Tag Archives: Tel Aviv

Outreach in Tel Aviv

Chosen People Ministries began a dynamic ministry among Israelis in the greater Tel Aviv area in 2017. This outreach focuses on presenting the gospel to younger Israelis—most of whom recently served in the military. These young adults are the sons and daughters of Israeli believers who came to faith in the past twenty to thirty years. 

What is amazing about this ministry is we now have a second-generation movement of the Holy Spirit; previously, we barely had a first! Godly parents raised godly children, and these young adults are at the core of our ministry. More than this—they are the FUTURE. These young people are enthusiastic, bold, and willing to tell their friends about the Lord. 

The programs at our current rented center in Tel Aviv are thriving! We sponsor up to four special events each month. Some of these include concerts, Sabbath dinners, and evangelistic lectures. In addition, we host regular Bible studies and much more throughout the month. 

At the moment, we are able to accommodate between fifty and sixty young adults at our events. These “on fire” young people are joining these events and bringing their not-yet-believing friends . . . and we are running out of room! 

To keep up with this growing move of the Spirit, we need a larger facility in Tel Aviv—a place where we can serve the Jewish people in this highest-populated area in Israel for many more years to come. Additional space will allow us to continue to fulfill the Chosen People Ministries mission statement: to pray for, evangelize, disciple, and serve Jewish people everywhere and to help fellow believers do the same.

We found a permanent facility with the potential to meet the needs of our growing ministry. The new space is a 4,000-square-foot space in a mixed commercial and residential building with ninety condominiums. 

Next door, two new large properties are being built with apartments for another 200 families. We will be surrounded by Israelis who have never heard the gospel message! 

We are very grateful for this opportunity because it will give us a presence among Israelis in this important community. God opened this door, and we invite you to come alongside us on this journey to expand His work in Israel.

We Found a Permanent Facility!

The Tel Aviv Messianic Center (“the Center”) will be the hub of Chosen People Ministries’ mission efforts in the greater Tel Aviv area. It will include space for a Messianic congregation, a gospel café, concerts, and young adult outreach gatherings. Additionally, we will host Bible studies, children’s events, public lectures on a wide variety of topics, and ministries to elderly Holocaust survivors. Most importantly, this new space will allow us to develop our community-based activities designed to demonstrate the love of the Messiah Jesus to Israelis. 

This facility is only a seven-minute walk from the border of downtown Tel Aviv, and over the next half dozen light rail stops there are about a million Israelis with no place to hear the gospel, meet believers, or comfortably explore questions of faith. 

Our experience over the past six years of ministry at our now-outgrown rented center confirms our conviction: this area is ideal!

The Importance of Messianic Centers

Owning property in Tel Aviv raises our visibility and makes our statement to the public more powerful: Jesus is Jewish! He is the Messiah, and there are multiple thousands of Jewish followers of Jesus in the Holy Land today. 

There are additional advantages to owning our own property. Permanence is essential for Chosen People Ministries to develop longer-term relationships with the Jewish community. Jewish people will view us as a stable part of their neighborhood. A permanent place for our ministry in Tel Aviv strengthens the idea that Messianic Jews are part of a substantial Jewish movement and should be taken seriously. Building lasting relationships with the Jewish community is critical for evangelism, discipleship, and congregational life. 

Additionally, Messianic believers and ministries in Israel often experience opposition. In fact, the religious Jewish community asked our current landlord to stop renting to us. He has supported us thus far but explained to our Tel Aviv staff how he will be in a difficult situation if the resistance keeps us. He has other businesses, which can be impacted by the unfriendliness. This scenario would be true anywhere we rent in the greater Tel Aviv area. So, you can see, if we want to build a lasting testimony in a particular place, it would be far better to own than to rent as we will be less vulnerable to conflict.

Timeline

Since the facility is raw space, we anticipate the buildout will take twelve months from the time we begin construction. Delays in Israel can come about for various reasons, including social unrest, difficulty in securing materials and workers, as well as the possibility of opposition to our gospel efforts by religious groups trying to prevent our work.

Chosen People Ministries—Israel

Israel is the centerpiece of our global strategy in reaching Jewish people with the gospel! There is only one Israel—the heart of Jewish identity, hopes, and dreams throughout the centuries. Today, more than seven million Jewish people live in the Holy Land. Our Tel Aviv Messianic Center will serve an area where more than 50 percent of Israelis live, work, and raise their families. 

