From Heavenly News:
Life at Congregation Tiferet Yeshua, Tel Aviv
Below is one of Eddie & Jackie Santoro's weekly reports for their intercessors. It was so uplifting that we wanted to share it with you and let you get a taste of our on-going activities at Tiferet Yeshua! Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
If there were a newspaper in heaven, these might very well be this week's headline stories:
FIFTEEN SABRA-BORN (NATIVE-BORN) ISRAELIS MEETING IN A LIVING ROOM OF A YOUNG ISRAELI COUPLE. ALL OF THEM NEW BELIEVERS OR VERY OPEN AND CLOSE TO RECEIVING THE LORD!
FOUR YOUNG ISRAELI COUPLES WHO WERE INVITED TO AN OUTREACH PARTY INITIATED CONVERSATIONS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT YESHUA. ALL OF THEM VERY INTERESTED IN MEETING AGAIN AND HEARING MORE ABOUT YESHUA!
WEDNESDAY EVENING YOUNG ADULTS MEETINGS ARE DRAWING MANY NEW GUESTS AND UNBELIEVERS!
WEEKLY CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS ATTENDED BY NUMEROUS ISRAELI GUESTS COUPLED WITH ALMOST WEEKLY SALVATIONS!
LONG HOURS OF WEEKLY ONE-ON-ONE DISCIPLESHIP MEETINGS WITH NEW AND HUNGRY BELIEVERS!
If the angels and ancients in heaven could read these headlines, their hearts would overflow with gladness as they share in the joy that God is feeling as these longed for events are happening....
Of course there is no newspaper in heaven but the stories are true! God is doing something mighty in Israel in these days. Israelis are searching and open to receive Yeshua!
||Ronit (not her real name) showed up at our Wednesday young adults meeting several weeks ago. She is 18 and was to be inducted into the army in several days. She had found a book about Yeshua, read it and called the phone number inside of it. Our faithful brother Simcha answered the phone and directed her to our meeting. She shared the story of her search for God with us after which we gathered around her and laid hands upon her and prayed for her to know the truth. Several days later I called her to see how she was doing.
Amir came to our meeting on Wednesday night. He gave his life to the Lord several weeks ago. During worship I was thrilled to see him standing and worshiping the Lord with his hands raised. Another young Israeli reconciled to his Messiah!
Nathaniel is a 25 year old Israeli that started attending our Shabbat meeting. I invited him to come to the Wednesday evening young adults group. We prayed for him and some significant spiritual resistance left him.
When I spoke to him several days later, his only question was "When will I know and love Yeshua like all those people who were at that meeting?" I assured him that as he sought the Lord it would be Yeshua's good pleasure to reveal Himself to him. I spoke with him several days ago and he told me that his knowledge and love of Yeshua was already growing. Hallelujah...God is on the move!
FACES OF TIFERET YESHUA
Miri is a young sabra (native-born) who also gave her life to the Lord several weeks ago. We spoke to her at our Shabbat meeting and she was so excited about her new faith! She was so eager to get know her Lord and Messiah. She said she would definitely come to our Wednesday Life Group.
This past Saturday we launched our first full semester of Life Groups in the congregation. Twenty-nine people stood up and presented their groups to the congregation.
The list includes everything from a fishing cell to a men's discipleship group. Please pray for the success of the Life Groups.
The goal of these groups is to draw the new believers in the congregation into bonds of relationship with other believers and to be a net that would draw new people to Yeshua.
I could go on and on but suffice it to say that we need your prayers! These are very special times! Our congregation is in the midst of a ten day fast. Some are fasting the whole time; others are taking part as they feel led. But we are all praying and looking to God to continually increase this miraculous harvest and to supply all that we need so that this generation of new Israeli believers will be cared for and will grow into the mighty men and women that God needs to shake this nation. Please join us as we intercede before the throne of God for this nation. The fields are ripe for harvest. The time is now and the workers are in the field. Pray that God's grace rest upon us as we labor!
HELP FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Ari receives a generous offering from Ram Zango, a minister from Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world. The incredible generosity of the Christians in Burkina Faso is one of the most amazing acts of love toward Israel we have ever known.
||Our Maoz Israel accountant, Itsik, holds a gift from the Brazilian people and blesses Julio and Luis as representatives of our Brazilian partners.
||In front of our Succah during the feast of tabernacles: our Maoz staff in Tel Aviv meets with Christy Wilkerson, our U.S. and international administrator (third from right); Julio Otami, Brazilian administrator (second from right); and Luis Mourato, our Portuguese translator, (first from right). Even though our administrators from great Britain and Germany could not be with us for this picture, we do want to thank our wonderful partners from great Britain and Europe for standing with us through your prayers and faithful giving.
Maoz opens new office in Japan
Shira was invited to Japan to teach about god’s plan for Israel and its relationship with believers throughout the world, including Japan. The Japanese people receive only the most biased information via the media concerning Israel, and therefore the Japanese Christians were intensely interested to know what the bible says about Israel and to receive first hand information from the point of view of an Israeli believer. Above, Shira teaches at CFN Japan bible school.
Rechelit, one of our young Israeli leaders, traveled with Shira. Here she shares her testimony with bible school students through interpreter Gerald Goodall.
To our amazement, we found such keen interest and financial generosity for evangelism and leadership training in Israel, that we decided to open a Maoz office and website in Japan to give the Japanese Christians opportunity to invest in the salvation of Israel - and, according to the bible - thereby bring blessing to their own nation. Above left: our new administrator, Kimiko Inamoto. Right: our Japanese Webmaster, pastor Yoshihiro with his wife and children. No time for a delicious Japanese meal. We settle for McDonalds.
