, and your people, my people! Anyway, he mentioned that there is a great need to host Israeli travellers. After 2-3 years of mandatory army service, young Israelis tend to travel the world before settling down back in Israel. Often on a tight budget, they need a place to stay cost-free. What a beautiful opportunity to do unto the brothers and sisters of Yeshua and so do for my LORD (Matt 25:34-40). My husband and I immediately put our hands up.
It was a year later, in May 2023, when we hosted our first guests. My husband likes his space and generally doesn’t enjoy sharing it with strangers, so this was a huge comfort zone expansion for him, but our first guests paved the way to continue hosting! They surprised us with their openness to talk about deep things and their wonderful sense of humour. There is much teasing in our home, and they fitted right in. We are still in touch with them and pray for them often – especially now during the war.
Ever since our first guests, we have come to love Israel and the Israelis more. They are open-minded, self-sufficient guests who clean up after themselves and even cook a meal or two for the family. Now, that is a blessing for me, a busy mum of 3 young girls. I have loved every conversation I have had with our guests. They have become friends with whom I will remain in contact – hey, maybe even have a place to stay in Israel when I finally get there. They’ve all offered us their homes too. They are easy to talk to and willing to listen.
If you are considering hosting, I would say: “Don’t hesitate!” It could become a beautiful ministry opportunity, but if not, a chance to meet some amazing people who will ultimately bless you, more than you might bless them.”
“When first approached to host Israelis, my intention was to assist Israel. If I couldn’t go there and help in some way, then this would be ideal. Looking after the young people who had finished their army service, I thought I was the one helping but I was doubly blessed. Querying the Lord as to why I felt such intense love for these people I hosted, the answer of course was that this was how He felt, and I had His Spirit.
Over the years I have been hosting, many firm, loving friendships have developed. I am listing just a couple. Barak was hosted in 2009, became a part of my family and took grandson Joshua to the airport museum. Now Barak is a pilot and his home in Rishon LeZion is where I am warmly welcomed every time I visit Israel. The second is Aviel and Gal. A recently married couple now living in Apollo Bay for a few months. Aviel is a baker and at the three Shabbat dinners we spent in my home, he made the challot. They are huggable friends.
What would you get out of hosting? Looking at your city and country through fresh eyes, and if asked, being able to share your own Testimony. As Israelis relaxed in my company there were opportunities to answer their questions about Yeshua, my Messiah. Never forced and always knowing when to stop the conversation. It’s such a privilege to share my life and my home.”
Why Stand with Israel A Biblical Perspective
By Paul Cohen
1. We stand with Israel, not because of a political decision…
Israel is a Biblical issue. The Bible predicted the return of the Jews back to Israel. As such Israel is the only nation created by a Sovereign act of God in the Book of Genesis. Israel was not born on May 15, 1948…it was born 3500 years ago when Almighty God made an Eternal covenant between Abraham, (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 13:14-18; Genesis 15:18-21; Genesis 17); confirm that to Isaac and later to Jacob, Israel and his descendants (see to Isaac in Genesis 26:2-5; to Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15; to Jacob’s children in Genesis 49).
2. We are commanded to Pray for Israel
Those who believe the Bible are commanded in Psalms 122:6 to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.”
Israel is God’s chosen people, God made a covenant with Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people, and promised to bless those who bless his descendants (Genesis 12:1-3). For God affirmed repeatedly His special Covenantal relationship with Israel and His promises to them.
God still loves them “For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob [Israel] is the allotment of His inheritance. . . He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. . . He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.” Deuteronomy 32:9–11
God has compassion for Israel’s condition. God-like behaviour demands that we stand with Israel, Psalm 102:13–14 says:
“You [LORD] will arise and have compassion on Zion; for it is time to be gracious to her, for the appointed time has come. Surely Your servants find pleasure in her stones and feel pity for her dust.”
3. We stand with Israel because we believe in God’s promises
What God has promised in Genesis 12:1-3 to bless every person and nation who blesses Israel and to curse every person and nation that curses Israel. Many churches sing “Standing on the promises” by Russell Kelso Carter (1849-1928)
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Christians should become more vocal supporters of Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks by Hamas and other militant groups. And be critical of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for a boycott of Israel and Jewish companies. God has a purpose for Israel and will stand against those who come up against His promises.
There are promises also made to the Church (Romans 15:27; Ephesians 1:3), and we should acknowledge that God will keep and fulfill His promises to both.
4. We stand with Israel because the Church shares Israel’s spiritual blessings
Salvation is of the Jews! Jesus said those very words(John 4:22) which highlights the unique role of the Jewish people in God’s plan of salvation. He argues that while salvation is ultimately available to all people, it originated with the Jewish people and was first revealed through their history and the Old Testament Scriptures.
Jesus Himself was a Jew, born into a Jewish family and raised within the Jewish tradition. He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament and established the New Covenant, which supersedes the Mosaic Covenant but does not negate its significance.
