How I was saved and called by God to make aliyah (Part 1)
Knowing that many Jewish people may read this article, I have decided to write my story on how I was saved, and later why I made aliyah to Israel in 1995. I write this especially for the many unsaved Jewish people, to share how I, as an American Jew came to know Yeshua as the real Messiah and my Savior when I was 29. I am now age 75, and I have lived in Jerusalem since 1998.
My parents were both first generation American Jews born from Russian Jewish parents. Neither of my parents believed in God. God was never mentioned in my home, nor the name Jesus except as a curse word. A few times while I was growing up my parents would take us four children to different relatives homes to have a Passover seder. As a secular Jew growing up in Chicago, I knew almost nothing about my Jewish history or about Jewish religion.
Then in the spring of 1973 at age 29, I picked a Bible for the first time in my life, and I took it home to read. I began reading from Genesis. Suddenly a Scripture came alive off the pages of that Bible into my heart with the most wonderful and incredible love of God, like an ocean of love. And I just cried, and cried, and cried. I had never experienced such love like this in all my whole life. And so I couldn’t put that Bible down, and continued reading it day and night. After a while of having these wonderful daily experiences of divine love, I knew it was God from Heaven who was making His Words of Scripture come alive from off the pages of that bible and into my heart with this divine love. And this experience of those Scriptures coming alive with Love kept on continuing every day. Those Scriptures which came alive from the Bible pages with God’s Love were all the Old Covenant Messianic Scripture prophesies about the coming Messiah of Israel.
And this experience of God’s divine Love happening to me continued for the next three months. And during that time I lived and walked in a most wonderful and amazing dimension not of this world, that seemed like ecstasy, perhaps something of Heaven.
It was only the God of Israel who made those Scriptures about our Messiah come alive from off the pages of the Bible, and into my heart with His divine Love every day for about three months.
Later during that time God directed me to also begin reading the first four books of the New Covenant … Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I soon discovered that Jesus, Yeshua, in the New Covenant is the One who is the fulfillment of all those Messianic prophetic Scripture prophesies of the Old Covenant which had come alive with God’s wonderful divine Love. And then I gave my life to Yeshua, repenting of all my sins, and was saved by God’s Word and by His Holy Spirit in 1973.
One day, later during those three months, Yeshua spoke to me, as He planted three divine Living Words deep into my soul, while I was reading from the 21st Chapter of the book of John. Yeshua said to me, “Feed My Sheep!” And I said to Him, “Yes, Lord!” (John 21:17)
My life was changed forever, never to be the same.
It was the God of Israel who made His Words come alive from the Bible concerning His promised Messiah, Yeshua, proving to me, and also to thousands of other Jews that Yeshua is truly God’s Messiah, the Savior of our Jewish people. The Israeli government has passed unrighteous laws to deny to many Jews who believe in Yeshua their God given rights to make aliyah, to return to Israel, God’s promised Land. What can we do to change this situation?
The Israeli government has closely followed Orthodox religious Jews, who deny their Messiah Yeshua, and have left the Tanakh as their main study, instead primarily studying an Oral Law. Religious Jews believe that God gave Moses both the divine written Word and also a divine Oral Law at Mount Sinai. But God’s written Word in the Tanakh explicitly commands not changing God’s written Word. So many Israeli’s have become deceived by Jewish oral religious tradition, and have left the Word of God, putting their primary focus on an Oral Law. Therefore is it not surprising that Israeli Orthodox religious Jews cannot see, or perhaps even refuse to see Yeshua as their true Messiah and Savior, found repeatedly in their Hebrew Holy Scriptures.
Rejecting God’s written Word will blind you from seeing Truth.
I have found over 225 places in the Tahakh where our Jewish Messiah can easily be seen in the prophesies. What can be done to help our Jewish people see the Truth about their Jewish Messiah?
After I got my Israeli citizenship in 1995, and made Aliyah, and moved to Israel in 1998, one day the Holy Spirit directed me to take those many Messianic Scriptures that God had made come alive with Love off the pages of the Bible, and put them into little 12 page brochures. The first one was done in English, using the top 70 most important Old Covenant prophetic Scriptures about the Messiah. These brochures were made to be freely handed out. The next was done in Hebrew, using the 86 most important Messianic Scriptures taken from the Jewish Orthodox Hebrew Tanakh. These free brochures now go out as handouts to many people in Israel for Israeli’s to just study the Word of God from their own Scriptures. They are now available free in 15 different languages, in the main languages which Jewish people have been returning home to Israel.
These brochures are now in English, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Ukrainian and now also in Amharic (Ethiopian). These brochures are all available free on my website, to download as PDF files, and to send out to others.
