Shavei Tzion’s Eagle Project teaches young believers to fly
Shavei Tzion Messianic congregation in Haifa has a lot going on. This congregation reaches out to many Israelis in diverse sections of society with the love and power of Yeshua through humanitarian and educational outreaches.
Planted in 2001 by Leon and Nina Mazin, the vision of Shavei Tzion (Return to Zion) is to “Restore faith in Yeshua in Israel in our days.”
Some of its programs include the Haifa Theological Institute, the Rainbow of Sounds Music School, the Oasis Media ministry, a prophecy studio, a food distribution center, ministry to Holocaust survivors and providing assistance to new immigrants to Israel.
One of Shavei Tzion’s main outreaches is the Eagle Project. The Eagle (nesher in Hebrew) Project, which began in 2015, aims to encourage and strengthen young Israeli believers who have recently completed their army service.
Through the project, done in collaboration with Norwegian Christians, former IDF soldiers take a trip to Norway for “physical and mental rest, spiritual renewal, discipleship, fellowship, and service to local communities.”
“I spent nine years in the IDF – first in military college, then as a soldier and officer. In my time there, 80 percent of young Messianic believers lost their faith during their army service – and those 20 percent that remained were not strong,” Eagle project coordinator Evgeni Stanukevich told KNI explaining the need for this type of outreach.
In determining to reach out to these young adults, Shavei Tzion capitalizes on the celebrated Israeli tradition in which young people take time out to travel after their army service.
“They do this to clear their minds, meet different people and see sites,” Stanukevich said. “This is very important to them.”
Understanding the value that young Israelis place on this unofficial tradition, Stanukevich explained that the idea behind the Eagle Project was not to block such travel for believers, but “to guide them to a better place and a positive environment so that they come back from their trip as a fresh new person who is ready to do a good job in God’s kingdom.”
Shavei Tzion operates on the scripture that its founders that God gave them in inspiring the project: “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
“These days the youth are tired and weak. They walk without a goal, without understanding why they are here,” Stanukevich said. “In my opinion these youth adults struggle because they have not had a personal encounter with Yeshua. They are just trying to survive as the ‘good believers’ their parents want them to be.”
“We have a great responsibility as family, spiritual family and congregation to do our part to help them receive their own revelation of Yeshua,” Stanukevich continued. “Youth also need to be trained in the Word to overcome their spiritual enemy.”
The Eagle Project therefore helps young adults to renew or receive faith, to heal the wounds of their past experiences, to help them rest, and to understand what are their unique gifts from God.
As the Eagle Project team reached out to believing communities around the world and prayed about where to take their first group, it became apparent that Norway would be the place.
“It was our Norwegian brothers who had spirit we looked for: the excitement, joy and clear answers,” Stanukevich recalled.
The first group took the month long trek to Norway in 2015 and the work has continued since. Activities include prayer and worship with local youth, hiking in the mountains, sharing testimonies in home groups and churches, leading services, having fun and participating in youth conferences and discussions.
The group also receives many hours of teaching on fundamental matters including the roots of our faith, walking daily with the Lord, prayer and Bible study, living by the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit and identity in Yeshua.
“This program is not for those who only want to travel and go shopping,” Stanukevich added.
The next trip to Norway is scheduled for August 2018. To qualify for the program, participants must have finished their IDF or national service and be open to meeting God. They must also be willing to listen and be ready to participate in all group activities.
“Aside from witnessing the spiritual growth of our young people it is so amazing to see a huge amount of the fruit of unity between the Jewish and Gentile believers,” Stanukevich summarized.
Click below to watch a video about last year’s Eagle project trip:
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Faulkner is a British Israeli citizen. She has a Master's degree in Human Rights & Transitional Justice from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
A success story from Be’ad Chaim (Pro Life)
Leah was one of the first moms to be helped through Operation Moses which began twelve years ago. A 30-year old single mom with a young son, she was dating a Muslim man, when she realized she was pregnant again. Her boyfriend told her to abort, saying that he wouldn’t help her with anything because he had no money.
Leah did not want an abortion. Her friend, Valerie, who had been helped by Be’ad Chaim through “Operation Moses”, asked her how she would manage with a new baby. Leah had been working cleaning houses, however with the pregnancy she had to stop. She got a job at a local supermarket. Valerie gave her the number of a Be’ad Chaim counselor, with the advice to seek assistance there. Leah became part of the Operation Moses project, and she and her counselor were in touch often both by phone and personal visits. Several months later, after a phone call in the middle of the night, the counselor drove her to the hospital and stayed with her during the labor until her doula arrived. The doula was very sweet and gentle, making the birth a very special experience. Baby Anna was born a beautiful fair skinned child and a delight to her mom.
