- Article 1,'Welcoming Him Together'
- Article 2,'A Holocaust Survivor’s Story'
- Article 3,'I Was a Stranger and You Took Me In'
Welcoming Him Together
Baruch Haba 2013 Intercessory Conference Tour
By Marty Shoub
It started in 2005 with A Door of Faith, followed by Esther’s Call, Shofar, The Harvest is Ripe, and now twice Baruch HaBa.
We gathered from every continent, with a mandate to proclaim together:
“Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai,”
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,”
or as it is understood in Modern Hebrew:
“Welcome in the name of the Lord.”
The Messianic Body in Israel is a remnant that heralds the promise, “All Israel shall be saved.” In anticipation of that stupendous day when Jerusalem and all Israel will together proclaim Yeshua as Messiah, we rehearse the “Baruch HaBa” intercessory proclamation.
In a sense, the Baruch HaBa conference tour also prefigures another glorious future anticipated by the prophet: “And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9). In that day the Body of Messiah will be fully united – Jew and Gentile as one – with Yeshua ruling over us all from His throne in Jerusalem.
As a member of the conference coordinating team, I am geared to be on the lookout for potential troubles. The exemplary character of our delegates made my job very easy. They displayed great camaraderie, thoughtfulness and unity. We saw repeated examples of people loving one another and helping each other while moving among various ministry bases and biblical sites.
Even more encouraging was the witness of heaven upon us. Asher Intrater noted that gathering Israeli Jews, diaspora Jews, and believers from the nations echoed the gathering in Jerusalem on that first post resurrection Shavuot. Some 19 nations were represented. At the conclusion of our meeting with the Revive Israel team, believers from around the world surrounded Asher and his teammates and began to pray in their native languages. Even without understanding the content of the different tongues praying, love and faith were clearly understood through the passion and tears of intercession. As I listened, my mind’s eye turned towards the future when a chorus of worship will arise from “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands”(Revelation 7:9).
Baruch HaBa is an intercessory conference tour. The hearts of believers gathered in intercession for Israel and the Messianic community move heaven and also build unity within the Body of Messiah on a foundation of love and mutual respect. I am so blessed to be a part of this vital dimension of the ministry of Revive Israel, Tents of Mercy, and Tikkun International. The Holy Spirit is setting us in order as one united family of disciples in preparation for Yeshua’s soon return.
A Holocaust Survivor’s Story
Polina is one of those whom Return to Zion has been serving in outreaches to Holocaust survivors.
This is part of her story…
I’m Polina. I was ten years old when World War II started. My family lived in the village of Komsomolsk, in the Vinitsian area (Ukraine). Twelve thousand people lived in this village. Three thousand were Jews.
When the Germans invaded our village in early June 1941, our house was bombed. My family consisted of my mother, father, three brothers and me. We were hiding in the basement, and when we got out, we saw that the house was in ruins.
On September 10th the Germans gathered all the villagers, and they loaded all the Jews into trucks to transport them to their death. We were taken to the Zazeleviin Forest, where three large pits had been dug. I still remember that day and the people screaming. They wept and prayed, but were shot and fell naked into the massive graves.
Our family was the last to be taken to the forest. We were told to take off our clothes and then were shot at. My mother and my brothers were killed, but I survived. I fell with the others into the large pit. I stayed there, lying on top of dead bodies. It was raining heavily that night, and local volunteer policemen convinced the German soldiers that no one would be able to escape alive from that pit before dawn. They decided not to cover the pit with dirt until the next day. During the night, I climbed out of the pit and staggered into the darkness.
I was soon found, lying naked and unconscious, and was transported to a local ghetto, where they forgot to register me. I hid in the coal storage area where I lived until the Germans planned more shootings. I again had nowhere to go. I remembered a nearby Polish cemetery in which Olja, one of our neighbors, was buried. I found her tomb and, lying down on that stone grave, I whispered: “Olja, take me with you, I want to be where you are!”
During the day, I would hide in the grave, and during the night I would pick up food that relatives of the deceased had left by tombs after spending a day commemorating, eating and drinking there. One night I came across a small cat. I took it with me, and it got rid of all the mice and rats. Every night I fell asleep with that skinny cat in my arms.
I lived there until it became unbearably cold. Then I headed towards the Berdichevan Village. I did not have enough warm clothes, but I found clothes and shoes from fallen soldiers along the way. Once I came across a scarf, and felt I had received a treasure, immediately covering my head with it.
