It was the spring of 2006 and Revive Israel had started its Discipleship Center in the hills outside of Jerusalem. Young Israelis were coming every morning and the grace and anointing of God was clearly being manifest in their lives.

Our original vision, to send these young people to participate in other area congregations did not seem to be working and it was becoming evident to us that there was a need to birth a congregation built on the vision that burned in our hearts.

We envisioned a Messianic congregation as described in the book of Acts, filled with the power, presence and anointing of God. Its members would be local Israelis, its language Hebrew and its foundation would be community and love for Yeshua. Beyond all of this, its impact would not only bring Israelis to faith, but like that first congregation two thousand years ago, would spread the Gospel to Judea, Samaria and the outer parts of the earth.

It was a challenging vision and we knew it required a giant step of faith to achieve the goals God had put in our heart and establish such a congregation. Three years ago this past Shavuot, we took that step. A group of twenty people, mostly from our Revive Israel team gathered in a small room in the heart of Jerusalem for our first meeting and the rest is an unfolding story of God's grace and blessing.

Today that tiny room has been replaced by a large and beautiful meeting hall that holds 300 and our little congregation has grown to be a weekly gathering of over one hundred people. The leadership team of our congregation, apart from Asher and myself, is comprised of young Israelis. We have a monthly leadership meeting and it is so wonderful to see how these young Israelis are taking increasing responsibility for the administration of the congregation.

Ahavat Yeshua Congregation
Youval, father of three, is one of our deacons and participates in the preaching rotation in the main congregational meeting. Serge and Na'ama, the young parents of four beautiful children have just taken charge of the children's program. Chaim, another of our deacons, oversees the worship. Also present in these leadership meetings are four young Israelis who serve as advisors.

Shlomo, who is just finishing his university studies, oversees the young adults program that is not only drawing people from our congregation but has become a city-wide young adults meeting. Shlomo has shared the Word at our meeting at various times. Mati is an up and coming young leader who participates in the general oversight of the congregation and also occasionally teaches at our main meeting. Tal is studying to be a teacher and is also on staff as our administrative assistant. Shani is the treasurer for our congregation. All of these young people have a maturity of vision and a depth of commitment that is outstanding and which has helped bring the congregation to where it is today.

As we look back on these three years, the incredible reality is that we have gone a long way to fulfilling our vision. Ahavat Yeshua is touching the city of Jerusalem and beyond. Our members are sharing the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah on the streets of Israel and are being sent out in power and anointing to the distant ends of the earth. Young Israelis are increasingly leading the work. Members are gathering in home meetings and the unsaved are coming to our meetings.

In spite of all that we have accomplished, we are still "young" and there is so much more that we need to achieve. We ask you to stand with us in prayer as we press on to the high calling that God has given us. By His grace and with your support, Ahavat Yeshua will continue to develop and this beautiful "three year old baby" will grow into the fullness that God desires for His Body.

We thank you for standing with us, as together we labor to see God's Kingdom manifest in Jerusalem and throughout the earth.

 

By Eddie Santoro


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Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: The Greatest Danger to Israel
David Stern: The Church's Biggest Challenge
Marty Shoub: A Notable Soul
Grab A Paint Brush