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I Felt My Heart of Stone Begin to Soften...

Avi Mizrachi, is an Israeli evangelist and pastor with a passion to see his people come to know Yeshua as their Messiah. He has been serving the local Body of Messiah in Israel for over 30 years. He established Dugit, a Messianic Outreach Centre, which functions as a coffee shop in the heart of Tel Aviv where Israelis can drop in to find out more about Yeshua (Jesus). As Israelis began to come to faith, he started Adonai Roi (The Lord is my Shepherd) Hebrew speaking Congregation in Tel Aviv. Avi is involved in numerous conferences and ministries in Israel and around the world. Here is his story of coming to faith...

“I was born and raised in a traditional Jewish family in Tel Aviv- Jaffa, and after graduating high school I served for four years in the Israeli Air Force. When I concluded my service in the early 1980s, I regret to say I was of the world and lost in sin.

I had saved some money, so I decided I would go to America. My plan was to explore America—which for me, meant I would visit every disco and nightclub I could find—and then I would go to Las Vegas, gamble, and get rich!

When I first arrived in America, I went to visit my sister and her family in Gainesville, Florida. Early Sunday morning, my sister woke me up.

“What’s going on?” I asked. “I thought Sunday was a day of rest!”

“Get up!” she said. “Come with us to church!”

As it turned out, my sister and her husband had become born-again believers. When I resisted getting out of bed, she told me that it’s a nice church with a choir and a lot young people. So I got up and went to church for the first time in my life.

For Jewish people, even walking into a church is a problem. Some big walls must be broken down before many Jewish people are open to even hearing about Yeshua.

I sat in that pew with my sister and her husband and watched the Christians around me singing and worshipping God. I was touched and provoked to jealousy. But after the service was over, I was the first person out the door.

Someone from the church called the house a couple days later and invited me to a weekend retreat. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, but my sister said there would be basketball, fun and singles. So I decided to go.

On the first night, a woman spoke of God’s love and grace, but also said we had all sinned and needed atonement so we can have a relationship with God— since the Temple in Jerusalem was no longer standing, there could be no more sacrifices for atonement for our sin. Which I knew was true. Then she talked about Jesus—Yeshua—as the lamb of God who came to came to take away the sins of the world.

So there I was, a tough Israeli—four years in the Air Force— I saw that my sin had separated me from a holy God and I began to cry. As I opened my heart to Him, I felt a big hand took my heart of stone and gave me a new heart. There was such a peace in the room that I gave my life to Yeshua that night—and I was born again!

And that was it for me! In a matter of months I went from tough Israeli with a heart of stone … to born again, baptized, got married, Bible Institute graduate, back home in Israel, sharing the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah with everyone who would listen. As you may have guessed, I never made it to Las Vegas.

That is how Dugit Outreach Ministries started all those years ago.

But the same fire, the same zeal, lives in me today to see the people of Israel saved from their sins!”

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