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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 introduce you to 
the FIRM (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries)

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting Michael Mistretta, who works with FIRM. As you will see, they have much in common with the goals of Johnson County For Israel and especially the Bridge of Hope ministry, which connects churches in Johnson County with congregations in Israel. 
Please, keep Michael and FIRM in your prayers.

F IRM (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries) is a global fellowship of Biblically-grounded believers committed to cultivating Messiah-centered relationships that bless the inhabitants of Israel-Jews, Arabs, and others-and the Jewish community around the world.
 
The Vision of FIRM is summarized in 3 words -- Inspire, Connect, & Equip. Based out of Jerusalem, Israel, the goal is to Inspire people, especially leaders, to bless Israel. They seek to Connect individuals and ministries for greater cooperation and synergy. Finally, FIRM strives to Equip ministries and individuals for greater effectiveness in blessing Israel.
 
What makes FIRM unique? The ministry is International in scope, working to bring together and cultivate relationships between ministries and leaders from around the world.  The focus is Messiah-centric since the principle reason for blessing Israel is because of Jesus the Messiah. And, the mission is Inclusive as FIRM works to raise the voice of Israel-related ministries to a higher level through the synergy of embracing a broad spectrum of entities, including messianic Jews.
 
Many churches and Christian educational institutions are, at an alarming rate, joining with voices that seek to delegitimize Israel, judging with double standards and vilifying with terms like "apartheid" and other loaded, inaccurate terms. Some are joining efforts to harm the state by boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).
 
FIRM will work to unite the various organizations who are willing to stand on behalf of Israel. It will also reach out to leaders and educators who are wanting theological clarity and information about conflicts in the region, providing a forum for a flow of information as well as commentary. FIRM exists to bring the true, Biblical message of what God is doing in the Middle East-among Jews and Arabs-to two primary groups: Leaders & Influencers, and Young Adults & Millennials.
 
As more spiritual leaders and their communities begin to embrace the people of Israel, the Body of believers worldwide will tap into the olive root from which all Believers are nourished. The Body of believers will help reverse the erosion of common Judeo-Christian values and will experience the blessing God promised to those who bless His chosen people (Genesis 12:1-3).
 
For more about FIRM go to www.firm.org.il

 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY A HAVAT YESHUA !
Bridge of Hope partner with Covenant Church in Joshua


Dear Faithful Friend ,
 
Happy Birthday, Ahavat Yeshua! This past Saturday, we celebrated the tenth anniversary of our congregation, Ahavat Yeshua. The meeting was wonderful and festive in every way. The hall was filled with people, the anointing of God was very present in th  e worship and the word, and the fellowship and love shared between the many brothers and sisters was a testimony of the mighty work that God has done over the past decade.
 
The ten years have flown by quickly, and by God's grace and lots of hard work, these ten years have also brought forth significant fruit in the city of the King! There have been challenges, a few defeats, but overall we have experienced great success and as we look back, we are filled with a deep sense of peace and contentment.
 
At the very first meeting in 2006, there were about fifteen people. Asher Intrater and I were the two senior leaders. We had worked together in Tel Aviv for 6 years, and we understood very well that to raise up an end time work in Jerusalem would not be easy. But, we also were confident that by God's faithfulness and in his grace we would succeed. The first congregation to exist in Jerusalem described in the Book of Acts 2 would be our model. The name "Ahavat Yeshua" meaning the love of Yeshua, would reflect our essence as a congregation that would be filled with his love and power. Today, the small group of 15 has grown to fill our hall with about 150 people regularly.
 
Rejoicing at Weddings !
In the beginning, the congregation was comprised of mostly young and single people. Many of them had been raised in the Lord, and when we looked at them, we were excited to see the great potential in each one. We spent years meeting with them. We broke bread with them. We walked through difficulties and victories with them. We danced at their weddings and rejoiced as their young families grew. Many of these young people who started with us have grown into mature members of the congregation, and we are deeply committed to passing the leadership into their hands. Today, they have much of the responsibility for leading and managing the congregation. We have become the coaches, and the desire in their hearts to serve is bearing fruit. For this we are grateful, and in this we give glory to God who is building His house in Jerusalem in this day.
 
