This Sukkot, Vision for Israel to highlight local believers
Joshua Aaron leading worship at Vision for Israel Succot Celebration (Photo courtesy)
As the nations come up to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, local believers from across Israel will be the focus and highlight of the Vision for Israel’s observation of the holiday.
The VFI celebration of Sukkot will take place at The Pavilion, an auditorium in the Clal Building in downtown Jerusalem, from Sept. 25 to 27. An emphasis this year will be placed on the Body of Messiah in Israel.
The sessions will kick off with a worship session by Paul Wilbur, internationally renowned worship artist with a Messianic style of music, which will be recorded live for a future album.
“This year is going to be the first time we do a joint first evening session with Paul Wilbur who is doing a live recording in Israel,” Benjamin Siegel, marketing director for VFI, told Kehila News. “It is really nice to be a part of that. And it’s not only Paul Wilbur, but he has the whole band with him.”
Siegel said that the Vision for Israel Feast, in its 20th year, is expecting up to 600 participants, many from around the world including China, the United States and the United Kingdom.
This year’s Feast will focus on the believing community in Israel and feature local musicians and speakers. Israel musicians include Sarah Lieberman and Joshua Aaron. One of the speakers will be Naim Khoury, an Arab Christians who pastors a church in Bethlehem.
Barry and Batya Segal, co-founders of Vision for Israel, will be leading the event.
“We want to promote this event to get as many locals as possible. Obviously there’s a big feast going on with the Christian Embassy (ICEJ) and they bring in a lot of groups from overseas,” Siegel noted. “Ours is a little smaller and a little more personal, focusing on the body of believers.”
While the focus will be on locals, the event itself is timed to include the Jerusalem March, an annual parade that winds through the streets of the capital city. Israelis gather on the sidelines of the parade and watch as thousands of people from all over the world march through the streets handing out gifts and blessing the people.
“We as a conference join the Jerusalem March because we want to bless the Israelis on the street and pray and worship during the march,” Siegel said. “As part of the Sukkot celebration event, the purpose of that is to allow our participants to worship on the streets, connect with locals who are not necessarily believers. It is always a really special, amazing experience.”
The theme of this year’s event is based on Israel’s 70th year rebirth of a modern nation: Israel United. Last year’s theme focused on the 50th year of Jerusalem’s unification under Israeli rule.
While the ICEJ event tends to draw an international crowd, VFI is one of few Feast events in Israel geared for local believers. To encourage more believers to participate, VFI offers a large discount for locals which they can access by registering online.
VFI is a humanitarian aid organization that helps the poor and needy in Israel across a wide swath of religious and ethnic boundaries. This summer VFI helped to sponsor a fun day at one of Israel’s leading water parks for 840 terror victims and their families. The organization also helps new immigrants, lone soldiers and Holocaust survivors among several other outreaches.
For more information or to see the schedule, follow this link.
Israeli locals and long-term residents in the land can register by clicking GET TICKETS at the link above and use the promo code: 2018LOCAL to unlock a 75 percent discount.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Adoption – Foundation of a blessed life
God’s opening line during His first conversation with Moses on top of Mount Sinai was, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and BROUGHT YOU TO MYSELF…” (Exodus 19:4, emphasis mine).
Barely out of Egypt, the supernatural drama of the Exodus, the miraculous escape and the epic destruction of Pharaoh’s army are still fresh in the minds and conversations of the sons of Israel. Instead of being driven by oppression and terrorized by the taskmasters’ whips, a pillar of fire and of cloud, God’s presence, now leads them forward.
It is time to start shedding the slave mentality and picking up the concept of sonship. Israel is about to become God’s nation, a brand new prophetic community that never before existed on earth, and it all started with firming up their legal status when God’s voice thundered from heaven, saying, “I brought you to myself.” The Lord was building on His already established provision of “redeeming” Israel from Egypt when He “bought” them with a price and gained lawful ownership of them from their Egyptian masters.
