A testimony by Sagi, a student in the Revive Israel Discipleship Training Center, as recorded by David Shishkoff.
I was born 30 years ago in Israel. I grew up in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, in a lower class neighborhood. I loved the stories of the Hebrew Bible, but was basically an average kid. My grandfather came to Israel from Yemen, and here married my German born grandmother, uniting two very different cultures.
At the age of 22, I met Tali who today is my wife. She was the first to tell me about faith in Yeshua. My childhood home had been fairly liberal and secular. So my resistance was more intellectual than based on religious tradition. Although fascinated by the apocalypse and end-times Biblical prophecy, I believed more in science, science fiction, UFOs and such.
Six years later, Tali and I decided to get married. At that time she was in South Africa, where she was born, and I was here in Israel. I proposed over the phone, and she said yes. I worked and saved money to fly to meet her. The reunion was very emotional with laughing and crying mixed together.
At that time, Tali's parents had guests who were "born again believers." The husband was Jewish and the wife Gentile. We sat in the living room, and talked about the Bible on the table. Then they began to tell about this Jewish man Yeshua, all the things he did and what he lived his life for. The combination of Jew married to Gentile was very striking for me, and I became much more interested in Yeshua.
I was struggling with the changes that I knew marriage would bring and wanted to leave behind a dark period of parties, drugs, pornography and other things. My heart was yearning to find a reason for my existence. I felt there must be something more, something real - not just philosophies, not just theologies, someone real who could come and change my life.
After this we went to a Friday evening "meeting." We were expecting a traditional synagogue, but it was quite different, with a flag saying "Messiah" and with music and joy. The Jewish and Gentile attendees were unusually friendly. I received a copy of the New Testament. Instead of being angry that this had not turned out to be a regular orthodox synagogue, I wanted to come back the next week. And the more I read the New Testament, the more I was drawn. I was struck by John the Immerser quoting Isaiah 40: A VOICE CALLS OUT IN THE WILDERNESS: "PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE LORD." MAKE STRAIGHT IN THE DESERT A HIGHWAY FOR OUR GOD . (Modified NKJV)
Something supernatural happened to me as I read. I knew this was speaking to me personally. Suddenly I had to respond. I received the beginning of a life calling, and this verse has stayed with me ever since.
After a few months, we went to visit another couple on a farm in South Africa, where Jewish and Gentile believers were working and sharing, living a life of faith together. God did amazing things to release me. I felt His presence and began my walk before Him in earnest. Just like that verse had said, we had been taken into the desert to prepare our lives for His coming. We stayed on the farm for several months. Then God began to tell us to go back to Israel. Preferring life in South Africa, at first we did not want to receive this. But miraculously, we were given money enabling us to return. That was a year and a half ago. Since then we have been praying for the continuation of our calling. We had it very strongly on our hearts to live in an integral community, sharing our lives with others.
Upon returning to Israel, I started working in a stone and marble factory. Our baby boy Daniel was born, and we joined the Kingdom Ministries Congregation in Jerusalem. Then recently, I sensed God guiding me to leave my job at the factory. Since in the natural I also preferred to leave this job, I wanted to be sure this wasn't just me. I repeatedly asked for a sign to confirm this step. But in my prayers, God told me that I must simply obey without a lot of signs and confirmations. I must make the first step. It still took me a while, but I decided to obey. Then, soon after I gave my employer notice, Asher Intrater invited me to join the Discipleship Training School and the Revive Israel staff. I saw how much it was connected to my calling and to our hearts' desire.
Abba has begun to put on my heart the secular population in Israel, the young people who are attracted to the lifestyle of parties and drugs, close to complete destruction. We are excited about this next stage of our adventure in Him.