Best of Times and the Worst of Times
© September 2003 by Asher Intrater
How are things here in Israel?
Well, the economy continues to sink after three years of Intifada - no tourists,
no investors, tax debt, unemployment, business foreclosures, etc. Morally, the
country is collapsing both in terms of family values - with every form of marital
and sexual dysfunction imaginable; and criminally - with the police overloaded
to stop the terrorists, the crime is continuing to rise. It seems that the culture
is just coming "unglued."
Yet, mysteriously, this has been the best period of evangelism and ministry
growth that we have ever seen here in the body of Messiah. It's like the "best
of times and the worst of times." Here of some examples of evangelism opportunities
that I have seen this past week, or so.
- A single mother, Sabra, late thirties, came to our service once. There she
saw the power of God to the point that she was "afraid" to have us
lay hands on her for prayer. Then she came to a home group, and on the second
home group, prayed to receive salvation in Yeshua. Pray for Nurit to continue
in her faith.
- An Israeli man of Yemenite background, age fifty, was brought by Keren Or
to our service for the first time. After the message he came forward and prayed
to receive Yeshua as Lord. Pray for Yair to continue in his faith.
- Another Israeli man, age thirty, was invited by Daniel to our Bible class
on Tuesday night. He heard the class and afterward wanted to ask a few questions.
For an hour and a half we talked about Yeshua from the Tenach (OT). When we
showed him God in the form of a man appearing to Moses and the 70 elders in
Exodus 24, he said, "I feel 'goosepimples' all over. You've answered every
question I asked with perfect sense to me." Pray for Boaz and also Yehudit
to come to salvation.
- Oksana invited Ari and me over to her house Sunday night to share with some
relatives that she thought were open to the Lord. Before we could finish the
sumptuous meal, the man turned to us and said "tell us about your congregation."
The man (sabra of Kurdish background, mid fifties) was the Bible scroll "reader"
in his local synagogue, and showed much knowledge about the Law and prophets.
An hour and a half of wonderful discussion about Yeshua and salvation followed.
He took from me a copy of the gospel of Matthew and promised to read it for
our next discussion. Pray for Meir and Navah.
- Last Sunday evening, I went for a visit to a doctor at a local clinic. The
only slot he had available was the last one of the day at 8:00 pm. As we finished,
he started packing up to go home, pulled out a sandwich, and said to make conversation,
"So what do you do?" Well, that ended up with a discussion about Yeshua,
and he took a tract and a book from me. Pray for Roni to receive eternal life.
- Tomorrow two precious disciples, now here in Israel from Gateways in Cyprus,
Yuval and Valerie, are getting married. Yuval is a local Tel Aviv sabra, and
many of his extended family and relatives are coming. I will be sharing a short
biblical message. Pray for the Lord to open up the hearts of all the not-yet-believers
who will be there to receive God's grace and love through Yeshua.
- We have heard several examples of soldiers sharing their faith in the army.
One soldier "F" had other members of his squad turn to him and ask
him to tell them about this "Yeshua." Another, "A," had
his commander ask him to explain to his whole unit about what it is he believes.
Another, "K," was given permission to invite a believers' worship
and dance team into her base. Yaakov and Simcha have had repeated opportunities
to share on army bases.
We are so blessed to see the new openness of our people to the message of eternal
life in Yeshua. We believe that a mighty revival is "on the way" for
Does it have anything to do with the problems and tribulations? Or is it in
spite of the difficulties? Or are the attacks coming to try to thwart the revival?
I don't know. Sometimes there are attacks from the devil at the same time that
God is using a bad situation to open hearts.
In any case, we're glad to see the positive fruits in the midst of the negative
situation. Often when we are our weakest, God does strong things through us (II Corinthians 12). May it be to His glory.