It is exciting to share the following reports from our remarkable Israel staff. Here, Rachel G. gives an exciting overview of the work there:
Our work in Israel is dynamic and creative! It reaches so many segments of Israel’s population and it makes me excited to try to keep up with all the news that flows in from our workers. It is only by God’s grace that we are able to serve the poor and needy in a number of cities, with the blessing of local government officials. We are humbled when we can walk inside a Holocaust survivor’s home and pray with them—their journey has been long and difficult, so for them to be open to understand God’s love is amazing. You never know when, sitting at a bustling Tel Aviv café, your neighbor might lean over to start a conversation and that conversation quickly turns to Jesus! It seems like our workers’ motto in Israel is to “always be ready to give an account for the hope that is within.” It’s simply within the everyday life that we can so easily and excitedly share about Jesus with Israelis who want to listen and engage the conversation.
Personal ministry takes place in a variety of ways. The following are just a small sampling of the work that happens every day in Israel:
One of our dedicated staff members in Israel has befriended an Orthodox young man through a mutual interest in sports. Over the last few years, they have become very close. He shares this touching story:
A wise man once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This was proven to me during the last two visits with a good friend of mine (who is Orthodox). He is going through some very difficult times, and as we visited together he listened patiently as I pleaded with him to draw near to the word of God. As I spoke about my faith in Yeshua, a sarcastic smile appeared on his face and he said, “You know…the only reason I’m sitting here and listening to this stuff is because I know that you care about me.” In the end, he even let me pray for him in Yeshua’s name. Many times in life, we need to earn the right to be heard. There is no simple solution except to invest time and sincere love into people. Sometimes it can take years or even a lifetime before someone trusts you enough to let you challenge their belief system. The reason for this is because after such a deep investment, our friends can know for sure that our motivation is sincere love and not a motivation of trying to prove “who is right and who is wrong.” My friend has still not given his life to Yeshua, but I know without a doubt that he has felt Yeshua loving him through me. My challenge to us all is to keep cultivating our relationships with patience and sincere love, waiting on the Lord for the time when the heart’s soil will be ready to receive the seed of life. Please keep my friend in your prayers asking the Father to reveal Himself in his life.
Gabi G. is another dedicated member of our Israel staff. Part of his ministry is to follow up with those who inquire through our online ministries. Gabi shares this wonderful story:
I logged onto the Isaiah 53 Facebook page in order to respond to the dozen messages left from a wide range of people. When I responded to Ron* he answered immediately as he was online. Ron wanted me to know right away that Jesus is not the Messiah. I asked him if he received his copy of Isaiah 53 Explained, and he responded that he had. He had even read it! Ron told me that it was pointless trying to share Jesus with Israelis and that we should just stop so we don’t waste anyone’s time. I replied that it is important to understand who Messiah is according to the Scriptures and only then should we make a decision about the truth of Jesus. Ron agreed with me! We are now looking through the Scripture to understand the role and purpose of Messiah. Please pray that Ron will continue to have a softened heart and be open to consider that Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel.
Finally, Robynne B. who ministers in Israel and around the globe through our backpacker ministry, shares this exciting story of a young Israeli girl coming to faith in Messiah! Robynne writes:
Nina* is a young Israeli I met through a friend. She comes from a secular Israeli family. She heard about Jesus and was curious to hear more and meet a Jewish person who believes in Jesus. I shared how and why I came to believe in Jesus and the things He did in my life. We met several times, looking at prophecies and things Jesus said in the Gospels.
One day Nina looked at me and said, “I don’t understand it all yet, but I believe. I love the love Jesus gives, I feel it. I believe I will understand more over time.” I could see the joy on her face! Please pray for Nina as her family is very mixed in their reaction to her decision. Some say, “Do what makes you happy,” while others are upset with her seeking Jesus. Pray she will continue to grow in Him and her family would want His love too.
*name has been changed