The four cups we drink during the Passover meal recall the four great provisions God supplied when it was time to bring His people out of bondage and into their divine purpose. As God commanded Moses, “… say to the children of Israel: I am the LORD; I will BRING you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will RESCUE you from their bondage, and I will REDEEM you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as MY PEOPLE, and I will be your God.” (Exodus 6:6-7, emphasis mine)
Physical rescue, changed location and circumstances and a brand new legal status (being redeemed for a price) were necessary before God could declare, “You are mine!” From that time forward, Israel shares in the obligations and privileges of belonging to our great new parent, God our Heavenly Father, and it all started with adoption. Adoption is foundational for humanity’s relationship with the Almighty, whether Israel or the elect from the nations who are brought in through the spiritual new birth and are grafted (adopted) into a brand new family.
Adoption was Israel’s first experience as a new nation. The people now belonged to someone: a great and awesome someone – the creator Himself. The Apostle Paul recognized this foundational position when he wept for the people of Israel thousands of years later crying out, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the ADOPTION, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises…” (Romans 9:3-4, emphasis mine).
This principle of adoption is not only foundational in Israel’s relationship with God, but is applicable for all His children from all nations. Writing to the disciples in Ephesus, Paul declared, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to ADOPTION as sons by Jesus the Messiah to Himself…” (Ephesians 1:4-5, emphasis mine). All God’s children are adopted by Him, and the spiritual new birth is the doorway into this new and privileged status.
Divine adoption, therefore, is basic to our standing with God. However, human adoptions – the way we treat orphans and at-risk children who need care – are an expression of this amazing miracle and a witness to the community around us.
ADOPTION IN ISRAEL
Adoption in the State of Israel today can be complex. Jewish laws, religious principles, heavy bureaucracy and moral and cultural differences add to the expected emotional and relational challenges. Most families who are interested in adoption prefer to take in a baby from birth, but because of the high abortion rate (nearly 40,000 babies are aborted each year) not many infants are available. Consequently, only about 120 successful adoptions are made in Israel each year.
To make matters even more complicated, Jewish law requires that the child and the adopting family must be matched according to religion, meaning that Israeli Jewish families can only adopt Jewish children resulting in a “short supply” and a waiting list of about five years. Thousands of children cannot be adopted at all due to the “no religious match” clause and are raised in government-run boarding schools waiting for the perfect family to show up. No doubt, the need for adoptive and foster families willing to embrace older children and children with special needs is great.
IS THERE A SOLUTION?
A bright point of hope in this troubled arena is the vision and work of HaTikva Project, a Messianic ministry based in Jerusalem that is dedicated to helping the needy and strengthening Messianic believers in Israel. Statistically, with one out of six Israeli children considered at-risk in some way, HaTikva Families was launched in early 2018 as a family division of the HaTikva Project in order to focus specifically on providing solutions for those thousands of children waiting to find a safe and loving home.
HaTikva Families operates a new program equipping couples and families (in and out of the community of faith), preparing them to host, foster or adopt orphans and at-risk children. The ministry’s new initiative will also lead national media campaigns in order to raise awareness of the vast needs of disadvantaged children in Israel.
This new program not only prepares the participants to become host, foster, or adoptive families, but also provides professional, financial and community support throughout the process. Their six-week training course covers trauma-informed care; understanding children from complex backgrounds; tools to “rewire” the child’s brain through compassion and connection, and much more.
Messianic couples and families are presently not allowed to adopt Jewish babies in Israel because these couples and families are considered non-Jewish by the rabbinic authorities who govern the Ministry of Interior. Consequently, only Christian babies or “no-known-religion” babies are available for adoption by Messianic families, and the only known adoption by a believing family in Israel was that of a Christian baby.
For as long as the true of identity of Yeshua, Jesus of Nazareth, remains hidden from mainstream Jewish hearts and minds, His Jewish followers will also continue to find themselves outside the camp in this “rabbinical limbo,” and Messianic adoptions will remain a gray area in Israel. Nevertheless, HaTikva Families intends to change all that with God’s help, working with various state and private agencies to expand adoption by Messianic Jewish families.
HaTikva Families partners with other Israeli nonprofits with similar goals, supports their shared interests through media initiatives and together fights for the rights of children.
