In 1911 a group of American Jewish Zionists chose a picturesque spot in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee and started a settlement which they called Poriya, meaning "fruitful" in Hebrew. In spite of the promising name, the dreams of a productive agricultural colony did not come to pass. Then, in the 1950's, the government of Israel began to build up and restore the settlement to receive Jewish immigrants arriving from all over the world.
Believers in Yeshua, both Jewish and Gentile, have lived in Poriya since then, coming from such varied origins as Illinois, South Africa and Finland. With the establishment of the Christian Zionist company, Galtronics, in a nearby industrial zone in the early '80's, even more believers moved into the area.
Today, close to 15% of the population of Poriya Illit are followers of Messiah Yeshua, more than 80 times the average nationwide, a demographic reality unequalled in all of Israel. Not only that, but I am privileged to serve on the City Council. I know of no other Israeli city council which has a believer on its board.
A Vision for Kehilat Poriya
For many years, my wife Terri and I have been involved in some form of ministry in our community. During the summer of 2004, the Lord began to burden us with the desire to start a local, home-based fellowship in Poriya. It was clear that we were to put the Lord at the center of all we do, and to witness in the village and wherever doors are opened to us. The congregation should be based in our home. If the Lord blesses and it outgrows our home, we are not to move into a building but to start another home-based congregation - that is, to grow by multiplication rather than addition. The congregation should be led by a plurality of elders and we must be acccountable to another body. This eventually led us to become a part of the Tents of Mercy family of congregations.
We want to be a Messianic Jewish congregation, to honor and celebrate our biblical Jewish heritage---reading weekly from a Torah scroll. We are to encourage the gifts of the Holy Spirit through interactive and participatory meetings that develop a sense of community.
As God was leading us in the direction of a congregation, He was also working in the hearts of Ronnen and Svieta Venter. They came to the Poriya area in 2002 with the vision of starting a congregation. Many years before Ronnen's grandfather lived in Poriya. Ronnen's father, who now leads a fruitful ministry in South Africa, was raised in our village. In a sense, Ronnen was returning home. In early 2005 Ronnen, Svieta, Terri and I prayed together and felt led to join forces to plant and care for a local congregation. Kehilat Poriya is the result.
Coming to Fruition
On May 21, 2005 almost 100 people gathered in our home to celebrate the official birth of Kehilat Poriya. Eitan Shishkoff and Moshe Morrison anointed us with oil, prayed over us and welcomed Kehilat Poriya into the Tents of Mercy network.
A week later we held our first regular Sabbath meeting with 18 people. On June 4, a native Israeli man, Menachem, heard the Gospel for the first time and publicly asked the Lord to show him if Yeshua is the Messiah. Many have prophesied that Israel's great end-time revival will begin in the Galilee region. Please join us and the Tents of Mercy in praying that Kehilat Poriya ("fruitful congregation") will be a significant part of this. Come quickly, Lord Yeshua.
Eric & Terri Morey in their Poryia home
Look ... The Tents of Mercy International Conference and Intercessory Tour of Israel
|Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article. The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.|