20 July 2017

"I stand amazed at what God did..."


"There is a lot God can do with willing and hungry hearts. One evening, after a time of worship, the whole room was completely silent for 8-9 minutes in the presence of God. This was a miracle considering the room being full with over 100 teenagers."

During the last week of June, over 100 Jewish and Arab Israeli youth together with Palestinian youth, all followers of Jesus (Yeshua), came together at a Messianic Holiday Village just outside Jerusalem. They were attending an incredible, ground-breaking worship camp dedicated to training and releasing young, local worship leaders, musicians and song writers. "The heart of the vision," shared Tal, the leader of the camp, "is to help the next generation in Israel and Gaza become young priests: Worshippers and intercessors after God's own heart. Any revival or change in society begins with prayer and intercession and this is what we want them to get hold of. That from a life of prayer, they would receive God’s heart for their people and their generation. And that they would go out together, Jew and Arab, and bring God’s truth, light and kingdom to the culture around them." The camp was led by DOR HABA, a ministry based in Jerusalem whose name translates from Hebrew as the 'Next Generation'. 

This is what happened:  

Written by Tal Bethany,  Director of DOR HABA.  

I stand amazed at what God did in the hearts of 100+ Jewish, Arab, and Palestinian youth last week. Tears, joy, unity, healing, deliverance, freedom, new beginnings, destiny, servant leadership and calling. These are some of the words that aim to describe what happened at the "Dor Haba" worship camp 2017.

This 5-day worship camp took place in Jerusalem, June 26th-30th, 2017. There were 75 Jewish/Israeli youth. 35 Arab Israeli and Palestinian youth. And more who came to visit. The youth who came to the camp came eager to worship and that in itself was very powerful. 
In the words of a 15 year old Arab girl:
"Dor Haba conference was the best worship conference I've been to, God revealed himself and his heart in a very powerful way through every single minute.The unity that was between the Arabs and Jewish was so clearly pleasing to the One who sits on the throne, we could feel his heart to his children and how happy he was seeing us worshiping in one voice and in one heart.The first thing that any one can say about those 5 days is that we were in heaven, literally the Spirit of God was moving so powerfully breaking chains and healing the broken hearts. And I only want to thank God for this opportunity that I had to be at this conference that Changed my life."

Serving at the camp were local Jewish and Arab youth leaders, worship leaders and teachers. And a large group of musicians, intercessors and worship leaders from IHOP (International House of Prayer) and 111Global. 35 leaders and volunteers total. All with the same heart and vision.

One might think the vision for this “music” camp is to teach the youth how to lead worship and play on a worship team. This is part of it. But there is much more to it than that.The heart of the vision is to help the next generation in Israel and Gaza become young priests: Worshippers and intercessors after God's own heart. Any revival or change in society begins with prayer and intercession and this is what we want them to get hold of. That from a life of prayer, they would receive God’s heart for their people and their generation. And that they would go out together, Jew and Arab, and bring God’s truth, light and kingdom to the culture around them.

Over these 5 days, we assigned the youth into various group instrument classes. They received lessons on guitar, voice, violin, bass, keyboard, drums, video production, sound, and prayer-leading.

In the afternoon, there were workshops. Workshop topics included  "worship leading," "musical creativity," "team work," "song-writing," "inner healing," and "prophetic worship." Everyone at the camp learned how to lead a prayer-meeting driven by scripture and worship.

During the instrument classes one day, perhaps the least expected place and time, God moved throughout the camp in such a special way. I had teenagers from different classes running up to me after the lesson with excitement. They told me how they worshipped spontaneously from their hearts for the first time ever. Like with spontaneous words and melodies, as opposed to with a known worship song. Others said that as they were playing music together in the class, the Holy Spirit came in such a sweet way. To the point where they put their instruments down, began weeping quietly, and began praying over each other. God was doing a deep work in their hearts. Their spirits were being awakened to intimacy and partnership with the Lord. It was such a beautiful thing!

