Oasis Newsletter

Oasis Volume 20, Issue 3

Rains of Blessing

During Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) it is traditional to begin praying for the fall rains to come. And come they did! We haven’t seen this amount of rain in many years – in fact the last time was in 1969. During the month of January in particular, Israel was deluged day after day with rain. In a region characterized by very long, dry summers, rain – called Gishmey Bracha (rains of blessing) – is joyfully welcomed. Indeed, we have truly been blessed. Since the beginning of the rainy season the water level in The Sea of Galilee has risen significantly, and the lake is only 1.5 meters from being completely full. Sadly, the storms and ensuing flooding have also had a tragic downside: seven people lost their lives in the flood waters and much damage has been done to infrastructure and private homes.

On the day I wrote this article, not far from our area, some schools and shops were closed because the rain and the resulting flooding made it challenging or even dangerous to access them. It was a day to stay at home with blankets and cozy up with some hot chocolate. But as I pulled into the parking lot in front of our congregational building, I saw the car belonging to our faithful volunteers, Sarah and Michael, who had come to pack food baskets. It would have been totally understandable if they had decided to stay home, but in addition to braving the weather they had also brought along someone they are discipling, to help.

God works on many levels. There are those who receive the baskets, those who donate, those who prepare the logistics and those who give their time to pack everything up. In all this, God gets the glory and people’s lives are impacted for His Kingdom. That’s why we are here – not just to give out food baskets but to be a vehicle for God to impact lives.

Our volunteers, you, and all those who take part in this huge orchestra play a great role in bringing heaven to earth. Be encouraged that you are making an impact, not just in people’s refrigerators, but in people’s hearts!

Passover is coming soon, and we are already anticipating what God will do among us. We look forward to sowing into our community in an obvious and practical way. Our aim is to distribute 800 bags (even 850 if possible). Each bag costs $75. We invite you to join with us in this outreach by helping purchase bags for distribution. – By Avi Tekle


New Generation Transitions

“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8).

A new king and a new generation of Egyptians arose, who did not know Joseph. They forgot that the God of Israel had saved them through Joseph. They chose to enslave the Israelites living among them.

But that Egyptian generation was not the only one to forget. A new Israelite generation, years after the Exodus from Egypt, also forgot!

 “… another generation arose … who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord … and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods …” (Judges 2:10-15).

Why is it that the “next generation” so often forgets or rejects the ways of their fathers and walks in the opposite direction? How can they leave the way of God?! Who will show them the way back?

After Joshua’s death, the twelve tribes were without a leader (Judges 2:10-15). Perhaps Joshua was preoccupied with fighting wars and conquering the land. Maybe he was too busy ruling the fledgling nation. It is possible that he kept putting it off for a later date, or till just the right person came along. In any case, I have not found a passage in the Bible that describes Joshua preparing someone to lead after his death.

We all admire the “Joshua generation,” but what about the generation that follows?

Sometimes, like Joshua, we can find ourselves preoccupied with our own real or exaggerated struggles, and end up losing the next generation.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18). We need to equip our younger generation with the ability to see what Abba has called them to do. We need to encourage them to invite God’s Spirit to dwell inside them as they put their trust in the finished work of Yeshua.

That is why Yeshua said in John 17:23, regarding the next generation(s) of His disciples: “… I in them, and You in Me … that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

  • We need to persevere in dreaming big for the next generation.
  • We need to let them grow in their gifts.
  • We need to equip and invest in their lives.
  • We must be willing to release them to where God is calling them, even if it is not in direct proximity to us.

That is what I mean by discipling. When we do all this, then we will enjoy seeing the body of Yeshua grow and bear fruit!

From a recent post by Guy Cohen at www.facebook.com/harvestofasher

shaveitzion.org info@shaveitzion.org P.O.B. 9609, Haifa 3109601 Israel

U.S. tax deductible online donations to support this and other education and training projects of Shavei Tzion can be  made via Return to Zion in Haifa

Eagle Project Update on Recent Root Course

We are happy to share with you that another Root Course (Shoresh) has been successfully completed. 

The Root Course is a part of the Eagle Project, a joint ministry of Return to Zion and Revive Israel. It was designed for young people from age 20 as a platform to learn theology and practical tools for Bible study. The goal of the course is to build up and strengthen our identity and calling as Messianic believers and Israelis.

Our inspiration comes from this verse:

“You young people, I have written you because you are strong – the Word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the Evil One.” (I John 2:14, CJB)

Many Messianic teachers in Israel volunteer to help with the course, as they understand its importance. The Root Course combines the letter and the spirit; every lesson starts with prayer and worship of the One who gave us His Word.

The subjects covered include: the root of the Scriptures, identity, the history of the Messianic movement, prophetic life, restoration, faith & science and much more.

The Root Course is not just theory. It is as much about each teacher sharing his/her heart, life, revelation and experience. Our desire is that the students hear different opinions and then build their own approach, supported by personal revelation from God. We like to see the young generation thinking for themselves, being intelligent and seeing the bigger picture that God wants to reveal to each of them. This understanding will equip them with better tools – not just for reading their Bibles, but also for understanding their Creator.

Please continue investing in the young generation. God has a great calling for them. Our responsibility is to support, guide and help them grow and bear fruit. – Evgeni

Jim…and the Value of a Life

Jim was buried under a light rain. The white powdered soil that covered him spoke of the purity of his soul. His friends and family gave glowing tribute to him as a modest man who never spoke ill of anyone, who conveyed love to all he met, who loved nature, who loved God, and who was a lover of Israel.

Consistently, in times of parting from those people who impact our lives through the goodness and purity of their heart, I’m compelled to reflect on what’s really valuable in life.

Jim was only 53. To all appearances, healthy. He exercised daily, ate well, and didn’t hold grudges. Who knows? How is it that I am a “robust” 72 and someone almost 20 years younger has already come to the end of his earthly journey? I don’t know. I don’t think anyone can know for sure what determines the length of our days. But I do know that the impact Jim had and the record of his life, the quality of life that he left, made a deep mark on people in Israel. 

During the memorial, I looked out on those gathered around the grave. Many of those who came to honor Jim were residents of Kibbutz Hanita, joined by members of Katzir Asher, the Messianic congregation in Akko where Jim served with love and devotion. This remote kibbutz was the place he lived and loved, a place surprisingly close to the border of Lebanon, just under the ridge that divides our countries. I got there by going up and up and up a winding road, arriving at a hillside evergreen forest. People stood scattered in the wooded cemetery with umbrellas, like so many wild flowers, attesting to the beauty of this man’s life. It left a permanent picture etched on my mind. I wish that I could have pulled out a camera and taken a picture, but it seemed insensitive so I didn’t. I can still see them all clearly – silent witnesses. 

How do we measure the value of someone’s life? Is it the length of years? Or is it the substance of who they are? I’m really interested in this. Because whatever days I have left to live on this earth, I long to have that kind of effect on others. I pray that I will – through personal interaction, through the written word, in whatever manner I can – project and reflect the goodness of my Messiah.

God, help us all to take this deep, tender, and oh-so-practical lesson from Jim: that what we give unselfishly, the flavor of our interactions with people, how we spend our days, our time, money, energy – this is what counts. To give our life away in the interest of others, this is what blesses, what helps, what supports, and what glorifies our Shepherd King. – by Eitan Shishkoff

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