Because the vision of JCFI is to raise a greater awareness of Israel in the churches of Johnson County, we want to connect you to some of our friends who work to bless Israel.
This month I want to share an encouraging testimony from
the daughter of Chaim Singerman,
owner of the Jerusalem Hills Inn B & B
Hi, this is Lael. I am the 4th-born Singerman. I'm in 11th grade in public high school in Israel.
Recently, my good friend Agam (who is NOT a believer) told me about all her Korean friends. She is a native born Israeli Jewish girl, but LOVES Koreans. She even decided to study their complex language. Every school break she spends with her Korean friends, who are all Christians. (There are some Korean families living in Israel, who came here to bring the Gospel.) She informed me that she does things with them and even has been going to church with them, even though they are Christian (she of course is Jewish). One friend even gave her her own copy of a New Testament.
She asked me if she had to read it daily, like all the religious Jews, who spend all day reading religious books. She didn't want to feel religious and do it out of obligation. I encouraged her to not feel pressure in a religious way, but to read it with faith, and believe God will give her understanding. I told her to expect it to leap from the pages as she reads, assuring her that her salvation wouldn't be a result of a daily religious routine. She also asked me what will happen when Yeshua comes back. I then explained to her that the book of Revelation talks about the end times, and in several sentences I relayed to her the main points of war and trouble that will occur before Yeshua's return.
We started to read through Romans 1, as I had a Hebrew Bible handy on my phone, every few verses stopping to explain the meaning. We talked for a little over an hour, with many interruptions as many students were walking around us, talking to us, and trying to join us. She is easily distracted, and although the conversation was cut off many times, the fact that Agam stayed on the faith topic for a whole hour showed clearly how deeply interested she was.
She kept asking me about my faith life. Until then, she had only talked with Christians about Jesus, but had never talked to a Messianic Jew about Yeshua. It was good for her to see that following Yeshua doesn't mean she has to forsake her Jewish culture and family, and that it is works well for Jewish people to believe in Yeshua (Jesus).
Then I told her about a vision the Lord had given me at a youth camp called Encounter, where I had seen white steps ascending, and at the top Yeshua's hand reaching for me, calling me to follow. This amazed her, and when she asked if it was actually real, I replied that it had been more real than the school we were walking in. Later we discussed romance and dating, and I explained how I wanted to wait for the right one, and about the advantages of parental covering. She was very accepting and agreed that it was better to keep your heart for only one.
Next break we continued reading Romans 1. When we read the verse, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation," she asked what it meant. She wanted to know what the Gospel was, so I got to explain it to her! Agam was excited after it all, and thanked me numerous times for helping her understand. I assured her it was my pleasure! She also invited me to attend the Korean church with her and her friends, and I invited her to my congregation, which is a Messianic Jewish service in Hebrew. I am so excited for what God is doing, and believe God is working in her heart to bring her to salvation. As we talked she said that she believes that Yeshua did good on the earth and helped people by showing a way to live lovingly and peacefully. What an amazing beginning! Agam is a very dear friend, and I am praying for her to receive Yeshua as her Lord and Savior. I told her about being born again and giving your life to the Messiah, and when she asked me how one could do that, I told her how to pray the sinner's prayer.
Please pray that the sparks of life and hunger won't die down, but will grow into a burning flame, and that she won't be dissuaded by her parents who may resent this (I haven't asked her how they feel, but I know most Israeli parents resist this and become angry if their children believe in Yeshua, since they see this as renouncing the Jewish faith). I mentioned that I would bring my Bible the next day and we could read together.
The next day:
So, it went great! I brought my Bible and we got to read it together. We read sections from the book of Hebrews and I explained it to her. She loved spending time reading the New Testament. Also she told me she knew a worship song. I asked her about it, and it was one that I knew too. (It was the words of John 3:16 in Hebrew, put to music.) We sat and sang it together. It was amazing!
Please pray for her salvation and that I will be able to disciple her well.
Thank you for praying.
Blessings and Grace,
BOLDER THAN EVER ABOUT THEIR FAITH
Messianic Soldiers in the Israeli Army
All Israelis, men aged 18 to 21 and women aged 18 to 20, are required to do some form of military or community service. This means that thousands of Messianic Israelis - Jewish and non-Jewish, men and women - have shared in the Israeli army experience at one time or another. We are especially proud of our soldiers facing the challenges of today, which are more complex than ever before.
From survey results, it is clear that openness about Yeshua (Jesus) in the Israeli army is indeed the new "norm." Of those Messianic soldiers polled by KNI, a remarkable 96% say fellow soldiers know of their belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.
Possibly even more remarkable is that 78% of their commanders and/or officers know of their belief in Yeshua. This is certainly a generation that is bolder than ever in sharing and living out their faith!
