Shalom in His grace, and again, Happy New Year! I pray 2023 will be a year of joy and peace for you and your family in the Prince of Peace! I do not know about you, but I have this incredible sense of forward motion these days in many areas of life. I find myself filled with hope, excitement, and expectation in the Lord. I am so encouraged—especially by the many young adults who are standing strong for the Lord in the United States and Israel!
Do you have a few moments for some inspiration from the Word of God?
I love the time-tested passage in Philippians 1:6, where Paul wrote,
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
This is one of my favorite future-oriented verses. I also appreciate the well-known passage found in Lamentations 3:22–23:
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
I enjoy pairing this passage with verses 31–33,
For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men.
Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet,” understood both suffering and hardship yet still wrote these passages. Not only did he endure persecution from those Israelites who disliked his prophetic message, but he watched as the Babylonians devastated his dear Jerusalem and exiled his people. Yet, Jeremiah found ways to trust the Lord during life’s greatest difficulties.
The apostle John penned some of the most encouraging and comforting words in the Bible in Revelation chapter 21:
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
(Rev 21:3–5, emphasis added)
We have a bright future—today and for all eternity. Thankfully, the day is coming when all our suffering will vanish! Can you imagine one day like this—never mind all eternity!?
Knowing the future prepared for those who love Him means we can rejoice in hope each day. The Lord enables us to approach every moment of our lives with joy in our hearts because of His finished work on Calvary.
May I sneak in one more verse? Paul wrote, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
I hope you are hopeful!
May I explain why I am so excited these days about God’s work among the Jewish people and for the work of Chosen People Ministries? I pray this update will give you the opportunity to pray for me and for Your Mission to the Jewish People.
AN OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT UPON YOUNG ISRAELI PEOPLE
I am happy to report God is working powerfully today in Israel among young adults. I may have briefly mentioned this previously, but I want you to better understand why we have been looking for a new property in Tel Aviv.
I have not seen anything like this moving of the Spirit in Israel in all my years of ministry!
Let me give you a little bit of the historical background. My first trip to Israel as a believer was in 1976 while I was still in seminary. I traveled to the Holy Land that summer with a Messianic music team. We traveled throughout the country, meeting believers and singing at various venues, congregations, and a few kibbutzim—Israeli collective farms. I may have met half the believers in Israel after three weeks of ministry! Our movement was soooo small!
The Messianic Jewish movement in Israel was certainly not flourishing as it had been years earlier in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. I have research to demonstrate, throughout Eastern Europe, particularly between World War I and World War II, there was a powerful movement for the Lord up until the Holocaust.
I would describe this as a massive movement of the Holy Spirit whereby thousands upon thousands of Jewish people came to faith during these three decades.
Then, tragically, the Nazi boot stomped out the entire movement.
But we worship an all-powerful Messiah who raises the dead! The Lord began doing a powerful work among Jewish people in the late 1960s, early 70s, and even into the 80s. I was one of those who came to faith in Jesus in those early days. Along with young Jewish people from the West and North America, quite a few Israelis traveling the globe after their service in the army also came to the Lord. Most returned to Israel and began sharing their faith with their fellow Israelis. Quite a few new Israeli congregations started as a result, and today in Israel, there are between 140 and 160 congregations scattered throughout the country.
THE LORD IS ON THE MOVE IN THE HOLY LAND
I love these young Israelis—mostly second-generation believers growing up in godly homes, attending Israeli schools, serving in the military, and well-discipled because of the excellent work of the congregations, camping programs, and young adult Bible conferences sponsored by Israeli leaders.
We sponsor four public meetings in Tel Aviv each month, and the most recent one I attended had twice as many young adults as could fit into the space! So, we have sadly begun turning people away and even limiting our invitations.
These young, on-fire believers are bringing their not-yet-believing friends. Many come in their army uniforms, and I cannot tell you how exhilarating it is to speak to a group of twenty-somethings who are desperately hungry for the Word of God.
LET THE CHILDREN COME TO ME
In our current rented center, we are also inadvertently neglecting another group in the greater Tel Aviv area due to lack of space—the children. We will now not only be able to create an auditorium seating 125–140 people in the new facility, but we will also have children’s classrooms on the second floor as the new space is a two-story property, allowing us to simultaneously hold the main adult service and children’s classes!
Can you see why I am hopeful? God is doing a new and wonderful work in Israel, and we can be part of this movement through our prayers, support, and enthusiasm.
Allow me to give you a few specific prayer points you can share with your family, Bible study, and church:
- Pray for the growth of the Messianic community in Israel. May God continue to raise up strong disciples and leaders for the harvest.
- Pray for the many faithful leaders and full-time workers of missions like Chosen People Ministries and others who are so faithful and dedicated to working with these young people—we need more help!
- Pray God will provide the resources for us to complete this center by the end of 2023. Our goal is to have the funds and available supplies (a genuine concern and need for prayer), so we can dedicate the facility in December 2023.
- Pray for the Chosen People Ministries staff at our current Tel Aviv center. We are now nine families and individuals strong, and the Lord keeps adding to our team. Eventually, we will need the resources to support these younger believers and provide for their theological training as well. We are growing!
- Pray especially for the Chosen People Ministries leadership in Israel. Please pray God will give our leaders health, strength, energy, and joy in the midst of this movement of the Holy Spirit.
I cannot thank you enough for your generous support and interest in reaching Jewish people in the Holy Land, especially in the greater Tel Aviv area.