My website is www.FeedMySheepJerusalem.com
Also for almost 40 years my hobby has been nature photography, where I take great photos that God has given me, and then combine each photo with the bible Scripture that God has shown me to use.
God has taught me that this is an excellent way to both help people and also to fight our enemy with God’s Creation and His Holy Word.
There are now over 300 choices of these great Scripture nature photographs that God has given me, in nine different categories on the website, all free to download and send out to others, to help encourage believers in their walk with the Lord. Here are just a few samples of this work.
RIchard has served the Lord full-time from Jerusalem since 1998, having made Aliyah to Israel in 1995. He been a writer for the Lord Yeshua since 1982. All of his books, including the newest one, ‘King Priest Yeshua from the Seed of David and Aaron’, along with other writings are free to read and download from his website.
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Builder of Noah’s Ark replica hopes to sail it to Israel
JERUSALEM, Israel – Dutch Christian businessman Johan Huibers plans to sail his life-size replica of Noah’s Ark to Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported last week.
Huibers completed the four-year project – built to the exact specifications in Genesis 6 – in 2012, raising the $5 million needed for its construction. He had hoped to sail it to Israel not long after its completion, but Israel was dealing with massive wildfires at the time so the plan was postponed.
CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell traveled to Holland several years ago to interview Huibers.
Though the ark quickly became a popular tourist attraction in southern Holland along the Maas River, Huibers says it belongs in Israel.
“My preferred destination for the ark is Israel,” he told JTA. “I love the land, I love the country, I love the people.”
Huibers said he believes the Bible verbatim, that is, word for word.
“It may sound scary, but I believe everything written in this book, cover to cover,” he told JTA, pointing to a Dutch translation of the Hebrew Bible. “This [the ark] is a copy of God’s ship. It only makes sense to take it to God’s land.”
According to the report, Huibers needs to raise $1.3 million to hire tugboats for the voyage because the ark has no motor of its own. Earlier, he’d considered sailing it to Brazil, but those plans didn’t materialize.
The 60-year-old businessman, who made his fortune building storage units, told JTA he got the idea in 1993 after reading a story about Noah to his children.
Huibers and a crew of seven amateur carpenters built the 390-foot-long, 75-foot-high structure in just four years.
“We had a butcher, a hairdresser and a teacher working here,” he said, definitely not professional boat makers.
Huibers hopes his replica of Noah’s Ark will help people understand that God is real, “to show people that God exists.” He says we’re living in the end times though many people aren’t aware of it.
Born five years after the North Sea flood in 1959, which killed some 2,000 people, Huibers believes there will be more flooding in the future, but that’s not why he built it.
“Maybe it will, who knows, but my survival is not its purpose,” he said. Rather it’s meant to educate people and strengthen their belief in God.
This article originally appeared on CBN News, November 26, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Tzippe Barrow is the CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem. She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) nearly two decades ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.
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Protecting the future of Israel: Pro-life organization saves lives
It was during her third pregnancy when Elana felt she was slowly fading into hopelessness.
After being abused by the father of her first child, then forced to abort her second baby by the father’s family, she was now pregnant with yet another man who had no interest in taking care of her or their unborn child.
She was not ready to go through the trauma of abortion again, so she turned to her friends for advice.
Miraculously, an acquaintance introduced her to Sandy Shoshani, director of Be’ad Chaim, a pro-life organization headquartered in Jerusalem.
Be’ad Chaim is dedicated to protecting both the mother and the child in their quest to stop abortion in Israel and raise public awareness on the sanctity of life from conception.
With offices and hotlines throughout Israel, Be’ad Chaim provides practical resources, training and emotional support for pregnant women, including homeless and single mothers considering abortion – just like Elana.
Sandy with her staff and volunteers want to come alongside mothers who lost all hope and speak life to them.
Invited to encourage Elana and provide her with basic supplies, Sandy ended up playing a pivotal role in making sure that the neglected woman safely delivered her baby and took care of it. But Sandy knew that the young mother needed more than just purchased goods.
Aside from protecting the unborn life, Be’ad Chaim also brings counsel and healing to those hurting from PAS (post abortion syndrome), and supplies practical needs for mothers who choose to keep their babies.
When Elana first came to know Be’ad Chaim, she was withdrawn and skeptical. It took one very important conference – on healing after abortion – to change her disposition dramatically.
Today she is confident and optimistic, and serves as a counselor at Be’ad Chaim, meeting with young women who seek help just like she did a few years prior.
It is estimated that one in every five pregnancies in Israel results in abortion.
