Eitan Shishkoff

Executive Director
Tents of Mercy Network
yeshua gentile mercy question israeli ministry heart congregation jewish love generations messianic word father tents tweet
"I see precious faces, some with tears, some worn with weariness and worry, others with broad smiles."

On a vibrantly beautiful Shabbat spring morning I am greeted at Netzer HaGalil Congregation with warm smiles and loving hugs. This fellowship was planted in Nazareth in 2004 by our own daughter congregation in Haifa, Shavei Tzion (Return to Zion).

Netzer, in Hebrew, is a sprout, shoot, offspring, young branch, or a descendant. "New life budding in the Galilee," might be a free poetic translation of their name. This is indeed a season of new life and fruit in this growing congregation of 50 members. For its first dozen years, Netzer conducted worship services and operated a soup kitchen/food distribution ministry out of a tiny facility. If 25 people arrived for a Shabbat service the place was packed!

Last year, in a step of faith, the congregation took over the rent contract from a neighboring pub. It had finally closed after years of intercession to remove the seedy joint from next to their Messianic worship center. You can imagine the joy that accompanied remodeling and expansion. Now, the sanctuary seats 100 easily, and its high ceiling gives a far greater feeling of freedom and spaciousness.

As the Shabbat praise and prayers begin I am again struck by the creativity of God in His choice of vessels. Pastoring an all-Russian Jewish community, Vakif comes from a Muslim background among the rugged Tatar people of Russia. He stands before his flock in a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl), earnestly chanting prayers in Hebrew with a whole heart.

After the Torah reading I'm introduced and speak about "Expectation." My text is Mark 2:1-12, the story of the paralytic lowered through the roof. I ask "What do you want to happen in your life?" and mention some causes for broken expectation: disappointment with others, frustration with ourselves, unfulfilled dreams. During the message I see precious faces, some with tears, some worn with weariness and worry, others with broad smiles. Their hearts are open. I invite those who wish to renew their expectations of life and of Yeshua's promises to stand. Many do. Among those who come for prayer, Anna, a grandmotherly Russian Jewish immigrant asks prayer for physical healing. Vakif cues me that she doesn't yet know the Messiah.

As I continue praying, I see Tanya, Vakif's wife, speaking with Anna in the back. A while later they return, announcing that both Anna and another mature visitor, Tamara, have asked Yeshua into their hearts! I'm overjoyed. Vakif then brings before the congregation Anna, Tamara, and a brand new couple who've just this past week been born of the Spirit. "Here are the new members of our Messianic family. Please welcome them," he declares.

Such episodes are not to be taken for granted. The plight of elderly immigrants is not an easy one. Fellowships like Netzer haGalil reach out with compassion and hope. There is new life in the Galilee!

By Eitan Shishkoff
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14:35 30Mar17 Miriam Maranzenboim -
Netzer from Isa. 11:1 means the "shoot of the root." This amazing prophecy of the Messiah Yeshua got lost because of not understanding the Hebrew letter "tsadi." Instead Christians made Yeshua's birthplace into "Nazareth" & He was not a Nazarene! John the baptist and Samson, yes ... Yeshua's town of around 150 souls were called the "people of the shoot of the root!" Bargil Pixner taught this.

  -- Eitan Shishkoff replies: Right on! As the Hebrew pronunication of Nazareth is Natzrat, your clarification resonates in today's Hebrew. Thanks so much for adding valuable understanding to our Messiah's geographical trail.

21:00 30Mar17 Yleana Newton -
The heart of Yeshua, expressed so beautifully through His faithful servants. I loved this article, because the Messianic congregations are being the light of Yeshua and bringing hope to so many who are needy and desperate. For I see the First and Second commandment as Yeshua said it in Matt 22:39, at work so beautifully by all of you. Mazel Tov to Netzer HaGalil.

  -- Eitan Shishkoff replies: Thanks for the encouragement. This "daughter" congregation is sometimes "in the shadows," but really is a courageous and special work of the Lord in His home town.

11:06 31Mar17 Elhanan ben-Avraham -
Actually 'netzer' is not the same root 'nazir', the latter being one on a nazirite vow, the former being the word for a shoot or branch. The Hebrew for the sect of the early believers is 'Notzrim' - Nazarines, which is the modern term for 'Christian' as well, being from 'Yeshua of Nazereth' (Natzrat).

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Asher Intrater: Wealth of the Nations & Feet of the Apostles
Daniel Juster: The Messianic Jewish Movement's Past Launch and Future Success
Hannah: A Modern Day Purim Story
Yevgeni Stanukevch: Eagle Weekends
Asher Intrater: The Third Kind of Love
Asher Intrater: The Core Value of Reconciliation
Asher Intrater: Islam and Racism