Leah recently said: “From the moment that I was pregnant, I felt that I needed to have this baby. Now, I think that the baby helped me to come to know God’s love. I knew that God existed, but only because of the baby, I came to know him in a personal way. I call her the gift of God to me.
Just after the birth, our staff brought her a bed, stroller and bathtub filled with beautiful baby items. For the next year, she received, diapers, formula and wipes every month. She felt so much love. She thought to herself: “Why would anyone do this for me? Who am I to you? You’re closer to me than aunts or relatives…. You behave like a mother toward me.” Outside of Be’ad Chaim, she had no other support. She was pressured from all sides, even her mom, her boyfriend and her situation, yet she didn’t want to abort.
Six years previously she had an abortion. It had been a very difficult pregnancy. The morning sickness was terrible. Her son was only three years old and she could not take care of him. She could hardly even eat. It was too hard, she felt like she was dying. The father of the baby gave her money for an abortion. She felt relieved and didn’t understand that it was a baby. Only when she came to know God’s love after Anna’s birth, did she understand that she had taken the life of her baby. Without knowing God’s love, she hadn’t wanted to understand, she disconnected from the pain – didn’t want to open the doors of her heart.
Two years ago, Leah became a Be’ad Chaim counselor. She was invited to join a support group for hurting women post-abortion. Leah shared her experience: “The post–abortion Bible study helped me to become a different person. I asked God to forgive me and I found freedom and release. I felt God working in my life, and I felt like a different and confident person. Before I was “lost”, ashamed and didn’t know where I was going. I was ashamed and guilty all the time. Now everything is different. I am thirsty for God. I read the Scriptures every day. I turn to the Bible for all of the answers and pray all the time.This relationship with God is so amazing. I hear His direction. Before being emotionally healed, I couldn’t hear Him. Now I feel His warmth, His love and His life in me. It’s so wonderful. I know that God isn’t done with me and has so much more for me to accomplish.
“There is a season for everything. …. A time to laugh and a time to cry…”
This article originally appeared in Be’ad Chaim’s newsletter, Spring 2018, and reposted with permission.
Be'ad Chaim (Pro Life) is a registered Israeli non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of mothers and unborn children.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
KNI Israel Prayer Corner :: Mar 27, 2018
Prayer for Community News
Passover (or “Pesach” in Hebrew) is fast approaching and Israelis are busy preparing to celebrate the Passover feast as commanded by God for all their generations in Exodus 12:14-17. This is not just an Israeli or religious tradition. Jewish families both religious and secular, living in Israel or in the nations, will gather together to observe the Passover seder meal. A recent poll reported that a whopping 67.3% of all Israeli Jews will have a traditional Passover seder! The recounting of the exodus of the children of Israel is a STILL a prophetic picture through which God shows us His intended salvation through Yeshua (Jesus). This will be part of the observance in many Messianic seders throughout Israel and the world.
Please pray with us for the eyes of their understanding to be enlightened to the fullest meanings of God in the Passover seder before them. (Ephesians 1:18) Pray for the lifting of the veil over the eyes of many during this 70th anniversary of the re-gathering of the Jewish people to establish the ancient homeland, Israel. Matthew 24:32-34: Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh. So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Pray for the Passover family seders of Messianic Jewish families that will include non-believing family members. Pray for the Israeli Messianic community who are standing in faith before God for the salvation of their own families and of all Israel. Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Pray for local outreaches that are happening during the Passover holiday. Pray for Christians throughout the world to understand the significance of the Passover and all the biblical Feasts of the LORD that they may have a heart to pray for Israel and the Jewish people.
Prayer for Israel News
Late Sunday evening (March 25, 2018) an incident set off incoming sirens in southern Israel along the border with Gaza. At first there were reports of a barrage of missiles being fired into Israel and a video was posted of the Iron Dome defense system taking down several in the air. But quickly afterwards reports emerged from Israel that it hadn’t been rockets at all, rather it was machine gun fire from Gaza. Whatever is going on here, clearly Israel wants to keep a lid on possible outbreak of battle. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the land of Israel, that no sudden acts of violence kick-start a war. Pray that God will intervene to distract the enemies and that He will give wisdom from above to all the Israeli leaders of government, military and media. Psalms 29:11 May the LORD give strength to His people! May the LORD bless His people with peace!
During the season of Passover, Christians will also gather to observe the death, burial and Resurrection of the LORD. Although there is much bickering that goes on about these two related holidays, there is one truth that unites all of us who are bound together by faith and that is that our salvation is because of “Messiah Yeshua and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2) “This same Yeshua, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:1
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
Symbolic and Traditional Passover Recipes
Image for illustration - A Passover seder table setting (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
A poll just taken in Israel – which, incidentally has a majority secular population – found that 67.3 percent of Israeli Jews will eat only kosher (satisfying the requirements of Jewish law) food for Passover and that 63.1 percent will also clean their homes, removing all traces of hametz, or leavened products, symbolic of sin.
