Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews issue Larnaca Statement on Reconciliation
Thirty Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews met in Larnaca, Cyprus, January 25-28, 2016 for four days of prayer, fellowship and study. They issued a statement affirming their unity as believers in Jesus and calling on their communities to join them in reconciliation initiatives.
The Lausanne Initiative for Reconciliation in Israel/Palestine (LIRIP) hosted the conference. Its vision is “to promote reconciliation within the body of Christ and our wider communities in Israel and Palestine by creating a network that encourages, under the auspices of the Lausanne Movement, models of gospel-based, Christ-centered reconciliation that will have prophetic impact in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The Larnaca Statement affirms the unity of Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews as believers in Jesus, calling for mutual commitment to live out that unity in the midst of conflict and division. It recognizes areas of challenge and theological disagreement and identifies where further work needs to be done. It proposes practical actions that express hope for the future, especially amongst the next generation of believers in both communities. It calls for prayer and support from the wider family of believers.
The statement highlights the issues and challenges affecting reconciliation, noting:
“In times of tension and violent conflict, relationships suffer, while suspicion, accusation and mutual rejection thrive. At such times it is even more essential that we who affirm our unity in the Messiah must uphold ethical standards of life that are worthy of our calling, in all our attitudes, words and deeds.”
Nevertheless, it calls for “a generous theological stance, which makes room for and respects the conscientious convictions of others that they sincerely derive from their reading of Scripture” and for “every effort to maintain our fellowship with each other as a witness to the unity of the body of the Messiah and to the boundless love of God for all people.”
Dr. Munther Isaac, Palestinian Christian co-chair of the Initiative, said: “Despite our different convictions on many issues, we are able to affirm together the need for reconciliation, and to seek unity among believers across our divided communities. Our shared faith calls us to listen, respect and even challenge one another in a Christ-like manner. It also compels us to be advocates for reconciliation and just peace.”
Dr. Richard Harvey, Messanic Jewish co-chair, added “It is important that a statement such as this is read and studied by Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians, and all who pray for and work towards peace in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Only by taking seriously the command of Yeshua (Jesus) to love our enemies can we begin to see the transforming power of His message of Good News in our lives and communities.”
The LIRIP Steering Committee, consisting of the two co-chairs and Mrs. Lisa Loden, Botrus Mansour, LLB, Mrs. Grace Mathews, Vice-Chair of the Global Board for the Lausanne Movement, the Very Rev. Dr Trevor W. J. Morrow, former Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly of Ireland, Dr. Salim Munayer and Rev. Dr. Christopher Wright, International Ministries Director of the Langham Partnership facilitated the conference. A further conference is planned for January 2017.
For more information and details of future meetings, contact the Lausanne Movement.
The Larnaca Statement
We met together as a combined group of thirty Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians, in Larnaca, Cyprus, for the second consultation of the Lausanne Initiative for Reconciliation in Israel/Palestine, January 25-28, 2016. We worshipped, prayed and studied the Scriptures together. We formed and deepened friendships as we ate and drank and talked together in the fellowship of the gospel.
We unanimously adopted the following statement, along with the commitments it includes, and we commend it for study, prayer and action.
The statement affirms our unity as believers in Jesus (section 1), calls for mutual commitment to live out that unity in the midst of conflict and division (section 2),
recognizes areas of challenge and theological disagreement and identifies where further
work needs to be done (section 3), proposes practical actions that express hope for the
future, especially amongst the next generation of believers in both communities (section 4), and calls for prayer and support for this initiative from the wider family of believers.
1. We affirm our unity in the body of Messiah
- Our unity has an intrinsically missional purpose, since Jesus prayed that we should be one in order that the world will believe the truth about Him.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17: 20-23)
- Our unity is created by God through the Holy Spirit and we are commanded to maintain it in humility, gentleness, patience and love.
1I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)
- Our unity embraces our diversity as Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians within the one body.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1 Cor. 12:12-14)
- Our unity was accomplished by the cross of Christ, by which the enmity between us has been abolished while retaining our distinctive identities.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephesians 2:14-18)
- Our unity is a condition of God’s blessing on our communities.