Chosen People Ministries began serving in Israel in the 1930s under the name Beit Sar Shalom (the House of the Prince of Peace, from Isaiah 9:6). Over the past thirty years, we have grown and now have more than two dozen staff members serving with Chosen People Ministries in Israel—and have planted several congregations. We serve the aging Holocaust survivor community of almost 200,000 Jewish people. We conduct children’s camps throughout the year, and we are active in personal evangelism and discipleship as well as digital/web-based evangelism. 

In 2006, we purchased and dedicated our Jerusalem Messianic Center, which serves as Beit Sar Shalom’s headquarters in Israel and is constantly busy with a wide variety of outreach gospel activities.

Our currently rented outreach center in Ramat Gan is home base of an amazing movement of the Spirit among young adults through concerts, dinners, evangelistic lectures, and ministry to children and entire families. By God’s grace, we will now be able to move this already-thriving ministry across the street to a new and more permanent Tel Aviv Messianic Center, doubling our ministry space for an exciting new phase to expand God’s work. 

Local Partnerships

There are very few places for larger groups of Jewish believers to gather in Israel, and our center will provide space for other ministries to use for their outreaches in the greater Tel Aviv area. We plan to make the facility available to the body of Messiah in Tel Aviv for their use as well.

In Israel today, we are not simply reaching Jewish people for Jesus—we are helping build a national body of believers. The church in Israel is growing like never before. This larger and more permanent facility presents us with a perfect opportunity to expand our outreach in the greater Tel Aviv area and to enable like-minded ministries to do the same.

Together We Will Rise and Build

Nehemiah told those opposing his plan to rebuild the walls of the ancient city: “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build” (Neh 2:20). 

This challenge transcends the centuries and remains relevant today. 

Please join us in our vision to build the Tel Aviv Messianic Center. 

We value your prayers, enthusiasm, and financial support. 

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Filed under evangelism, Holocaust Survivors, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish

Why we are excited for 2023

We are excited about all God is doing at the start of 2023—especially in the Land of Israel.

Your prayers and sacrificial support are critically important as it is impossible to find local funding enabling our Israeli team to preach the gospel in the Holy Land! One day we hope the work of the gospel by native Israeli evangelists will be self-supporting, but we are simply not there yet.

Israel has very few local congregations and less than 1 percent of Israelis are followers of Jesus . . . but we are making progress!

A New Messianic Center in Tel Aviv

We are especially excited to tell you we are purchasing a facility in Tel Aviv! The activities and events at our current Tel Aviv center are overflowing—mostly with younger Israelis who love to hear the word of God preached and are looking for a safe and attractive venue to bring their not yet saved friends and loved ones!

May I encourage you as the Lord leads to pray for and contribute to this growing ministry in Tel Aviv? At this moment, we are bursting at the seams! Just imagine how much more we could do with a space two-and-a-half times the size of our current rented facility!

Together, we can be part of the future predicted by Paul in Romans 11!

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from of Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25–26)

I believe we are moving quickly toward this great day of redemption, and the salvation of Israelis is a major step in preparation for His return. Clearly, the remnant Paul describes in Romans 11:5 will increase as we draw closer to the Second Coming of Jesus.

The Costs for the New Tel Aviv Center

The total cost for this new facility is $6.5 million. This figure includes the build-out, as the property is bare. By God’s grace, we currently have raised $3 million to be used for the purchase and development of the new center.

We need an additional $3.5 million.

I will keep you posted on our progress toward the $3.5 million goal in the months ahead.

So, how do you eat the proverbial elephant (who by the way is unkosher!)? One bite at a time. Your gift, whatever size and however long you take to give it over the next twelve months, will make all the difference in the world and help us own the new Center without debt so we can use all future funding directly for the day-to-day ministry and operational expenses of the Tel Aviv Messianic Center.

The Enthusiasm of Our Israeli Staff

Our staff serving in Tel Aviv are enthusiastic! This one testimony says it all!

