22 December 2012

Songs From The Wasteland

Psalm 137:4-6 (Msg)  “Oh, how could we ever sing God’s song in this wasteland?”

This was the question Ahuva* had an answer to as she watched the group of secular and Orthodox Jewish women, all terror victims, pray together during the Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year) celebration a few months ago.

“Bless us all with a year of peace.”


“Bless our children that they might come and go in safety.”


“Bless us that this year we will learn to love the Arabs and not hate them.”

And all gathered echoed another hearty, “Amen!!”

This is not the kind of exchange one would expect to hear from those whose lives have been changed forever by personally experiencing a terrorist act.  Yet this is the kind of response Ahuva is beginning to see with the women she works with in Israel.

Orthodox women praying at the Kotel
Ahuva runs an organisation dedicated to helping terror victims recover from their traumatic experiences.  She reaches out to this broken group of people and gently, with the compassionate love of God, helps them to take steps towards regaining some sense of normality and healing in their lives.  This year, Ahuva was able to provide special events for these ladies during the fairly long Feast and celebration season which is part of the Jewish calendar.  It was her delight to report, “We have been awed to stand on the side lines over the past weeks and watch the kindness of God, drawing these women back to the land of the living.  Those, who even last year wept with loss and grief, who went to ‘sleep’ for a month to avoid appearing before God with joy during the Feasts, have this year been singing a new song!”

07 December 2012

Do You Believe In Miracles?

“What did you learn in Sunday School today?”

“We learnt all about how the Israelites escaped from Egypt!  Dad, it was great!  Pharaoh wanted to kill all the Hebrews, but there was a huge airplane that came down and picked them all up, just as the Egyptians were coming to get them.  Then the Egyptians got in their planes to chase them but just as they were catching up, there was a big storm and all their planes crashed in the ocean and they drowned.  And the Israelites escaped to the desert!”

“Wow!  Did your Sunday School teacher really say that?”

“Well, not exactly.  But you’d never believe me if I told you what she really said!”

How well we know the stories of the Bible told to us in Sunday School classes, illustrated in children’s Bible versions, and shared at family devotion times when we were young.  But stories of incredible miracles can sometimes become a little common place over the years, and we can forget the amazing and incredulous aspects of God at work!

Perhaps, this is where we can learn a little from the Jewish tradition of Feasts and celebrations.  In the biblical account of the Exodus, God instructed the people to recount this miraculous event each year with special traditions and the Feast of Passover.  It was a principle learned well, evidenced by the Jewish people instituting similar instructions for annual celebrations, reminding them of other ‘nation saving’ events each year like Purim (the story of Esther) and Hanukah, when the Maccabees defeated the Greek-Syrian army and rededicated the temple.

Hanukah is an 8 day celebration, this year starting on the evening of 8th Dec, and concluding on the 16th.  There are several miracles remembered: The miracle of a small band of Jewish men defeating an army; the miracle of courage, of those who dared to stand for their beliefs against the flow of society; the miracle of a little cruse of oil burning for eight days, when it should have lasted for only one.  Jewish people around the world will light candles on the ‘hanukiah’ each night: on the first night, one candle; on the second night, two candles; and so forth, until the eighth night when the whole hanukiah is ablaze!  They are proclaiming the miracle from centuries ago and praising God for all the miracles He has done.  Games are played with a dreidel (spinning top), carrying the phrase ‘A Great Miracle happened There’.  Traditional songs are sung recounting Israel’s victories from her ancient enemies.  And of course, as with most Jewish Feasts, there is special food to eat, this time cooked in oil, like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (donuts).

01 December 2012

This Year Was Different

We love to hear about opportunities the Lord opens up to share the truth with those we meet. This report from Adonai Roi Messianic Congregation in Tel Aviv, shares about a recent encounter with University students from overseas.

"For the third year in a row, our Associate Pastor, Shmuel, was asked to address a group of students visiting Israel from a major university in the United States about Messianic Judaism and the persecution that Messianic Jews face in Israel.  Two professors, an Orthodox Jew and a Quaker, led this group whose purpose is to expose the students to the various minority groups in Israel.  Shmuel shared about the history of Messianic Judaism, going far back into history to explain how the rift between Judaism and Christianity developed, even though Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the first Century.

What made this year unique from previous years was the direction our conversation with the students took.

24 November 2012

Israel Report 2012

Adonai Roi praying for the situation in Israel
It's not everyday that during the weekly worship service, you are given instructions about what to do in the event of an air raid siren. But that is exactly what Karen and Amanda experienced last week as they joined with Adonai Roi Congregation for their Shabbat service.

They have just returned from a self-funded trip to Israel to visit the ministries supported by Your People My People and were encouraged to see how the local believers are growing in their faith, making a difference in their families and communities.
Meeting with Dan from Dugit, Tel Aviv

They visited six different ministries and had the opportunity to hear first hand, the passion and desire of the leaders to transform their nation for Yeshua (Jesus).

"Every day, we visited with local believers, hearing about their daily struggles but also about the Lord’s faithfulness in the midst of heartbreaking situations. What a privilege to witness how God is building up a remnant in Israel with their eyes fixed firmly on Him."

10 November 2012

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

Holocaust survivor receives food vouchers
When the Helping Hand Coalition representatives arrived at Holocaust survivor, Olga's house, her fridge was almost empty. All that remained were a few spoiled fruit and vegetables that she knew would need to last a few more days before she could afford to buy more groceries. When she received the supermarket vouchers, her eyes filled with tears and her face broke into a smile as she exclaimed, "And you friends, arrived as a blessing from heaven and an answer to my prayers!"

