A New Challenge for the U.S. President: A Different Europe

 
  Monthly Report: November 2004 Click for PDF
 

EMAIL THIS PRINT THIS

 

Europe is an emerging powerful aggregate of 25 nations with a total of 455 million citizens and more states waiting in line to join. It is the world's third largest population block, second most powerful economic engine, and largest trade colossus on the globe. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 04)

However Europe as we have known it - the Holy Roman Empire, the land of Christian judicial foundations, cathedrals and Judeo-Christian roots - is fast disappearing. Historic European Christian culture is morphing into a multicultural Islamic nation.

The number one cause for Europe's great transformation is the decline of Europe's indigenous population as a whole. (Newsweek July 2, 03). In practical terms, Europe's population is getting older - many more elderly and far fewer births. Indeed, Europe's native population is declining at a rate that is causing astonishment and consternation to demographic experts.

Issues of pension, aging, health care, and the need for more wage earners to stoke the economy is already generating incredible pressures upon Europe. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Oxford research fellow, puts it bluntly: "Europe has two choices, neither very palatable; to have more children, or open its gates to massive immigration.” (JP, Sept. 22, 04)

But Ottolenghi doesn't believe the first choice will be implemented. "It seems unlikely," he explains, "given that among the three factors that universally contribute to population decline - relative economic prosperity, high rates of female literacy and cheap and easy access to contraceptives, free of social stigma - none is reversible in Europe at an acceptable social price." We would add almost universal legal rights to abortion in most civilized countries is further diminishing Europe's population by over a million aborted babies each year.

The bottom line is that to support an ever-expanding older generation of pensioners one needs constant population increase. Here enters front stage Muslim immigration - the people group most apt to move to Europe. Muslims come from troubled, poor and high birth-rate countries - hence their desire to immigrate to Europe, and hence the forecast of Europe becoming a burgeoning Islamic nation.

In a speech delivered at Leiden University in September, European Commissioner Fritz Bolkestein described demography as the "mother of politics." He predicts that America's youth and dynamism will ensure it remains a superpower. "But Europe, he said, is destined to be "Islamized." (Ibid., Sept. 15, 04)

Without opening the doors to immigration it will become impossible for European countries to maintain strong econ- omies and provide social benefits for their senior citizens.

Today, out of 450,000,000 citizens in the EU, there are already some 25,000,000 of them Muslims. That amounts to about 5.5%. However, if you calculate the percentage of European youth, a full 20% are Muslim - because of the high birthrate of Islamic women. (islamonline.net) Their impact will be felt in just a few years when these 20% become 20% of the labor market. It is predicted that the Arab minority will at least double by 2050 while there will be many millions fewer Europeans. This could push the proportion of Muslims in, say, France, Italy and Spain up to a quarter or even a third of their populations. (techcentralstation.com)

Next month the European Union in its Brussels summit will be considering the entry of Turkey into its family of nations. That would bring to the EU an additional 71,000,000 more Muslims, who would then be free to immigrate to other European Union countries. Some experts, trying to project what Europe's near future will look like, have surmised that possibly the Muslim immigration will cause a sort of Islamo-Christian syncretism, a kind of religious melting pot where tolerance by both Muslim immigrants and European post-Christians could amalgamate their two cultures into one grand religious community. Peter Schwartz, in his book, Inevitable Surprises, see another possible scenario: "We might see whole European cities evolve into ghettoes for Muslim and African immigrants, virtually walled off from the rest of the continent, and festering with crime, disease, and random violence."

Of all the research I looked at concerning the islamization of Europe, none factored in the question of radical Islam's goal of world domination through methods of terror and violence. No doubt, as Islam's foothold grows in Europe, terrorism will increase. Nevertheless, Europe still believes that through appeasement she will be able to hold back Islam's predisposition to conquer by the sword. She's in for a surprise.

Nevertheless, in her attempt to accommodate her Muslim citizens and reap the rewards of sympathetic partnership with Muslim strongmen in the oil-rich Middle East and Africa, Europe will very likely continue to distance herself from the U.S and the war on terror.

