Newsletter - December

Dear friends and prayer partners

‘’See that you walk circumspectly,...wise...redeeming the time ” ( Eph 5:15, 16 )

“When you see all these things, know it is near, at the door ” ( Mat 24:33 )

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” ( John 1: 4,5 )

Our last letter finished with the fall festivals and our pastors and a deaconess travelling to North America while the congregation was in full restoration. Quite some time before we left, pastor Lena reminded us that the time was short and we needed to put a big clock on the stage...

As soon as Alek, Lena and Claudine came back from the USA to Israel fires literally started around the country. We thank God for all the countries who helped us, including Muslim countries; the Palestinian authority also sent firefighters. The country suffered a lot, some people didn't have a house or a business to go back to after they have been evacuated and were allowed to return. The first evaluation was about 2 billion shekels damages, including the destroyed forests and natural reserves. Many animals died. This disaster brought beautiful reactions as Jews and Muslims helped side by side, and offered shelter, but we also witnessed other using the dry windy weather to light a fire on purpose.

Please pray for understanding and reconciliation where it is possible, and for the Lord to move mightily when these seem impossible. The nation also needs to turn back to its God, who promised security in its borders if we follow Him and Him alone.

We thank you very much for your prayers when we were abroad:

The congregation was able to go on with its regular activities under the leadership of Sasha and Vova and in the midst of the works.

After cleaning the place and putting down old wall, it is the time for building again: though quickly progressing, it is taking more time than we expected. We still pray for a part of the promised support to come in and for good will and professional work from the constructor. Security and prevention of accidents are also not a small thing since we also still hold our meetings there (without warming and with our coats on ) each Shabbath!

Every shabbath morning people come earlier to clean and put back the chairs and the musical instruments from the floor below, and at the end of each meeting all the material is brought back downstairs so the workers would not be hindered in their work.

In the USA we had "divine appointments", strengthening relationships, making new contacts and receiving encouragements. We arrived in the middle of the Election Day, and people sat in front of their TV set when we went to bed exhausted by 24 hours travelling from our place in Israel to the home of friends in Dallas. Through our two weeks in Dallas, Phoenix, South and North Carolina, people were extremely kind, giving us their very best: friendship, time, food, warmly opening their homes, taking us to the surroundings, places of interests and congregations, and meeting with people. We have no word to express our gratitude to pastor Olen and Syble, pastor Bob and Becky, pastor James, rabbi Jonathan and his team, pastor Randy and Kay, pastor Judy and her husband and so many others who went out the extra mile to make this trip really special.

The atmosphere in general amongst the believers there was quite hopeful, expecting again liberty of expression and prayers as much as a better relationship between North America and Israel.

Spiritually the most important message we heard for all the believers was "you said that the time is short and you are right. But it is even much shorter than you think. Pray as you never prayed before. Be in intimacy with Yeshua as you never have been before. The time is extremely short".

On our way back to Israel we stopped in England when our friends Giancarlo and Catherine travelled from far and early at dawn to pick us up at the airport and take us to a real treat in Windsor. Beside the warm fellowship around a delicious breakfast, we enjoyed the weather, the town, the swans, the castle and the guards coming in and out.

Beit ha Kerem now organizes and prays for the Hanukkah festival where we invite many not yet believers. Please pray for a good preparation and a good attendance to this meeting, on Shabbath the 24th of December in the morning.

In Haifa a few congregations came together this last week-end and will keep doing it through the days to come for evangelization , mainly but not only in the midst of the Arab community.

May the hearts be receptive to the conversations, the Word and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Let us close with a very happy note: we thought that the woman who went through a liver transplant will never be able to go back to work. Is the power of our God limited? Our sister is stronger, regularly again comes to the Shabbath meeting and is even back to work as a caregiver. Thank you so much for your persistent prayers for her.

This year the first candle is officially lighted on Saturday evening, December 24th, when most the Western world celebrates Christmas. May Yeshua’s light shine in us and through us. May we live every day the victory that was won not only for a short time by Judah Maccabbee but for eternity by Yeshua’s death and resurrection. Let us give the Holy Spirit the freedom to clean the temple not so much once as it was done in the time of the Maccabbees but each day of our earthly life as we present ourselves as a living sacrifice and the bride of our Lord.

We wish you a very happy and blessed Christmas. No matter if He was probably not born at this time of the year, He came to save us and bring us back into the right relationship to the Father. Let us rejoice in His coming, and His choice to willing fully go to the cross out of His amazing love for the Father and for us.

Oceans of blessings,

Pastors Alek and Lena Kravtsov, and the leadership team.