These alarming statistics are fueled by expedited abortions done by young girls in the mandatory military service.
If a woman gets pregnant during her service and opts to keep her child, she is dishonorably discharged and left without any support.
Be’ad Chaim is currently facilitating a specialized program called Operation Moses, designed to support the pregnant women who decide to keep their babies and sponsors them for a year.
On behalf of their sponsors, the mother and the child receive necessary supplies, including formula, diapers, wipes, stroller, crib and more.
Learn More: http://www.beadchaim.com/
This article originally appeared on FIRM and reposted with permission.
FIRM (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.
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South Korean delegation from world’s largest church visits Jerusalem and prays for peace
Hundreds of Korean Christians from the largest church in the world gathered in Jerusalem to pray for the peace of the city and of Israel earlier this month.
Some 270 members of Yoido Full Gospel Church – the world largest church with more than half a million members – visited the Holy land Israel on a six-day pilgrimage from November 4-9, 2018. This is the church’s first visit since 1996, and marks a return to a pro-Israel way of thinking.
In 1996, David Yonggi Cho, one of the founders of the church and an international evangelist, hosted “JC 2000,” a conference in Jerusalem in order to pray for peace of Israel and the Middle East. Yoido Church brought 5,000 of their own congregants and others to that conference, marking the first event of this magnitude in Jerusalem organized by Korean churches.
However, except for a few individuals, Yoido Church hasn’t visited Israel as a congregation, since then.
But God is great: Since that conference He has been preparing the hearts of many Koreans to visit and to pray for the Jewish people and Israel. Dr. Young Hoon Lee, pastor of Yoido Church, was one of them.
Since he was young, Dr. Lee knew and understood the importance of Israel and God’s plan for His chosen people. He had an open heart toward Israel. When Lee became a senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in 2008, he started to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Every year, during the first week of October, is the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, a movement Yoido has been involved with for 10 years now.
And this year, Dr. Lee brought his congregation – including church leaders, elders and businessmen – to Israel yet again. His purpose was not just to visit holy sites, but to pray for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem.
The tour, organized by Keshet Journeys, featured the Korea-Israel unity prayer meeting at Ramat Rachel Hotel in Jerusalem. Messianic leaders and politicians alike were invited including Knesset Member Robert Ilatov, chairman of Knesset Christian Allies Caucus who came to welcome the Korean Christians. Many Messianic leaders attended as well.
Together they prayed for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel. Dr. Lee said that God chose Abraham to give his promise and this promise still lives on among us, with Jews and also with Christians. The church is commanded to pray for Israel and for the Jews, Lee said, and churches all around the world should do so.
When the meeting ended everyone left for home, except the Korean Christians. Before their tour was over, the Korean visitors headed to the Mount of Olives. There, near the Church of the Ascension, they collected garbage and cleaned the streets of the neighborhood. Then they walked to the landmark Seven Arches Hotel nearby to pray for peace from that panorama viewpoint.
Yoido Full Gospel Church was established at 1958 in Seoul and has rapidly grown to more than 500,000 members. The church’s huge influence extends around the world and especially to Pentecostal churches that are aware of Cho’s work. Now Lee is leading next generation in the church and also works with other churches to further the Gospel of Jesus.
The visit of Yoido Full Gospel Church to Israel was meaningful for both Korea and Israel. Lee said that his church would return annually to pray for Israel. So we pray that the Lord may open even wider the hearts of Korean Christians and churches to pray for Israel.
Joseph Kim is from South Korea and is currently living in Israel with his family.
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Where were you that morning, Sarah?
How can I express the depth and density of what God had taken us into that morning? We decided to extend our stay in Jordan for one more day, as we all felt the purpose of our coming had not yet been completed.
Chinese Song and Travail
It started early that morning, with a deep and painful travail that Tian Jie was going through. The day before she heard for the first time of the pain the Arab people carry concerning the re-establishment of Israel. In the middle of the night God started showing her both sides and she started weeping. Her agony was so deep, that at a certain point she locked herself in the bathroom in order to not wake up her room mates. Around that same time, Rania dreamed about Tian Jie, who could not connect with her own son. There was some conflict between them, and Tian Jie could not find the way into his heart.
As our day progressed, these two events became our backdrop in prayer. I write this post with the outcome in mind, rather than describing what was spoken and prayed – line by line or in chronological order.
During breakfast, while allowing the expansive valleys and curved hills outside the porch to enlarge our hearts, Tian Jie all of a sudden hushed us. She ran to one corner and tried to listen carefully.