Helping Hand Coalition seeks to offer practical help to Holocaust survivors living in Israel. Many of these elderly heroes are living below the poverty line. Supermarket vouchers help to ease some of these hardships and the friendly, warm personalities of the HHC staff also bring a ray of sunshine into the homes of the survivors they are visiting.

During September and October, the Holocaust survivors received extra supermarket vouchers to buy special food for the Jewish holidays. HHC staff and volunteers visited the survivors in their homes and there was much joy and warmth as the elderly and their young visitors shared time together. They were especially touched by the consistent visits and care around the Jewish Holiday time and the vouchers that enabled them to join with the rest of society and buy traditional holiday food.

03 November 2012

A Little Fishing Boat in Tel Aviv

‘Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”’   Matthew 4:19

When Yeshua called some of his disciples, they were tending to their ‘dugit’, their little fishing boat on the Galilee.  It was during that first conversation that the phrase ‘fishers of men’ was used by Yeshua, and is a sentiment through which many Christians still find motivation today:  to ‘fish’ people into God’s kingdom!

Some of the Jewish believers that Your People My People know in Tel Aviv, also embrace this concept.  In fact, as a permanent reminder of their vision, their Messianic Outreach Centre is called, ‘Dugit’ – a small fishing boat in the heart of Tel Aviv, reaching out to their fellow Israelis with the good news of the Messiah!  Over the last 6 months, Dugit has seen over 3000 people come through its doors, has given away more than 700 free books and Gospels, and on average, served around 30 cups of free coffee a day.  They are excited about the opportunities to share the gospel with those who pop in, either for conversation or even requesting prayer.  The staff are always seeking new ways to reach out.

Dugit also has many overseas visitors that come to help with the ‘fishing’. 

27 October 2012

A Great Harvest In The Middle East!

A few weeks ago, Iranian security forces raided a prayer meeting in Shiraz, South Iran. Church members were threatened and several leaders arrested and detained at a Ministry of Intelligence detention centre. This is just the latest incident in a series of harassments against Christians in Iran. According to the organisation, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, there has been an alarming rise in detentions of members of evangelical house churches in Iran. Most were interrogated for lengthy periods, suffering verbal and sometimes physical abuse. Many were released after questioning, but some have spent weeks or months in prison, suffering repeated interrogations, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, and pressure to inform on others and abandon their faith. It is believed that the Islamic leadership are concerned about the growth of the house churches in Iran and the numbers of Muslims converting to Christianity. The church in Iran and throughout the Middle East need our prayers. As has so often happened throughout history, times of persecution are bringing about a harvest of new believers. God is moving, drawing both the children of Ishmael and the children of Isaac back to himself.

Iranian House Church
In Israel, the population is also concerned about Iran - particularly the Iranian government and the increasingly aggressive threats coming their way. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has, since 2005, declared his intention to wipe the people of Israel from the pages of history. The continued development of Iran's nuclear program has certainly added a very serious note to the verbal threat. The believers in Israel, both Arab and Jewish are watching the news and standing together to pray for God's mercy and deliverance from the hand of Iran. Messianic Jews and Christian Arabs alike believe the tensions with Iran will lead to a great harvest in Israel, with many coming to faith from both Jewish and Muslim backgrounds.

Rania Sayegh, is an Arab Christian and intercessor from Nazareth. She has been praying about the situation with Iran for many years. From the first time she read in the news about Ahmadinejad's desire to destroy Israel, she felt an urgency to pray. During prayer, the Lord gave her a picture of a large creature rising up over Iran. She wanted to fight the creature in her vision but the Lord said, 'Don't war: worship, because this is my war, not your war.' As she began to worship, the creature in her vision shrank and crumbled.

13 October 2012

"I looked for a man..."

We were chatting with an Israeli pastor in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago,  and mentioned the news snippets we’d heard about the possibility of a war between Iran and Israel.  We had seen a scam email do the rounds on Facebook and had heard talk of pre-emptive strikes.  We had also heard repeated the now familiar rhetoric from Iran about ‘wiping out the Zionist entity’ and ‘removing Israel from the global map’.  It’s not always easy to sift out the rumour from the reality.  How can we know what’s really going on?    We know the scriptures talk of wars yet to come, and also instruct us to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’.  How can we pray effectively when it’s not always clear to us what God’s agenda might be in such a situation?

One thing we can know for sure is that Israel is, and has been for some time, preparing for the possibility of a conflict with her neighbours.  Gas masks have been issued to the population, emergency situation drills have been conducted, a dedicated radio station for alerts is in place and an early warning system using personal mobile phones has been set up.  Local pastors have been preparing their congregations for the possibility of a war, encouraging them to have emergency supplies at home and to know the location of their nearest bomb shelter, if they don’t have one already built into their apartments and homes.

06 October 2012

For one of the least of these...

for one of the least of these...
Over the years, Agape Distribution Centre, has helped and served hundreds of needy people in the greater Tel Aviv area. Based out of a small shop, in the centre of the city, Agape provides monthly food packages and clothing to families and individuals living below the poverty line. Every month, more than 90 families come to this facility to receive a package of essential food items and to browse racks of second-hand clothing. Agape is run by members of ‘Adonai Roi’ (The Lord is My Shepherd), congregation, a local Messianic fellowship led by Avi Mizrachi. The friendly staff aim to live out the words of Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Many of the families who come, have never met believers in Yeshua (Jesus) before and are curious to know what motivates the staff to be so kind and helpful. It is an opportunity to share about faith in the Messiah and to offer to pray for them and their situations. One man, who was very sick, received prayer and later returned full of joy because he had been healed. Another man asked for prayer for restoration in relationships with his family and was amazed when he was reconciled with his mother after several years of not speaking. After receiving practical help and prayer, many of the people are open to take home Bibles for their families and to read more about the Messiah who cares.

