The autumn fests have passed by, and I would like to give you a short report and ask for your participation in what is happening here at “Return to Zion – Shavei Tzion” congregation and in the ministries associated with it.
After 16 years of existence as a congregation, we began the process of “membership”. For us, immigrants of the USSR, where everyone was “under the radar,” there was a certain difficulty “being listed” again. But a new generation of leaders said: “Let’s go for it” – and we went. And it’s not even clear how, but the “electricity from Heaven” has entered all segments of our ministry.
We work on the documents/structures/principles of faith and membership, while the Lord works in us, challenging us to leave our comfort zone and seek His face. I am trying to express it softly: “We have always been a little bit conservative,” but recently, during congregational prayers, we heard many prophecies and a lot of expressed desires “to start doing what the Lord shows us to do.” Therefore, I ask for your support in prayer!!
The Fests of the Lord
To be honest, I lost count of the number of events that we organized during the autumn fests. We have had meetings with new immigrants (Olim), and we organized trips for them across Israel (all in the framework of Zionism and the belief in the Messiah). We distributed a huge number of food packages, and now we are preparing an “Alpha Course,” to which we have invited more than fifty people (we’ll see how many will come). We have had banquets, studies of the Scriptures, and festive meetings; there were a lot of them.
Our Sukkah (tabernacle) was full of guests, both local—from Israel— and from Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Norway. Everyone knows that “Ushpizin” (Aramaic for “guests”) is the traditional sign of Sukkot – the Fest of the Tabernacles. Receiving guests, living out faith in God and all this in the Land of Israel—that’s how it was, but without formalities. I even began to suspect that the Lord wants to increase the “heat” of our passion and give to all of us special experiences during these days!
Simchat Torah. The “concrete” of our building was shaking from our dancing, and it was possible to simply rejoice together with all Israel about the written Word of the Lord. We have already noticed that when we rewind the Torah scroll from Dvarim (Deuteronomy) back to Bereshit (Genesis), the Spirit of God touches everyone!
Music and Art School
We started the music school as a small project eight years ago. At the beginning we had seven-to-ten children. This year we started with more than a hundred students and fifteen teachers (the enrollment process has not yet finished). This is a place where talented children from underprivileged families can be strengthened and find direction in life. It is being funded as follows: 50% being subsidized by donations and 50% from tuition fees. Thus, it stimulates stability and assists the financially weak families. It is also an opportunity to be a Light to those children and their parents who have never heard of the Grace of God and the Messiah!
Oasis Media is functioning like “Jewish Voice IM” in the English-speaking world. Oasis Media offers programs about the Jewish God, Messiah and the Scriptures to the Russian-speaking world. We register more than 50 thousand views a month; by our standards this is quite considerable. Thousands of viewers in Israel are watching up-to-date programs and interesting speakers. This project is not a humanitarian one, but no one has cancelled Yeshua’s words that “Man will live by every Word coming out of the mouth of God,” while through Oasis Media we are talking about the Jewish character of the Word!
The conference “Haifa Bridge and the Twin-Cities”
This event brought together key leaders from Haifa, Germany, Taiwan, China, the USA and South Africa. It was, perhaps, the first experiment in the format of “faith and prayer.” Return to Zion acted as a host. The Lord really was present with us during prayers and discussions. How will all this affect the future days? We will pray and wait … We are inviting everyone who knows that your city is Haifa’s Twin-City to the meeting next year, during Sukkot, in 2018. (Please write us and inform us).
“The Prophetic Studio”
I tried to describe it to people from outside as a “Prayer Room,” but I was corrected and it was confirmed as a “Prophetic Studio.” A studio is a workshop—a place where we try, where we compare, where we study. It is a place where one is not afraid to hear the Voice of the Lord! I’m even a little scared to write about this, but we see that it has begun to function!!! And it has become a “revolving door” where many can enter, feel God’s touch, and as one brother from China prophetically said, “ascend the mountain of the Lord” and go further, renewed in the Word heard from the Creator. Why Haifa, and not Jerusalem? This question sounds ridiculous. But many have said more than once that a breakthrough in Israel will come from the North! We prayed for more interaction among the congregations in Haifa, for the interaction of the congregations from Haifa with other congregations from abroad, and most importantly, about our common interaction with the Lord our God.
It may sound slightly confusing, but I have tried to update you on what is happening here.
We are asking for your intercession!
We will not ask for resources, since this request has never been cancelled and many of the projects that are functioning, functioning successfully, and achieving their goals— precisely because of your generosity!
By the way … many people have wished me and my wife Nina a “Happy Birthday!”
Many thanks to all of you. We appreciate your wishes and prayers.
We love you…please keep in touch.