There were sweet times of fellowship. Hanging out, playing soccer, sitting around in small groups, and singing with an acoustic guitar and darbuka (Arab drum). The Jewish and Arab youth truly bonded and experienced things together that they won’t ever forget. There was an "open mic" night, which was fun and we discovered all kind of hidden talents among them.

All the evening messages and times of worship were completely in Hebrew and Arabic. The exception being one evening led by the IHOP team in English. But they incorporated Hebrew and Arabic into it. They shared a powerful message and led a very memorable time of worship and ministry. There was an Arab boy set free from addiction to cigarettes, a young girl delivered from suicidal thoughts she’d been having for the whole past year, and a Jewish boy healed from a knee injury. There were countless re-dedication of lives to the Lord. And some, even from believing homes, who personally gave their lives to the Lord for the first time. These are just a few of the testimonies that were taking place.

The most awesome experience at the camp was on the final night, when the youth themselves lead a 4-hour evening of worship and intercession.

THEY led the worship. THEY led the prayers (in tears for their people and their generation). THEY shared visions and prophetic words they received from the Lord. THEY (an 18 year old boy) shared the message of the evening. THEY Mc-ed the evening and did all the translation from Hebrew to Arabic and vice versa. God and His Holy Spirit through them, was amazing!

This is what makes it worth it all!!

On the last day, there were numerous teenagers who came up to me in tears. Saying how their life has changed. How they will never be the same. How God had simply got hold of them and how their faith has come alive.

A 15 year old Jewish boy shared: 
"The conference was so wonderful. It was the most amazing experience I've had with God ever in my whole life!"

Local youth leaders have been calling this past week. Saying how their whole youth group has become on fire for God as a result of being at this camp. And that it is impacting their congregation, church and community.

The Arab and Jewish teenagers who attended the camp have spent the past week messaging each other scriptures and encouraging words on the WhatsApp group. A 16 year old Arab girl wrote to the Jewish youth on WhatAapp: 
"I just want to say that everyone of you is special in his own way, meeting you guys made me know and understand even more the father's heart for his children. Can't wait to see you again and that will be for sure before the next conference!"

They have been commenting that they need to get together every month, not just once a year. Something we, as leaders, at Dor Haba have taken to heart. And something we desire to facilitate.

Thank you for your prayers for this camp and for these young ones who are so dear to God’s heart!

To summarize, I want to share something that a 15 year old Arab girl shared at the camp. This young girl also led part a powerful time of worship the last evening. She said that as they were worshipping, she saw God sitting on his throne in heaven laughing (Ps.2:4). She said He was laughing with tears in His eyes, because of the love and unity taking place at this camp.

These are the youth who didn't want to go to bed but wanted to keep worshipping as joy broke out at the end of the worship night led by youth. Jewish, Arab and Palestinian teenagers singing together, "How Good You are, Yeshua, my redeemer!" (more fun than a soccer game!)

Tal Bethany, DOR HABA


We, at Your People My People, love what God is doing through the ministry of  DOR HABA. Please keep these precious young worshippers in your prayers. As Tal shared, revival and change in society begins with prayer and intercession and as these young ones grasp hold of this for their people and their generation - as they walk together in love as Jew and Arab, bringing God's Kingdom of truth, light and love into the culture around them - we are going to see amazing transformation take place throughout the Middle East. 

PRAY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION


Sow into this work here: 

13 July 2017

How to share your faith with a Jewish friend

Avi Mizrachi, Director of Dugit Outreach Centre in Tel Aviv, recently shared some 'words of wisdom' for Christians who want to share their faith with their Jewish friends.

Avi shared that he has met many well meaning Christians who wanted to share Jesus with Jewish people but were surprised and confused when their friends didn't want to hear and wanted nothing more to do with them.  "It’s important to understand the background of the Jewish people," shared Avi, "Whether religious or secular. Jewish people have traditions, culture, history, they are taught the stories in the Bible – know their traditions and where we come from."