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore. (Psalm 133)
In the light of these and other Scriptures, we affirm the following paragraphs of the Cape Town Commitment: 
Love for one another in the family of God is not merely a desirable option but an inescapable command. Such love is the first evidence of obedience to the gospel, the necessary expression of our submission to Christ’s Lordship, and a potent engine of world mission. 
We lament the dividedness and divisiveness of our churches and organizations. We deeply and urgently long for all followers of Jesus to cultivate a spirit of grace and to be obedient to Paul’s command to “make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
In the context of our conflicting perceptions and opinions, we nevertheless affirm our wholehearted assent to these convictions:
- We are united in our faith in Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah, Saviour and Lord, and in the Good News of the Kingdom of God, which He preached, and for which He lived, died and rose again.
- We are united in the Body of Christ as a result of His reconciling work on the cross, and in our diversity we are all, equally and together, members of the one household of God.
- We belong together as one family;
- we are committed to love and serve one another;
- we need each other;
- we share one another’s suffering as members of one body.
2. We commit ourselves to live out that unity in the midst of conflict and division, and we call on our communities to join us in this commitment
2.1 In times of tension and violent conflict, relationships suffer, while suspicion, accusation and mutual rejection thrive. At such times it is even more essential that we who affirm our unity in the Messiah must uphold ethical standards of life that are worthy of our calling, in all our attitudes, words and deeds.
2.2 We recognize that we hold very different theological positions regarding the land, and also very different perspectives on the causes of the social, political and economic realities that impact the daily life of all who inhabit the land. Those realities include a range of disputed issues (such as: security; the occupation of the West Bank; Gaza; equality of citizenship in Israel; refugees; acts of lethal violence; the search for justice and peace, etc.).
2.3 Nevertheless, we insist that, whatever our theology or our views of current realities, we are called to live by the commands of Scripture and the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, even when we legitimately challenge one another in these areas. Conversely, we deplore those ways of speaking and acting that are incompatible with obedience to our Lord, and for which we need to repent.
2.4 Accordingly, we make the following commitments:
2.4.1 We will accept one another as God in Christ has accepted us, in spite of theological differences and disputed matters (Rom. 15:7). We also accept the responsibility this entails:
- to affirm and respect one another;
- to treat one another as brothers and sisters in the body of the Messiah at all times and circumstances;
- to seek to listen and understand even when we cannot agree;
- to behave towards one another with love, gentleness and patience.
2.4.2 We will refuse to denounce, dehumanize, or demonise one another or our respective communities. We will not “bear false witness against our neighbours”, “spread false reports” or “follow the crowd in doing wrong” (Exodus 20:16; 23:1-2). We will refrain from spreading gossip, rumours, slander, unfounded allegations and lies – whether by word of mouth, in print, or by social media, blogs, etc.
2.4.3 We will obey the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 18 in circumstances of dispute between brothers and sisters in our respective communities. We will not go public with our grievances against a brother or sister, or the ministries or organizations they represent, until we have spoken to them personally, and prayerfully addressed the issues along with other mature disciples of Christ.
2.4.4 We will pray for one another, seeking to look to the best interests of others rather than our own, bearing one another’s burdens, actively encouraging one another’s ministries and missional outreach, developing friendships and networks, and exploring ways to work together in gospel fellowship wherever possible.
2.4.5 We will make every effort to maintain our fellowship with each other as a witness to the unity of the body of the Messiah and to the boundless love of God for all people.
2.4.6 When we engage in legitimate challenge of one another’s actions, positions or teachings, we will do so in a manner compatible with the commitments above.
3. We recognize the following areas of challenge and disagreement.
While there is a need for further theological reflection and collaborative action in all the following areas, nevertheless we believe that our unity in the household of God challenges us also to make some common affirmations and mutual commitments in relation to them.
3.1 Understanding our different narratives
As Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians, we recognize that our historical narratives are often in conflict with each other and in many cases are mutually exclusive, particularly in relationship to the events of the past 100 years and the establishment of the state of Israel and the events leading up to it.
Many Messianic Jews see the return of the Jews to the land and the establishment of the state of Israel as a sign of God’s faithfulness to His people Israel. Many see Israel’s control over the territories as necessary to maintain security and prevent further escalation, and some see it as part of God’s promise to greater Israel, and view military service as a duty to their country.