The gorgeous curves and hills of Gilead
“It’s a Chinese song,” she whispered and pointed to a spot in the horizon, “a very famous one.” Yes, there was obviously something in Chinese down there in the valley. We were lodging in a country side, with no building around us for miles. Where did the song come from? Who speaks Chinese in rural Jordan?
The song is about two lovers who conceived out of wedlock. The lad’s mother, a wealthy lady, did not want that simple girl to partake in the family’s rich inheritance. So she kidnapped the baby and made her son marry someone else. The biological mother looked for her baby for years. Eventually her longing turned into insanity. When the baby boy grew up, he studied medicine. One day, in one of the hospitals he worked at, he recognized his biological mom. She did not. He tried to break into her delusion but did not succeed – until he started singing a song they had sung together when he was about 4 years old: “a Mama is the best thing in the world, a child who has his mom is so treasured, sheltered in his mother’s arms, what an abundance of joy.”
It worked. The mother gradually snapped out of the land of illusion, where she had lived for decades, into reality. The voice of her own son, crying for her bosom, had brought about her healing.
Which Child Is Looking For His Mama?
Surprisingly, the song matched Rania’s dream. It was easy to see the strands of a tapestry that were being woven before our eyes. In light of the identity shift that had taken place the night before at the Jabok river, we knew that God was talking about a lost child, who was crying for his mama, and about a mother who had lost her right mind. A mother who was bereaved and grief-stricken for decades, and who will be healed when she hears the voice of her lost child and realizes how much he needed her.
We left the breakfast table, huddled into one of the cabins and started praying. Gradually God’s thoughts unfolded before us, until we hit a major root – maybe even the root – that the wound consists of.
Putting all these insights together, we realized that the spiritual and mental aspect of the Jordan rift-wound was birthed through rejection and partiality. Ishmael was rejected by Sarah, by Abraham and even by God (Gen. 21:12; Mal. 1:2-3). Good heavens, how devastating must that be! Add to that the rejection of Esau’s right as the first born, Rebekah’s preferring of Jacob and Isaac favoring Esau.
Back To The Chinese Boy
The story of the Chinese child opened a well within me. It connected in my spirit with Ishmael’s abandonment to to the merciless desert (Gen. 21:14-16). Tears started flooding, as for the first time I thought of young Ishmael, rejected by the adults he must have looked up to. It pierced my heart.
“The expulsion of Ishmael and his mother” by Gustave Dore
Yes, I know that Ishmael had become a threat to the promise, and was probably bullying Isaac (Gen. 21:9-10), but at that moment I was just a mama. “Why send him to the desert alone?” I agonized. “Why didn’t Sarah and Abraham send a servant with them, some camels, a donkey, and more food? Why did they send them to their death?”
“There Was No Room For Us At The Table”
Priscilla grew up in a Jordanian family, and from a young age was taught to love and bless Israel. Connecting that morning with the pain that the Arabs carry towards the Jewish nation was not easy for her, but it hit her powerfully, as she realized how much anger and enmity the Arab nations carry in their core identity.
“There is no place for us in the house,” Priscilla echoed the mindset of her own people. She shared with raw and deep pain how they never felt wanted: “Only now, that you need us, you remember to invite us?”
In that moment, it was as if the magnet of God’s heart had drawn us together with a force field we could no longer resist. We embraced, and clung to each other for dear life. We all continued to pray – but more than talking to God through that prayer, we were searching for the source of water that could quench an ancient thirst.
A Mangled Trunk
I saw Israel as a tree trunk that had cut out some of its branches, unaware that it was wounding itself. “As a mother,” I prayed, “I want to open the scar so that each branch can find its place again. It should not be a mangled tree, but a nurtured and nourished one.”
“For so long we have not been allowed there,” Priscilla wept. “Now you are asking us to come in. Earlier, there was enmity. I could feel it so strong. But now… there is a mother tone in you. One that has been fine tuned by the Lord. The sound of your heart cry went deep into a place in my spirit and soul that has never been comforted before. But today it has been. You are a mom, Orna.”
“I’m so sorry that it was not offered earlier, Priscilla,” I responded, and tried to explain: “Our bosom was a place of jealousy, enmity, insanity. It was either you or us. Father, create a bosom of safety and unity. Welcome, Jordan. Welcome, children of Ishmael and Esau, welcome to the table. Not as wood choppers or water cleaners, but as lost children.”
It was a sobering moment to realize that the descendants of Ishmael and Esau, even of Lot, wanted to be welcomed and desired. Not because we needed them, but because we missed them! Not just for the sake of our own sanity, but because they have a part in the Kingdom.
