Oasis Newsletter

Oasis Volume 23, Issue 5

Passover Gifts of Hope

By Tents of Mercy

The Passover season is a time of New Beginnings. Spring brings out the birds to sing through the morning air. Showers of rain wet the earth. Dormant plants send flowers aloft toward soft rays of sunlight.

During Passover week we also celebrate Resurrection Day. In this beautiful and miraculous season, God orchestrated the Exodus from Egypt, the passage from slavery to freedom, from death to life, from hopelessness to eternal hope!

It is thanks to you that we were able to bring a physical token of hope this holiday to 900 needy families – distributing bags filled with food items to help commemorate the Passover meal of God’s deliverance.

This year, on the first day of packing, 24 volunteers showed up to help! They were mostly from our congregation, with a few additional guests. With so many helping hands, we finished filling 900 bags in one record-breaking day – in spite of the pouring rain.

Then came the joy of giving the bags to their recipients. Most come to our ministry center to receive the parcels. They are from all ages and all walks of life. Some have only been in Israel for a short time and others are long time residents. They arrive on foot with their shopping carts in tow, or with their children and a stroller. Sometimes they get a ride from a friend or family member. What a blessing to look each person in the eye, wish them a happy Passover and hand them a tangible gift symbolizing hope for better days and the blessing of the God of Israel.

The rest of the bags are delivered to our local municipalities to be distributed by city staff. We have been blessed over the years to develop a strong and respectful working partnership with Kiryat Yam, and with other neighboring towns. They know that they can turn to us when there is a need and we will do our best to be of assistance.

Thank you again for making all this possible! We are eternally grateful for your love and partnership.

The Sword of His Mouth

By Guy Cohen

The Israel of today, seems to be on the brink of civil war. Different sectors of the nation treat each other openly as if they were enemies, disagreeing almost violently over the orthodox or libertarian nature of the nation, over who should lead the nation, etc.

I have recently observed how even more than usual, various Israeli leaders are allowing themselves to slide into caustic verbal warfare with each other – using their tongues as swords, using their words for destruction and not for building up Israel.

Speaking of war, Paul gave us, the followers of Yeshua, instructions on how to handle spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:10-19. First we need to remember that our fight is not against flesh and blood. Even though the attacks which come against us are through men (flesh and blood) we must remember that the enemy is the one manipulating the situation.

As Yeshua’s disciples, what should we do? Paul instructed us to stand; to put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness; to direct our feet to the gospel of peace. We must remember that the enemy’s arrows are always directed toward us, and the shield of faith is our defense against those fiery darts. We also have the helmet of salvation to cover our thoughts, and we should remind ourselves that we are saved by grace.

Now to our main point, we must take the sword of the Spirit. However, the sword is not in our hand, but rather it is the Word of God which comes out of our mouth. In Revelation 19, we read about Yeshua riding on the white horse, and in verse 15, from His mouth comes forth a sharp sword.

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” (Revelation 19:11-15 NIV)

Until that day, let us use the power of our words for the purpose of edification, prayer, intercession and claiming His Kingdom.

“Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 ASV)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)

The spoken word can tear down or build up. As the darkness of this world grows darker, we are all called to speak life, light, truth and grace.

And now a personal request for my homeland; please pray for His shalom in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.

Redemption Celebration with Youth and Newcomers

By Leon Mazin

Leading up to Passover, it has become a tradition in our congregation to start the celebrations with an evening for new immigrants. This year it was especially poignant as many of the newcomers were those who had fled the war in Ukraine.

During the program, young students from our school of the arts “Rainbow of Sounds” presented their music. Volunteers from the congregation told the guests the account of the Exodus from Egypt and the way God’s mighty deeds have been celebrated and memorialized in Israelite heritage ever since. Delicious Passover treats were served.

We were glad to be able to share Hebraic biblical traditions and an in-depth Messianic worldview with the new immigrants who are returning in these days to the Land of Promise, just as their forefathers came from Egyptian slavery thousands of years ago.

How to Use Your Limitations

By Eitan Shishkoff

People who need hearing aids are old geezers, right? Well, I now find myself among them. In order to follow what’s going on I’m dependent on devices that attach to my natural ears. They have to be charged up every night. These new-fangled ones are even adjustable on my smart phone.

The inescapable bottom line is that my own body is not functioning adequately without outside aid. It’s humbling to be confronted with one’s limitations. Yet I’ve begun to see this as a timely personal message. The Lord seems to be telling me “There’s no getting around it. You’re not self-sufficient. Now, I want to supply what you are lacking. Trust in me!

Jacob’s Limitation

Our ancestor Jacob experienced this truth with such force that it redefined him through his limitation and its consequences. On the way to a “showdown” with his brother Esau, who’d sworn to kill him, Jacob was “afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:7). He was freaked out. Crying out to the God of his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham, Jacob declares that he is unworthy of the Lord’s mercies, though God has promised to “deal well with” him.

Agonizing through the night, trying to figure out a way to save his family even if Esau attacks, Jacob finds himself alone wrestling with “a man.” Perhaps you can relate to the patriarch at this point. I can. Life’s dilemmas often elude my solutions. I find myself out of options.

Struggling with His Maker

Oddly enough, the stranger (whom Jacob soon identifies as God Himself – “I have seen God face to face”) is not winning the wrestling match. His strategy? He touches Jacob’s hip, puts it out of joint. Game over, the man/angel wins. But Jacob is determined and will not let him go before being blessed. This indicates our “hero’s” comprehension that he’s been wrestling with His Maker.

At this point the issue turns to identity. God says, “you’ve been Yaakov (variously meaning ‘going around the issue/bypassing/or heel – since he grabbed his brother’s heel while still in the womb’), but now you’re going to be Yisrael” (you have persevered/prevailed/have power as a prince with God).


Father of a Different People

As a physical reminder of this profound identity change, Jacob limped from then on. Embracing that mark of weakness, however, he became Israel, the father of the Jewish people. What a telling commentary on the type of people God’s partners are to be. Not those who strive to take first place for the sake of beating everyone else, but those who have entered a covenant of trust with God and are relying on Him to fulfill our chosen destiny.

From that encounter, Jacob was able to face his deeply resentful brother and the two were dramatically reconciled. His fear was transformed to faith. His anxiety became security that God was with him.

The limp? It became God’s entry point. I’m beginning to see my hearing aids the same way. What are your limitations, and how does the One who made you want to use your limitations as a constant reminder of His all-sufficiency and superb destiny for your life?

Do you feel inadequate? You’re in good company. Moses protested “I can’t talk.” Jeremiah felt “I’m too young.” Paul confessed “I’m weak.” I’ve never felt adequate for a single day of my 30 years in Israel, arriving as a new non-Hebrew speaking immigrant in 1992. Yet the Lord used Moses, Jeremiah and Paul. Hey, He’s even used me. And He is well able to bring His kingdom through you too.

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