Once before, Europe came within a hair's breath of becoming Islamic. In the eight century, the Moors had conquered Syria, Egypt, and North Africa, converting all those inhabitants by the sword. From there, the Moors conquered Gibraltar and then all of Spain. As their armies continued northward, they were stopped by the Frankish General Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732A.D. It was one of the most decisive battles in history. It determined that Christianity and not Islam would be the religion of the European people. Alas, Europe has turned its back on the God of the Bible. Allah is once again gathering his hosts to conquer the peoples that were denied him nearly 1300 years ago.

As did the prophets in the Bible, we must weep for our nations and warn them of the results of forsaking God. The believers in America and Europe are still the salt of their nations. God's plan is for revival to come to every nation before the end. But it will come only through weeping and fasting and a unified front of believers who wage spiritual warfare on the evil forces that have one goal in mind - to wipe out the message of salvation from the world.

One European Nation’s Crisis
(without massive immigration)

Italy's population stands at 58,000,000.
14% are of the ages 0-14.
67% are 15-64.
19% are over 65.
By 2050
The first group will shrink by 40%.
The second group by 44%.
The third group (over 65) will rise by 50%.
The percentage of Italians over 80 will rise by 160%.
What this means in practical terms:
Today there are 4.1 Italians, ages 15-64, who are available to support one Italian over the age of 65.
In 2050 there will be only 1.4 Italians to support each elderly person over 65.
From speech delivered at Expert Group Meeting on policy responses to population ageing and population decline, United Nations Secretariat, New York 16-18 October 2004.


From our Maoz Israel office in Brazil:
BRAZILIAN CHRISTIANS AWAKENING TO A LOVE
FOR THE ISRAELI MESSIANIC JEWS

Brazil is a massive country with different cultures, different lifestyles and, of course, different faiths. Brazil, with 178,000,000 citizens, is considered a Catholic country, although a growing percentage of its population (35 million people, increasing 8% each year) are evangelical Christians. Of course, the evil one is working to attract the masses with counterfeit religions such as Kardecism, New Age, several branches of African cults denominated by Umbanda and others. But, in spite of being a country of contrasts, one thing I believe the Brazilian people share in common is respect towards God - whether they know Him or not.

For many years, the growing movement of evangelical Christians of Brazil seemed to take little notice of Israel (and I want to believe that it was because of lack of information). We focused on other countries, sending missionaries and evangelists to reach even the remotest part of the earth (Act 1.8) because of our desire to quicken the return of Yeshua. To us, Israel was just one of the world's countries needing salvation, but without any particular importance - until, in the last decade or so, it is as if God Himself has removed the blindness and we began seeing Israel in a new light. Suddenly Israel became to the Brazilian Christians what it has always been: a light to the nations! And with this new insight, the congregations began to pray for Israel in earnest and search for new ways of blessing this nation.

At first our people thought that just by coming to Israel to visit, tour around and buy souvenirs was enough. But I believe that now a new wind of change is coming to the Brazilian church. People are becoming more mature in their faith and their questions show their concern for the future of the Jewish nation and what the Christians all over the world can really do to help bring Israel back to her Savior.

Brazilian Christians are beginning to realize now that they have a real commitment, an obligation to this nation, second to their commitment to God, if they want to see their own country blessed. (Gen 12.3) Look how America has been blessed by standing with Israel! And it seems to me that if there is any other nation in the world that can continue what America began, that country is Brazil. America has done a huge work by sending out its finest men and women throughout the world (including Brazil), sowing God's Word. And it is natural that the seed thrown in Brazilian soil will sprout and bear fruit, throwing its branches into the land of Israel.

Brazilian evangelicals are now realizing that our Israeli brethren, the Messianic Jewish believers, need financial help to evangelize and disciple the Israeli people. Israel is unique in many ways. We are seeing that the people best able to reach Israelis are Israelis themselves. By getting to know our brothers in Israel, by joining them in their daily battle against prejudice, persecution and those who would take away the freedom to choose one's own faith, we can make a difference. By helping them financially through serious Messianic organizations that really serve the Messianic congregations in Israel, we can partner with them to build a stronger generation of leaders. They in turn will raise up more leaders, and together they will spread the wonders of God to the Lost Ones of Israel, ultimately resulting in all Israel being saved!

It is our joy and honor to serve the Body of Messiah and the Israeli people through Maoz Israel Ministries in Brazil. It is through God's grace that He has enabled us to partner with an organization that is evangelizing and discipling Israelis and preparing Israel for her coming revival.

Luiz Mourato Neto.
(Luis translates the Maoz Israel Report and the Maoz prayer letter into Portuguese.
www.maozisrael.com.br)

Ami's Bar Mitzvah!

In our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua, we find that every type of celebration - all the Biblical holidays, weddings, birthday parties, or whatever - gives us opportunities to invite our unsaved friends, work associates and families. Many times those we have invited would not have come to a regular congregational service. But they will come to a celebration, and more often than not, they are stunned at what they find: a group of Israelis full of life and love for their fellowman and unashamedly worshiping the God of Israel. They hear the Word of God presented in a way that was completely unknown to them.

Last month at a wedding celebration a couple from our congregation exchaned vows. Ari performed the ceremony and gave a exhortation from the Bible. The grooms parents, family and friends came from a kibbutz in the north. All being raised as atheists, they came, not knowing what to expect. At the end of the evening, one of the groom's sisters went to the microphone and said, "When we knew we would meet our brother's people from the congregation, we were very worried. We felt that he had gotten into some kind of cult. But we are absolutely blown away by the love we see among you people!..."

So often we see that if only our Israeli people can experience the presence of God through worship and have the opportunity to be taught the Scriptures, they quickly become believers. And so, these celebrations are very important to us.
Here Ami Intrater, son of Asher, elder in our congregation, and his wife Betty, celebrates his Bar Mitzvah. More than 100 visitors came to our Sabbath meeting as a result of their invitations for the event. For many of these visitors, it was their first experience in a Messianic congregation.

After Ami read his portion of the Torah, he preached a sermon on the meaning of salvation and the blood of Yeshua the Messiah. We then had a grand time of fellowship over food, where much witnessing occurred between the members of our congregation and the visitors.

May the seed planted in their hearts grow until they receive eternal life through Yeshua, their Messiah.

Asher and Betty Intrater and their family have recently returned to Jerussalem, the city of their calling, after serving in our congregation for four years. This move is in accordance with our original plan mutually agreed upon, and we are gratified to be able to send three young people from our congregation to work under Asher and Betty. They are establishing a training and discipleship center, reaching out to new Israeli sabra (native born) believers. Asher will continue to preach in rotation in our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua.

Ron and Elana Cantor are members of our congregation and part of our new generation of leaders who are being prepared for ministry in Israel. Ron taught in the Brownsville Bible School during the Pensacola revival. He and Elana (who was born and raised in Israel) moved to Israel a little over a year ago with their three children to work with us. Ron is studying Hebrew and will be taking on a leadership role as soon as his language studies are completed. Shortly after the Cantors arrived in Israel, Elana's sister, Shelly, accepted Yeshua as her Lord and Savior and is a member of our congregation.


SHELLY ESCAPES THE BOMBING
OF THE HILTON HOTEL IN TABA

During the Feast of Tabernacles, I decided to go with four of my girlfriends to Eilat, our resort town on the Red Sea. Because of the holidays, we knew the hotels would be very crowded, but we decided to take our chances in finding a room.

And so we arrived in Eilat. We began to go from hotel to hotel. Part of the time we walked, but we also had to take a taxi several times - which was getting very expensive - and we still could not find a single room anywhere.

My girlfriends all said, "Let's go over to the Hilton in Taba. We can get a room there and it is cheaper." Taba is right over the Egyptian border, literally a few yards from Eilat. It is a very popular place for Israelis; you just have to show your passport and walk over to the Hilton.

But I immediately had a check in my spirit. I felt extremely uneasy; I felt like someone was telling me, "Don't go!" My friends kept pressuring me because we weren't finding any other place in Eilat. They called the Hilton in Taba, and there was a room there available for us. But I said to them, "What if some crazy is over there and tries to blow the place up?" My friends let me know that I was ruining their holiday and none of us knew what to do.

Finally, though, I made it clear I was not going to Taba. I told them they could go on by themselves if they wished. Meanwhile, we arrived at a hotel we had not yet been to - the Holiday Inn in Eilat. When I went to the reception and asked if they had a room, they said to me, "Just a moment." Then they told us they had one room left! We grabbed it right then and there.

That evening, we were sitting in a restaurant when the cell phone of one of the girls rang. "There's been a bomb attack on the Taba hotel in Egypt. We left the restaurant in a daze and went back to our room, and didn't move from there. My shocked friends said, "Oh Shelly, you saved our lives!"

That bomb attack, probably executed by al-Qaida, killed 32 and wounded 124. I have been a believer in Yeshua a little over a year and I believe that God saved me and my friends. It has encouraged my faith in God - that He is a God who saves!


A PRIVATE CONVERSATION

One of our closest friends and Maoz board members related this story to us.

One day last week I was to meet a friend in a local coffee shop in Jerusalem. Just before I arrived, my friend overheard two Orthodox Jews in conversation at a table next to her. They were talking in English about Messiah, the Anointed One...Jesus!
The elder was observing that Christ in Hebrew - Mashiach - means "Anointed One" and asked the other his thoughts. The other answered back, "I am convinced that the Christ [i.e. Jesus] is the Anointed One...I just don't know what to do with it. What do you think?"

The first then responded, "Well, everything for me must stand up to the saline test...a cup of salt water is a cup of salt water when the cup is full! You keep adding drops of saline "til you have a full cup. With me, the drops [regarding the proof that Jesus is the Christ] are dropping too quickly now and I don't know what I'm going to do ...[when the cup is full]."

This was a chance overhearing of a conversation between two searchers - who happen to be ultra-Orthodox Jews. It is a tiny window into the world of the Orthodox community here in Israel. I believe that God gives us revelation such as this to let us know that there are, no doubt, many religious Jews feeling the emptiness of religion without a personal walk with the God of Israel. They are searching, even though the cost of following the truth will be enormous for them.. Let us pray for the ultra-Orthodox Jews - that God will reveal to them the Holy One of Israel.

November 2004
Dear Maoz Partner,

You are very precious to us. You are such a central part of our lives. For it is you who makes it possible for us to minister to our Israeli people.

You have given us the possibility to plant a congregation in downtown Tel Aviv. Where rent, taxes and utilities for a hall that seats 250 people costs $10,000 per month.

You are giving through istandwithisrael.com fund to help Israeli believers throughout the country - widows, orphans, the poor and needy. It is you who are comforting victims of terrorism through your love gifts.

It is with your hands that we can pray for the sick and help hurting souls find their way out of sin's dark hole and become functioning, healthy children of God.

It is you who through Maoz are supporting an Arab Christian congregation in Galilee. And it is you who are even financially blessing a Palestinian evangelist who has been terribly persecuted for his faith.

Again, it is you who are translating and printing books in Hebrew so that the Israeli pioneers in the faith can be enriched, encouraged in their walk, and equipped to fight the good fight of faith.

It is you who have given over $10,000 towards a van for our Israeli teenagers last month.
We have no doubt that the rest of the $26,000 is coming from you, our partners! You can be sure we will show you a picture of the van as soon as we can purchase it!

Believe us! We know that God records every one of your donations for the ministry in Israel. And every teen that is blessed through this van, will be recorded on the heavenly records of those of you who had a heart for the children of Israel!


This young man represents the
future generation of Messianic
leadership in Israel. He and
his friends need you partnership
to help them grow into maturity
and produce a harvest.

We are so thankful to you for partnering with us. As we see the searchers come to faith, then become established, and continue to grow to maturity, we are ever mindful of your part in this ministry.

Thank you.

Your family in Israel,

Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram

 
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A New Challenge for the U.S. President: A Different Europe

 
  Monthly Report: November 2004 Click for PDF
 

EMAIL THIS PRINT THIS

 

Europe is an emerging powerful aggregate of 25 nations with a total of 455 million citizens and more states waiting in line to join. It is the world's third largest population block, second most powerful economic engine, and largest trade colossus on the globe. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 04)

However Europe as we have known it - the Holy Roman Empire, the land of Christian judicial foundations, cathedrals and Judeo-Christian roots - is fast disappearing. Historic European Christian culture is morphing into a multicultural Islamic nation.

The number one cause for Europe's great transformation is the decline of Europe's indigenous population as a whole. (Newsweek July 2, 03). In practical terms, Europe's population is getting older - many more elderly and far fewer births. Indeed, Europe's native population is declining at a rate that is causing astonishment and consternation to demographic experts.

Issues of pension, aging, health care, and the need for more wage earners to stoke the economy is already generating incredible pressures upon Europe. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Oxford research fellow, puts it bluntly: "Europe has two choices, neither very palatable; to have more children, or open its gates to massive immigration.” (JP, Sept. 22, 04)

But Ottolenghi doesn't believe the first choice will be implemented. "It seems unlikely," he explains, "given that among the three factors that universally contribute to population decline - relative economic prosperity, high rates of female literacy and cheap and easy access to contraceptives, free of social stigma - none is reversible in Europe at an acceptable social price." We would add almost universal legal rights to abortion in most civilized countries is further diminishing Europe's population by over a million aborted babies each year.

The bottom line is that to support an ever-expanding older generation of pensioners one needs constant population increase. Here enters front stage Muslim immigration - the people group most apt to move to Europe. Muslims come from troubled, poor and high birth-rate countries - hence their desire to immigrate to Europe, and hence the forecast of Europe becoming a burgeoning Islamic nation.

In a speech delivered at Leiden University in September, European Commissioner Fritz Bolkestein described demography as the "mother of politics." He predicts that America's youth and dynamism will ensure it remains a superpower. "But Europe, he said, is destined to be "Islamized." (Ibid., Sept. 15, 04)

Without opening the doors to immigration it will become impossible for European countries to maintain strong econ- omies and provide social benefits for their senior citizens.

Today, out of 450,000,000 citizens in the EU, there are already some 25,000,000 of them Muslims. That amounts to about 5.5%. However, if you calculate the percentage of European youth, a full 20% are Muslim - because of the high birthrate of Islamic women. (islamonline.net) Their impact will be felt in just a few years when these 20% become 20% of the labor market. It is predicted that the Arab minority will at least double by 2050 while there will be many millions fewer Europeans. This could push the proportion of Muslims in, say, France, Italy and Spain up to a quarter or even a third of their populations. (techcentralstation.com)

Next month the European Union in its Brussels summit will be considering the entry of Turkey into its family of nations. That would bring to the EU an additional 71,000,000 more Muslims, who would then be free to immigrate to other European Union countries. Some experts, trying to project what Europe's near future will look like, have surmised that possibly the Muslim immigration will cause a sort of Islamo-Christian syncretism, a kind of religious melting pot where tolerance by both Muslim immigrants and European post-Christians could amalgamate their two cultures into one grand religious community. Peter Schwartz, in his book, Inevitable Surprises, see another possible scenario: "We might see whole European cities evolve into ghettoes for Muslim and African immigrants, virtually walled off from the rest of the continent, and festering with crime, disease, and random violence."

Of all the research I looked at concerning the islamization of Europe, none factored in the question of radical Islam's goal of world domination through methods of terror and violence. No doubt, as Islam's foothold grows in Europe, terrorism will increase. Nevertheless, Europe still believes that through appeasement she will be able to hold back Islam's predisposition to conquer by the sword. She's in for a surprise.

Nevertheless, in her attempt to accommodate her Muslim citizens and reap the rewards of sympathetic partnership with Muslim strongmen in the oil-rich Middle East and Africa, Europe will very likely continue to distance herself from the U.S and the war on terror.

Once before, Europe came within a hair's breath of becoming Islamic. In the eight century, the Moors had conquered Syria, Egypt, and North Africa, converting all those inhabitants by the sword. From there, the Moors conquered Gibraltar and then all of Spain. As their armies continued northward, they were stopped by the Frankish General Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732A.D. It was one of the most decisive battles in history. It determined that Christianity and not Islam would be the religion of the European people. Alas, Europe has turned its back on the God of the Bible. Allah is once again gathering his hosts to conquer the peoples that were denied him nearly 1300 years ago.

As did the prophets in the Bible, we must weep for our nations and warn them of the results of forsaking God. The believers in America and Europe are still the salt of their nations. God's plan is for revival to come to every nation before the end. But it will come only through weeping and fasting and a unified front of believers who wage spiritual warfare on the evil forces that have one goal in mind - to wipe out the message of salvation from the world.

One European Nation’s Crisis
(without massive immigration)

Italy's population stands at 58,000,000.
14% are of the ages 0-14.
67% are 15-64.
19% are over 65.
By 2050
The first group will shrink by 40%.
The second group by 44%.
The third group (over 65) will rise by 50%.
The percentage of Italians over 80 will rise by 160%.
What this means in practical terms:
Today there are 4.1 Italians, ages 15-64, who are available to support one Italian over the age of 65.
In 2050 there will be only 1.4 Italians to support each elderly person over 65.
From speech delivered at Expert Group Meeting on policy responses to population ageing and population decline, United Nations Secretariat, New York 16-18 October 2004.


From our Maoz Israel office in Brazil:
BRAZILIAN CHRISTIANS AWAKENING TO A LOVE
FOR THE ISRAELI MESSIANIC JEWS

Brazil is a massive country with different cultures, different lifestyles and, of course, different faiths. Brazil, with 178,000,000 citizens, is considered a Catholic country, although a growing percentage of its population (35 million people, increasing 8% each year) are evangelical Christians. Of course, the evil one is working to attract the masses with counterfeit religions such as Kardecism, New Age, several branches of African cults denominated by Umbanda and others. But, in spite of being a country of contrasts, one thing I believe the Brazilian people share in common is respect towards God - whether they know Him or not.

For many years, the growing movement of evangelical Christians of Brazil seemed to take little notice of Israel (and I want to believe that it was because of lack of information). We focused on other countries, sending missionaries and evangelists to reach even the remotest part of the earth (Act 1.8) because of our desire to quicken the return of Yeshua. To us, Israel was just one of the world's countries needing salvation, but without any particular importance - until, in the last decade or so, it is as if God Himself has removed the blindness and we began seeing Israel in a new light. Suddenly Israel became to the Brazilian Christians what it has always been: a light to the nations! And with this new insight, the congregations began to pray for Israel in earnest and search for new ways of blessing this nation.

At first our people thought that just by coming to Israel to visit, tour around and buy souvenirs was enough. But I believe that now a new wind of change is coming to the Brazilian church. People are becoming more mature in their faith and their questions show their concern for the future of the Jewish nation and what the Christians all over the world can really do to help bring Israel back to her Savior.

Brazilian Christians are beginning to realize now that they have a real commitment, an obligation to this nation, second to their commitment to God, if they want to see their own country blessed. (Gen 12.3) Look how America has been blessed by standing with Israel! And it seems to me that if there is any other nation in the world that can continue what America began, that country is Brazil. America has done a huge work by sending out its finest men and women throughout the world (including Brazil), sowing God's Word. And it is natural that the seed thrown in Brazilian soil will sprout and bear fruit, throwing its branches into the land of Israel.

Brazilian evangelicals are now realizing that our Israeli brethren, the Messianic Jewish believers, need financial help to evangelize and disciple the Israeli people. Israel is unique in many ways. We are seeing that the people best able to reach Israelis are Israelis themselves. By getting to know our brothers in Israel, by joining them in their daily battle against prejudice, persecution and those who would take away the freedom to choose one's own faith, we can make a difference. By helping them financially through serious Messianic organizations that really serve the Messianic congregations in Israel, we can partner with them to build a stronger generation of leaders. They in turn will raise up more leaders, and together they will spread the wonders of God to the Lost Ones of Israel, ultimately resulting in all Israel being saved!

It is our joy and honor to serve the Body of Messiah and the Israeli people through Maoz Israel Ministries in Brazil. It is through God's grace that He has enabled us to partner with an organization that is evangelizing and discipling Israelis and preparing Israel for her coming revival.

Luiz Mourato Neto.
(Luis translates the Maoz Israel Report and the Maoz prayer letter into Portuguese.
www.maozisrael.com.br)

Ami's Bar Mitzvah!

In our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua, we find that every type of celebration - all the Biblical holidays, weddings, birthday parties, or whatever - gives us opportunities to invite our unsaved friends, work associates and families. Many times those we have invited would not have come to a regular congregational service. But they will come to a celebration, and more often than not, they are stunned at what they find: a group of Israelis full of life and love for their fellowman and unashamedly worshiping the God of Israel. They hear the Word of God presented in a way that was completely unknown to them.

Last month at a wedding celebration a couple from our congregation exchaned vows. Ari performed the ceremony and gave a exhortation from the Bible. The grooms parents, family and friends came from a kibbutz in the north. All being raised as atheists, they came, not knowing what to expect. At the end of the evening, one of the groom's sisters went to the microphone and said, "When we knew we would meet our brother's people from the congregation, we were very worried. We felt that he had gotten into some kind of cult. But we are absolutely blown away by the love we see among you people!..."

So often we see that if only our Israeli people can experience the presence of God through worship and have the opportunity to be taught the Scriptures, they quickly become believers. And so, these celebrations are very important to us.
Here Ami Intrater, son of Asher, elder in our congregation, and his wife Betty, celebrates his Bar Mitzvah. More than 100 visitors came to our Sabbath meeting as a result of their invitations for the event. For many of these visitors, it was their first experience in a Messianic congregation.

After Ami read his portion of the Torah, he preached a sermon on the meaning of salvation and the blood of Yeshua the Messiah. We then had a grand time of fellowship over food, where much witnessing occurred between the members of our congregation and the visitors.

May the seed planted in their hearts grow until they receive eternal life through Yeshua, their Messiah.

Asher and Betty Intrater and their family have recently returned to Jerussalem, the city of their calling, after serving in our congregation for four years. This move is in accordance with our original plan mutually agreed upon, and we are gratified to be able to send three young people from our congregation to work under Asher and Betty. They are establishing a training and discipleship center, reaching out to new Israeli sabra (native born) believers. Asher will continue to preach in rotation in our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua.

Ron and Elana Cantor are members of our congregation and part of our new generation of leaders who are being prepared for ministry in Israel. Ron taught in the Brownsville Bible School during the Pensacola revival. He and Elana (who was born and raised in Israel) moved to Israel a little over a year ago with their three children to work with us. Ron is studying Hebrew and will be taking on a leadership role as soon as his language studies are completed. Shortly after the Cantors arrived in Israel, Elana's sister, Shelly, accepted Yeshua as her Lord and Savior and is a member of our congregation.


SHELLY ESCAPES THE BOMBING
OF THE HILTON HOTEL IN TABA

During the Feast of Tabernacles, I decided to go with four of my girlfriends to Eilat, our resort town on the Red Sea. Because of the holidays, we knew the hotels would be very crowded, but we decided to take our chances in finding a room.

And so we arrived in Eilat. We began to go from hotel to hotel. Part of the time we walked, but we also had to take a taxi several times - which was getting very expensive - and we still could not find a single room anywhere.

My girlfriends all said, "Let's go over to the Hilton in Taba. We can get a room there and it is cheaper." Taba is right over the Egyptian border, literally a few yards from Eilat. It is a very popular place for Israelis; you just have to show your passport and walk over to the Hilton.

But I immediately had a check in my spirit. I felt extremely uneasy; I felt like someone was telling me, "Don't go!" My friends kept pressuring me because we weren't finding any other place in Eilat. They called the Hilton in Taba, and there was a room there available for us. But I said to them, "What if some crazy is over there and tries to blow the place up?" My friends let me know that I was ruining their holiday and none of us knew what to do.

Finally, though, I made it clear I was not going to Taba. I told them they could go on by themselves if they wished. Meanwhile, we arrived at a hotel we had not yet been to - the Holiday Inn in Eilat. When I went to the reception and asked if they had a room, they said to me, "Just a moment." Then they told us they had one room left! We grabbed it right then and there.

That evening, we were sitting in a restaurant when the cell phone of one of the girls rang. "There's been a bomb attack on the Taba hotel in Egypt. We left the restaurant in a daze and went back to our room, and didn't move from there. My shocked friends said, "Oh Shelly, you saved our lives!"

That bomb attack, probably executed by al-Qaida, killed 32 and wounded 124. I have been a believer in Yeshua a little over a year and I believe that God saved me and my friends. It has encouraged my faith in God - that He is a God who saves!


A PRIVATE CONVERSATION

One of our closest friends and Maoz board members related this story to us.

One day last week I was to meet a friend in a local coffee shop in Jerusalem. Just before I arrived, my friend overheard two Orthodox Jews in conversation at a table next to her. They were talking in English about Messiah, the Anointed One...Jesus!
The elder was observing that Christ in Hebrew - Mashiach - means "Anointed One" and asked the other his thoughts. The other answered back, "I am convinced that the Christ [i.e. Jesus] is the Anointed One...I just don't know what to do with it. What do you think?"

The first then responded, "Well, everything for me must stand up to the saline test...a cup of salt water is a cup of salt water when the cup is full! You keep adding drops of saline "til you have a full cup. With me, the drops [regarding the proof that Jesus is the Christ] are dropping too quickly now and I don't know what I'm going to do ...[when the cup is full]."

This was a chance overhearing of a conversation between two searchers - who happen to be ultra-Orthodox Jews. It is a tiny window into the world of the Orthodox community here in Israel. I believe that God gives us revelation such as this to let us know that there are, no doubt, many religious Jews feeling the emptiness of religion without a personal walk with the God of Israel. They are searching, even though the cost of following the truth will be enormous for them.. Let us pray for the ultra-Orthodox Jews - that God will reveal to them the Holy One of Israel.

November 2004
Dear Maoz Partner,

You are very precious to us. You are such a central part of our lives. For it is you who makes it possible for us to minister to our Israeli people.

You have given us the possibility to plant a congregation in downtown Tel Aviv. Where rent, taxes and utilities for a hall that seats 250 people costs $10,000 per month.

You are giving through istandwithisrael.com fund to help Israeli believers throughout the country - widows, orphans, the poor and needy. It is you who are comforting victims of terrorism through your love gifts.

It is with your hands that we can pray for the sick and help hurting souls find their way out of sin's dark hole and become functioning, healthy children of God.

It is you who through Maoz are supporting an Arab Christian congregation in Galilee. And it is you who are even financially blessing a Palestinian evangelist who has been terribly persecuted for his faith.

Again, it is you who are translating and printing books in Hebrew so that the Israeli pioneers in the faith can be enriched, encouraged in their walk, and equipped to fight the good fight of faith.

It is you who have given over $10,000 towards a van for our Israeli teenagers last month.
We have no doubt that the rest of the $26,000 is coming from you, our partners! You can be sure we will show you a picture of the van as soon as we can purchase it!

Believe us! We know that God records every one of your donations for the ministry in Israel. And every teen that is blessed through this van, will be recorded on the heavenly records of those of you who had a heart for the children of Israel!


This young man represents the
future generation of Messianic
leadership in Israel. He and
his friends need you partnership
to help them grow into maturity
and produce a harvest.

We are so thankful to you for partnering with us. As we see the searchers come to faith, then become established, and continue to grow to maturity, we are ever mindful of your part in this ministry.

Thank you.

Your family in Israel,

Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram

 
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