Dear friend of Celebrate Messiah,
Shalom and blessings to you in Yeshua our Passover Lamb! Very soon we will be celebrating Passover, and telling the story of God’s miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.
During this coronavirus pandemic, I believe that the Passover motif is especially powerful. Just as the Israelites were obedient to God and by faith painted the blood of the Passover lambs on the doorposts of their houses, so that the Angel of Death would pass over their homes, so too do we who believe in Yeshua the Messiah apply his blood to the doorposts of our hearts, lives, homes and families at this time. We are praying and believing with you that this plague will pass over, and we will be saved. Our prayers go out to all those who are suffering and affected right now. May God’s grace abound to you in your current circumstances.
There is a beautiful prayer in the Passover Haggadah that says; “Thus it is our duty to thank, to laud, to praise, to glorify, to exalt, to adore, to bless, to elevate and to honour the One who did all these miracles for our fathers and for us. He took us from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to festivity, and from deep darkness to great light and from bondage to redemption. Let us therefore recite before Him Halleluyah, Praise G‑d!
This prayer made me think of the photo of a poster that I once took in the north of Israel, in the Golan Heights. It said, “We don’t believe in miracles – We depend on them.”
This is so true; not only because the Lord delivered us from slavery to freedom at Passover time, but also because the continued existence of the Jewish people in the first place, and the modern State of Israel, is truly the result of a miracle-working God.
We at Celebrate Messiah say the same thing; we don’t believe in miracles, we depend upon them!
Every time a Jewish person comes to faith in the Messiah and is born again, it is a miracle. Every time a new worker joins the harvest, it is a miracle. Every time we start a new mission project somewhere in Australia, or around the world like Russia or Israel, it is a miracle. Every month that the ministry of Celebrate Messiah continues, it is a miracle. And this year we have been going for 25 years. Twenty five years of not just believing in miracles, but depending up them. Hallelujah!
Twenty Five Years of Jewish Evangelism!
I do want to thank the Lord for his faithfulness to the ministry of Celebrate Messiah for these past 25 years. Thank you too to all our faithful supporters, some who have been with us from the very beginning, and others who have joined more recently. Thank you so much for believing in our ministry, and for the faith that you exercise every time you give.
This year has already seen many challenges in Australia: unprecedented bushfires, storms, floods and now, together with the rest of the world, we are facing the coronavirus. We are all concerned and we pray for those already affected and for the families who have lost loved ones.
But during this time, we cannot forget the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19–20, ESV)
The message of the Messiah must continue to go out “to the Jew first… and also the Gentile” (Rom 1:16). It is during times like these, when people are concerned about life and death issues, about finances and food, about their personal well-being, that the Gospel’s power is clearly manifest.
When things are going well, we can often ignore the Lord. But when we are faced with our own mortality and challenges in life, we realise, all the more, our need for personal salvation, and that there is no hope for humanity outside of the Gospel.
We need to remember that the Lord is still in control, and the answer to the problems of life is still Yeshua, for Jew and Gentile alike. After all, he did warn us that before his return, there would be the “birth pangs” (Matt 24:8). It is during this time that we need to do more to reach Jewish people, not less.
After 25 years of Jewish evangelism, your mission to the Jewish people is poised to do more in sharing the Gospel with Jewish people than ever before.
We are just a few months out from completing construction of the first custom-built Messianic centre in the Southern Hemisphere. The Caulfield Messianic Centre will be a testimony that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel, right in the heart of the largest Jewish community in Australia. More importantly and strategically, the Caulfield Messianic Centre will be a place from which we can train the next generation of leaders for the Messianic movement in Australia and around the world. Please pray that we will be able to complete this centre debt-free.
All around Australia, New Zealand and in the Far East of Russia, our missionaries are reaching out to Jewish people through relational evangelism, online and in person, through hosting special events, through community engagement, through congregational ministry and through reaching out to Israeli backpackers.
Don’t Let the Coronavirus Stop Jewish Evangelism
Our dear friends and supporters, please do not let the coronavirus concerns stop or distract us from the need to continue to support Jewish evangelism. The Gospel must continue to go forth to Jew and Gentile alike. Remember: We don’t believe in miracles. We depend on them.
Like our Messiah, let us reach out and touch those who are in need around us. Now is a great time to be serving the Lord.
Thank you for the privilege that you’ve given Celebrate Messiah to serve the Lord at this time through your support and your prayers.
May you have a blessed 2020.
Your brother in Messiah,
Executive Director of Celebrate Messiah Australia
INTRODUCING THE ZULAROO NETWORK
Establishing a hosting network in Australia for Israeli travellers has been a long-standing goal of Lawrence and Louise, who have hosted many Israelis in their home over the past few years.