26 September 2012

The Final Sacrifice: Jesus, The Day of Atonement and the Talmud

Does the Talmud (the Jewish Oral Law) confirm the validity of the sacrificial death of Jesus (Yeshua)? Watch this very interesting video about writings in the Jewish Talmud concerning the The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) sacrifices after AD30.

14 September 2012

Surviving the Holocaust: Love your Neighbour

My name is Blanche Benedick and I was born in Copenhagen in Denmark, on 20 September 1933. My father had a small factory. He was a wonderful man who could turn his hand to anything to look after the family. My mother always seemed to be in the kitchen. I remember coming home from school and being greeted by delicious cooking smells. I had an older brother and sister from my father’s first marriage. My younger sister was born later, in Sweden.

We lived in a second-floor flat in a mainly Jewish area in Copenhagen. It was a traditional Jewish home and we lit our candles every Friday night. We didn’t go to synagogue every Saturday, but we always went at festival times. Before the war, we also kept the special dietary rules at home. I have very clear memories of the festival of Passover. Grandfather would go through all the prayers and songs from beginning to end – which takes hours! I was only about 10 and we weren't allowed to eat until he had finished – about 11pm! I used to sit and look at the painting on the wall – a table with a big bunch of grapes – and I used to count the grapes. I still have that painting at home today and I treasure it.

As a child, I liked sports and singing, but I also loved playing outdoors. I had my dolls and pram and used to take them for walks on Sundays with Mona, my friend from across the road. Mona was my best friend, but she wasn't Jewish. We went to school on the same tram, although to different schools. I started at a Jewish school when I was about seven and can remember my first day. We had to wear little aprons and the first class was like nursery school; you learnt a few things and got used to playing with other children. I stayed at that school until I was ten.

When war broke out and the Germans invaded Denmark in 1940, we suffered the same curfews and rationing as other countries, and there was bombing. We had to run down to the cellar whenever there were air raids. There was a lot of talk about the Jewish people – that things were going to get worse for them. One day at school, the headmaster called me into his office and said, ‘You know there’s a war on?’ And I replied, ‘Of course I do.’ By then I was ten and knew what was happening. He went on, ‘Well, Mona’s mother came to see me today and said you have to go back to their house this afternoon. Your mother and father are there as well.’ So I went back to Mona’s after school. My mother was sitting crying and my father was pacing up and down, looking worried. Mona’s mother said, ‘Don’t worry, Blanche, you’re going to stay here with us for a few days. We’re going to hide you because we've heard that all the Jews are going to be rounded up.’ That was in October 1943.

12 September 2012

What's so Holy about the Holi-days?

In line with the Jewish calendar, the High Holy Days are upon us this year.  But as Gentiles, why would we be interested in these events?  We know that Jesus participated in the Feasts and culture of the day, but then, He was Jewish.  Do the times and seasons set up by God way back in Moses’ days have an impact on us as Believers today?  Here are a few thoughts to think about:

Rosh HaShana - Head of the Year
Leviticus 23:23-25

Otherwise known as the Feast of Trumpets, it was simply to be a holy day celebrated by the blowing of the trumpet/shofar.  Today it is acknowledged with several different shofar blasts, and marks the beginning of the ‘10 Days of Awe’ - a solemn time of soul searching in preparation for Yom Kippur.  During this time, God’s forgiveness is sought and His judgment is feared.  One considers their ’sins’ before God and enters into a time of repentance, seeking forgiveness from God and from those you may have hurt.  It is also a time of restitution.
  As modern day believers, the sound of the trumpet blast is also very significant to us. It is mentioned several times in New Testament writings, not the least of which being the  signalling of the end of an age, and the beginning of a new season when at ‘the last trumpet’ we shall all be changed! (1Cor 15:51-53)

Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement
Leviticus 23:26-32

The holiest day of the Biblical year.  The only day the High Priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies, to approach the Lord where He resided over the mercy seat.  First the Priest had to go through a series of sacrifices to atone for not only his own sin, but the sins of all the people.  After this, the ‘scape-goat’ was released into the desert to carry away the sins of the people .  Then, and only then could the Priest dare to approach the most holy of places and sprinkle the blood from the sacrifices onto the Ark of the Covenant.
We know, according to God’s Word, that the blood of bulls and goats did not provide full and permanent forgiveness.  Each year the Priest had to go through the rituals, each year new animals had to be sacrificed, and each year a new goat wandered off into the wilderness.  Through Jesus life, death and resurrection, God provided a ‘once and for all’ solution to sin: He was the sacrifice, He used His blood, and He took on our sin on our behalf.
Not long after this, the temple was destroyed for the last time.  Since then there has been no provision for the sacrificial system to be reinstituted.  Today the Jewish people try to gain absolution through prayer and good deeds and spend the Day of Atonement in prayer and fasting, hoping that their names be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.

25 August 2012

Immersion into Life

Tel Aviv Coast
Baptism - it happens at different ages, in different ways, with different ceremonies and experiences.  Even Yeshua (Jesus) would have taken part in ritual and ceremonial washing practices as a practicing Jew in the First Century before entering the temple at the special feast times.  When his cousin came along, the man we often call ‘John the Baptist’, he offered a new insight into immersion in water.  Immersion for the Jewish person was already symbolic of consecration to God, but John talked about a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”.  When it came time for Yeshua to start his public ministry, he first insisted that John baptise him saying, “It is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.”    It was an essential part of God’s plan of righteousness that Yeshua needed to fulfil.