We won’t go into all the rules of kosher-for-Passover food here, but if you are planning to host a Passover seder – the traditional holiday meal – you should know what is kosher and what is not, especially if you plan to invite Jews! Plenty of helpful explanations by Messianic Jews can fill you in on those important rules, to which 67.3 percent will adhere during the holiday period even when dining outside their own homes.
Here we want to share a few recipes of some wonderful, kosher foods that are both symbolic and traditional to the Passover seder. Some of these foods are symbolic and are used to the tell the story of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt described in Exodus 12. Since there is no more animal sacrifice, a shank bone, zeroah, is used to symbolize the sacrificed lamb. For the actual meal, meats other than lamb are usually prepared such as brisket, fish or chicken.
Other symbolic foods central to the telling of the Passover story are the maror, or bitter herbs (usually horseradish); haroset, a sweet paste of fruit and nuts symbolizing the mortar Jewish slaves used to build Egyptian pyramids; a green leafy vegetable called karpas, either lettuce or parsley; and salt water to symbolize the tears of the slaves in bondage in Egypt.
According to the Haggadah, the order of the seder, participants drink four glasses of wine at certain intervals. The Peniel Fellowship in Tiberias offers a Messianic Haggadah, available free for download in Hebrew-English, Hebrew-Spanish, Hebrew-German and Hebrew-Finnish. It was written and is used by the fellowship, and incorporates elements of the Passover meal with their fulfillment in the New Covenant. Another Messianic Haggadah, available for free download in Hebrew, English, Spanish and Russian, was authored by Howard Bass of Nachalat Yeshua Congregation in Beersheba. It tells the Passover story with past, present and future views of the feast.
The unleavened bread in the Passover meal, matzah, takes a central role in the seder because it symbolizes the sinless, unblemished, broken Bread of Life, Yeshua. This symbolism of the matzah is still a mystery hidden from the spiritual eyes of most Jews in the world, but the Passover seder, commanded by God for Jews to observe annually, is a powerful picture and, in this appointed season, God unveils and reveals the mystery to many. This is why we encourage Christians to attend a Messianic Passover seder, to see how this annual rehearsal of the Exodus from sin and slavery through the sacrifice commanded by God is a witness to all Jews throughout history of His salvation in Yeshua. But! We leave this most basic of understanding of Passover to share with you traditional Passover recipes.
Different Jewish traditions dictate the meals that accompany the symbolic foods. Even among the Jews themselves we see the different interpretations of what is kosher for Passover: What is considered kosher for Ashkenazi (German/Eastern European Jews) Passover dishes is different than those for Sephardic (Spanish/Middle Eastern) Jews. But not to worry, many recipes span the geographical and religious differences.
Symbolic Passover Food:
Thanks to Sally at Kehilat HaMaayan (the Wellspring) in Kfar Saba for a maror recipe of Beet Horseradish with its brilliant crimson color. Her recipe comes with a spice warning: “Be very careful, it is extremely hot. Do not take an entire spoonful to taste.” This bitter herbs recipe just keeps it real!
Maror/Bitter Herbs: Beet Horseradish
1 horseradish root (Peeled and finely chopped)
3 beets cooked and chopped (reserve the beet juice)
1\3 cup of white vinegar
2 Tablespoons of sugar
Grind the horseradish root and beets together very fine. (Be prepared to cry)
Mix the sugar and white vinegar together with it afterward.
Ha’ro’set, symbolizing the mortar, is to be eaten with the matzah. Randi Bass of Nachalat Yeshua Congregation (Yeshua’s Inheritance) writes, “In Israel, if you want to feel the panic mixed with pride of Passover, go shopping for your ingredients just a few days before Passover where you will see people buying such huge amounts of food of all sorts that you are led to think that WWIII will begin within 48 hours!”
Haroset is a favorite of the symbolic seder foods because of its sweetness. It is usually eaten throughout the holiday period with matzah, that’s why Randi says she makes a major amount to last several days after the seder. She says it is a labor intensive endeavor to make so it is nice to have a friend to talk with while you are making it. Also she adds, “One must understand that the making of this yummy topping for matzah is somewhat intuitive. Every year is a new experience of getting the consistency and taste just right.”
8 apples (not too tart or hard)
2 cups whole walnuts
2 cups dried dates
1/2 cup or more date paste ( vacuum-packed mashed dates without the pits are available here in Israel)
1/2 cup or less date syrup (called “silan” in Israel)
1/2 cup or less of honey
1/2 cup red wine or a little water if it seems dry (optional)
The juice of 1-2 lemons squeezed
dash of cinnamon is optional, but, you don’t want a heavy cinnamon taste
1. Peel and cut the apples away from the core. Chop and dice to a very small size. It’s very helpful to use the right knives! First, a small one to cut the apple away from the core, and then a larger curved chopping knife, one that you can rock back and forth. Dicing the apples small enough is key to a good product and takes time.