Dear Maoz Partner,
One of our main goals through the Maoz Israel Report is to keep you up-to-date on events and developments in Israel from a Biblical point of view.
The world media is for the most part extremely biased against this nation, and often even those newspapers and TV news stations that might wish to give a more balanced point of view, simply don't have the ability or the background to understand the real issues at stake.
Imagine a liberal journalist being flown into Israel, knowing little about the Middle East and nothing about the Bible, trying to sort out why the Israelis have chosen to live among Arab Muslims who hate them and who claim the Holy Land as theirs.
Furthermore, many of the network reporters are themselves Palestinians because in that way the newsmakers can assure the safety of their correspondents. Obviously they cannot assure the objectivity of these same reporters!
We believe that it is of paramount importance that born-again believers have access to the truth concerning events in Israel - from a Biblical, prophetic and factual perspective.
When we listen to the main television networks and read newspapers of world renown, we groan inside to see the distortions and faulty assumptions so often portrayed.
The Bible clearly states that the nations which come against Israel will be severely punished. (Zechariah 14:2-3)
So, even though there is an ongoing spiritual war to destroy the Jewish state and take her land, ultimately, there are no people powerful enough on this planet to take away the “promise land” which God has solemnly sworn to give to Israel. (Genesis 28:13)
And the nations that find themselves fighting against God's ultimate plan will only have themselves to blame because the Lord has clearly spelled out his plan for Israel throughout the entire Bible.
Therefore it is critical for the wellbeing of the nations of the world that Christian and Messianic Jewish citizens pray for their national leaders to stand with Israel.
Not because Israel is by any means perfect, but because God Himself has given the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob this small piece of real estate, (just as He has alloted the Arab peoples enormous regions throughout the Middle East and beyond).
We who are born again know that the road block to peace for Israel will be overcome only as Israel returns to her God.
That is where Maoz Israel Ministries comes in. Along with other pioneer ministries in this land, we are living, working and praying to see salvation come to the people of Israel.
In this issue of the Maoz Israel Report we have the joy of summarizing for you what has happened through Maoz Israel Ministries as a result of your gifts and prayers in 2004.
The last twelve months have been a time of focusing on identifying, training, and mentoring leadership in our congregation.
We are preparing the next generation of leaders to whom God has blessed with a great variety of giftings and talents - budding preachers, teachers, evangelists, counselors, sound people, worship leaders and musicians, administrators, translators, video and audio technicians, and leaders in the arts and drama.
We are continuing to video Hebrew teachings and burn them on CD's and DVD's with our new equipment that Maoz partners gave us - for distribution throughout the land.
We are continuing with our translations and book publishing in Hebrew, also for the growing community of believers throughout the land.
At the moment we are completing eight books and preparing to start on another eleven. Among the titles we are finishing up are Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (a year and a half project), Every Man's Battle and Every Young Man's Battle, Dr. James Dobson's The New Dare to Discipline and John Maxwell's Partners in Prayer.
Our daughter and son-in-law, Shani and Ya'acov, have just moved back to Israel and will be of tremendous help in many areas - (including worship, audio/video production, and producing a Tiferet Yeshua Congregational Hebrew Worship album!). Both Shani and Ya'acov are sold-out believers and people of prayer and find instant rapport with young people.
We are believing within the next few months we will be able to acquire a facility for the coffee house outreach center for which we have prayed for many years.
We have found an ideal place and are at the moment negotiating the price. In a city that is filled with filth in the form of discos and clubs, we want a place that our young people can call their own and to which they can bring their unsaved friends.
It will, of course, also be open to the public. We want it to be open late into the night to attract the young people in Tel Aviv who roam the streets. We will need to pay for rent, taxes and utilities, security guards, an administrator and other personnel.
Sounds like a lot? It is. But everything in the world is speeding up! And the work of God in Israel is now doing the same. If we are satisfied to go slower, we will be left behind in the dust!
God is on the move! Opportunities are on every side as more Kingdom laborers are maturing and ready to work!
We truly need your participation. If you have a deep longing to see the Jewish people receive Eternal Life - the people whom God calls "His chosen" - we ask you to help us expand this congregation, train up leaders and boldly publicize the Salvation of Israel, the Hope of Israel, to a people who will never know peace outside of Yeshua, the Prince of Peace.
For the Lost Sheep of Israel,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. Thank you again! Your generous giving - and more - has enabled us to buy TWO vans for our youth! They are ecstatic! (See below)
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?
Last fall, we asked you, our Maoz partners, to help us purchase a 11-seat van for our teenagers.
Our youth leaders were finding it very hard to connect with our teens during the week because none of them have cars, and after 9:00p.m., buses often run only once an hour or stop altogether - not a good plan for teens.
We had thought that with a van, our leaders could meet with some of the youth in one part of town, and the following week meet with the others. That was not ideal because teens do better with a larger group and the number of Messianic Jewish teens in Israel is still in the pioneer stage.
But our partners solved this problem in a way that we didn't even dream of! One dear partner sent in enough funds for one whole van, and the rest of our partners sent in enough for a second van! Now our leaders can pick up the kids from both sides of town for each meeting! This is a tremendous asset to encourage the growth of our teen group.
Obviously, the vans will be used for other congregational activities in addition to the youth programs!
We are so thankful, that again, with your partnership, we are doing things that we could never do without you!