"There's no-one else. You're it --- the Remnant --- the Messianic remnant that God has been waiting for. The world is waiting and Israel is waiting, for you to return from the wilderness in power, like Yeshua did."

"Only after a time of being absolutely alone, without food, without entertainment (like Internet, TV, movies, SMS), and subject to massive temptations was the Messiah ready to make Himself known publicly. That day in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-22) He announced the source of His power, the power that would enable Him to heal and deliver. 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me...'"

"You must go into the wilderness to find the power of God. You too, must deny yourself comforts as Yeshua did. Then you will emerge with supernatural power to bring this nation to the knowledge of her Messiah. He came, preaching to the poor and transforming lives. Now is the time for you to do His work: preaching the good news, healing the broken-hearted and setting the captives free."

"YOU are the same age as the 120 in Jerusalem"

"God is looking for 120 Israeli youth to change the world. That was the number present on the Day of Shavuot in Acts 2 when the Spirit fell in power. How old were they? Yeshua was only 33. That means that He was speaking mainly to people in their teens and 20's. Many of the 120 were your age. That's how many of you are here today, in this room. They changed the world. This is your destiny if you choose it."

With these words Asher Intrater, the leader of Revive Israel, our sister ministry, gripped a gathering of 125 Israeli Messianic Youth, calling them to their highest. He did not baby them. He acknowledged the need for healing in our personal lives, but condemned a "poor us" mentality. His emphasis was not on receiving, receiving. He spoke rather of the call to discipleship: losing all in order to gain the power that filled Yeshua, the dunamis of God's Spirit. He told them it would not be easy.

When Asher finished speaking, the young people were quiet, sobered by his riveting challenge. "Stand and come forward if you want to make this choice," was his simple invitation. Nearly all the youth stood and stepped forward. It was a moving sight. Up to that point, there had been moments when I doubted that we would see any kind of breakthrough. We had faced some difficulties: awkwardness in worship, discipline problems and plain old teenaged disinterest. If you've never tried it, let me tell you, it can be a daunting task to create and conduct a relevant bible-based conference for Israeli youth. I'm talking about 40 hours of programming for 13-18 year old teenagers all during their Chanukah vacation!

In finances, personnel and location God came though "big time"

Leading up to the conference, with only four weeks remaining, our small coordinating team faced several pressing obstacles. We had no money. We did not have enough young adults to lead small groups and serve as the backbone of the ministry team. We also had some doubts about the conference facility. This was a new locale and we were uncertain whether it would suit our purposes. In each of these vital areas God came through "big time". Within several weeks over $10,000 came in through new sources. A team of dedicated servants in their 20's volunteered to pour themselves into the teens. And the facility, set on the picturesque banks of the Sea of Galilee, was the finest of the ten conferences we've held.

The schedule called for in-depth teaching from Isaiah 61:1-4, youth-led worship, personal quiet time, small group sessions and an amazing nature experience perched atop a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The primary organisation was achieved by the marvellous duo of Keren, a young woman with army training and a huge heart for teens, and Norma, a selfless pioneer of youth ministry in Israel. But even in the best of circumstances, with a thorough plan, a prayed-up staff and abundant finances, a youth conference can flop. We've seen it! Yet watching the response to Asher's message on the last morning, I knew it was all worth it. After they stood in sincere response to his bold challenge, he told them to find another person to pray with. The atmosphere was so receptive, hearts so tenderized, intentions so focussed, that within seconds many young people were praying for one another with the special sincerity that belongs to youth. Youth reached out to youth with passionate love for Yeshua and full-hearted support for each other.

How can they fulfil this destiny without equipping?

Now I am determined to follow up. I see the need for special days of equipping. It's time to invest more heavily in youth who are motivated. It's fun and valuable to hold a large gathering, which we do during the Chanukah and Passover vacations. But I know there are young Israeli believers who are called of God to develop as leaders. I want to work with them. I know they need deeper preparation for the coming harvest. Their generation, as Asher declared so compellingly, will be ideally positioned for this harvest. They have grown up in Israel speaking Hebrew, will serve in the IDF and then take their well-earned place in this society. I am convinced that it is God's strategy to use this generation of youth to be the evangelists, apostles, pastors, prophets and teachers of Israel's end-time revival. How can they fulfil this destiny without equipping?

I want to enlist your prayers and material support for this effort. It is a multi-congregational ministry. Congregational leaders have offered to join is in shaping and overseeing the work with teens. Young adults in their 20's from all over Israel are the hands-on staff of HaKatzir. Others have offered resources including media production, outdoor activities, guided tours and leadership training. The heart of it all, however, is the youth themselves. They are nearly all students in Israeli public schools, where Messianic Judaism is unknown. In some of their towns, Messianic Jews are heavily persecuted (Arad, Beer Sheva). In other areas they're simply considered strange and irrelevant, as if they've converted to another religion that has no connection with Israel.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted and to set the captives free ... to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ... and they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations." Isaiah 61:1,4

This passage was our theme for the Chanukah youth conference. What is so strong here is that Isaiah starts with us being broken-hearted captives mourning in ashes and heaviness. Then, through the power of the Spirit, the anointing of the Mashiach Yeshua, we are equipped to rebuild the nation and to raise up what was ruined. This describes the prophetic destiny to which today's Israeli Messianic teens are being called by God.

By Eitan Shishkoff


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Comments:
10:10 02Feb06 Julia Hill -
I was very encouraged by this article. As I was reading it, God impressed upon me that prayer for this work among your youth will sow seeds into the youth of our congregation, and He reminded me of His promise, "for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart". Thank you.

14:31 02Feb06 Carole Smith -
As I read the article, I felt a strong witness of the Holy Spirit to join in prayer for these youth and to take this article to the youth leaders of my church to share with our young people there. I pray they will join these youth through prayer and encouragement.

01:31 04Feb06 Donato Alleva -
I am glad to see you are training the youth and equipping them for the Lord's end time harvest. I am in a internship in Roseville, CA, where we also have a house of prayer like IHOP. I am 22 and getting prepared for the harvest. I am going to stand in faith and believe that God will raise up the Youth of Israel for His Glory. You are all doing a beautiful service for our God and King. I really think God is raising up the Shepherds all over and just like Jesus making young disciples to refine them and endue them with power on high. May His character, power and love be their strength. God Bless you and thank you for informing us Gentile believers on the truth about Israel's remnant God's chosen and most precious people.

13:41 09Feb06 Gillian Thirkell -
It is awesome what the Lord is doing amongst young people. I have just spent a weekend with young people at a house of prayer in New Zealand, and to see their passion and love for Yeshua was wonderful, life changing. they are the generation that will welcome the return of the Messiah, and we need to encourage them and be with them, we can learn from them as well. Keep up the great work you are doing with them and I know that the Lord will raise up mighty young men and woman in Him who will in turn reach out to others and it will have an awesome affect around the globe starting in Israel, I believe it will also help bring about reconciliation not only between the ethnic groups but also genders and generations. May the Lord bless you all abundantly as you continue to serve Him.

10:53 17Apr06 Priscila Branco -
It's such an encouragement to hear how HaShem is raising up the youth in Israel, I'm amazed to see such a large number of young people like me, standing up and walking towards Yeshua. I pray that very soon, us in Brazil, will be able to see such a great youth movement, and see a great revival in the Messianic movement down here. Even being so few here we feel encouraged to keep on walking with Yeshua and preparing His back into the world. May the Lord keep using and preparing us.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: In Violation of International Law
Moshe Morrison: Paladin
Avi Telke: Sigid - an Ethiopian Thanksgiving
News from Revive Israel