2. Chop the walnuts to a fine size, but not too small. It should add a small crunch in the charoset.
3. Chop dates just as fine as walnuts. This can be a little challenging, as well as sticky, but that’s the way it goes…
4. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with hands. Really, hands are the most effective way to combine all these ingredients into a sticky conglomerate! This is where you now use your own judgment and taste buds to form a charoset that seems good to you. Go back in time and think “Will this hold the stones together?” “Can I spread this with a trowel?” That’s one way to figure it out! Really, it’s up to you as to the consistency and taste. I prefer to be able to still distinguish the ingredients. Occasionally I’ve seen a charoset made which was such a heavy ‘mud’ that it wasn’t such fun to eat. But to each his own version. Highly recommended to let your charoset creation sit overnight in the refrigerator so that the flavors blend.
Serve in bowls scattered around the table so everyone can easily take a portion (again and again) for their matzah; it’s just one more item that all will enjoy on that special festive night, full of friends and family, full of history and revelation and a full moon that we call “Erev Pesach.”
Traditional Passover Recipes
Sally from the HaMayaan congregation also offers her family secret to light fluffy matzah balls:
Matzah Ball Soup
1 package of matzah meal
Garlic salt to family taste
Water to matzah meal package recipe instructions
After making the mix to recipe, chill the mix a minimum of 4 hours, over night is better. (This is my mom’s secret recipe. It is against the package recipe directions, but trust me it is the secret to light, fluffy matzah balls.)
The next day, before the Seder begins, roll the balls in small dime size, then while the Seder is going on drop into the soup.
(Soup for Matzah Ball Soup is a pretty standard chicken stock soup usually but Tory Avey is a Jewish chef who shares several variations on this and many Passover recipes on her website, including recipes for traditional West African Brisket, Mediterranean Olive Chicken, Lemon Tumeric Salmon, Israeli salad with avocado and mint, Classic Hummus, Dark Chocolate-dipped Macaroons and Date Truffles.)
Devorah from Hasdey Yeshua Congregation (Mercy of Yeshua) in Arad sends this traditional favorite dessert:
4 large apples, Granny Smith or any tart apple, peeled, cored and cut into medium dice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
6 plain matzahs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar (I use less!)
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces, for casserole topping
- Preheat the oven to 177°C/350°F
2. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and orange juice, set aside in a medium bowl.
3. Break the matzah into 2- to 3-inch pieces and soak in 1 cup of warm water until soft but not mushy.
4. While the matzah soaks, beat the eggs with a wire whisk in a large bowl until blended. Add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, raisins, and apricots.
5. Squeeze the liquid from the softened matzah and add the matzah to the egg mixture with the apples. Stir the kugel well and pour into a lightly greased 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 10×14-inch pan. Dot the top of the kugel with the 4 tablespoons of butter.
6. Bake the kugel for 1 hour. Cover the top with foil if the top begins to become too brown early in the baking. Remove the kugel from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Cook’s Tip: The kugel can be made two days ahead, cooled, and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a 350°F oven.
As we will hear and say countless times over the next week in Israel, Hag Sameach! Happy holiday!
Donna Diorio is an American Christian who returned to her childhood faith in 1981 and looking around the church said, "This is great! but where are all the Jews?" That question was answered ten years later when she discovered a Messianic congregation in Dallas. Since 2001, her focus has been to provide a weekly summary of prayer requests from Israeli ministries via a subscription email list to prayer leaders on many continents.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
Israeli artist releases new music compilation
The music follows last year’s release of her book, Dare to Ask, and is the first of three extended-play compilations in the project consisting of the book, music, devotionals and watercolor artwork that explore a common theme; “being willing to wrestle with God for more from a position of rest.”
“Dreaming follows the process of waking up to the dreams that God has given us,” Natan told KNI, “finding rest in his ways and timing, allowing ourselves to be overcome by him and trusting him to breathe his dreams for us into being.”
A 30-day devotional accompanies the CD and artwork and explores the theme in depth.
The Dare to Ask project sprang from Natan’s songwriting “about lessons learned through difficult circumstances.”
For more information and to listen to samples from Dreaming, visit https://www.simchanatan.com/dreaming-ep/.
Cliff Keller lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife, Marcia after making Aliyah in the spring of 2011 from the United States. His most recent novel is a work of historical biblical fiction entitled The Lion or The Lamb: Samson Ruth and Salvation. Cliff also blogs at Standing by the Gate and has a writing website, goodStories.