Equally encouraging feedback from the survey results is a largely supportive and pluralistic reaction from their fellow soldiers and officers, with 64% of them having a positive response, 22% having an indifferent response and only 14% expressing a negative response upon hearing about their faith in Yeshua.
Contrary to what older Israeli believers remember of their army experience, very few Messianic soldiers today face significant discrimination or persecution. Furthermore, a relatively high percentage (30%) responded that they have a fellow believer in their unit. As recently as fifteen to twenty years ago, it was a rarity for any two Messianic soldiers to be found serving together.
A statistic that has not changed over the years is the high percentage of Messianic IDF soldiers serving in combat. A vast majority of 57% responded that they are serving in combat units, with many serving in volatile areas, such as the Gaza border, Lebanon border, and Judea and Samaria. The believing community in Israel, both young and old, is known to be very Zionist, nationalist and law abiding, with a high motivation to serve God and Israel.
There is a long history, albeit unknown to many, of Messianic believers serving in combat units and elite special forces including Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) and Shayetet 13 (Navy Seals). Today's Messianic IDF soldiers are no exception.
In reading this encouraging information about Messianic soldiers, it is important to remember that over the past six months Israel has been facing a new type of terror in which lone attackers suddenly try to stab, shoot or run over unsuspecting Israeli citizens going about their everyday lives. However, their preferred targets are IDF soldiers.
In the midst of these terror attacks are hundreds of Messianic IDF soldiers, serving the State of Israel, defending its citizens, and most of all, being a tremendous blessing and testimony to their fellow soldiers.
Another aspect of understanding the significance of the boldness and openness of Messianic soldiers today is the effect they have on the way Israeli society views believers in general, but particularly relating to immigration or aliyah.
Those who are already Israeli citizens are not questioned about their faith by the IDF. Like all other Israeli recruits they are drafted and evaluated for their potential skill.
However, Messianic Jews wanting to immigrate to Israel can face difficulties because of their faith. It is noteworthy that even during the years when Messianic soldiers were still fighting for equal opportunities, a 1988 poll published in the Jerusalem Post found that 78% of Israelis were in favor of Messianic Jews immigrating to Israel under the Law of Return, as long as they could prove Jewish lineage - and were willing to serve in the IDF.
For three decades and more, Messianic Israelis have demonstrated that they can and do serve their country, not in spite of but because of their faith in Yeshua. This has resulted not only in more openness to accepting our service, but also more willingness to hear our testimony about Israel's Messiah.
Kehila News Israel
Bridge of Hope Update...
We Are Growing !
One way JCFI raises awareness of Israel's role today is through building a Bridge of Hope (BOH). A Bridge of Hope is a "bridge" built between a Church or organization of Johnson County and a Congregation, Home Group, Faith-Based Organization, or Individual within Israel. At JCFI we currently have 24 Congregational BOH's and 5 Organizational BOHs that are up-and-running with
in the process. The BOH project is blessing people both in Israel and here in Johnson County as it provides connection through fellowship, prayer support, educational exchange, and more. (Click
for more info)
We would love to hook you up! I am Skyping almost weekly with those in the Land who are eager to link up in a "sister" relationship with a congregation or organization in Johnson County. Be in prayer for us as we establish new connections with ministries in Israel that desperately need our support and prayer.
If your church would like to know more about becoming a BOH to a congregation in Israel, click HERE or contact me by phone at 817-556-1061 / by email at email@example.com.
Let's build a Bridge together as we stand For Israel!
Here is an BOH update from Pastor Chuck Mellott & The Carpenters Church of Joshua Texas
(BOH partners with the Israel Prayer Mission)
Pastor Chuck Mellot and The Carpenter's Church of Joshua, Texas are Bridge of Hope partners with the Israel Prayer Mission and the Bella Family. Leonardo and Una Bella are passionate about sharing the Good News of Jesus with the Jewish people of Israel. They have good reason to be such ardent witnesses. Both Leonardo and Una are Jewish followers of Yeshua with radical salvation testimonies of how they came to follow the Jewish Carpenter.
Over the last several years, the Bellas have enlisted an army of Believers here in the States to pray for the salvation of specific Jewish individuals in the Land. Daily, the Bellas are sharing the message of Yeshua to this specific, God-led list of family, friends, and strangers alike. Meanwhile, they send regular progress reports to prayer warriors here, updating them about how to intercede on behalf of these Jewish "Pre-Believers!" (prophetically speaking, of course!)
Well, Pastor Chuck and the congregants of The Carpenter's Church take their prayer calling seriously. Believing that the Lord is the Potter and we are the clay, members bring pots to place on the altar at the front of the sanctuary. I've been there, and there are lots of pots! Each piece of pottery represents a family member or friend and is a tangible reminder to the membership that prayer is both important and effective. When the news comes that someone has accepted Jesus as personal Savior, the new Believer's name is placed in the pot. And, prayer continues!