From there we know the apostles and early believers also taught that immersion in water was an important, if not vital part of our life of faith as followers of Yeshua, and through the centuries, this has filtered down the different cultures, until we arrive at the varied practices we have today.

For the Israeli believers today, immersion is still an important act and expression for someone living a life of faith in Yeshua.  Many congregations do not have their own facilities to hold worship services, and even less to baptise or immerse people, so it is not unusual for Adonai Roi, a congregation in Tel Aviv, to walk down to the beach and take advantage of the wonderful Mediterranean Sea for this purpose!  At other times they will hire a bus and drive to the shores of the Galilee, not far from Capernaum, where Yeshua began His ministry and take time for fellowship, fun and to baptise new believers into the Body of Messiah.

Adonai Roi Congregation also run Dugit Messianic Outreach Centre.  Dan, Dugit’s Outreach Director, shared the testimony of Ya’acov* who was immersed during one of these trips:

12 August 2012

Can Holocaust Survivors Survive Life after the Holocaust?

Watch the Video interviews at the end of this article
Israeli TV journalists, Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz enter the small apartment of Esther Frank, a survivor of Auschwitz and Theresienstadt Concentration Camps. They are making a documentary about the plight of Holocaust Survivors in Israel. Esther is reading a letter using a magnifying glass and doesn't notice their arrival. It takes two or three attempts to get her attention before Esther looks up and breaks into a smile as she recognises her visitors from TV. "I watch television," she says, "sports too. I'm interested in everything." Orly asks her why she doesn't wear a hearing aid to help her hear better. Esther looks embarrassed and replies "I can't afford those things. How would I pay for it? From my 3,000 shekels (about £470) a month?"  Orly asks her if its enough to live on. "Of course its not enough." she replies.

Esther lost all her family in the Holocaust. At 88 years of age, she does not have a pension, just the small amount she receives from Social Security. She lives alone and leaves her front door unlocked so that neighbours can find her if she falls and can't get up. The week before the interview, a thief had walked into her home and searched for valuables as she sat watching helplessly. She didn't have anything except 87 shekels in cash (about £14) which he took.

Elizabeth Dargotzki lives on 1,700 shekels (about £270) a month. She has to spend about £50 a month on medication. Sometimes she doesn't have enough money left to buy food. "I was in the ghetto so I know about hunger." she says. "For me, hunger is nothing. I'm used to it." The journalists ask her about her family. She had a daughter but she died. Now she is alone.

04 August 2012

Loving them into the Kingdom

Dugit Outreach Centre

Dugit Messianic Outreach Centre has welcomed volunteers for many years.  People who have a desire to come and spend time with the ministry can get involved with what the local believers are doing.  Volunteers have the opportunity to not only serve the Lord in Israel, but also get to know the culture a little, hear God’s heart for the people, and leave with a deeper understanding of how to reach them with the good news of Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah!

Your People My People has been witness to, and heard many testimonies over many years at Dugit.  Recently, a Canadian nurse named Julie came to Tel Aviv and volunteered at Dugit Centre.  It was on her heart to assist, and share the Father’s love, to those in need and during her time of serving.  She was always willing to listen and pray for individuals who came into the Centre.  Julie shared that God gave her His heart for the Jewish people, and she came to tell them that the Lord still loves and cherishes them as His everlasting possession, even sending his son Yeshua to bring them back into relationship with Him.  Many Israelis have never heard this message before.  In our Western ‘Christian’ culture, the stories of Christmas and Easter are somewhat familiar with most people – but not so in Israel.  One person responded to Julie with amazement after hearing that God truly loves them. One Jewish man even mentioned that he saw a “light coming out” of Julie as she shared this with him. Another stated that her words were like honey, sweet to his ears!

14 July 2012

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

"Nazareth!  Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.
"Come and see," said Philip...                                                     John 1:46

You may remember us sharing in May about the Global Day of Prayer event in Nazareth, where Arab and Jewish believers came together to worship, pray, and intercede for their nation, Israel.   We received a wonderful report from Rania Sayegh, the director of HOPE – House Of Prayer and Exploits, and coordinator of the GDOP in Nazareth.   Below is a summary of this and other testimonies we received:

Jewish & Arab believers come together for GDOP
The Global Day of Prayer 2012 was held on Pentecost (Shavuot) May 27th in the city of Nazareth at the Golden Crown Hotel under the auspices of HOPE - House Of Prayer & Exploits and the Evangelical Convention of the Churches in Israel.  Arab and Jewish believers, as well as foreigners from all over the Holy Land came to attend the day, celebrating their common love of the Messiah in three languages, Arabic, Hebrew and English.

Various Jewish and Arab pastors shared messages from their hearts, interspersed with Hebrew and Arabic worship from Adonai Roi and The Lord is my Banner congregations:

Pastor Avi Mizrachi shared a short word following the Hebrew worship from Judges 7-8, where he encouraged God's people to stand firm - Gideon won the battle against his enemies with only 300 people - we have a great God!   Avi then declared Psalm 24 - welcoming the King of Kings, Jesus, to Israel, to this place:  “Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!”

After a powerful time of praise in Arabic, Pastor Rajai Samawi shared from Revelation 1:2-6, highlighting the message of returning to our first love and preparing our hearts for repentance, giving a challenge to return to the foundation of the book of Acts by giving the Holy Spirit the full control and following after Him.

Arab & Jewish Pastors praying for each other
More worship was followed by a time of personal repentance, returning to first love and intimacy with God.  Pastors Edward Tannous (Arab) and Avi Mizrachi (Jewish) both publically prayed and repented to one another on behalf of their people groups, extending forgiveness to each other and embracing.  As they did this simple act, their sincerity allowed healing to flow in the hearts of the people, evidenced by the quiet weeping heard around the large room.  Arab and Jewish believers then paired off, praying for one another and asking the Holy Spirit to pour out over their land and their lives.