Many Palestinian Christians see the presence of the Christian church in their land as a testimony to the faithfulness of God, and the establishment of the state of Israel as a catastrophe for their people. They see the Palestinian refugee problem, the lack of equality within Israel, the ongoing occupation, and the expansion of settlements on Palestinian land, as illegal and unjust. They perceive their survival and duty to involve resistance to these injustices by peaceful, legal and non-violent means.
In spite of our different views, we commit ourselves to listen to one another, to learn from and respectfully challenge the narrative of the other, to critically evaluate our own narrative and to work towards an inclusive, bridging narrative.
3.2 Recognizing our social identities
In the context of social and political conflict, we face the challenge of accepting and respecting each other’s identities. Our self-definition as Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians should not prevent us from accepting the legitimacy of the other. We must recognize our mutual belonging within the body of the Messiah as we live in our divided societies.
3.3 Enlarging our theologies
3.3.1 We recognize that there are deeply held theological convictions on both sides, which, in the minds and hearts of those who hold them, are justified on the grounds of biblical exegesis and interpretation. All of us affirm that we submit to the authority of Scripture in both Testaments as a necessary dimension of our submission to Jesus as Messiah and Lord. All of us seek to understand and interpret Scripture as faithfully as we are able and to apply it to our context and the issues it raises. Yet we disagree at some fundamental points.
3.3.2 We intend to listen more carefully to one another, so as to understand deeply even when we disagree. We will refrain from dismissive labeling of views that differ from our own as an excuse to avoid engaging with them on the foundation of careful, respectful, and mutually critical biblical exegesis. We will recognize that what for either community is a theological axiom can become the cause of pain for the other community, in the denial of identity or rights.
3.3.3 Even though we are convinced of our own positions and wish to continue to dialogue with and challenge one another, we will not require others to change their position and accept ours as a pre-condition of our fellowship. Rather we call for a generous theological stance, which makes room for and respects the conscientious convictions of others that they sincerely derive from their reading of Scripture. We commit ourselves to clarify our positions in situations where they might be interpreted in a way that harms or excludes others. We are also entitled to require the same from others.
3.3.4 For example:
Some of us believe that the uncancelled covenant of God with Israel continues to include the promise of the land to the Jewish people as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that the return of Jews to the land and the establishment of the state of Israel constitute the fulfillment of biblical prophecies. We reject, however, the interpretation of this theological conviction that denies the identity, history and peoplehood of the Palestinians and their right to remain in the land of their ancestors. And we acknowledge and lament along with them the suffering, death and injustice caused by that denial.
Some of us believe that all God’s covenant promises, including the land, are fulfilled in the Messiah Jesus as the One who embodies the true sonship and inheritance of Israel, embracing the whole earth and all nations. All those from any nation who are united to Christ by faith share in the inheritance that is His and are the seed of Abraham and heirs according to God’s promise. We reject, however, the interpretation of this theological conviction that denies the right of Jews to a secure homeland and rejects the reality and legitimacy of the state of Israel. And we acknowledge and lament along with them the suffering and death caused by the hatred and violence of those who seek to destroy it.
Other theological issues need to be addressed and worked on in a comparable spirit.
4. As believers in Jesus, we renew our biblically-grounded hope for the future, we affirm our belief that the gospel can change people and situations, and we accept that we have a role to play in this process.
We commit ourselves to the following intentions and actions:
4.1 To be advocates for each other in our communities, especially during times of increased violence;
4.2 To create a safe and private platform to maintain communication between us.
4.3 To make our best efforts to meet in friendship;
4.4 To seek and receive information about the conflict from each other rather than relying only on our media;
4.5 To be aware of the major role that social media play in our conflict, and therefore to be sensitive, honest and open in our use of social media and to maintain communication with one another;
4.6 To remember and acknowledge the limitations and potential dangers of non-direct communication;
4.7 To consult with one another during our process of making decisions that could directly affect our brothers and sisters on the other side;
4.8 To discuss our role in reconciliation within our own communities, especially those of us who are emerging leaders of the present generation;
4.9 To invite and challenge our peers and leaders to engage in healthy dialogue and reconciliation;
4.10 To pray for ourselves, for our authorities and for each other the following prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Prayer of Peace – Francis of Assisi
We invite both our communities in the land and outside it, along with the worldwide family of God, to join us in prayer, both that we may be faithful to the affirmations and commitments expressed here, and that the ongoing work of this initiative may bear fruit for the kingdom of God and His glory.