As the Nazi army began to retreat, Soviet soldiers saw me and took me to a children’s home. I became the first resident of the Kvitonskin orphanage. However, I was very sick and could not speak properly. When I got better I heard that the Germans had spared 147 Jews for labor. My father was one of them, and he found me and rescued me.
Glory to God, now I live in Israel. I wrote a book called The Voices of the Six Million. I had been targeted for death, and I don’t know how I managed to stay alive. I thank God there are people who are still interested in what happened to us. May there be peace on earth, so that nobody will ever have to suffer what we experienced.
A Tribute to Katya Morrison
From early on, in our return to Israel, we devoted ourselves to serve the restoration of Messianic Jewish life in Israel, and saw the Zionist pioneers as a model. They poured their lives into the rebirth of the physical state. We took it as our calling and privilege to do the same for Israel’s spiritual rebirth. In our corner of the land, in the Tents of Mercy, many have given much. But no one has given more than Moshe and Katya Morrison, who have been essential in the founding and fulfillment of this vision. Nor was it the first time. They had already founded a thriving congregational community in the Baltimore area during the decade before they moved to Israel.
When a true pioneer’s days come to an end, it is important to acknowledge their contribution and to worship the Lord for the amazing way He can pour Himself through a human being. Such a pioneer was Katya Morrison. Our sister, our partner, our fellow laborer went to be with Yeshua on October 31, 2013. Still grieving this incalculable loss, we are compelled to share with you, this portrait created from a few of the innumerable relationships she cultivated in her more than 40 years of faith in Messiah, the final 19 spent in Eretz Yisrael.
The life of one humble woman had quite an impact! Those who pay her tribute are old and young, of different national origins, both family and friends. Here are some excerpts from those who gathered to honor her in the days immediately following her passing:
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’”(Matthew 25:34-36)
“This is Katya’s testimony among us. She simply saw what needed to be done and did it, even if it was difficult, even if it was unpleasant. She noticed who needed help and helped them, whether it was taking in orphaned children, or taking on the care of a blind woman. She walked the walk. Without fanfare. Without complaining. She created the children’s program for the Tents of Mercy Congregation, not because she had received a prophetic calling to do it, but simply because she saw that it needed to be done.”
“She and Moshe have welcomed thousands of guests into their home over the years for Sabbath meals. Once we phoned her with a last minute question of whether 21 tourists could come and have dinner with them in their Sukkah. ‘Sure,’ was her reply. I did not know there were people like that.”
“They are an example of how a family needs to be, with a mother and a father. Katya was a mother to me. I will never forget her.”
“I was so blessed that God gave me the chance to be with this family and learn from them. There is no such thing as chance. Those who come across our path in life are often sent from God. Katya’s heart was open and welcoming toward all, as was her home. I received spiritual help through her. I remember her house when her children were still small – a house of love of music, of laughter and talking. Their dining table was full of guests every Friday night and Saturday. They did not consider welcoming people into their home as a burden, but as a joyous duty. Katya turned the Bible from theory into reality.”
“She was truly a Proverbs 31 woman.”
“Faith is more than what we say with our mouth. Faith without deeds is dead. May we all be inspired to make a transition from what we have been up until now, to something else.”
“I was new in the congregation and had not met almost anyone. She welcomed me and was genuinely interested in me and what I was going through, offering a listening ear and tips motivated by love, a path of love. She loved the ‘stranger,’ the‘foreigner.’[Leviticus 19:34, Deuteronomy 10:19]”
“Katya was forgiving and understanding, even when as a girl I took lots of her cookies and hid them. She was such an honest, forthright person. My family came to her house often. She fed us and interacted with us ever since I was a small girl. I felt like I was one of her daughters.”
“When I was a young teenager Katya would invite me over along with a few other unruly teenage guys from single family homes, to spend some hours every week in a home with a mother and father. She taught us table manners which have remained with me to this day. It did not compute in my brain how one could take strangers and relate to them just as if they were members of one’s family. The testimony of her life is doing things for others. The things we do for ourselves disappear when we die. The things we do for others live on after us.”
“Most of us are stingy with our love, measuring it out carefully drop by drop. Katya was one of those who showed us a different way, of not holding back our love. All the fruit of the Spirit was evident in her life.”
“Katya’s influence was not from a stage, not through public speaking, not even through teaching in small groups. It was about blessing others in a way that no one may ever hear about. Her influence was through a way of life. There is something holy about welcoming others into our home. There is something holy about arms that hug. There is something holy about feeding others. There is something holy about attending to those in need.”
“One of Katya’s words of advice regarding rearing children was, ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’ Katya followed this creed in her life, and has finished the race.”
“And now, since we are ‘surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.’”(Hebrews 12:1)