06 July 2012

A Young Jewish and Arab Revolution

Hundreds of teenagers and young people coming together to worship God is, in itself, newsworthy.  But when you know that this is taking place in Israel with Jewish and Arab youth, it is time to sit up and pay attention.

ELAV youth conference takes place in Israel every year, in the city of Tel Aviv. It is all about envisioning a new generation.  'Elav' means 'towards him' in Hebrew and this weekend of worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship inspires the young attendees to live their lives passionately for God - 'towards Him'.

Jewish & Arab young people praying for each other at ELAV
Youth are invited from Israeli Jewish and Arab communities and also from the West Bank and Gaza. About 500 Jewish and 150 Arab youth attend. For some of the Palestinian youth, it is the first time they have ever met a Jewish believer and this is an opportunity to break down barriers - to pray for each other, fellowship together and make friends.


30 June 2012

Overcoming terror - step by step...

In one short moment of time, life changes forever for a victim of terrorism. Not only for the person at the scene but for their whole family. The long term impact of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, is quite simply, devastating.

Your People My People is deeply concerned for these people, whose lifelong struggle to put the pieces back together, is soon forgotten once the news headlines move on. Therefore, we were very happy to hear about individuals and organisations in Israel who are reaching out to this broken group of people and gently, with the compassionate love of the Father, helping them to take steps towards regaining some sense of normality and healing in their lives. 

Overcoming fear, is often a major hurdle for these victims. On a recent trip to the Dead Sea with a group of female terror victims, fear was defined as: 'False evidence appearing real.'  This false evidence shouts at these women, the fear that everything is a potential threat, a 'death threat waiting to happen'. As they were driving along a quiet track past a few camels, chewing the cud, minding their own business, one of the women asked the driver to go really slowly, fearing the bus would overturn and the camels stampede and kill them all. This irrational fear of impending death impacts all areas of life.

23 June 2012

Going for Gold

In the early hours of the morning on September 5th, 1972, Yosef Gutfreund, an Israeli Olympic coach, was woken by the sound of scratching at the door of his Munich Olympic village apartment. On investigating, he found masked men with guns attempting to enter the apartment. Yosef, a wrestling referee, threw his body against the door in a vain attempt to stop them entering and shouted warnings to his room-mates. 

A bloody struggle ensued, resulting in two of the Israeli athletes being shot dead and the remaining nine being bound and held in one of the rooms. The eight intruders armed with sub-machine guns, pistols and hand grenades, were members of a terrorist group called Black September. They demanded the release of over 200 Palestinian prisoners in return for their Israeli hostages.  Long negotiations and an unsuccessful rescue attempt by the German police, resulted in the terrorists murdering  all of the nine hostages. (Watch the full story in the video at the end of the article)

The incident, informally named the Munich Massacre, occurred during the 1972 summer Olympics, held in Germany. It was one of the lowest points in Olympic history. This year will be the 40th anniversary of that tragedy and one of the widows is urging the International Olympic Committee to agree to a one minute silence at the 2012 games in memory of her husband and his colleagues, to mark the anniversary.  

Seven athletes who were on the 1972 team, now in their 60s, were taken back to Munich for a TV documentary that is being made about what happened. Dan Alon, who competed in fencing, said that he had nothing against the German people. "I have only one thing to blame, it's the terrorists, unfortunately," he said. "We hope that one day, it will be the end of terror around the world."

The British ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould promised this year's Olympians

16 June 2012

Simple Encounters Making a Difference

Helping Hand Coalition is an organisation run by Israeli believers in Israel.  They provide much needed support and assistance to hundreds of struggling people across the country, with a particular emphasis on helping Holocaust Survivors.  As well as providing essential practical support, HHC goes the extra mile and also attempts to help bring relief to the deep wounds that the Holocaust burned into many hearts.

In April, a special meeting took place in Nazareth Ilit between a group of German high school students and Holocaust survivors living in Israel, coordinated by a partnership with HHC.  During the meeting, the survivors shared memories of their experiences and the difficulties they have had in surviving the Holocaust.  After this the high school students asked them many questions.

09 June 2012

Her Price is Far Above Rubies

Adonai Roi (The Lord is My Shepherd) Congregation is a vibrant, Hebrew speaking fellowship in Tel Aviv.  In early March, they hosted a conference for woman in Israel. The first two days of the conference were dedicated to Pastors' wives who came from all over the country to share their struggles, pray for each other and be encouraged. The following sessions were opened up to all women to come and be ministered to by inspirational teaching and prayer.  

The conference encouraged the woman to fervently pursue the Lord and to receive strength in their daily lives through reading and studying the scriptures. Conferences and gatherings like this one are vital to bring believers together to encourage each other and to equip them to live out their faith in a society that is often hostile to their beliefs. 

02 June 2012

Pastor Avi Mizrachi coming to UK

Dear Friends,

I would like to introduce you to Avi & Chaya Mizrachi, Directors of Dugit Messianic Outreach Centre and Pastors of Adonai Roi Congregation, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel.  We are delighted to share with you that Avi Mizrachi will be travelling to the UK in June for a speaking tour around the country.