HaTikva’s big vision is to spark and facilitate a national movement that will see the Israeli Body of Messiah take a leading role in seeking true justice for the orphaned, unwanted and unborn children of Israel.
Anybody can do something: adopt, foster, host a boarding school child for the holidays or support a foster or adoptive family. Details on how you can share in this great vision can be found at http://hatikvaproject.org/families/.
“Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.” Psalm 82:3.
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Latest methods used by anti-missionaries in Israel
Illustrative image - view of Ashkelon, southern Israel (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Carmiyah ministries based in the Ashkelon region have recently been the target of a well known anti-missionary organisation in Israel.
I received a call from someone saying that he and four others that finished their military service, wanted to stay in my home to learn about the life of Messianic Jews to get credits for university entrance.
I don’t publicise my mobile number, only a number not registered in my name. However when I messaged him on WhatsApp, he saw my registered mobile number and with this he could get my name and through his friends in Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior) he could illegally get my address. I knew someone trying to find out who is behind Carmiyah ministries could do this.
I did not agree to have them stay in my house and stopped communicating, however they already knew who I was and they continued their anti-missionary effort.
After this they went to the religious Jewish school where my landlord’s children go and they told his children bad things about me. They are very experienced at persecuting missionaries and they know how to make Jewish landlord’s afraid enough to evict their tenant. They feed the media with fake stories about missionaries to get them identified in society as pedophiles or some sort of criminal so that Israelis will stay away from them and not listen to them. These fake stories also discredit the Gospel of the Jewish Messiah. Nonetheless the Talmud contains lies about the Son of God too.
So my brothers, be wise, and know they are scheming against us. They think we are stealing Jewish souls.
Look up! Your redemption draweth nigh!
Carmiyah Israel is a Messianic based in Ashkelon. Founded in 1996, it's mission is to reach Jews and Muslims with the Gospel of Yeshua.
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Israel College of the Bible sends Jewish-Arab mission teams
As the the Body of Messiah in the modern state of Israel gains momentum, it’s time to lift our eyes beyond our borders! Jewish and Arab mission teams are now being sent out to minister together across the world, and the impact has been profound.
“If it’s as true as you say, just show me one Jew who believes in Jesus!”
One of our intrepid teams had gone to one of the hardest areas of Berlin close to the biggest mosque, to a park area well known for drugs and violence. They saw someone begging, so Carlos shared his testimony in Arabic, about how he was completely set free from drugs in an instant, and how Yeshua changed his life completely.
The man, an African Muslim, was amazed.
He knew the Qu’ran well, but over time had become a hardened atheist. He didn’t believe in God at all, and although they had been talking for about an hour about Yeshua, the prophecies in the Bible and so on, it was hard to reach his heart.
“You want to persuade me that God really sent His Son to die on the cross, when the Qu’ran says the opposite (and in any case, I don’t believe it)? The Jews crucified Jesus, so if it’s as true as you say, just show me one Jew who believes that Jesus is the Messiah!”
Carlos looked around for one of the Jewish members of the team and called Gal to come over. “Gal, come and tell this man who you are.” Gal had been busy elsewhere, but came to meet our new friend.
“Hi I’m Gal, I’m a Jew from Israel…” He started to introduce himself, completely unaware of what had just happened in the conversation! After some ten minutes or so, this dear Muslim man eventually allowed us to pray for him. He even took off his hat and prayed with us.
There is power in the gospel because it is true. God’s truth changes reality.
Many Israelis and Muslims who now live in Berlin are very open to the gospel. One of our teams shared a Shabbat meal with some 30 non-believers and was able to share the gospel with them all. An Israeli girl from Lod received the Lord – she had heard the gospel back in Israel, but made the step to follow Yeshua right there with the team. Together with local believers, our team has been able to share with many Muslims from Syria, Iran, and other places in the Middle East. They have also had the privilege to work with and encourage some new believers from Muslim backgrounds.
Another team was sent to Heidelberg and Kaiserslautern to work alongside local churches in their outreach. They spoke at local universities and met students, sharing the truth about our Messiah who has made us One New Man in Him, and also helped with the work of evangelism and service being carried out among the refugees and those in need.
