- 2020: A Year of Prayer and Harvest
- Surpassing Love
- Outreach to New Immigrants
- With All Your Heart
- Download February Newsletter
2020: A Year of Prayer and Harvest
This past December the ministry of Tents of Mercy celebrated its 24th anniversary. In this season, we celebrate God’s faithfulness in keeping and prospering us thus far. As a sweet reminder of God’s goodness, during this anniversary month, the city in which we serve invited us to receive a certificate of appreciation for our work in the community.
For us, the award means much more than the acknowledgment of past efforts. It points to the future and is a reminder that the God who carried us this far will take us forward. Earthly awards are only temporary, and human acknowledgment is just that, but if we catch heaven’s attention by making room for God to display His might and power, then we are on an excellent path. That is what we are hungry for.
In light of that hunger, we have dedicated 2020 as a year of Prayer and Harvest. First in prayer we seek God. Then we prepare for the harvest to come. – Avi Tekle
This is no reference to homosexuality. It describes the relationship between dear friends, partners in life who invested in one another, fought for and sacrificed one for the other. This love saw the potential and calling in each other and was willing and capable of putting aside individual rights, needs and desires as a result.
This is a love in which God is the center – a love where no matter whether one gives or receives, it is with the foundation of knowing and trusting God. It is a standard higher than the love of a husband and wife (although that should be present in a marriage as well).
What is missing in man’s soul that continually seeks to be filled? All of us, no matter what age, need love, acceptance, security, a hug; to feel warmth and recognition. Friends and family around us can fill this partially, but ultimately, God has put in us a deep internal need for Him and His love.
Man’s soul has also been compared to that of a bird which leaves the nest and travels great distances in search of what it needs. Although its security comes from and remains in the nest; it goes out and yet it returns. How often do we go great distances; leaving our place of security with the Lord, looking for the solutions to our plans according to our thoughts? Why do we travel such great distances from the love of God for our answers when they are right there in front of us?
When our souls are filled with God and we come together with others who are also in Him, we can experience what David was talking about – surpassing, covenant love.
From a recent post by Guy Cohen at www.facebook.com/harvestofasher
Outreach to New Immigrants
Shalom Dear Friends!To tell you the truth, I actually much prefer working as a pastor with theology – more than I do writing reports! However, in this ministry I wear several different hats. I am a pastor for just 30 percent of my time, and during the other time I manage the ministry and work with people in Haifa.
Today we are running an education department, a humanitarian aid department and a department of congregational planting. All of this requires much work by a dedicated, anointed team and a significant budget.
The humanitarian aid department includes the ministry to Olim (new immigrants), the ministry to Holocaust survivors and two soup kitchens in Haifa and Nazareth. The following relates only to our work among the Olim. Here is the report:
- Consultations and meetings with representatives of 42 families (approximately 200 people). Most of them immigrated from Ukraine and needed advice, humanitarian assistance and useful contacts and addresses. Some of them come from “tense zones in the Ukraine,” and they need more than just advice. They need prayer and a compassionate listener, sometimes more than once.
- About60 phone conversations with people regarding apartments, jobs and assistance with opening a bank account. This required a bit more than the usual work time, but we could not stop helping.
- We ordered and distributed 50 sets of pots and pans to new immigrants. I am sure everyone was very satisfied and grateful. The sets will serve them for many years.
- A special evening dedicated to couples. At first it was planned as an outing for couples from the congregation, but then it turned into an event for new immigrants. Sixteen couples attended the evening, danced and listened to the Word of God. For many of them it was the first time at such an event, and they received a blessing and revelation. Some people came spontaneously and were really touched. About ten people from the congregation came and volunteered to help during the event: decorating, setting tables, making music and fellowshipping. Many of the visitors might be candidates for the new Aleph (Alpha) seminar which is planned for January. This is a prayer point.
- I can see that many Olim are visiting our Shabbat services. They listen with interest, but many come only once or twice. We should pray for wisdom about how to start a “follow up” process for them.
Please pray for revelation from Heaven for everyone whom our people have touched, for their hearts and for them to be rooted in the Land of their Fathers. With God everything is possible.
We wish you a blessed New Year!
Leon Mazin, english.shaveitzion.org
With All Your Heart
It was passion. The intensity, concentration, and artistry of the young violinist forbade neutrality. It demanded a response. What images, what associations, does the word “passion” elicit in you? Fire? Sexual excitement? Complete dedication? Energy unleashed? A totality of heart? The youthful musician was playing the violin passionately, with all her heart.
“You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Yeshua called this the greatest of God’s commandments. I am intrigued by the concept of doing anything with “all my heart.” What does that entail? What does it demand of me? How am I to know that I am fully engaged, fully given over to what I am doing—or how I am being?
Clearly, “with all your heart” includes being focused. Also, it involves more than my feelings. My mind is operating in synchronization, in unity with my emotions. My body is either poised or actively involved in the same direction.
The Book of Deuteronomy alone contains eight more uses of the phrase “with all your heart.” God tells Israel:
- to serve the Lord with all our heart,
- to obey Him with all of our heart,
- to seek Him with all our heart, and
- to turn to the Lord with all our heart.
This doesn’t leave much room for tepid religion, does it? In fact, the phrase “with all your heart” occurs 285 times in the Bible. Rebuking the congregation in Laodicea, Yeshua calls for hearts on fire. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-27). Strong words that leave no doubt about the Divine recipe for life. Live it to the full. Be totally involved. In the end there are no rewards for spectators.
Tragically, the 21st century has specialized in this: watching others, mesmerized by the images and sounds emanating from screens and earphones. The proliferation of digital devices and social media puts a premium on video production. Can you watch the latest YouTube comedy with all your heart? I’m certainly not opposed to the education, information, or inspiration that can be gathered via the web. I am however urging you, dear ones, to order your days according to that which grips your heart, in concert with the heart of God. Then you will be fully alive, and you may even inspire others to live fully, as well. (from a forthcoming book by Eitan Shishkoff)