Newsletter April 2017

Friends and Partners,

“In that day sing to her, a vineyard of red wine! I, the Lord, keep it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day.”
(Isaiah 27:2-3)

During the last two months we enjoyed two celebrations, the 7th anniversary of Beit ha Kerem in February and the Purim festival in March. The first Saturday of April our congregation went on an outing to Beit Shean.

Our new, much larger and totally renovated hall was ready just on time for our anniversary celebration, attended by many guests and friends from Israel and from abroad, including the USA, Ukraine, Germany, the UK.

The main message was given by our friend Giancarlo Elia and here is, in essence, what he shared :

“Almost every significant ministry starts with a vision, whether we see reality with our eyes or we see in the spirit. In the Bible we read that Isaiah saw the glory of God in the Temple, Jeremiah saw the almond tree, Moses saw a burning bush, the Apostle Paul saw a great light, and even the Lord Yeshua started His ministry when He saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. The vision is given to us to lead us into a new dimension of trust in the Lord and confidence that what we start is not an end in itself, but it will lead us to more and more action for the sake of the Kingdom. The vision, however, has to be seen and understood as a whole, with all the details and hints that we may perceive. I felt excited when Alek and Lena were called to start a new congregation. However, when they decided to rent the original space in this building I was not very enthusiastic. I only saw a derelict space in an ugly building in a non-inspiring area. I could not see how that space and the congregation were going to match and integrate each other. However, I was wrong, because at times we see the spiritual aspect of a vision but we fail to see the details that include also the material means to implement the vision. We also have to remember that as Isaiah saw the glory, we need to see the glory of the Lord reflected not only in places and situations, but also on the faces of those whom the Lord sends to us. We need to recognize that glory, reflected on our brothers and sisters, and rejoice because that glory gives us the confidence that everything will be placed in the right order, in the right priority, in the right connections. As we celebrate the seventh anniversary of this congregation, it is by looking around at our brothers and sisters that we have confidence in a future of growth from glory to glory.”

There were several more contributions, dances, prayers and blessings and, of course, we ended with a magnificent party! It was a joyful, exciting day and we all felt so grateful for the deep sense of belonging, of being part of such a closely knit family.

At Purim, a team from our congregation played a modern version of the Purim spiel. Our sister Sveta introduced the play with a very unusual commentary for a …, well, quite bloody event!

“Purim in fact is a love story! The love of Mordechai who raised Esther as his own daughter, the love of the king for Esther, the love of Esther for the Jewish people, and above all the love of God for His people...”

A few guests, who are not yet believers, attended the celebration. May the love of the Lord touch their hearts!

At the beginning of April, the weather was very fitting for an outing, sunny and windy. Beside exploring Beit Shean, we also enjoyed worshipping the Lord and strengthening our relationships with one another. A few friends who do not belong yet to the congregation also came and may the seed they received produce good fruit!

The Pessach festival is already at our doors. The members of our congregation will celebrate at home, with their families, on Monday the 10th of April, and we altogether will celebrate at our congregation on Tuesday the 11th.

Pessach is a wonderful opportunity to explain the work of Yeshua who redeemed us from our sins and, having been raised from the dead, reconciled us to the Father and gave us Eternal Life. We pray that all who will attend our celebration will be renewed in their faith and that the non-believers will receive Yeshua as their Lord and Savior, the true Messiah sent by the God of Israel.

Now...what is happening in Israel?

Although the economy is bouncing and the level of unemployment is very low, still many people live in poverty and needy families still need the help of many organizations that provide food and basic products.

The Syrian border has not be that quiet recently.

Israel tries to prevent weapons reaching Hezbollah, whose missiles capacity is much more threatening than what it was during the second Lebanon war.

In the Gaza strip, Hamas got new short range missiles to attack the citizens of the South West border of Israel.

Isis is getting more powerful in the Sinai.

Please pray for our soldiers, in a particular way for the many young believers, Christian Arabs and Messianic Jewish, who serve in the IDF to protect our borders, often in very dangerous situations.

We definitively could not do the work that God called us to do without your support and prayers. Thank you so much!

May the Lord bless you abundantly as you celebrate Pessach and Yeshua’s resurrection, may each one of us get a new and deeper understanding of His love manifested through His life on this earth amongst us and His death on the cross. May we all live each day His resurrection life.

Finally, as our pastor Lena asked us: we are so thankful for Yeshua’s sacrifice. Is there anything we could give back to Him, as a love offering sacrifice?

In His Love and for His Kingdom,

The Beit ha Kerem Team.