Those who could speak Arabic were easily able to share the truth about Yeshua with many of those they met. They and had the privilege to pray with one man from Tunisia and another lady from Iran. Additionally, they were able to give a presentation to a group of German college students about the difference that Yeshua can make as they stood together, united in the Gospel of peace. They helped with some children’s ministry and led worship, all of which was also a blessing for Israeli students themselves as they are trained in the service of God.
First Paul and Barnabas, now Jew and Arab!
It’s true that here and there, Israeli believers have taken part in overseas missions in the past, but these cases have been few and far between. In order to build a heart for the nations into our DNA here at Israel College of the Bible, we have been learning about heroes of the faith who took the gospel all over the world in our weekly chapel meetings.
Now, we have started sending teams overseas to share the gospel both in word and deed. Delegations have gone to East Asia, to Germany, and to Jordan so far, with our sights on sending a team to Ethiopia in the future.
One of our favorite Bible verses here at ONE FOR ISRAEL is Isaiah 2:3, which says,
“For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Once again, the word is going forth from Zion as Israeli mission teams of Jewish and Arab staff and students are taking God’s word to bless other nations.
The fields are white but the workers are few
Dr. Erez Soref impressed upon our students that hundreds of thousands of refugees had poured into Europe and were hungry for the gospel. Many thousands are coming to faith in Jesus and are being baptized! But are often left in great need of discipleship.
Dr. Soref asked the gathered students in Israel, “What can we do to help? The fields are truly white for the harvest. We need to send laborers”. He added that one of the students, Sharbel, was getting ready to be sent to Germany to work with new believers from Syria on a long-term basis.
Israel is in pole position to help with this crisis as there are native Arabic speakers who can share with Muslim refugees easily. Many refugees are broken and desperate, disillusioned with Islam and ready to hear the good news about Jesus.
This article originally appeared on One For Israel and is reposted with permission.
ONE FOR ISRAEL strives to be the leading organization in sharing the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah with Israeli Jews and Arabs in the Hebrew language. Our staff is comprised of both Jewish and Arab Israelis, with the shared belief that true peace in the Middle East can only come into existence under Yeshua.
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In memory of Esther Moore: All shall be well
Esther Moore, born in Belgium, daughter of Rick and Patricia Ridings, sister of Bethany Tal Rosenfeld and Anna Boyd, passed away in July leaving behind her husband Will Moore and their young son Calev.
During her 29 years of life on earth, Esther was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, musician, writer, blogger, photographer and so much more. Her life was celebrated during a memorial service at Succat Hallel earlier this week with nearly 200 people in attendance and thousands more around the world tuning into a live stream.
The Ridings family moved to Jerusalem in 2000 and they have been part of the Messianic community since. Rick and Patricia pioneered a house of prayer in Jerusalem — Succat Hallel, a 24/7 prayer room in Abu Tor that overlooks the Temple Mount and Mount of Olives.
Growing up in Jerusalem, Esther was a passionate worshipper and intercessor. Her childhood friend, Adiel Abramson, shared a story about their time growing up when they attended a camp called Soldout in 2002.
“Esther and two other girls were standing at the wall and interceding very loudly, praying for people’s salvation. I was on the side going through something else. Esther saw me, stopped and sat down and gave me a huge ‘Esther hug.’ You know what I mean if you have been hugged by her. I shared with her what I was going through,” Adiel related. “I had the most profound encounter with the Holy Spirit that night because Esther pulled me and prayed for me. She’s so compassionate. She was not judgmental. She received everyone with so much love.”
Esther’s first concert was at the Rosenfeld’s courtyard in downtown Jerusalem. Adam Rosenfeld, Esther’s brother in law, reminisced, “The audience was mesmerized. You could hear a pin drop.”
To the community in Jerusalem, Esther was not just a faithful and faith-filled sister, she was a free spirit filled with vision and life. She has left a trail and mark by her hugs, love and the beautiful songs she wrote, some of which are available online.
In 2010, Esther married Will Moore and moved to Bath in England. In 2014, their son Caleb, a lovely boy who has Down Syndrome, was born. Esther championed her son and promoted him every chance she could.