Another wonderful work of the Lord over these first ten years has been to provide a home for us. In the early years we met in four different buildings. Although each one was a good place, different circumstances forced us to move each time. And then it happened! In a direct answer to prayer, we were approached by a ministry in Jerusalem to join with them in a new project. In one incredible day, we agreed to share with them the costs of the renovation of a new meeting hall that would become our home in the very heart of Jerusalem. Many of you were a part of this process as you donated funds to help us cover the costs. Today, we are in the middle of our second year in this location with room for 250 people and a beautiful children's wing for our growing, younger population. We give God all the glory, and we thank each of you who have helped us to complete this challenging and expensive project.
 
                        
                           

Over the years, we have endeavored to grow together as a family and to care one for another. This presented a great challenge in a multi cultural international community. This year we have started home groups, and they are filling a great need for closer relationships among the members.
 
God has been so faithful to us these past ten years and we know this is just the beginning! He will continue to be faithful above and beyond what we can imagine or hope for! We are so grateful that you are a part of our life and ministry and for giving yourselves to help us build the House of God in these last days in Jerusalem. And as I often declare; "THE BEST IS YET TO COME!"
 
We thank God, our brothers and sisters here in Israel and all of you that stand with us from the nations of the world. To God be the glory, great things he has done. 
 
With Love from Zion,
 
Eddie and Jackie


Please click HERE for Urgent Prayer Request concerning Pastor Eddie



BOH Logo with text
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 MANY 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  HERE  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 bentley_kevin@sbcglobal.net.

  Let's build a Bridge together as we stand For Israel!

            
              
An update from  Pastor Rick Hope at FBC Lillian 
about their BOH partners  Shlomy & Miriam Abramov

The Abramov family visited FBC Lillian the last weekend of April and the first Sunday of May.  They are our Bridge of Hope church from Israel. The time was simply amazing. We ate, fellowshipped and learned. 

Shlomy and Miriam did an amazing presentation of what their ministry was all about on Friday night and "Christ in the Passover" on Sunday morning.  The church treated them to a "Third Day/Steven Curtis Chapman" concert,  two Christian movies (one actually played in the church) and had the opportunity to take them on a very entertaining shopping trip.  

My church fell in love with them once again (they had met them once briefly before) and as a result, renewed their love for Israel.  

I t was an awesome time !
 
Rick

Until we are all ONE! (Eph.2:15) !


SUCCESSFUL CANCER DRUG MADE IN ISRAEL: BBC WON'T TELL YOU

An Israeli-developed drug cocktail that has been shown to cure 58% of terminally ill cancer patients has been approved in record time by the National Health Service of the UK. BBC, reporting the story, failed to mention that the drug was developed in Israel. The Sheba Medical Center in Israel, reported a year ago that Dr. Yaakov Schachter, head of Sheba's Ella Institute, had developed the new combination of drugs - a discovery that was hailed by the scientific community as "a major breakthrough" in cancer research. The new medicine shrinks cancerous tumors or eliminates them altogether. In its article of more than 600 words, BBC reported that "a pioneering pair of cancer drugs that unleash the immune system on tumors will be paid for by the NHS in England," and that the decision to approve the drugs "is one of the fastest in NHS history." The article goes on to sing the praises of the new drug, but does not divulge a word as to its Israeli origins. BBC reported that in trials, the combination therapy shrank "the most aggressive and deadly type of skin cancer" in nearly 70% of patients. (INN)

Recom Reading List Logomended Reading

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)


Hebrew Helps
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 contact us with any definitions you think we should ad.


This month's Hebrew Help definition is:
 
Parashah  (pah-rah-shaw) plural parashot
a portion of the Torah chanted or read each week in the synagogue on the Sabbath. The Jewish people world-wide read the same portion of the Tanach (Hebrew scriptures or Old Testament) each week and have been for centuries.

Click HERE to read Pastor Almeida's thoughts on the parashah reading in Numbers 12.
 
Previous Month's Definition is

Mikveh 
a bath in which certain Jewish ritual purifications are performed.

Click  HERE  t o see the entire Hebrew Help Glossary!   

Read this month's 
FEATURED ARTICLE
Here Am I !
by BOH partner 
Jonathan Almeida


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
    contact me for more info by phone at 817-556-1061 or by email  at                                 bentley_kevin@sbcglobal.net.


Kevin Bentley, JCFI Director
2 North Caddo Street, Cleburne, Tx 76031
817-556-1061