All of us who participated in the consultation agreed with and endorsed this Larnaca Statement. Some of us, due to the sensitivity of the context or for personal reasons, have preferred to withhold our names.
Richard Harvey (co-chair)
Munther Isaac (co-chair)
Yoel Ben David
 Bible quotations are from the NIV (2011).
 The Cape Town Commitment is the statement of the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, held in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2010.
 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 1 John 4:11; Ephesians 5:2; 1Thessalonians 1:3; 4:9-10; John 13:35
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Remembering The Messianic Music Man
We will all miss Steve Schneider who went on to be with the Lord on January 27. He was truly a man who loved His Lord, loved to worship Him, and loved his wife and family.
We will miss his sweet piano music, his joyful smile, and his ever-present words of encouragement. He was truly a testimony to God’s faithfulness to His servants.
Steve lived his final two years in Netanya with his wife Kerstin. He had three adult children and four grandchildren. He attended and ministered at Beit Asaph Congregation. However, he also brought his music and testimony all over. Often, he was out on the streets of Netanya and in other cities, sharing God’s love in song and in word.
Steve was 64. He died approximately one year after a car struck him while walking from his home. He suffered much from the injuries and eventually died from a sustained lung infection and then a collapsed heart.
Steve and Kerstin enjoyed ministering together, and spent seven years travelling internationally, throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the United States and Central America. They shared in worship and teaching everywhere. During one of those trips, they met a godly Korean man who was also a dentist. This man had a profound encounter with the Lord, where he heard Him say, audibly: “this man really loves Me and l love him.” The dentist agreed to bless Steve with extensive and expensive treatment free of charge.
Steve came to the Lord in 1973. He grew up in a Jewish home in California. Music was always his love. In fact, he learned to play the piano at age six. He wrote and recorded many songs. In addition to his ministry in believing assemblies in Israel and internationally, Steve also delighted in playing his beloved piano at many hotels, bringing joy and peace into the secular world.
Steve and Kerstin were deeply in love. They married in 1983. However, the early years of their marriage were quite stormy as Steve battled extreme bi-polar mental attacks. Kerstin wrote about it on their web site in an article entitled: “The Stolen Years.” However, in 1999, after much prayer and endurance, Steve received and submitted to proper medical treatment. He became stable emotionally!! The best years of their marriage were ahead of them.
However, even throughout the dark times, Steve never stopped praising God. One of the last songs that he wrote was based on Psalm 150:6:
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! (NASB).
I believe that down to his last breath, this giant of the worship world was doing that very thing, praising His God. I am even more certain that he is doing so now.
For more about Steve and Kerstin Schneider, please turn to their web site stevekerstin.com.
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Jerusalem Cornerstone Foundation – February 2016
The Way of Wisdom
By GARY ALLEY
“There is a way that seems right to a person,
but its end is the way that leads to death (Pr 14:12; 16:25).”
Easy answers are cheap and abundant. They populate the web like gaudy road signs hocking their wares. Likewise, everyone has an opinion, and with the dawn of social media we get to hear them daily. The “opinion smog” that pollutes our emails and browsers makes it taxing to filter the internet air.
Wisdom, on the other hand, is expensive and rare. It takes time and research to crystallize an intelligent thought and a prudent response. Often, it is not simple and quick but is configured from experience, patience, and humility. In contrast to the clogged, horn-honking highway traffic, wisdom’s way can be slower, bumpier, and lonelier. Even so, a word of wisdom is worth more than an opus of opinion.
This idea of “two ways” was known in other ancient literature, but the biblical tradition is its most famous source. The Didache, an early Christian document from the first century which served as a sort of discipleship manual for new believers, begins its text by emphasizing the disparity between the two ways:
“There are two ways: one of life and one of death!
And there is a great difference between the two ways (Didache 1:1).”
The Didache builds its “way of life” on Jesus’ affirmation of the two greatest commandments in first century Jewish practice—to love God and neighbor. Jesus’ daily conduct was founded upon these two biblical principles—“you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” and “you will love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus emphasized that this way to life was not easy or crowded.
“In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it (Mt 7:12-14).”
