Zion's Glory Update
May 20 2015
The following is a Zion's Glory prayer update from Eddie and Jackie Santoro in Israel. We encourage you to forward it to whomever you think might be interested in the following information. It is sent out in conjunction with a monthly newsletter. If you are currently not receiving this information and would like to become a regular subscriber, please forward your name, email and address to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Faithful Friend,
In a few days Israel will be celebrating the last of the Spring Feasts, Shavuot, also known as Pentecost. In our congregation, we have been counting the "Omer", the fifty days between the Feast of Passover and Shavuot and anticipation has been building for next week's celebration.
It was on this day that the Torah was given to Israel after a nation of slaves had been miraculously delivered from their bondage in Egypt. In many ways this event has always been the defining moment for the Jewish people. It was the Torah that set apart the nation as God's chosen people. It was the Torah that instructed Israel on how to live and on how to approach God. Throughout the millennium that Israel was home in their "Promised Land" and during those difficult years of their dispersion, it was the Torah that preserved their identity as a people set apart for God.
It was also on this day of the Feast of Shavuot two thousand years ago that God poured out his Holy Spirit on His newly created Church. And even as the Torah, written on tablets of stone given at Sinai defined Israel, so the new life of the Holy Spirit, written on the tablets of men's hearts would define the church. And even as Israel was dispersed throughout the earth carrying the Word of God with them, so in the New Covenant, the anointing of God that was first poured out on those Jewish believers was again carried to the most distant corners of the earth.
We will be observing the Feast, beginning this Saturday night, May 23 with an all night prayer meeting. During this time believers from all over Israel will gather together to worship, pray and intercede as we seek God's heart for all that lies before us. The prayer meeting will begin at 10PM and continue until 6 AM (Israel time). We encourage you to join us for this important event. The prayer meeting will be live streamed with translation. To access the live streaming, just go to the following link: reviveisrael.org.
We look forward to sharing a truly blessed time with you as together we seek God for His heart and enablement.
On the day of Shavuot, Sunday, May 24, the annual picnic for all the believers in the Land will take place. It is a festive gathering in a location close to Jerusalem, celebrating the wonderful reality of the Body of Messiah in Israel. There are usually over 1,000 believers in attendance, continual worship and lots of good fellowship with people that we rarely have the opportunity to see.
In response to our latest wave of births (since January, two boys have been born and we are expecting 5 more boys by September) we have just finished a beautiful nursing mother's room in our new congregational home. Lauren, one of the pregnant moms, took the responsibility to design and put together the beautiful new space. This combined with our new children's wing is ensuring that we will be able to meet the needs of this growing part of our Congregation.
Please pray for our Children's Program - for good teachers and creative organization and curriculm. Pray that our children would grow in their knowledge of the Lord and that all would choose his ways over the strong attraction of the world that surrounds us. Please pray for healthy births for all who are pregnant.
Being a believer in Israel and establishing a Messianic Congregation is not popular with most Israelis. God's promise to "... make a New Covenant with the House of Israel" and that "All Israel will be saved" are certain but as yet unfulfilled promises. We live our life in the light of that reality and as a result persecution is a very real part of our daily life.
Several weeks ago in the town of Ra'anana, the Jehovah's Witnesses planned to have a public meeting in a town building. Although we do not consider this organization to be a Christian group and certainly do not endorse their theology, in the eyes of the Israeli public, they are simply another group that believes in Jesus. Israelis do not differentiate between the Pope, denominational Christians, cults and even, Messianic Jews. We are all people that are defined exclusively by our belief in Yeshua, the "enemy" of Israel. The persecution they faced is the same as the Messianic community has faced many times and this just illustrates the fear and hatred the religious community feels towards the name of Yeshua.
When the head Rabbi of Ra'anana heard of this meeting, he started a campaign of lies claiming that this "Christian" group was planning to baptize large numbers of Jewish children. The campaign was adopted by Yad L'chaim, an anti missionary organization. Before long, a massive upswell of anger caused the Ra'anana City Council to ban the meeting from being held in a public building. The JW's appealed to the Court; freedom of Speech was upheld and the city council decision was overturned. The JW's ended up having their meeting but hundreds of very angry religious Jews gathered and violently protested. In the end the police had to be called out, violent demonstrators were arrested and of course, no Jewish children were baptized.
In another recent example, Ahavat Yeshua decided to build a new Ark to hold our Torah Scroll. An artist in our congregation created a beautiful design. We went to a large wood working company who agreed to do the work. We sent our representative to bring a check and sign the contact. Upon arrival, the owner of the company asked Elhanan if he was a Messianic Jew. Elhanan said "yes" and Moshe, the owner of the company immediately refused to do the work.
We have had people who have been denied citizenship, denied housing, some have lost jobs and others have been persecuted at their workplace because of their faith. Israel is a free and democratic nation and thankfully, this type of discrimination is illegal. Please pray that we would have wisdom as to when to fight and when to turn the other cheek. Pray that the discrimination we face would be in response to a bold proclamation of the Gospel.
In the end, the Kingdom of God cannot be stopped. Israel will be saved and this nation of unbelievers will be the only nation on the earth that will be transformed into a nation of believers. We thank you for being a part of this wonderful process. Your friendship and faithfulness is greatly appreciated.
We send you our love from Zion,
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