Jewish people have a strong sense of identity and for them, Christianity is definitely not Jewish. It is seen as a foreign religion that has nothing to do with them. To consider Jesus, would be to turn away from their Jewish identity and reject their people. This idea is further strengthened by hundreds of years of persecution by the church and so called Christian countries. To become a Christian would be to betray their ancestors that had suffered at the hands of  Christians in the past  In addition to this, their religion teaches about the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - they believe 'the others', the Christians, worship other gods like Jesus and three gods called the trinity. To us, the New Testament is a beautiful book detailing God's love and redemption but many Jewish people have been taught it is an antisemitic book that has fueled the persecution of their people. So, you can see why many Jewish people will not be too impressed when you start talking about Jesus.

"That is why it is important not to start with Jesus automatically," said Avi, "they will put you in a different category." It will immediately create a 'them and us' situation. (Jesus is for the Gentiles and nothing to do with us). Avi advises to think about the words you are using. Christian terms and quotes from the New Testament may make perfect sense to us but will not speak to your Jewish friend. Don't use Christian phrases or Christian theology or doctrines.  They are not relevant to them and will just create barriers. Instead, use language that they can understand. Learn to share the Gospel through a Jewish frame of reference. Use the Hebrew Scriptures (which we often call the Old Testament but of course is their only scripture, not old at all) to show how God's plan for redemption is not a New Testament idea. In fact, God's plan for salvation is very Jewish, spoken about by the Jewish prophets and recorded in the Hebrew scriptures.

Avi Mizrachi sets out 7 Pillars that will help us share the Gospel using only the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures:



Pillar One 

God Is A Loving Father Who Loves Us With An Everlasting Love 

“...I have loved you with an everlasting love. With loving kindness, I have drawn you.”  
Jeremiah 31:3 

Start by sharing about the love of God. Avi advises to make it clear that we worship one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  According to the prophet Jeremiah, he is a loving father who has loved us with an everlasting love i.e. there is no end to his love. With loving kindness he has drawn us. The Hebrew word translated 'loving kindness' is HESED and can also be translated as 'grace'.  It's his grace, his loving kindness, his undeserved favour towards us that draws us.

"This is the first pillar." continued Avi, "We need to share that we worship a loving Father who is full of mercy and grace. He loves us with no end, no conditions. This is a very important issue to communicate to the Jewish people - about a loving God who loves them. This is the first thing you need to communicate. "




Pillar Two

God is a Holy God

“...Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 
Isaiah 6:3

"This is the second thing to share with Jewish people," continued Avi, "God is a Holy God. He is a loving father but also he is holy, he is a jealous God. When we approach him, we must understand that we are approaching a holy God. We all need this attitude when we approach him. The prophet Isaiah said, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts' - in Hebrew, 'KADOSH, KADOSH, KADOSH'."

Watch Avi sharing about Pillar 2



Pillar Three

Man Is Not Perfect

“Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” 
Ecclesiastes 7:20

The Hebrew word for righteous is TZADIK. There is no one on earth who is perfect, who never sins, even the best person you can think of, the greatest Rabbi. As much as we try to do good, we will never be perfect. Ecclesiastes tells us there is no one who never sins.

Watch Avi sharing about Pillar 3



Pillar Four

It's Our Sin That Separates Us From God.  

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” 
Isaiah 59:1-2

This verse from the book of Isaiah clearly shows that it is our own sins that have separated us from a holy God. God is a loving Father but he is also holy. No matter how hard we try, we can never be perfect - without sin. It is our sin that separates us from God. This is a problem, but there is a solution, and this leads us on to the next pillar.

Watch Avi sharing about Pillar 4



Pillar Five

Atonement.  

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar. It is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” 
Leviticus 17:11 

Throughout the history of the people of Israel, as they traveled through the wilderness, the Tabernacle was at the centre of everything. Animal sacrifices were brought to the Tabernacle and the blood of the sacrifices made atonement for their sins. Later on, when King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, the sacrifices continued. The same rule applied. The people would bring the sacrifices up to the Temple and the blood of the lamb, the blood of the sacrifice, made atonement for their sin. The Hebrew word for atonement is KAPARA. "When we come to God," said Avi, "when we repent, we bring the sacrifices and we apply the blood – we have atonement and our sins are forgiven. But now