A couple of months ago, a young believer brought a not-yet-believing friend to one of our events in Ramat Gan. Though he had met believers many times, he was resistant to prayer. This day, however, was different. One of our staff noticed that he seemed upset. So, she approached the young man and offered to pray for him in Yeshua’s name. He gratefully accepted. Shortly afterward, another staff member—who did not know someone had already prayed for him—came over to him. This staff likewise spoke with him and prayed with him. Later, while the young man was sitting outside, a third staff member made the same offer of prayer. At one event, three people on our team independently prayed with this person about three distinct concerns. His joyful acceptance of prayer is a significant step for him. He has been to a few Messianic events and services, so our team prays he will soon recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Grateful for Your Partnership

Thanks for caring, and we look forward to all the Lord will do in the future to bring His chosen people, in His chosen land, to His chosen Messiah . . . for all!

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Filed under Messianic Jewish, Judaism, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, evangelism

God’s Work in Israel During COVID-19

Shalom, dear friends!

You have been on my heart and in my prayers. I pray that you are staying
safe and healthy. Even if the coronavirus has not impacted you directly, I am sure that you are feeling its economic and social consequences. We need to pray fervently for one another and rely upon the Lord and His Spirit, not only to survive but to thrive during these difficult days.

We recently celebrated the final spring feast, Pentecost, or Shavuot in
Hebrew. It is the day commemorating the giving of the Holy Spirit. According to the book of Acts, it is the Holy Spirit that empowers and encourages us to be witnesses for the Lord “even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Evangelism has been a little more difficult these days with limited travel, let alone to the ends of the earth.

However, I recently heard the lockdown referred to as “confining but not
defining.” Our circumstances motivate us to find new ways to accomplish
the tasks to which the Lord calls us. You could even call our quarantine an
opportunity of the tallest order! We might be speaking to more people about Jesus by way of Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime than we did before the pandemic began!

A THORN IN THE FLESH

I cannot help but think of our current predicament as a proverbial thorn in
the flesh.

Paul wrote about his thorn. He referred to it as his weakness. But rather
than dwelling on whatever that weakness was, he wrote, “I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me”
(2 Corinthians 12:9b). And many other verses allude to the same principle—
that in our weakness and in our limitations, God reveals Himself to be strong.

As we use the creativity God has given us to find solutions, the Lord
Himself is glorified, and our ministry is magnified. I believe this is what Paul was encouraging us to do.

I have not seen the Apostle Paul’s dedication and passion for the gospel
so clearly replicated in recent years as I have seen expressed by a Russianspeaking, ex-homeless person living in Israel and serving among elderly Holocaust survivors—who now also has a brand-new kidney! One of the high honors I have had in serving the Lord among the Jewish people is working with Maxim.

THE GOSPEL GOES FORTH IN ISRAEL

Despite a mandatory lockdown in the Holy Land, many logistical obstacles, and a very recent kidney transplant, Maxim has found new ways to continue bringing the good news of Messiah Jesus to the Jewish people of
Israel.

I could tell you all about it, but I would very much like you to hear about the amazing work that God is doing in Maxim’s own words. He recently sent me this update:

I hope you had a lovely Passover holiday. I also hope you are staying healthy and well during this difficult time. With God’s help, we will get through the crisis. We pray for your situation in America.

In Israel, we are still under quarantine. Most people are staying at home. It is not easy, especially for older people. Each restriction is tough on those who are vulnerable or “at risk.” We are not allowed to visit them in person. Despite that, we keep serving these people. Every day we make dozens of calls, talking to the elderly, supporting them, and sending them videos via WhatsApp. With some of them, we are also able to do video chats.

In Haifa, we are doing Bible classes online with the elderly group there. For Passover, we prepared and distributed food packages to those in need. We also stay in touch via phone.

In Tel Aviv and central Israel, we recently distributed more than sixty packages of food to the elderly. We talk with them on the phone every day, as well

Because of my surgery, I must avoid contact with people. I am so grateful that my wife, Slavna, and our friend, Luda, took my responsibilities upon themselves. In Jerusalem, we, along with our volunteers, distributed protective masks that were sent to us by our friends in Hong Kong for people in the retirement homes. We also distributed food packages to those in need and stayed in contact with those we served.

Now, we are working on a new four-week ministry project. Every week, we plan on doing online concerts with different worship teams. The presentations will include many of the songs loved by these people, worship, and a message. We hope to stream them to all of our regions.

