Hanukkah: a great miracle happened here !

Dear friends and partners

Everyone is already familiar with the story of Hanukkah and its parallel with the gospel: while some Jews accepted assimilation and embraced Greek culture, some others rebelled. They were lead by a “saviour”, Judas Maccabee, who refused to compromise, succeeded in purifying the Temple and restored the ministry to God. In the Temple they found a little flask of holy oil, enough to light the menorah for only one day, while eight days were necessary to produce new holy oil. Miraculously, that little flask of oil lasted eight days. Our Savior calls us to live our lives without compromising with the current world mentality and philosophy, as some Jews did. However, the natural part of all of us, our body that is also the temple of the Holy Spirit, needs a daily cleansing, as the Temple was purified, through repentance under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Once we have done it, the true Light can shine to the world, through us as we minister to Him and to the people around us.

Michael, a pastor from the center of the country, pointed to another aspect of the story: the Maccabees were the heroes there. In the light of Hebrews 11, what makes a real hero? Surely God’s definition of a hero in the Kingdom, and for the Kingdom, is quite different from the world definition: to be successful in life, to have intelligence, education, work and money, material possessions. The characteristics of Kingdom's heroes, very different from those of the world, can be seen in Hebrews 11. Yeshua himself, our true hero, set the standards: he did not study at the best Biblical school, did not earn any money, he was not given any position or recognition by the establishment, eventually he was even horribly crucified as an impostor together with thieves and people looked at Him as a failure. Today He is risen, His followers are millions and are ready to die for Him. And even the secular calendar all around the world is based on the date of His birth.

And miracles are still happening...

At the beginning of last month 3 new believers were added to the body of the Messiah through baptism.

By the grace of the Lord the restoration of the floor under our actual meeting place was finished: so Hanukka ( dedication and inauguration ) again took place when Dr Lena Kravtsov was able to open her dental clinic there as part of the future center for needy people. A separate area of the same first floor is now ready for children classes and the pastors' office.

On Saturday, December 12th our Hanukkah festival saw 18 new people coming for the event:

The landlord who owns the areas occupied by our present meeting place and by the Health Centre is ready to buy the dilapidated second half of the second floor and to rent it to us. A lot of prayers are needed for this to happen! A few believers abroad reacted positively to our request of financial help for the restoration of that area and as soon as the contract is signed we can start the work.

Some other news...

Last month during a leaders' retreat we visited the Biblical Garden in the Messianic kibbutz Yad ha Shmona. Yeshua’s parables, from the sowing and reaping to the preparation of the oil and the wine took a new dimension while the daily life and work of the Israelites of the first century were explained to us.

We are not indifferent to the devastations brought by world terrorism and we have been praying for revival in the countries which suffered the attacks and for comfort for the bereaved families, as we received news of those tragic events. We are not fighting against flesh and blood ...lift up your head your deliverance is near...God wants every one to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth...

More Arab Christians are now soldiers in the Israeli Defence Forces. Their friends and relatives do not always understand their choices and even some Jewish soldiers do not always behave nicely to them.

One Arab Christian soldier was stabbed in a terrorist attack in Naharya. Another one, the son of an Arab pastor ministering to a Jewish congregation, is now doing his duty in Hebron, as also the son of a dear couple from our congregation. They definitively need our prayers.

the Beit ha Kerem family

May His Light shine on you, in you and through you!