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!