Just like the two great commandments, so too, the “way of life” originates in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament. There the “way of life” is a choice one makes, a path one takes of loving God by obeying His commandments.
“Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. What I am commanding you today is to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live…(Dt 30:15-16a).”
Ultimately, this “way of life” was equated in the Hebrew Bible with the “way of wisdom.”
I will guide you in the way of wisdom and I will lead you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; protect it, because it is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked or walk in the way of those who are evil (Pr 4:12-14)."
The Hebrew word here for “instruction” is musar (מוסר) which is “discipline” or “correction” that a parent or a teacher gives to a child or student. It is often used in connection with God’s punishment of disobedience. Musar is a “school of hard knocks” where one learns through his or her attempts and failures. This sometimes painful education hones ability and acumen while procuring hard-earned knowledge, like precious pearls fashioned from life’s stinging sands. This type of unhurried, step-by-step learning creates space for a humble self-awareness.
True wisdom understands how little one knows, and yet, instead of giving up and proclaiming the pursuit of knowledge as pointless, the root of wisdom spurs one on to never stop learning. One of the greatest blights in today’s instant gratification environment is the widespread phenomena of self-acclaimed expertise. There is a rat race for prestige and recognition among peers, laity, or friends which is not tested by truth and peppered with humility. In lieu of wisdom, false pride can prowl the halls of the academy, pontificate from the pulpits of churches, and masquerade on our social “status updates.”
Wisdom is not a sledgehammer for our righteous vindication. Instead, it is a master’s tool that can craft exquisite lines and alluring angles which culminate in a work of art conceived by attentive forethought and focused vision. Wisdom understands that every circumstance is uniquely set apart and so, wisdom is gentle and careful.
Ray van Leeuwen emphasizes this—“Wisdom behavior is always ‘fitting’ or appropriate to the concrete, particular circumstances. Part of the folly of Job’s ‘friends’ is that they know the general ‘rules’ of theological wisdom, without recognizing that they do not apply to Job’s particular, indeed unique, case. It is possible to speak the truth in ways that are false.”
As followers of Jesus, this is the greatest danger in our pursuit of the “way of life” or the “way of wisdom”. Scripture constantly warns us that we cannot be wise in our own eyes or lean on our own understanding. Yes, we should point others to the “right way” but how we do that matters more than we realize. We should remember that love of others is part of this narrow difficult way of wisdom. It is hard to love others, especially those with whom we disagree. Yet, how we speak the truth becomes part of the truth we share.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical (Jam 3:13-17).”
Charity Report: Your Gifts Helped these Families during January 2016
Shay is an Israeli divorcee who is being evicted out of her deceased mother’s house due to inheritance issues. JCF is helping her with rent for another apartment ($527).
Jessica is a 37 year old Israeli mother with a three year old child. Her husband is in jail for being abusive and she lives from disability payments. JCF is helping cover one month’s rent for Jessica and her daughter ($572).
Kari is an Israeli single mother who has a daughter in prison, while her second daughter passed away a year ago. She has much debt, so JCF is contributing to her electric bill ($181).
Harriet is a Christian Arab who is studying hotel management.Soon after getting married last year both her and her husband lost their jobs. JCF is helping with her tuition as she changes careers ($500).
- Ehud Olmert, will be the first former Israeli Prime Minister to serve time in prison, as he begins his punishment for his part in the Holy Land real estate scandal that has dragged on over the past 20 years. More, here.
- ISIS in the Lands of the Bible. The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem will be offering a special seminar on Feb 26th on ISIS’s destruction of world heritage sites throughout the Middle East. More here.
- As the Syrian War rages on, now with Russia fighting alongside the Syrian government forces, a tentative ceasefire is being called for in the coming week."Five years of conflict have killed more than a quarter-million people, created Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II and allowed the Islamic State to carve out its own territory across parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq. Overall, the United Nations says almost half a million people are besieged in Syria." More, here.
JCF News: Chuck Kopp Stepping Down as Senior Pastor of Narkis St. Congregation
Dear Cornerstone friends,
After many months of praying and seeking the Lord, I have come to the decision, together with my family and the Narkis Leadership Team, to allow younger leaders to take the reins from me and to start a new chapter.
No one has asked me to resign or put pressure on me to do so. I am doing this of my own volition and I ask you to prayerfully support this development in the days and weeks to come.
