Burning Altar on an Island
by Eitan Shishkoff, Executive Director, Tents of Mercy Network
In a high mountain village on the island of Cyprus passionate worshipers are appealing to God for His Spirit to move upon the nations. Young (and not so young) lovers of Yeshua have come from France, Belgium, Germany, Rumania, Argentina, Holland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Israel, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.A. to grow as sons and daughters of the King, preparing to serve Him wherever He leads. Their outreaches in Europe, Israel and elsewhere bear lasting fruit in healing, salvation, and relationships.
This is Gateways Beyond, a Messianic Jewish center for world mission. Its first session opened in the year 2000, making this year the 17th group of first year students. Each of those years it's been my delight to dive into four days of life impartation with the students, based on the rich examples of Scripture. Having just returned from my February 2016 time with them, I'm again amazed at the closeness achieved in this brief but intense encounter. The experience never fails to inspire and energize me - especially the deep, dynamic, ever-fresh praise and worship that revs up each morning.
Gateways' days begin against the backdrop of a small lake surrounded with pines trees. Packed into a former restaurant, several dozen students, staff, and visitors open their hearts wide to God in praise. Blues harmonica in hand, I'm caught up - fused with the worship team, feeling that we are more alive spending hours in this pursuit than we would be in any other. Without the music stopping, a staff member comes forward, exhorting the students to shift their attention from themselves to Yeshua. Later, a European couple receives prayer for life direction. Keen prophetic words arise from students and staff, generating fresh faith. One observes a gift for releasing young adults into servant leadership.
Warmed by a wood stove, student body and guest teacher have four hours a day to delve into God's word. Pre-dinner service time (physical maintenance of the base, meal preparation, child care, etc.) fills out the day, emphasizing the importance of simple tasks done in faithful quality. Close by, the community owns fertile farmland where grape vines, beehives, olive trees, and their own flock of sheep provide both food and vital organic experience in agriculture.
The founders of Gateways Beyond are David and Emma Rudolph, who've enriched our Tikkun covenant brotherhood for more than a quarter of a century. Drawing from their own vast experience in world ministry, and the close-knit quality of their own large family, they instilled kingdom values of mutual honor and reliance upon the Spirit, in the Gateways culture. I treasure my participation in this continuing adventure.
Average enrollment for the half-year program is 20. More information is available at Gateways Beyond.
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