Avi is a Jewish Israeli, born in the port town of Jaffa (Joppa), who came to know the Lord in the early 80’s while visiting his sister in Florida.  He married Chaya a short time later and after they both studied at Christ for the Nations (CFNI) in Texas, they returned to Israel with a passion to share the gospel with their fellow Israelis.  In 1993, the Lord led Avi to open Dugit, an outreach centre in the heart of Tel Aviv offering free coffee, free literature and a listening ear to any visitors.  A few years later, Avi & Chaya started Adonai Roi, a messianic Hebrew speaking Congregation, to help integrate and disciple new believers and visitors that came through Dugit.

Avi is a recognized leader among the believers in Israel and an international conference speaker. It is his heart’s desire to bring the Gospel to Israelis and to disciple them to become strong believers, rooted and grounded in the Word of God. 


HALESOWEN - Wednesday 13th June - 7.30pm
Hasbury Christian Fellowship, Albert Road, Halesowen, B63 4SW
LOCAL CONTACT: June Rowland 0121 550 3434

LEICESTER - Thursday 14th June - 7.30pm
Bible Hall, Mere Road, Leicester, LE5 5GR
LOCAL CONTACT: Pastor Peter Austin 0116 284 9233

HITCHIN - Saturday 16th June - 7.00pm
Tilehouse Baptist Church, Upper Tilehouse Street, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 2EE
LOCAL CONTACT: Annette Powell 01462 622986

LONDON - Sunday 17th June - 1.30pm
Pilgrims Way Church Building, Pilgrims Way, East Ham, London E6 1HY
LOCAL CONTACT: Pastor Bambi 07764 149381 or Pastor Doug 07709 325769

BELFAST - Wednesday 20th June - 7.30pm
Carryduff Elim Church, Edgar Avenue, Carryduff, Belfast, BT8 8DQ
LOCAL CONTACT: Brian Silvester 02890 814 479

AYRSHIRE – Thursday 21st June - 7.30pm
Gatekeepers Global Ministries c/o Kilwinning Mansfield Church, West Doura Way, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, KA12 6DY
LOCAL CONTACT: Catherine Brown 0843 289 4707

THE WIRRAL - Friday 22nd June - 7.30pm
Beit Hatikvah Fellowship, Hope Hall, New Ferry Road, New Ferry, Wirral, CH62 1BQ
LOCAL CONTACT: Ed & Jill Walker 0151 200 5656

NORTH WALES - Saturday 23rd June - 2.30pm
Father's House Congregation, Unit 6, Rowley's Park, Evans Way, Shotton, Deeside, CH5 1QJ
LOCAL CONTACT: 01352 740 408

MANCHESTER - Sunday 24th June - 10.30am
Calvary International Church, Old Trafford Community Centre, Shrewsbury Street, Manchester M16 9AH
LOCAL CONTACT: Pastor Emmanual Olatoye: calvary@aol.com

LINCOLN - Sunday 24th June - 6.15pm
Lincoln Baptist Church, Croft Street, Lincoln, LN2 5NW
LOCAL CONTACT: 01522 575 745

Avi is a dynamic, international speaker and we encourage you to come and hear firsthand from an Israeli-born believer, about the heart of God for the Middle East.  For more information, contact the Dugit International Office:  dugit.int@dugit.org

26 May 2012


It’s called Shavuot, Pentecost, the Feast of Harvest, Weeks and First Fruits.  So what, just exactly, are we celebrating??

Its origins can be found as we read Exodus 23 and Leviticus 23.  On the Jewish Calendar, this year the feast starts at sundown on the 26th, and concludes at sundown on the 27th May.  It is exactly 50 days (7 weeks) from Pesach/Passover – hence the name Shavuot, simply translated from the Hebrew as Weeks.  It is a time to thank God for his blessing and abundance and to rejoice over the final grain harvest which would see the children of Israel through till the next season.

Historically, it is also the day that God gave the law to Moses on Mt Sinai - at Pesach the Israelites were freed from their slavery in Egypt, and  50 days/7 weeks later at Shavuot, they were given the law and became a nation committed to serving God.

Additionally, this feast is one of the three chief feasts when God required the people to come up to Jerusalem to give their offerings each year, so it was a time of pilgrimage and sanctification for the whole harvest as well. 

19 May 2012

Jerusalem: City of Peace

In June 1967, a divided Jerusalem was reunited and came under Jewish control for the first time since the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The reunification is celebrated each year on the Hebrew date Iyar 28 (20th May 2012). Known as Jerusalem Day, the event is marked with joy and celebration. The city streets burst full of young people waving flags, singing and dancing.

Is there another city that has seen so many wars and been attacked by so many nations throughout history? Jerusalem, the place God chose to make his dwelling place is the most contested piece of real estate in the world! Jerusalem means 'city of peace' in the Hebrew language, but historically, peace was not often found within its walls. There is no doubt though, that according to the Bible, this ancient city holds a very special place in God's heart and his eternal plans for her are solid. 

12 May 2012

A noble motto: "I Serve"

In today's secular culture of instant celebrity and success, the idea of dedicating your life to serve your country seems out of place to many. There are few role models in the public sphere that promote such an ideal. On the other hand, as the United Kingdom stops to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of their monarch, her long years of faithful service to the nation and the Commonwealth stand out as a beacon.

On the occasion of her 21st birthday, Princess Elizabeth, aware of the solemn responsibility that would be hers, made a radio broadcast to the Commonwealth in which she committed her life to the service of her people. Her sense of personal duty and the hope that together we can make the world a better place, are inspiring. Before the nation, she also acknowledged the one from whom her help would come: the King of Kings. 
"If we all go forward together with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart, we shall be able to make of this ancient commonwealth, which we all love so dearly, an even grander thing - more free, more prosperous, more happy and a more powerful influence for good in the world - than it has been in the greatest days of our forefathers. To accomplish that we must give nothing less than the whole of ourselves. There is a motto which has been borne by many of my ancestors - a noble motto, "I serve". Those words were an inspiration to many bygone heirs to the Throne when they made their knightly dedication as they came to manhood. I cannot do quite as they did. But through the inventions of science I can do what was not possible for any of them. I can make my solemn act of dedication with a whole Empire listening. I should like to make that dedication now. It is very simple.

