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.
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
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
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