Over the Summer holidays, outreach worker Mark had the opportunity to volunteer for six weeks at the Zula Lodge in New Zealand. This enabled him to experience first-hand the tremendous opportunities for Jewish evangelism through the simple and biblical approach of showing love and hospitality.
Mark returned to Australia with fresh vision and inspiration, and together with Louise, over the past three months, we are pleased to report that Celebrate Messiah has now officially launched the ZulaRoo network, and held a number of events as well as welcoming new hosts.
A webpage was launched on the Celebrate Messiah website to serve as a portal for ZulaRoo volunteer hosts. The website will provide information, online application forms, and eventually be a virtual hub for hosts to share testimonies, photos, and access quality training materials.
We are excited to report that five new hosts have been welcomed to the ZulaRoo network. We are working closely with Chosen People Ministries as well as Celebrate Messiah New Zealand who are also working on and expanding and consolidating their networks.
Once a month on a Saturday night, we have hosted a Hummus Night, inviting the Israeli backpackers and young adults from Beit HaMashiach as well as extending the invitation to local young Jewish adults.
There have been many wonderful discussions among a healthy mix of young Israelis and Australians, Jews and Gentiles, believers and not-yet believers, with shared testimonies and friendships created through these evenings. We hope to expand these sorts of events in the Caulfield Messianic Centre when it opens.
Louise reports that, “One young Jewish boy, Lior, had his father pick him up, and his dad stayed for another hour asking so many questions. He cried when I introduced him to our disabled daughter Sarah asleep in her bed and I told him her story. He was so moved and has said he wants to come to our congregation.”
Roadtrips to the countryside
A great way to have conversations about faith, is on the road with guests, sharing a meal by the campfire or sleeping under the stars. Israelis love to travel and are keen to see some of the great natural wonders of Victoria such as the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Rd. Mark took a group to Warburton, a gorgeous country town nestled along the banks of the Yarra River at the foot of Mt Donna Buang.
A highlight was speaking at length with Roy, a young Israeli, who had been moved to tears the week before when he came to Beit HaMashiach. “A week later I found myself hosting Roy for three nights at my home, and on the last evening, we spoke for hours about Yeshua. I offered him a New Testament in Hebrew, and he said that Louise had already given him one and that he would definitely read it.
Looking to God for Healing
Our ministry in Israel has blessed Holocaust survivors with a free eye clinic. Beit Sar Shalom in conjunction with Chosen People Ministries in the US, arranged eyesight checks and glasses, visiting 7 different cities and blessing more than 300 people. Each person also received a bible and other spiritual literature as a gift. When it’s possible, Maxim and his team will follow up with home visits.
As with everywhere in the world at the moment, many events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus, including a children’s camp on the Jordan River banks; two evangelistic trips with groups of Holocaust survivors to Denmark and Poland, and a Passover presentation in Germany.
Please pray for the material and spiritual needs for those precious people missing out on this vital ministry.
Joshua Challenged by Isaiah
When Joshua came to visit his family in Melbourne, he called our missionary Barry to meet up and chat. A few years back, Barry had given him a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained to read. Joshua read the book and shared, “It ignited something within me.” Joshua then went on to seek an answer from renowned anti-missionary Rabbi Tovia Singer, who completely rejects the fact that Isaiah 53 speaks about Yeshua, the suffering servant. Barry sat with Joshua for two hours in a kosher restaurant in Caulfield debating this truth. Please pray that the truth has penetrated Joshua’s heart and the truth will set him free.
Using Technology for Good
Celebrate Messiah’s Messianic fellowship in Sydney, Brit Chadashah, showed the lead when they started to video their Shabbat services in February and post them to Facebook. Now with services cancelled due to the coronavirus all congregations are working out ways to present services online. Beit HaMashiach in Melbourne began livestreaming Shabbat services last month, as did Hineh Yeshua Messianic Congregation in Canberra. Please refer to our websites and Facebook pages for the latest updates on how you can access our services and other meetings.
Our website addresses are:
MIKVEH IN THE MURRUMBIDGEE
Robert Miles from Hineh Yeshua Congregation in Canberra immersing two new believers, including a Muslim background believer from Jordan, in the Murrumbidgee River.
CAULFIELD MESSIANIC CENTRE PROGRESS
We have just reached lock up and are preparing for the third and final stage of construction which involves the fitting out. We remain hopeful that we’ll have occupancy by the end of the third quarter of the year and be able to celebrate the High Holy Days in our new centre. We still have around $300,000 to raise, so please pray with us that we can complete this project debt free.
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Virtual Passover Seder Live Streamed!
Thursday 9 April
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