Israel is central to God’s plan of salvation. God has made a promise that in the fullness of time all Israel will eventually come to know and worship God (Rom 11:25-26).
The apostle Paul has commanded all Gentile believers in Jesus,“For if the Gentiles have benefitted from their spiritual things (the Jewish people) it is the duty of the Gentiles to minister to them in material things.” Rom 15:27. What spiritual blessings have the Jewish people given to us? The Word of God, the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Messiah Jesus, the apostles, including the apostle Paul, and even our salvation. Take away the Jewish contribution to Christianity and there would be no Christianity.
5. We stand with Israel because we believe in the Kingdom of God
Scripture warns us that antisemitism will be punished:
“For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done [to Israel], it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.” Obadiah 15
The Bible prophesies that Israel will play a central role in the end times, when Jesus Christ will return to earth to establish His kingdom. Praying for Israel is a way of praying for God’s kingdom to come Matthew 6:10. (See Zechariah 12:1-10, Revelation 22:1-5)
The Lord Jesus affirms the Old Testament prophecies regarding the restoration of Israel as a nation. For instance, Matthew 24:32-34 states, “Truly I tell you, this generation (of the end times) will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. As for that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” This passage suggests that Israel’s restoration is a crucial event in God’s plan, and its existence is tied to the fulfillment of biblical prophecies.
6. We stand with Israel in obedience to the Lord
Jesus the Messiah our Lord said,“I say to you, ‘In as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matt 25:40). The phrase“My brethren” refers to the Jewish people. Jesus never called the Gentiles His brethren until the Cross
7. We support Israel because Israel has the Biblical right to exist!
We call on the Church, to recognise Israel’s right to exist and to stand with her and refrain from attacking her, for those that do, attack the Promises of God, attack God Himself.
God made an eternal, unconditional covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15), promising him that his descendants will be given the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. This covenant is the basis for the Biblical claim that the Jewish people have a right to the Land of Israel.
8. God is a Zionist
Some examples of Biblical passages
1. Land Promises:
• Genesis 12:7: “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land…”
• Deuteronomy 30:5: “And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shalt possess it; and He will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers.”
• Ezekiel 36:28: “And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you (ye) shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
2. Jerusalem’s Significance
• Psalm 87:2-3 The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places in Jacob. Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah
• Psalm 122:6: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”
• Psalm 137:1-6: “By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!
• Isaiah 2:3: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
• Zechariah 8:3: “Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.”
These passages highlight the importance of Jerusalem in God’s plan.
3. Restoration and Return:
• Isaiah 43:5-6 “Fear not: for I am with you: I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.”
• Jeremiah 31:7-8: “For thus said the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth…”
• Ezekiel 37:11-12 “Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore, prophesy and say unto them, Thus said the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.”
Some specific verses that Christians should pray for Israel:
• Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:6-9)
• Pray for the salvation of the Jewish people. (Romans 10:1)
• Pray for the leaders of Israel. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
• Pray for the protection of Israel. (Psalm 91:1-16)
• Pray for the prosperity of Israel. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14)
• Pray for the Church to stand with Israel for the apostle to the Gentiles; Paul says: “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!” (Romans 11:1). God has a place and a plan for her, will you speak up?
To all Bible believers, let us UNITE to stand up and speak up for the State of Israel, Pray for her safety and Pray for the Salvation of the Jewish People, for the Saviour will come to her and will save our Jewish brothers and sisters.
God has a place and a plan for Israel, will you speak up for her?
Paul Cohen is an outreach worker for Celebrate Messiah. He previously managed Brit Chadashah, which is now known as Beit Shalom, in Sydney, Australia. You can contribute to Paul’s ministry, take his online courses, and invite him to speak at your organisation by visiting celebratemessiah.com.au/paul-cohen
We aim to raise $1.4 million in order to cover the ZulaRoo Lodge expenses. To learn more about ZulaRoo and to keep up with our latest updates, go to celebratemessiah.com.au/zularoo. If our newsletter has inspired you to contribute, kindly visit celebratemessiah.com.au/donate. Choose “A specific area or missionary” in the “Donation Allocation” section, and then specify “ZulaRoo” under “Designated Area.” You can make your payment through our online portal, bank deposit, or by cheque. We greatly value your generosity as it aids us in spreading the message of Yeshua to more Israelis!
Explore the many resources in our Online Store to kickstart your 2024.
Our Messianic Jewish Art Calendar will immerse your eyes and your spirit in the Holy Land with breath-taking photography and heartfelt intercessory prayer. A portion of every calendar sale goes to support ministry in Israel through the Tel Aviv Messianic Center.
With our Appointed Times Planner, journey into understanding the profound meanings of the Biblical Feast days and how Messiah has and will fulfil all the appointed times on God’s clock. Join in celebrating local Israeli holidays and the weekly scripture readings used in Judaism around the world, and corresponding verses from the Brit Hadashah (New Testament) to understand that God’s scripture is an integrated whole.