Shofar Blowing Marks 20 Years
by Eitan Shiskoff, Executive Director, Tents of Mercy Network
By Eitan Shishkoff
It had been 20 years. Looking around at the standing-room-only crowd of worshipers, I did the math. They had come to celebrate the Rosh HaShana shofar blowing at the Akko congregation, Katzir Asher. Hearts eager for more of God, they came from all of the congregations in our network. Even while relishing the Lord's strong, sweet presence I quickly calculated the passage of time since our first home Bible study. In 1994, seven of us began meeting in the small apartment of an immigrant couple north of Haifa. Twenty years later that has become five congregations and an agricultural discipling center - stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee. Four of them gather in their own, paid-for facilities. Our combined number hovers around 500.
Next, I thought "This is a magnificent achievement of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He's the one who called us back from exile. He's the one who gathered Israeli believers in Messiah from every background, to be here in this room, calling for Yeshua to return to Israel. He's the one who authored Tents of Mercy and the subsequent daughter works. Praise Him!"
I felt overcome with gratitude and joy. I experienced a sense of peaceful fulfillment rare during the constant dealing with facts-on-the-ground questions like, "Am I doing enough? Is Yeshua effectively being made known in Israel? Do our activities really reflect the greatness of God's redeeming love?" Beholding the fruit of His grace, I basked in thanksgiving.
I then asked, "What about the next twenty years?" Immediately I knew we had arrived at the end of one era and the beginning of another. It is time for the next generation of leaders and disciples to emerge. It is time for the mothers and fathers who labored these twenty years, to take on the mantle of mentor/coach. What an exciting stage.
The Lord has done much in these twenty years, and I believe He's getting ready to do much more during the next twenty. Those of you who have stood with us and participated through prayers, visits, and finances are part of this miracle. Todah! Thanks! All of this is a prelude to the next chapter. It won't be easy, because darkness is beginning to cover the earth. But the Lord promises that He will arise over us and His glory will be seen upon us (Isaiah 60:2). Rough modern paraphrase: "It don't look so good out there, but the best is yet to come."
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