In January 2016, Esther was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive and fast-growing type of cancer.
During a memorial service in Jerusalem on Aug. 26 at Succat Hallel, Bethany commented on her sister’s response to the news of cancer.
“When she found out she had cancer at the age 25, yeah she yelled and screamed hitting her car. She let out all the emotions she felt to God. She nearly broke the dashboard. She was really real with the Lord. But she did not let herself stay in a place of self-pity. or bitterness. She chose gratitude,” Bethany said.
Over the course of 2016 and 2017, Esther underwent two surgeries — one that took out all the lymph nodes in her left arm and another when they found a second lump under her arm a few months later.
“When I was first told the diagnosis, I couldn’t even say the ‘C’ word without feeling emotionally overwhelmed and completely inadequate to deal with everything that comes with it. Yet now, when I look back over this and the many hard times we’ve had before, I don’t wish that these times had never happened. I feel the bittersweetness that I can imagine a wind-torn and half frozen mountain climber feels after conquering Everest. I look back over my life and, from this viewpoint, can see how every hard thing we’ve gone through have been little mountains that we’ve had to conquer as practice for this, our Everest. I see now that out of every single time of hardship we went through, including this sheer cliff of a challenge of getting through cancer, that unbelievably – good has come out of it. Every time.” — from Esther’s blog post on Oct. 16, 2016
When Esther found a third lump — the third time the cancer had recurred within 9 months — the doctors said there was nothing they could offer that would be curative, only palliative. Though the news was devastating, Esther and Will braved yet another wave and decided to move from the U.K. to Jerusalem, where Esther grew up and where her family lives.
Since fall 2017, Esther lived in Jerusalem and her family thanked God that they got to see her every day during her eight months in Jerusalem.
“I really learned to hold time with Esther,” said Bethany. “All we have to take into eternity is our heart, what God forms in our heart. This time on earth is like we are in a womb. It is dark and we cannot see God. We can hear His voice and heartbeat. Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Even though Esther was my younger sister, she was my hero. She showed me what was 1 Corinthians 13:13 was, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’”
In April 2018, Esther fought her last battle against cancer with immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a treatment that supercharges the immune system to fight against the cancer. After six weeks of immunotherapy in an alternative treatment center near San Diego, Esther contracted sepsis and entered into a coma multiple times. (Click here to read more of the details of Esther’s treatments and to help with the remaining medical bills.)
During her last waking hours, she spoke her last words: “Hodu l’Adonai ki tov” (Give thanks to the Lord for He is good).
Esther breathed her last and stepped into eternity.
Will Moore, Esther’s husband, saw a beautiful vision during her last moments.
“It was the clearest vision I have ever seen. It was like I was back at our wedding waiting for Esther under the hupa. I saw her dancing down the aisle to me again. As I stood there I saw my tuxedo change and I knew it was not me standing under the hupa. It was Yeshua. All the emotion I had when I stood under the hupa came back. The excitement of seeing how happy she was dancing down the aisle and how in love and absolutely captivated by her beauty I was. It was the happiest moment of my life. I knew in a moment Yeshua was seeing His bride come, and he felt all those feelings ever more now as she danced towards Him. He is her true husband, and I know how joyful she is now.”
Will said his friends chided him for getting married so early, at age 21. But as he looked back he said it was the best decision he ever made since his time together with Esther would be so short.
Esther’s love continues to inspires. She loved and followed Yeshua with all her heart. God’s love for us is not dependent on our response. And Esther’s love for God was not dependent on God healing her.
“It was not about her getting her dreams and future and her calling here on earth,” Bethany said. “She loved God. Period. Without conditions. I hope I can be like that. She really finished her race well.”
As Rick Ridings, Esther’s father, remarked at the memorial service, “We don’t pretend that we know everything. It is better to know God than to know why. We can say with all of our heart that Esther knew God, even when she didn’t know why.”
Esther’s body might have been broken in the battle, but her spirit was strong. She lived 29 years of life to the fullest.
She has left a legacy on believers in Jerusalem and worldwide.
Click below to view Esther’s song: “Height of the Storm”