Rita Ivenskis  / Melbourne

Rita Ivenskis

Rita was born in Odessa in the Ukraine and came to live in Australia some 20 years ago. Soon after arriving in Australia, she met and married Eliah who was from originally from Lithuania and whose father was a Holocaust survivor.

Rita first first heard the Gospel in 1992 when a Christian friend witnessed to her about Yeshua. Rita wholeheartedly received the good news but wasn’t ready to go to church opting to study the at home with her friend. During this time she endured a lot of opposition from her Jewish family and friends.

In 1996 Rita met Lawrence Hirsch, the Director of Celebrate Messiah, and started to attend the Russian bible study that he was leading for Russian Jews. A short time later, Rita was baptised together with 6 other Jewish believers and she recalls that being a great turning point in her life. Rita says, “the Lord started working in my life almost immediately and I began to share the Gospel with many of my Russian Jewish people.”

Rita has been gifted by God as a soul-winner and has been used by God to lead many Russian Jewish people to the Lord. Rita says, I feel that Russian Jewish people are becoming more open and ready to receive the Gospel and they are hungry for the word of God.

In the past several years Celebrate Messiah has seen over 300 Russian Jewish people come to faith in Messiah. Rita leads several Bible studies for Russian Jewish people all around Melbourne as well as helping with Celebrate Messiah’s Russian Jewish outreach which is called Dom Missi’ee (House of Messiah) which meets in the centre of the Russian Jewish community in St Kilda in Melbourne. Rita has also helped pioneer the work amongst Jewish people in the Far East of Russia, Siberia and the Ural Mountain area.