25 October 2013

I Will Pour Out My Spirit On All People

It is always a blessing to catch up with Rania and hear about her passion to see the plans of God fulfilled in her nation, to see Him move in power among the Jewish and Arab believers in Israel ...

Day Of Prayer, Nazareth
Rania is a catalyst for the National Day of Prayer event held in Nazareth each year that brings Arab and Jewish believers together to pray for their nation - Israel.  This year the event took place during the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar (20th September) with the theme of  'A Cry from Nazareth: The Spirit and the Bride Say Come!' Local Jewish and Arab believers were joined this year by around 130 Christian leaders from 16 different nations, including key leaders from the Chinese underground churches. This strategic gathering of the 'One New Man' (Ephesians 2:15) joined with one heart and one spirit to welcome Jesus/Yeshua back to Nazareth. The mayor of Nazareth, a Greek Orthodox Arab, attended the event to welcome all the visitors and was impressed to witness the unity of those gathered. We will be sharing more specifically about this event in a future article.

Rania is also the Director of HOPE (House of Prayer and Exploits) based in Nazareth. She has been training up local young people in intercession, to be watchmen on the walls and to pray for the purposes of God in Israel. They regularly hold 24 hour prayer watches at the HOPE premises. In the new year, Rania is planning to develop and increase this mentoring side of the ministry and to increase the number of prayer watches at HOPE. She would also love to connect with other Houses of Prayer around the world and to invite interns who have a heart to pray for Israel.

Chinese Christians praying for the children of Abraham at Abraham's Well
Recently, Rania has been leading prayer tours around Israel, taking a group of intercessors to several significant places in the Land in order to pray and intercede. Two weeks before the National Day of Prayer, a group of Chinese Church leaders, who had been involved in establishing the underground churches in China, traveled around Israel with Rania to pray at some of the historically strategic Biblical sites, and to pray for God's destiny for the people of Israel. Both Arab and Jewish believers joined with them. It was a very moving time and both the Israelis and visitors were touched through this spiritual prayer journey.

Rania, as an Arab Christian, has a deep desire to unite the Body of Messiah, both Arab and Jew in Israel. "We cannot afford to be apart anymore," she said, "we need to

19 October 2013

'And His banner over me is love'

It was Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Karen and Amanda were in Ceasarea with the Board of Directors and Staff of Helping Hand Coalition. A long banquet table was laid for a feast, every attention to detail had been made. The golden table decorations sparkled in the candle light. The food already placed on the table had been beautifully arranged. Everything looked inviting and exquisite.

It is this attention to detail and care to transform the mundane into something beautiful, that characterizes the work of Helping Hand Coalition (HHC). What shines out about their work among Holocaust Survivors living in Israel is not the financial assistance for those in poverty, or the logistical achievement of setting up a network of hundreds of social care groups all around the country, admirable as those achievements are. It is the honour and love that is shown personally to each of the elderly Survivors through small, almost insignificant details. When HHC invites them to a meal, the table is beautifully arranged with flowers and matching d├ęcor. Anyone approaching the table can see that welcome and loved guests are expected. If you are one of those guests, your heart is touched to see the care that has been made for your visit. The Survivors who have experienced so much suffering at the hands of other human beings, and even now find themselves forgotten and struggling to make ends meet, are here to be showered with love and attention. 'This is a gift from God,' said one lady. 'I feel very loved here, I feel at home.' said another.

HHC volunteers present birthday flowers to Survivor
The love that the staff and volunteers show is evident in the little details. Bouquets are presented to those with a birthday and time is given for whoever wants to share their story or show photos of the family they lost. Christian groups and volunteers from overseas come to express their love too, with gifts and songs and dances. The words of Isaiah the prophet are taken seriously by those who run HHC, "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God..." They do this in many ways, from providing monthly support to thousands and mobilising hundreds of volunteers, to organising major events and preserving the memories of Holocaust Survivors.

"He brought me to the banquet hall, And his banner over me was love."  wrote the author of Song of Songs. In the same way, these victims of the Holocaust tragedy are invited

11 October 2013

A Lot Going On in Tel Aviv!

Returning to visit the staff of Dugit and Agape Ministries, was like going home to family.  After having worked together in Tel Aviv for over a decade, it was heart warming to see the familiar faces of long standing friends and exciting to meet some new staff members face to face for the first time too.  We were so happy to spend time with many of them individually, sharing hearts and encouragement and reassuring them of the prayerful support being sent their way from many of you back home. 

Dugit Outreach Centre
Under the umbrella names of Dugit and Agape, you will find a cluster of vibrant ministries in downtown Tel Aviv, overseen by Avi & Chaya Mizrachi.  The longest running and most commonly known is Dugit Outreach Centre, a place where visitors are offered free coffee, free literature, and  friendly staff with a heart to share the gospel with those that come in.  We were delighted to hear how they had recently taken two new believers down to the beach to immerse them in the sea as a sign of their new found decision to follow Yeshua!  The staff also run ‘Dugit Live’ events several times a month with local and visiting believers playing  live music, or giving  art exhibitions and other such creative ideas, that give a variety of opportunities for the artists to share their faith in Yeshua through their different mediums.

Street Outreach
Adonai Roi Congregation is also a vital part of reaching out to Israel’s largest secular city.  Here you will find an indigenous Hebrew speaking congregation filled with young families, singles and the elderly alike.  The worship teams are mostly young people, some of whom write their own songs and music -and excitingly they have all come together to start working on the production of an Hebrew worship CD!  They have a growing Shabat (Sunday) School and active youth group, along with gatherings organised for the young soldiers in their midst.  We were very interested to learn they are currently working with an Arab congregation, planning a central city outreach in Haifa at the end of the year.  “We believe that as we go out together, Jews and Arabs, local believing Israelis, and share our faith, that many will be touched as they see the love between us.”

04 October 2013

God is Alive & Well in Israel!

Todah - Spasiba - Shukrahn -  Merci - Gracias - Djienkuyeh - there are many ways to say it in Israel but the sentiment was the same - “Thank you for standing with us, partnering with us, praying for us, visiting us, encouraging us, blessing us!”

What a great joy and privilege it was to take your love and greetings to the Israeli Believers when we went to visit in early September, to encourage them with assurances that there are many Christians here in the UK and across the world that are praying for them.  The staff and leaders in the ministries we support were especially grateful for the practical way you have sown into God’s Kingdom in Israel, empowering the work of the ministry and spreading the message of salvation in Yeshua through your financial gifts. 

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing with you more specifically from the various ministries we work with in Israel and also write about some of the events we attended, including a Jewish wedding.

We are honoured to have partnered with you and what God is doing, as we labour alongside each other and the Israeli believers in the harvest field! 

 “You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before You as people rejoice at the harvest”  Isaiah 9:3