Slowly, more of the pots at the front of The Carpenter's Church are in memory of Jewish residents of Israel who have come to know and trust in Yeshua. Following is a letter that Pastor Chuck sends to the new Jewish Believer with a few pictures of their pot!
"My name is Pastor Chuck Mellott and my wife, Jeannine, and I pastor The Carpenter's Church in Joshua, Texas. We have known the Bella's for almost a year now and are so blesse d to be in relationship with them. We are gentile believers and brothers and sisters in faith who love Yeshua, the Son of God. Several years ago, the Lord put a love in my heart for the Jewish people. I can't explain it, but the love is real. We have prayed with and for the Bella's and their friends. What a
joy to see fruits of our prayers!
I have attached a picture of the inside of our church building. This is the front wall. (It is actually our western wall.) The verse on the wall is Jeremiah 18:3-6. Each of the pots has been placed there by our members and represents individuals, families or friends. They represent our willingness to allow Jeshua to
work in us.
We have been praying for your salvation, and we received word that you accepted Yeshua as your Messiah. Therefore, we have placed a pot in the church with your name in it. Eventually, we hope to have the church filled with pots of all shapes, sizes and colors. I am attaching a picture of the pot we have purchased for you. We hope you like it and that it represents your personality."
Until we are all ONE! (Eph.2:15) !
JACOB'S SHEEP ARE COMING BACK HOME
The largest flock of one of the most ancient breeds of sheep, the Jacob Sheep, is found today in, of all places, the Canadian town of Abbotsford in British Colombia. Gil and Jenna Lewinsky own 80 of these rare small spotted sheep that can grow up to six horns. Some say these are the very descendants of the breed that resulted from Jacob's mysterious breeding technique that made him a wealthy man on the run. The Lewinskys' hope to bring these sheep back to the place of their origin will soon be realized after Rafi Barak, Israel's Ambassador to Ottawa, endorsed their efforts to bring the flock to Israel. "The first thing I did when I heard of this project from Jenna was, I opened the Bible to see if this is a true story. We have been helping Jenna and Gil with connecting with the Agricultural Ministry and we found that it is right for the Israeli culture to give the green light for this and to help it," said Barak. The Jacob sheep are an artifact of ancient Israel and prove that the story of Jacob and Laban took place." (Israel Today) "Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb." Gen 30:32
This month JCFI encourages you to get a copy of:
by Alfred Edersheim (One of the best known and important references on the life of Christ)
As we work to build a greater awareness of Israel in Johnson County and continue to connect to Believers and Jews in the Land,
we are often ask, "What does that word mean?". So, each month at JCFI we will ad to a glossary of terms to help broaden our Hebrew vocabulary. Please, enjoy this Hebrew Help and
with any definitions you think we should ad.
This month's Hebrew Help definition is:
a bath in which certain Jewish ritual purifications are performed.
Click HERE to read about a new generation of Jewish Believers entering the mikveh.
Previous Month's Definition is
breathe or to breathe. The breath of God, the breath of man, the breath of life. Or, the spirit of man.
o see the entire Hebrew Help Glossary!
Read this month's
The "Joshua" Generation Follows the Messiah In Israel
(by BOH partner
HOW CAN I STAND FOR ISRAEL?
Since the Banquet, many have ask me, "What can I do for Israel?" While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, here are a few suggestions I hope you find useful:
1. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Psa.122:6)
"For Zion's Sake I Will Not Be Silent" by Rebecca Brimmer is an excellent guide on
prayer for Israel. Click HERE for more info.
2. Learn more about Israel-related ministries
There are wonderful Israel-related ministries doing a great work to support Israel. Click HERE to learn more about a few of them.
3. Learn more about the Hebraic Roots to Christianity
The Bible often takes on deeper meaning in the context of its Hebraic Roots. The
Ancient Hebrew Scroll project at the CHF is a testimony to this fact. There are
numerous writings about Hebraic Roots. A good place to start is the book by
D. Thomas Lancaster entitled Grafted In.
4. Take a trip to Israel I've been blessed to travel to Israel many times. It has
changed my life. I baptized my daughter, Lauren, in the Sea of Galilee during my trip
there in 2011. She had accepted Jesus as her Savior 3 days before we left. This
should be at the top of any bucket list!
5. Be an Israel contact person for your church
The vision at JCFI is to increase the awareness of Israel within the churches of
Johnson County. Maybe you could support your pastor by volunteering to be the
church's Israel contact person for JCFI.
6. Build a Bridge of Hope
Speak with your Pastor / Church Leaders about building a BOH. Feel free to