05 May 2012

Distributing Love and Hope

Your People My People staff have been involved with the work of Agape Distribution Centre for many years.  They have consistently given food, clothing, love and support to hundreds of people in Tel Aviv, regardless of race or religion, and because of their labours, have seen souls come into the Kingdom through sharing the hope of Yeshua the Messiah.

Here is a recent report from their base in the centre of the big city:

“Passover, also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, commemorates the Exodus, a time when God delivered the Jewish people from their enslavement in Egypt before bringing them to the Promised Land. As Messianic Jews, we are also reminded that it was during Passover that Yeshua ate his last supper, bore our sins, died, was buried, and resurrected. He is the Lamb of God whose blood has redeemed all mankind from our sin and iniquity and has brought us salvation and freedom. Praise the Lord!

28 April 2012

Jew + Arab = Unity?

Psalm 133 
A song of ascents. Of David.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!   It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

Psalm 133 talks of the goodness and blessing  of unity.  When we think of unity, we think of one mind, one purpose, goal or vision that people come together or agree on.  Yet if you think about it, to have unity, you also must have diversity.  Unity is not everyone being the same – that is uniformity.  Unity exists when people have started from different places and yet find themselves walking in agreement with each other – not on everything, but at least on something.

Each year, on the church calendar’s official Day of Pentecost, believers around the world are praying.     They are from different nations, different races, different languages, different ages, and different denominations.  And if you need diversity in order to create unity, then these people are united - through their prayers and expecting God’s blessing!  And Israelis are participating in this unity too.

Our news media does not often talk of the unity in Israel between Jew and Arab, primarily expressed through the believers there.  But for the last couple of years, Rania, a Nazareth Arab woman has been a catalyst for this kind of expression.  The Global Day of Prayer is held on Sunday, 27th May this year and in Nazareth, Arab and Jewish pastors, leaders, congregations, worship teams and believing youth will be gathering in an hotel to worship, fast and pray for their country, their government, cities, villages, their schools and families.  Rania has organised this for several years and is expectant of what God will do when the Children of Abraham come together in unity to pray for Israel.

20 April 2012

Rising from the ashes...

It is both significant and poignant that the week before Independence Day celebrations, the nation of Israel stops to remember the systematic murder of 6 million Jews in Nazi concentration camps. The haunting wail of a wartime siren sounds throughout Israel and the nation stands still for 2 minutes silence. The memorial, at this time in the calendar, serves as a reminder that this nation has risen out of death and suffering. A week later, Israel's Independence Day takes on a new significance - despite the horrific attempt to annihilate this people group, they have survived and with God's help, have prospered - A new hope and dream, rising from out of the ashes.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to allow the establishment of a national homeland for the Jewish people. The news was received with spontaneous dancing in the streets as young people, hopeful for a better future, grasped the hands of strangers and danced the Hora (a Jewish circular, folk dance). Below is part of a letter written by an American student, living in Jerusalem, who witnessed first-hand the outpouring of joy:

(Nov. 29, 1947) “I walked in a semi-daze through the crowds of happy faces, past the British tanks and jeeps piled high with pyramids of flag-waving, cheering children, past the crying, kissing, tumultuous crowds, all shouting ‘mazal tov’, and came back to the quiet of my room…to try and share with you this never-to-be-forgotten night...

14 April 2012

Yom HaShoah – Rehearsing History

Genocide is not a new addition to humanity’s history, yet during World War II there was a particularly dark episode, unusually marked by its methodical, systematic and efficient annihilation of any person with Jewish roots.  We know it as the Holocaust and Yom HaShoah is its memorial day – remembering the genocide of the Jews.  In Israel, it is commemorated on the 27th day of Nissan, this year being 19th April. 

Remembering history seems to be a key to not repeating its catastrophes.  The biblical history of Israel is a good example of mistakes being repeated over and over, despite attempts by their leaders, judges, and prophets to keep their national history in the forefront of the Israelite’s minds and decisions.  It was as the people of Egypt forgot about Joseph, that they turned on the Israelites and enslaved them.  And likewise, it was as generations passed in Israel and they forgot about the exploits the Lord had done to bring them out of Egypt, that they found themselves in disarray and far from the Promise.  Perhaps Moses understood this principle of remembering, when he recounted the story of the Exodus and the desert wanderings of the Israelites in Deuteronomy, and again when he gave the strict instructions for remembering the Passover ‘as a sign and reminder’.  Perhaps Deborah and Barak understood this when they wrote a song about their victory over Sisera for the people to sing. 

03 April 2012

Jesus and Spring Cleaning: Passover Greetings - הג פסח שמח

The Feast of Passover is upon us and many in Israel and around the world are in the process of 'cleaning out the leaven' from their homes.  There are many traditions associated with this particular season, but the physical removal of yeast from homes is something many take seriously.  It is a family event whereby the father will take a candle and search through all the cupboards for crumbs and bits of bread or other yeast based products, and carefully sweep them into a bowl.  The family then take these remains and any other similar leftovers outside, and burn them to ash, symbolically cleansing their homes and their lives as they enter into a week of 'leaven free living', in memory of the first passover when God brought the Jewish people out from slavery in Egypt. But it goes further than that.  Many will do a 'spring clean', washing windows, bedding, scrubbing the 'hard to get to' places, and some will even go so far as to buy new crockery and new clothes.  We see some of that reflected in the Christian Easter traditions of spring cleaning and new outfits for Easter Sunday morning. In Israel, bakeries close for the week and grocery retail outlets even close off all their shelves containing any products that could contain yeast - and matzah sales sky-rocket!

