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:


02 March 2012

A Queen who saved a Nation

Next week, throughout the cities of modern-day Israel, a carnival atmosphere is in the air. Children (and some of the adults) walk around the streets in fancy dress - the shops are full of costumes and gift baskets filled with special Purim cookies. The joyful Feast of Purim has arrived and the Israelis certainly know how to have a good time.

Purim celebrates victory over annihilation. The Jewish community of the ancient city of Susa had been condemned to death but through an amazing series of events, they survived and held a joyous celebration on this date.  Purim is the time to celebrate and be glad, a time to feast and have fun with family and friends. Jewish communities gather to listen to the ancient tale or to watch the children dress up and re-enact the story.

Purim dates back to biblical story of Esther. In the 4th Century BC, King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) became ruler of the Medo-Persian Empire. Queen Vashti disobeyed the King during a high profile banquet and is deposed. The King then decrees that beautiful young women from the region be brought to his harem in the Citadel of Susa so that he can choose a new queen. Esther, a young Jewish girl, is chosen to be queen but is warned by her uncle Mordecai, to hide her ancestry for her own safety. The King's advisor Haman, "...looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes." (Book of Esther, Chapter 3, The Bible) Haman persuades the King to issue a decree to destroy all the Jewish people. Queen Esther finds herself in the right place at the right time to stand up against this death threat to her own people, but by speaking out, her own life will be in danger. While agonising over the decision