“Forgive us, Father, for all the children we had sent to the desert,” I begged. “We did not give Hagar enough water and bread, and she had to watch her son die. Forgive us for not wanting to bless them, Lord, and for driving them into madness.”
Israel needs the milk and the balsam of the nations in order to be restored. The nations need the sap, the vitamins and minerals that are restored in the soil of this specific land. These essentials can only get to the nations through the trunk. And the trunk cannot produce it on its own or outside the Land of promise. Only here it can absorb and drink all the needed ingredients, and then feed the nations who attach themselves to it. When a nation opposes the connection of the Jews to their Land, it cuts itself off from the very life it needs. Without the land we are a rootless trunk, an insane creature. In the land our sanity is restored, our roots go deep and the branches who choose to join us are well fed.
“Israel, open your arms”
“I open what is blocked, wounded and hollow,” I declared, “in that ancient, dry wrinkled up tree. Open up your bosom! Open your arms and reach out to those who you have perceived as your enemies. Old tree, look up and set your face to the Son. Drink from the soil of promise, and get all the light, water and minerals you need. Arabs, Jordanians, the Far East and the Far West – come and together let’s create something glorious. Otherwise we are but a pathetic trunk and you are rootless branches.”
I Have So Many Questions to Sarah
“Where were you that morning, Sarah, when Abraham sent away your maid with her son? Did you stay in bed? Did you cover with the blanket your head? Did you go to the kitchen and made fresh bread?
“What did you see in Abraham’s eyes when you looked at him for the first time, after he sent Hagar and Ishmael away? Did you talk about it at all? Did he ever listen to you again? Did he ever forgive you? Did he have any hearing left?
“What changed in you? Did your heart stay exactly the same, or did something turn rigid? After all, you wanted Ishmael as a son for yourself (Gen. 16:2). Until Isaac was born, you raised Ishmael up to inherit from you. Can a woman send her son to die in the desert and totally forget him? You were the one who pushed Hagar into Abraham’s bosom. And you were most likely there when she gave birth.
“Bring me into your heart, Sarah”, I keep asking as I run all kinds of imaginary conversations with her. “Help me understand you, forgive you, forgive through you.”
“If not for Ishmael’s sake, then what about Isaac?” I beg the Sarah that lives inside my heart. “I have a strong feeling that your precious baby adored his older brother,” I try to reason with her. “What did you tell Isaac when he woke up in the morning and found that his playmate was gone for good? Or maybe he was wide awake when the dramatic abandonment took place? Did he hear the screaming and heart-breaking cries of Ishmael? Did that scar your baby Sarah, the next time Isaac tried to find comfort in your bosom and saw a new harshness in your loving eyes?”
What About Abraham?
When I think about that awful day, I cannot find an echo to the patriarch’s soul and heart. I guess I’m not supposed to. I should probably leave that for men with the heart of an Abraham. As this mother’s heart towards the nations is being birthed in me, I am connecting not only with my personal identity as a daughter and a mom; I am trying to connect with older voices – those of bareness (Gen. 16:2), laughter and surprise (18:12) and fear. Of a mind-blowing promise and the responsibility to see it fulfilled.
I’m wondering what will happen to Sarah – to the Jewish nation, when we start listening to the voice of Ishmael, calling us back. Longing for a wholehearted embrace.
What will happen to Ishmael when he realizes he has a place around the table? That Mama Sarah regrets having sent him into the desert? That her heart was wounded too on that morning, even though she was the one who had cast them out?
And what would that do to God’s heart? To the wounded rift that had torn His chest?
And you… our precious Ruths, who have been following these posts so faithfully, how would that affect your prayers on behalf of our insane region? Please take another look at the picture of the wounded rift. Now check your hearts – on which bank do you feel most comfortable? Are you able to step off that bank, walk into the bleeding wound, and start watering it with your tears? Are you able to mingle them with some healing Balm – with scriptural promises that speak of healing for this pain-filled land and our surroundings?
Most Christians tend to stand on one bank of the rift or the other.
During this journey we chose to stay inside it, inside the wound,
and to the best of our ability align with God’s heart for both sides.
After all, this rift is right inside His heart
This article originally appeared on Ot OoMofet Ministries, August 30, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Orna, born and raised in Israel, is a lover of books, and especially The Book. She is fascinated with the Hebrew language and with the God who created the world through the mere expression of Hebrew words. In 2003 she established Ot OoMofet Ministries (Hebrew for “A sign and Example”), whose main focus is turning stories of brokenness and hardships into stories of victory. Besides ministering to the broken hearted in Israel, she now teaches worldwide about the widowhood of Israel, the role the church plays in its restoration and on a variety of other subjects.