Newsletter March 2016

Dear Friends and Partners,

“You come to me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” 1 Samuel 17:45a

It was a choice that David made. He could have decided to stay back and look at the events as they would have developed. Esther, after weighing the price, also chose to act.

What would you do?

Terrorism hits again.

- After a few days of calm, the “knives intifada” as it is now called hit again. A few weeks ago a terrorist coming from the West Bank killed one person and wounded a few others in Jaffa. Following the attack, residents in the area were interviewed by the media. Both Jews and Arabs claimed that they have been living peacefully together in Jaffa for a long time.

Please pray that, encouraged by such claims, many more will realize that there is the possibility and willingness to live together peacefully, and please pray that the government will find the proper way to stop potential terrorists coming from Judea and Samaria to enter Israel illegally.

We also were very sadden by the last attacks in Brussels. Pray that the veil covering the eyes of many about the true face of Islam will be removed.

- You probably already have been asked to pray for the Christian Israeli Arabs, whether born again or traditional, who join the Israeli army. This in an abstract from an article published by the ICEJ (International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem):

Israeli-Arab Christian Soldiers Get New Protections

The Knesset advanced legislation this week to increase penalties for inciting against Israeli-Arab Christians who volunteer to serve in the IDF. Israel Christian Recruitment Forum chairman Father Gabriel Nadaf said the bill was necessary because incitement by Israeli-Arabs opposed to the community’s integration into Israeli society against “candidates for enlistment, soldiers, their families and me has not stopped and in some cases has ended in physical violence.”

Please remember all our soldiers: they all need God’s protection and our prayers.

- Housing prices and the cost of living, including the prices of food, clothing and all first necessity goods, are still going up. For instance the prices of the apartments went up by 12% through the last 6 months.

Please keep our difficult economical situation in your prayers.

What is happening with our congregation?

- Our people:

Sveta, who went through liver transplant, has been suffering from side effects of the medicines she received. She still feels very weak, would like to go back to work but is too tired and anyway not allowed to. She again comes more regularly to the congregation.

Ira, who went through the removal of a brain tumor, is also quite stable. The MRI showed, as we expected, that there was a very small residual part of the tumor. She will receive local treatment. Her voice, sight and balance while walking are not yet totally right, but definitively improving. She was at the congregation last Saturday. Her neurosurgeon is very positive and expects her to go back to work rather soon.

Please continue to uphold these two precious sisters in your prayers

Beit Guvrin

Recently we enjoyed an excursion to the valley of Ayela, where Abraham fought the Philistines and David confronted Goliath. We visited the ruins of what probably was one of the ancient Israeli fortresses, where David met his brothers, and the field where David killed Goliath. The weather was very pleasant and the fields of wheat and the blooming flowers were beautiful.

From there we visited Beit Guvrin, an Hebrew-Greek-Roman-Byzantine town mentioned in the Bible, 2 Chronicles 11:5-8, as Maresha.

Our driver was an Arab Christian from Akko. He already knew a couple in our group and previously heard the gospel. He is not yet born again. Please pray for him that his path may cross ours or the one of other believers and that he will come to really know the Lord.

Many of our congregation brought friends and family members to this excursion, as done in the past. However, this time there were really many more non believers (not yet!) than any time before.

Please pray for all of us that we may have a greater influence on our relatives and friends, that they may realize that something is different in us and that the Lord may touch their hearts.

- The clinic:

The clinic is working as expected: Lena’s previous patients followed her to Kiryat Haim and new patients are coming. Olga joined her in the clinic as a massage therapist and she too sees new clients.

Please pray that the Lord will draw more and more new patients and clients to the clinic, that they feel the different spiritual atmosphere that reigns there and will ask the right questions.

- The coffee shop that started recently:

The atmosphere is good and we are very satisfied with the level of attendance. Two weeks ago Sasha presented Yeshua for the first time.

Please keep praying for the people who are coming and for the team which cares for them.

- The building:

It would be nice if we could give you good news but we still need to intensify our prayers so that we may have the other half of the floor that we already occupy. Our landlord has been really nice and fair with us. However, the owner of the other half, after nearly coming to an agreement with our landlord, pulled back and asked for an extra half a million shekels on the top of the the actual value of the property

Please pray that a fair and equitable agreement is reached soon, so that we may secure all the space we need.

- last Saturday we celebrated Purim.

Some members of the congregation brought family and friends. Most of us came dressed in a funny way, and we enjoyed a good time of praising God, dancing and rejoicing in Him. After Sacha and Ira shared in an amusing way about the story of Purim, they also encouraged us to pray and intercede as Esther and the Jewish people did ...and saw God’s deliverance.

Thank you again for all your prayers. Without them we could not stand and we would have moved at a much slower pace. Israel needs you, we need you!

Be abundantly blessed!

Alek and Lena Kravstov