Our friends Alex & Paula have ministered with us in Israel for many years. They met and fell in love in Tel Aviv, and they’ve both been such a blessing to the people here. We’ve asked them to do the Newsletter Update for this month. We’re sure it’ll bless you.
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.”
As Memorial Day approaches we remember loved ones, we remember those who gave their lives protecting our country. It is a sobering day of remembrance.
Israel as a nation observes Memorial Day twice. The week before Israel’s Independence Day you will hear sirens ring out all over the country signaling the Holocaust memorial. As the siren sounds the entire nation comes to a halt. ALL traffic stops, everyone gets out of their cars, all business transactions cease as all of Israel stands together in silence collectively remembering and honoring those whose lives were so brutally taken
Then one week later, the sirens sound and once again the entire nation comes to a complete standstill as every person quietly stands with head bowed to remember the fallen soldiers as well as those who lost their lives in terrorist attacks.
Many of the TV channels forego their usual programming and instead broadcast the names of those whose lives were lost. As the evening of this second Memorial Day rolls in, the sadness of loss is set aside and is replaced with the joy of celebration. The celebration of the miraculous rebirth of a nation!
Celebrating 70 years for fulfilled prophecy
This year Israel celebrated its 70th year of independence! The celebration brought record numbers of people to the coastline in Tel Aviv.
As one looks around at this vast multitude and hears their clapping and shouts of excitement as Israel’s fighter jets scream overhead in a display of confidence and strength, you couldn’t help but be reminded of God’s plan for the nation of Israel.
In Genesis 12:2 God makes a promise to Abraham, that He (God) will make a great nation through him (Abraham). We know that this was true in ancient times and now again. God keeps His promise.
In Ezekiel 36:24 God states that He will gather His people from among the nations and bring them to their own land. It is truly a moving experience to be in Israel and to witness prophesy fulfilled first hand. To be able to stand amidst this crowd and celebrate alongside the very people that God has called home. People from Russia, Ethiopia, Ukraine, France and most recently England. Jewish people, quite literally, from every nation returning to their own land. Just as God said they would.
Above: Thousands flock to Tel Aviv’s beach in celebration of Israel’s Independence Day.
As Calvary Chapel Tel Aviv, we were blessed to be part of this multitude. Sharing God’s love with those around us, enjoying fellowship and of course barbeque.
The second half of Genesis 12:2 states that in addition to making Israel a great nation, Israel would also be a blessing. Israel has been a blessing to the world in so many ways. With much of the advanced technology, that we now take for granted, having been developed in Israel or by Israelis. More important than technology, however, salvation came to the world through the Jewish Messiah and by this, the whole world is blessed.
The Bible tells us that the Jewish people have a veil on their hearts that keep them from recognizing their Messiah (2 Corinthians 3:14-16). We also know that the time is coming when this veil will be removed..
But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
–2 Corinthians 3:15-16
This is an exciting time in history, we are seeing prophesy being fulfilled daily. We see the hearts of the Jewish people softening to the gospel. As they travel abroad or are coming from other countries, they are hearing about Jesus and they want to know more.
In Matthew 9:37-38 Jesus tells his disciples that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few and to pray for laborers to go into the harvest fields. With modern technology, it is easier than ever to go into the harvest fields.
As sirens sound, a man stands in solemn remembrance for Israel’s Memorial Day.
The Shepherd’s light online church is a great way to get involved. This is an interactive online church, there is a streaming video message and an online chat room where everyone attending church can interact, ask questions and receive prayer. There has been increasing attendance weekly by people from Israel, the U.S. as well as other countries.
This is an amazing tool to bring Biblical teaching and fellowship to people who would not otherwise be able to attend a church service. We are seeing God’s hand at work through this ministry. For more information on how to be involved with the online church visit the Shepherd’s Light website (shepherdslight.com) or the Online Church site (shepherdslight.churchonline.org) for all the details.
We know from scripture that there are still difficult days ahead. Sadly the Bible tells us that at some point the entire world will turn their backs on Israel. We can see evidence of this in the hostility many nations already hold. As I am writing this, the news reports that Iran fired 20 rockets into Israel from Syria in an unprovoked attack. The news is comparing it to nearly a full-scale war and the largest Israeli attack into Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
Also in the news, the United States will be following through with its promise to move its embassy to Jerusalem. The new embassy is to open on May 14th, 2018. As you may know, Israel was declared a nation on May 14th, 1948.
Please keep these things in prayer, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the world.
In His unfailing care,
Alex & Paula Chernyshov
and the Shepherd’s Light team
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