One of the biblical stories that is not usually linked to Passover is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 2.  Right near the beginning of Yeshua's (Jesus) ministry, and half way through the chapter is the story of the 'cleansing the temple' - when He braided some rope together into a whip and started driving out all the merchants and money changers, rebuking them for making God's house a market place.  At face value, the anecdote can seem confusing and contrary to what we have come to expect from a Jesus 'meek and mild', 'loving and kind', 'forgiving and self-sacrificing'.  How many other times had Yeshua gone to the temple and seen all the busyness of buying and selling and money laundering?  If he was a good, practising Jew, he would have visited the temple in Jerusalem several times in the year, as commanded in the law, in honour of the  most holy Feasts of the Lord.  Why then did he not clean everyone out during one of His other visits?

31 March 2012

Encounters in the White City

Your People My People love the ministry of Dugit, a Messianic Outreach Centre in Tel Aviv.  Here is a report we recently received from them:
 “We are excited to report that Dugit is hosting more and more outreach events. We recently held another art exhibition, displaying the artwork of Avital, a Messianic Jew from Ashdod. Her daughter, Shai, entertained those in attendance with worship music while they viewed the paintings and enjoyed the free cappuccino. During the exhibition, a middle-aged non-believing man, Yosef, came in and happily accepted the free coffee. However, he soon became hostile and began cursing us. He has hardened his heart to the Gospel of Messiah. Pray with us that the scales will fall from Yosef’s eyes; that the Lord will reveal Himself to Yosef and that he may become zealous for the Lord of Lords, Yeshua the Messiah.

24 March 2012

30 Years and Still Growing

How long does it take to ‘grow’ a disciple of Jesus’?  A home fellowship?  A congregation?  A movement that affects a nation?  If you didn’t know that around 30 years ago, there were perhaps only three or four local, indigenous congregations in Israel, you could be forgiven for not noticing that God is doing something in that heavily disputed strip of dirt in the Middle East.  If, however, you learn that in 3 decades, three or four has become over 150 congregations, home fellowships and prayer centres, then you can begin to see that the Gospel is alive and well in Israel!

This kind of growth is exponential, not often heard of in other nations.  What’s their secret?  Do they know something we don’t know?  Or maybe it’s in their DNA?  After all, if their ‘nation can be born in a day’, as foretold by the Prophet Isaiah, perhaps it’s not so hard for God to ‘grow His church’ in a few tumultuous decades!  If it’s God’s time for you, then it’s your time.  And listening to the testimonies of the Believers tells me it’s time in Israel.  They believe the harvest is ready and ripe and plead with us to join them in prayer for more labourers and resources. 

17 March 2012

Purim Parcel Bomb Déjà Vu!

Ami's injuries healing
The Purim holiday in early March this year, was not without concern once again for the Ortiz family.  Some of you may have heard the story of Ami, a 15 year old boy back in 2008 who unfortunately opened a Purim gift basket left at the door of his family’s apartment, only to find himself being hit by a blast from the bomb inside, filled with metal shrapnel.  The Ortiz family are Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus.  Investigations revealed the attack was because of their faith, Ami’s father, David, being the pastor of a Messianic congregation and active in winning Arab and Jewish people to faith in the area where they live.  Ami suffered injuries to his face, eyes, arms, legs, chest and internal organs.

This terror attack drew interest from Christian communities around the world as Ami’s struggle for survival went global, and his story of rehabilitation was shared over many long months, long surgeries, and many ups and downs.  Various miracles amazed the doctors as Ami made progress, not the least of which that he had survived at all!

09 March 2012

Prayer changes lives!

Yisrael is 42 years old. He is Jewish. He lives in Tel Aviv. He suffers from schizophrenia and has been in and out of institutions 10 times. He is now on medication to control his condition but he is unable to work. 

Without the help of charities that supplement the small financial help he receives from the government, Yisrael couldn't make ends meet. Social services asked Agape Distribution Centre, a local food and clothing bank run by Israeli believers in Yeshua (Jesus) if they could help. 

On his first visit to Agape, Yisrael's eyes had a wild look about them and he was obviously angry. Nenette, who runs the front of house, was a little concerned. She prayed quietly as she registered him to receive aid. As she prayed, she saw the muscles in his face begin to relax. He explained that he was very angry with God about his condition. Nenette calmly asked him if he would like prayer for some of his problems. He agreed, so she prayed with him there and then, in the name of Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel (Jesus).

A week later, Yisrael returned to Agape and was very excited to share that God had done a miracle in his life. For many years he and his mother had not spoken, but after Nenette's prayer, God began to reconcile them. He shared that they had begun to visit each other daily. He was amazed and gave the glory to God. He asked Nenette to pray for him again and then encouraged another man, who was visiting the centre to receive prayer too.

Through simple acts of kindness and loving concern, Agape Distribution Centre touches the lives of poor and needy folk who pass through its doors. Nenette and the small team of staff and volunteers, treat each person that comes with respect and dignity. Individuals and families receive monthly food packages and access to good quality second hand clothing. For the Biblical Feasts, Agape likes to provide gift packages with special food for the holidays and a few extra things for the families to enjoy. 

Your People My People is working with Agape Distribution Centre to relieve poverty in Tel Aviv. If you would like to provide a special Gift Package for a needy family for the holidays, please click the donate button at the top left of our webpage.

Watch Agape in action, serving the people of Tel Aviv: