- Article 1,'ASIA: A Magnet for Messiah'
- Article 2,'Discipleship & Agriculture at Olive Tree Ranch'
- Article 3,'New Beginnings'
ASIA: A Magnet for Messiah
From Eitan’s Travel Diary
Endless rows of perfectly ordered rice fields, skyscrapers intersecting with super highways and high speed trains, and the smiling faces of Asian Yeshua lovers—these are a few of the many scenes etched in my memory from an August journey to Japan and Taiwan.
The purposes of my visit were fourfold:
1. To mark the publication of my book “What About Us?” in Japanese and Traditional Chinese. The book addresses the end-time calling of Gentiles in Israel’s revival.
2. To bring teachings from the book during events in Tokyo and Osaka promoting the November, 2013 Asia Messianic Forum (to be held in Singapore).
3. To participate in the “Shalom Camp,” gathering together youth from many nations and tribes in the Asia Pacific region.
4. To be accompanied by A., an outstanding young Israeli believer, to give him ministry experience abroad and to deepen our relationship.I was humbled by the enthusiastic reception of people in the Far East to my new book.
What a privilege to see the message God gave me about covenant friendship between Messianic Jews and Gentile believers, spreading to the edge of Asia.
Youth around the World
Even more fulfilling, was the in-depth encounter with the youth of eastern nations. A heart connection was formed that will not go away. I discovered that God has given me a burden for young people around the globe, not just in Israel—where I’ve been seeking to invest in teenagers for the past fifteen years. These kids are the rapidly arriving future. To reach our world, we must equip them, love them, train them, and impart to them a way of life—not just Bible lessons. Yeshua said “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” ( John 15:13). This is the core of what I shared with young Taiwanese, Okinawans, Japanese, Singaporeans, Filipinos, and tribal peoples. The Kingdom of God travels through true friendship. Yeshua is calling us to learn what it means to be covenant friends, as Jews and Gentiles who love Him.
Through that friendship, as in the cases of Solomon and Hiram, Boaz and Ruth, we will hasten the coming of our King. It is common knowledge that China is an economic giant. The Asian nations are poised to dominate the 21st century of world history. The fact that they are also experiencing a dynamic, spreading of the Gospel is no accident. The Sovereign Lord has determined that at this time in history, indigenous, Spirit-inspired leaders would arise in every nation—from Japan, westward across the Silk Road, all the way to Israel.
My lifelong friend, Peter Tsukahira, has written insightfully about this in his book, God’s Tsunami (available on Amazon.com). I was further challenged by this experience of deep friendships and breathtaking opportunity. There is a readiness among our Asian brothers and sisters, to discover and be united with their Israeli Messianic family. The years ahead will take us deeper into the heart of these nations. The influence of their faith will be a magnet, drawing Yeshua back to Jerusalem.
Olive Tree Ranch is excited to be launching a new and unique version of discipleship in the Galilee under the oversight of Tents of Mercy. It is a 6 month work-study program providing indigenous Hebrew spiritual discipleship together with working hours both in olive groves and on a goat-dairy farm. The participants are paid a work scholarship stipend while investing the time and effort in the discipleship content of the program. The first session will run from Autumn 2013 through Spring 2014.
Many young Israeli believers are interested in a season of intensive discipleship after being released from three intensive years of mandatory army service. At the same time, they want to “get on” with life by working and saving money for the next phase, such as university studies.
This work-study program meets both of these needs in an Israeli context of pioneering and working the land, and has already generated much interest among young Israeli believers. The program includes an early morning discipleship regimen of the Word, worship and prayer followed by a good day’s work and then homework and reading assignments in the evening.
Added Value Incentive:
The Israeli government has an established channel by which it gives recently released IDF soldiers a substantial monetary bonus after they have worked for 6 months in agriculture (one of the priority national economic sectors). This bonus makes the project even more attractive.
The participants of the first session are a very promising group of young men who recently completed their mandatory service in the Israeli army, in combat and other mission-critical roles. They have joined this work-study program even though they could easily save more money through other endeavors.
For example, “E” served in the border patrol of the Israeli army rising to become squad commander. After the army he worked in a well-paying civilian job for some time until he felt clearly led by God to take a break in order to have a season of focused spiritual growth. He was so enthused about being a part of our program that he came early and began serving before the official starting date!
We welcome donor partners who want to help cover expenses in launching the program. If you are interested in helping with prayer or finances, feel free to contact David by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions can be made to Tikkun with a separate note “For Olive Tree Ranch Discipleship.”
By Leon Mazin
We began in November 2001 with the simple idea of branching out from Tents of Mercy and planting a daughter congregation in nearby Haifa. This attempt to establish a new work in the name of Yeshua has yielded good results, evidence of God’s handiwork. These 12 years have not been easy—lots of work; lots of prayer; lots of travel and lots of trouble. But then again, that’s life.☺
It is God who enabled us to serve Holocaust survivors and the needy, to invest in Messianic education and media evangelism, to develop musical talents and other ministries—all drawing from gifts God instilled in His people at Shavei Tzion.
Now we have received the resources to acquire and renovate a facility, to press onward, but also to make a new beginning. We don’t have enough good words to express our appreciation for the dedication, work and service of the staff, congregants and elders in our congregation, nor others who were involved. We were not alone in purchasing and renovating this building. Friends from Israel, USA, Holland, Finland, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Canada lent a helping hand—some with money, others with hammers and nails.
The main architectural motif of the facility is the pillar of fire and cloud in the sanctuary. This unique rendering was designed by an artist and architect husband and wife team from our congregation and carried out by a master carpenter volunteer friend from abroad. Inside of the “pillar of fire” is our torah scroll—the Word of God. Descending from the ceiling is the “cloud.” These serve as a constant reminder that God’s Word and His presence must be the focus of our sanctuary, of our congregation, of our lives.
The building is located in a central, highly accessible location in downtown Haifa. It previously housed public courtrooms. Now it is a dwelling place for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
The dedication of our congregation’s new home took place on Rosh Hashanah 5 October 2013 (the “Head of the Year”). This is the day of the Biblical Feast of Trumpets and also the traditional New Year celebration in Israel and brings with it the atmosphere of new beginnings. So this year, Rosh Hashanah was a double feast for us. We had the privilege of inviting guests to celebrate what God miraculously gave us, and also to celebrate His biblical feast day. We blew the shofar (ram’s horn) and invited God Himself to visit the land, to visit our hearts, to make a new beginning, to prepare us. The humble, simple opening day became very joyful. The Tents of Mercy network of congregations came together in a reunion of dancing, singing and the glory of God.
Now our prayer is that the hand of the Living God will continue to guide us in taking the next steps, by His indwelling Spirit, with the right words, to the right people, to help restore faith in Yeshua in Israel in our days.
Twelve years of history stand behind us. God’s will stands before us all the more. Shavei Tzion means those who are returning to Zion. It also means those who are returning to God. This is the vision that we want to realize together with you—our friends. Shana Tova! Happy New Year!