Eitan Shiskoff

Executive Director
Tents of Mercy Network
 
 
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"The prophetic promises regarding Israel, the Church, and the Last Days were familiar to them, and we were received as living proof that God is keeping His word."
 
 

We traversed Taiwan on a skyscraper-tall superhighway, threading through emerald mountains. Seeing intensive agriculture on the side of many carefully terraced hills, I asked our hosts "What are they growing there?" They replied, "Tea!"

Growing tea on these slopes requires vision and long-term investment. Such is the approach of the wise church leaders and ministry teams who became treasured friends during our eventful days with them. We saw the inspiring multiplication of a church network, which now numbers more than 10,000 in its central church in Taipei City, and another 20,000 in daughter churches throughout the nation. They told us, "We want a lasting relationship with you and your people, Eitan. An occasional speaking tour does not interest us. Nor do we want to be mere tourists in Israel."

Everywhere we went our brothers and sisters were thrilled to have contact with Messianic Jews from Israel. The prophetic promises regarding Israel, the Church, and the Last Days were familiar to them, and we were received as living proof that God is keeping His word.

Special hugs
Two years ago I was blessed to see my book, "What About Us?" published in Taiwan's traditional Chinese. One veteran pastor told me he had read the book three times. It had transformed his understanding of the relationship between Israel and Yeshua's followers in the nations. That was humbling to hear, but when I joined his congregation in singing "Baruch haBa BaShem Adonai - Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord," I began weeping for joy. Here I was on an island off Asia's coast, at the "end" of the earth, calling on the Messiah to return and rule all nations. "OK, Lord, it's all true. Seeing this love and faith regarding Israel's restoration and the Messiah's coming - in such a far away place - it's all GOT to be true."

On the Sabbath Eve of our visit, I was asked to share on "Raising a Family according to Jewish Tradition." The best way to learn is to experience. So our hosts supplied a table covered with a beautiful cloth, candles, grape juice, and even challah - the braided bread traditionally eaten during the blessings that invoke the peace of the Sabbath. I began chanting the blessings and leading the families through the celebration. There were at least 400 people there - grandparents, moms and dads and their children. We were family together. The atmosphere became homey - intimate, tender, and loving. Clearly the hard-working parents pour themselves out. They want the best for their children, and needed to experience the Sabbath rest in ceasing our own labors. The presence of three generations underscored our covenant inheritance from the God who calls Himself the God of a father (Abraham), a son (Isaac), and a grandson (Jacob).

The next night, at a huge youth meeting, I shared on "Going Beyond your Comfort Zone." The response was amazing! Hundreds crowded the platform, eager to surrender their entire destiny to God. I couldn't help thinking about our Israeli youth and the longing for such numbers to turn whole-heartedly to the Lord.

Again and again I was moved by the Taiwanese Christians' devotion to Yeshua and their sacrificial service to those in need. We saw a storefront "barber shop" where people off the street receive a free haircut. We took part in a worship service that is held weekly for families of special needs children. These families are served during the week with material aid and assistance in the draining challenge of caring for their loved ones. I was asked to pronounce a blessing over them. As I explained the Aaronic Benediction from Numbers 6, my heart overflowed with affection for the young people - each with a different limitation, a different set of genetic challenges. I felt God's love and personal care for each of them. After hearing the blessing sung in Hebrew, they began hugging me, squeezing me with a tangible, honest love. I was undone. Our Taiwanese friends showed me what true compassion is - a healthy reminder for a man from the Tents of Mercy.

Children's Sabbath Eve service

By Eitan Shishkoff
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Comments:
13:44 01Oct15 DB -
I came to your article directly from reading a book on the subject of loving the Old Testament by an elderly, learned and greatly respected Bible teacher and Minister in the Church of England.
I read this quote: "The Old Testament does not belong - let me say it to you sensitively - does not belong to the Jewish People. The Old Testament is our book and the things that happened in the Old Testament are our prehistory, yours and mine because we belong to Jesus".
Insofar as I understand it, this seems a different spirit to that expressed by your good Taiwanese friends. I was considerably disconcerted by the comparison.

06:36 02Oct15 Peter Hartgerink -
So encouraging to see such love towards Israel from the Taiwanese Church. Praise the Lord.
In response to the previous commenter, as a Gentile Christian I am encouraged by the words of Paul in Romans 15:4 (writing to both Jewish and Gentile Christians) that what was written in former days - by which he meant what Christians today call the Old Testament - was written for our instruction, that we might have hope. So the Hebrew Bible, for Gentile believers, becomes our story as well as the story of Israel. Without it we can make little sense of the words of Yeshua and Paul. Though most of its promises apply primarily to Israel, they often have a secondary level of application to Gentiles as well. I hope this perspective is helpful to my Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters.

09:02 02Oct15 Dan Carlisle -
I am so encouraged by your work and especially this article. How I pray we in the US would humble ourselves as believers. I pray that we could see we are adopted into Israel not a replacement even though we are still the body of Christ.

01:31 06Oct15 Jean Singh -
Thank You for sharing this encouraging report with me. Thanks and blessings to you all at Tents in the mighty name of Yeshua. Hallelujah.


Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: The Agreement
Tents of Mercy: Reach Out
Leon Mazin: Dreams & Doors in Brazil
Moshe Morrison: Revisiting My Childhood Synagogue
Cody Archer: Rediscovering the Original Ekklesia
Asher Intrater: Spiritual Maturity or an Accusatory Spirit?
Asher Intrater: Gentile Levites