Despite all the difficulties, we are trying to do something to support our people. We pray for the future when we will finally be able to meet them again in person. We also pray for the possibilities of bringing a group of our elderly people somewhere to rest after the quarantine is over, maybe by taking a trip or at least some kind of tour. With all of the stress brought on by the isolation, relaxation is vital and much needed, so we hope God will provide something like this. Please also pray for the families of our Holocaust survivors. Many of them have lost their jobs and are now facing challenging times. We are trying to stay in touch with them and help them whenever possible. Due to the current situation, there are many new opportunities to reach out to people who have been closed-minded in the past.

Unfortunately, we also have had some sad news. Devorah* from Sderot passed away. She was the leader of the Sderot Holocaust Survivors Club. Because of coronavirus, nobody was allowed to attend the funeral. She was buried on Saturday at 11:00 p.m. by people from the funeral home. Her only family, a son who is very mentally ill, was unable to provide anything for the burial site. However, we hope that when we have the finances, we will be able to get a headstone for her.

We are thankful to God that, even in this difficult time, He gives us possibilities to serve and share the good news. We thank you and all of your friends who help to make ministry possible here.

Blessings from Jerusalem,
Maxim

*not her real name

CONTINUING THE MINISTRY

It is so encouraging to hear how God is working despite the circumstances! He is strong and able when we are not, and nothing can thwart His plans and purposes, not a virus, wars, economic hardship, or governmental restrictions. All it takes is a passionate heart devoted to Jesus, like that of Paul or Maxim, to be used by God in the power of His Spirit.

In the power of God’s Spirit, He provides for Your Mission to the Jewish People.

Thank you for your faithfulness.

Blessings in the Messiah,
Mitch

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Israeli Soldier Encounters Yeshua

Shalom from Jerusalem! I am writing this quick note from the Holy Land. I have been here for a month working with our staff, participating in Chosen People Ministries’ celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel, mentoring young leaders, and sharing the gospel with Israelis.

We also organized a special outreach event at our Ramat Gan/Greater Tel Aviv Center. We invited all those who have responded to our Hebrew Facebook ads by ordering a copy of the book I wrote, Isaiah 53 Explained. It was billed as a Meet the Author event. Of course, the author of Isaiah 53 is only Isaiah in part, since God Himself is the true author of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16)! So, they came to meet me, but I was hoping and praying they would meet Him!

A handful of Israeli non-believers attended, for which I was grateful. The conversations were lively with a lot of interaction, and they respectfully listened as I shared the truth of the gospel from this great chapter of the Bible. Afterward, I spoke with Ronit,* a young woman currently in the army who attended the event in her fatigues! She came with another young female soldier from her unit who was her friend. Ronit approached me with a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained in Hebrew and asked if I would sign the book. I did, and I also asked her what she thought of my talk. She was all smiles and told me how much she enjoyed it. Then she said something I will never forget. I asked her if she had heard about Jesus before and she said, “Absolutely!” When I asked how, she hugged her friend and said, “This is my friend and she has been talking to me about the Messiah…and it is beginning to make sense to me.” She replied that there was another female soldier who was a believer in her unit, and with a big smile said, “They are the best people I have ever met!”

I was delightfully surprised by her heartfelt and evident respect and love for her two believing friends. There is no doubt in my mind that she is not far from the kingdom. I was reminded of the power of our personal witness in word and through our lives! As Peter describes,

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15).

Please keep reading for another moment and let me explain what really goes into my being able to meet a young woman like Ronit.

First of all, we need to write and edit books like Isaiah 53 Explained. We had to print the book and pay for the mailing costs, Facebook ads, and rent for a center in very expensive Tel Aviv. Remember, we cannot easily rent a church or another facility for an outreach as there is only one church within twenty-five miles of our center!

I am so grateful for your sacrificial gifts that help us make the message of the gospel known to a sinful and broken world.

In fact, if this precious young soldier is the only person that ever comes to faith because of the ways God uses our very “human and frail” efforts, then I will be satisfied and rejoice. But, we know there will be others and that God is faithful to His word. As Paul writes, “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

Please continue to pray for the work of Chosen People Ministries. You have a vital part in bringing the gospel to Jewish people in Israel, Brooklyn, and around the globe through your prayers, support, and encouragement.

Thanks so much and I pray you have a great rest of the summer.

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