Vered and her team are among those who arrive early to ensure that the four different classrooms for the children’s program will be organized and ready to receive the growing number of children.
Sarah, the overseer of the Youth program is busy going over this week’s plan with Yoel and Or, two young Israeli sabras (Jews born in Israel) who have begun to take responsibility for the teachings and discipleship of these young kids. This youth group is empowering the teenagers in their walk as they live and mature in a society that opposes their faith in every way.
Chaim is also there, reviewing with those who will share in the reading of the Torah, which takes place once a month. In addition, under Chaim’s very skilled supervision, we have special holiday celebrations, and bar mitzvahs (boys) and bat mitzvahs (girls), as well as brit milas (circumcision celebrations) as the occasion demands.
The worship team is up front practicing the music that will bring us into the presence of the Lord. Evan, the young brother who has recently taken over the entire worship department is there early overseeing the musicians and sound people as he develops this very important part of our congregation. The fruit from the efforts of Andrew and Tal as worship leaders and all the others who serve on the worship teams are being experienced by the whole congregation, as our weekly worship touches new heights and freedom in the Holy Spirit.
Galit comes in early, with hands full, carrying bags filled with food and drink. Although she is a single mother of two and works full time, she has taken responsibility for overseeing the wonderful time of food fellowship that follows every meeting. Each week different members of the congregation bring a dish to share and through Galit’s gifted and energetic efforts which pull it all together, we always have a beautiful table to enjoy.
This time of fellowship after the meeting is a powerful tool in building a greater sense of community in our group. It gives everyone a chance to get to know one another better and also enables us to reach out and meet guests and unbelievers who are visiting our meeting.
There are so many more that help to make this unfolding miracle possible. Ariel is serving as my assistant and is growing in his calling as one of the future leaders of our work here in Jerusalem. Sharon oversees the small bus route that we have arranged to help bring people to our Saturday meeting since there is no public transportation on Shabbat. Daniel and Simcha, two anointed evangelists are ever busy sharing the good news. Ofra serves as secretary for the congregation and Shani oversees the finances.
It’s almost 11 am and the room is filling up; nearly 150 believers in the city of Jerusalem are coming together to worship Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah in Hebrew. Some were born and raised in Israel, others like ourselves were gathered back to the Land from distant corners of the earth, and some are gentile believers who have come to this city to serve in this great end time restoration.
We are small in number in comparison to many churches throughout the world but the prophetic significance of this gathering cannot be overlooked. This is what the prophets wrote about thousands of years ago.
This modest gathering, along with the other congregations of Jewish believers in Jerusalem and throughout Israel, are collectively the single greatest sign that the Day of the Lord and Yeshua’s return to this very city is soon approaching. The appearance of a growing Body of Messiah is the spiritual state Yeshua has longed to see within Israel for the two millennia since His death and resurrection.
As Yeshua spoke over Jerusalem of old:
“How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings . . . . For I tell you, from here on you shall not see Me again until you shall say, Blessed is he that come in the name of the Adonai.”
Complete Jewish Bible translation
As we gather to worship Yeshua in Jerusalem, the moment is charged as the prophetic significance of our gathering fills the air.
The crowd is invited to come together, a prayer is raised up to heaven and as the worship team begins to play, the presence of God descends upon us. There are songs and deep heartfelt intercessions. The prophetic word flows and the Body responds. Some are kneeling before the Lord, flags are being waved, hands are raised and others are dancing before their King. The Torah is read and the miracle of Jewish men and women, filled with the Spirit of God and loving Yeshua unfolds in a beautiful symphony of love. The Word is preached in power and anointing, hearts are touched and people are changed.
The story of Ahavat Yeshua is a wonderful and growing miracle. To give some perspective, only 15 years ago in 1998, there were only an estimated 3,500 Jewish believers in Israel worshipping in 80 congregations. In 2013, estimates range from 15-20,000 Jewish believers in 120 Israeli congregations. Existing congregations grew and many new congregations formed.
Ahavat Yeshua congregation has come a long way since 20 people gathered for our first meeting in 2006. In almost seven years our tiny congregation grown grown to 150 members, and many babies! The resistance over the years to all that we have done has been significant because the enemy is committed to our destruction – but praise God, Yeshua has overcome the enemy!
This wonderful story of Ahavat Yeshua is your story too – for all who are praying for the congregations, ministries and for the salvation of all Israel. For us, the kehila, the congregation, is people.
Our goal is to promote love between us all that we might stand together as a proclamation of the gospel.
Today we have written of the many who are laboring here to make the miracle of our congregation possible but we cannot see increase without the prayers and faithful support that undergird all of us laboring in the Lord’s Israeli vineyard.
As we look ahead to the mighty and fearful things that must unfold in the coming years, we are encouraged that as we labor together with believers from the nations, we will see every great and precious promises of our God fulfilled. We thank you for being a part of this miracle.