I made the announcement public this past Shabbat (Feb 6, 2016) that we are entering a season of leadership transition, ultimately so that I will be able to step down as Senior Pastor. Liz will remain involved on the leadership team serving in the music ministry and the benevolence outreach and I will continue to be part of the congregation as a father figure, because I firmly believe in the vision of Narkis Street Congregation.
We are deeply grateful to Sarah Lanier who has many years of bountiful worldwide experience and a wealth of knowledge in helping assist in leadership transitioning and have invited her in to help us with this process.
The Leadership Team is committed to ensuring that the congregation continues with the same DNA that has been handed down to us. That DNA loves God’s Word, appreciates the scholarship amongst us, and honors and is willing to be used by the Holy Spirit in multiple ways.
Liz and I have been given the opportunity to visit our daughter and son-in-law, Julie and Josh, and grandson Leon in Niger followed by a stop in Italy to visit our daughter and son-in-law, Sharona and Matt, and grandchildren, Silas, Ronan, and Chiara. We will be returning to Israel on March 4th.
The leadership team will continue this transition process while we are gone, seeking the Lord for just what the new leadership of the church will look like. I just say, that in the several times our team has met to discuss this, the spirit of unity among us is wonderful. We know the Lord has His plan for the future of Narkis St. Congregation, and that we will always be a place where He is the Shepherd.
Come Learn Biblical Hebrew in Jerusalem this Summer
It’s not too late to join a special JCF tour this Novermber 7-22, 2016 when Yoni Gerrish leads "Israel: Through the Wilderness to Restoration" with Dr. Larry Ehrlich For more information, here.
The Biblical Language Center (BLC) will be offering a four week session (July 3-29, 2016) for those who want to learn to read their Bible in its original language, Hebrew. The class is designed specifically for students with little or no background in Biblical Hebrew. BLC’s classroom is a fun and interactive environment with instruction and activities all conducted in Hebrew. For more information, here.
Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
There are approximately twelve needy and very lonely Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem who have been receiving loving care and companionship from an aid organization with whom we partner.These Survivors receive monthly checks to support them economically and receive regular volunteer visitors, which is also very important to them.A very nice program was begun to link boys from a local institution for disadvantaged children and youth, to some of these Holocaust Survivors.This has greatly benefited both the teenage boys and the elderly survivors.
Loneliness is a huge problem to people who have lost all their family and often their spouse.Visiting some of these Jerusalem Survivors regularly ourselves, we know how important this program is which supplies both financial and emotional support.
The donations of JCF have been used in part with help to maintain the ongoing expense of supporting these survivors in Jerusalem with monthly help in form of coupons for food items.The other part has been used to cover maintenance problems in their homes. For example, when our staff visited a 90 year old Survivor, her small, modest apartment was quite dark owing to a broken slatted shutter which could not be raised and had been like this for more than a week.Having received the gift from JCF, we were in a position to immediately arrange its replacement.One of hermost terrible memories is from her home town of Yasi in Romania where she suffered terribly from violence and terror.She lost most of her family and witnessed people being pulled out of their homes and killed.She finds it very difficult to talk about those memories. She is suffering from many health problems, does not have children, and lost her husband many years ago.Visits from Christians like us mean the world to her.
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WATCH: Interview with Young Arab Israeli who Strongly Supports Israel
Mohammad Zoabi, an 18 year-old Arab Muslim from Nazareth, has became well-known in Israel and around the world for his staunch defense of Israel and in particular for a video he released on June 14, 2014, in which he addressed the Palestinian kidnappers of 3 Israeli youth. He views himself as a Zionist and loves the State of Israel, which expectedly has drawn much criticism from some in the Arab Israeli community, even to the point of death threats. None of this has seemed to deter him as he has vowed to “stand with the Jewish people until the last day of my life.”
Click on the video below to watch an interview with Hananya Naftali, a Believing IDF soldier.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Intercessors For Israel Prayer Points – February 12, 2016
Intercessors for Israel seeks to raise up a prayer army in and for Israel. Though we are burdened to teach about and stimulate prayer in the lives of individual believers and in local congregations, our primary calling is to intercede before God in behalf of the people and Land of Israel, and to do our part in the battle to prepare the way for the return of the Lord.