Watching in Amazement
by Leon Mazin, Shavei Tzion Messianic Center, Tents of Mercy Network

When Abraham's servant Eliezer was sent to find a bride for Isaac, he felt he needed to pray for God's guidance.

"O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham ... Now let it be that the young woman ... [who] says, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink' - let her be the one You have appointed ... And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah ... came out with her pitcher on her shoulder ... And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, 'I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.' ... And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not." (Genesis 24:12-21)

We are also watching what God is doing, in wonder and amazement. During the fall feasts of this year - Rosh Hashana, Sukkot and Simchat Torah - something exceptional happened at Return to Zion.

Over the past few months 800 new immigrant families, mainly from Russia and Ukraine, have moved to Israel and made Haifa their home. The Ukrainians have fled from the combat zone, whereas the Russians' decision to immigrate has been more ideological. And of course God Himself has worked in their hearts to come, according to numerous Biblical prophecies.

Return to Zion Congregation reached out to these new immigrants with an offer of some basic household necessities. About 75 families came to receive what we had to give. The goods that we provided obviously have not met all their needs, but it's a start. For these newcomers who are in the process of making this country their home, our congregation's encouragement comes at the right time. Their response has been enthusiastic.

Up until now we had not generally made large congregational events open to the general public. But for the Jewish New Year we invited part of the community, and to our surprise 150 of these new immigrants from the Former Soviet Union joined us.

The same thing happened on Sukkot. We had planned a small, festive gathering, but over 200 people arrived, including the new immigrants. This was again repeated on Simchat Torah, the last day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).

Like Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, we were simply amazed to see what was happening.

We now need wisdom regarding how to reach out to these new Israelis. They need warm clothes and more household items. We will help them in any way we can. We will share from our experience and offer good advice. Obviously, it is God who has brought His children from different countries and returned them home to the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Let me conclude with the words of Mordechai to Esther. I would like to direct these words to challenge both ourselves and you, dear ministry partner: "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place ... who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)

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