PART OF THE MOSAIC The testimony of Shani Orfani, a Revive Israel team member.
I grew up in the Tel Aviv area in a Jewish-Israeli family with roots in Persia (Iran). My family knew the importance of being together, maintaining a certain unity, but at the same time there was a lack of understanding of the importance of each family member. This caused a lot of strife and conflict in the family, and ultimately the divorce of my parents.
We were raised observing the traditions of our people, especially Shabbat. But after Shabbat was over, God was not a part of our weekday existence. As I was growing up I knew what God wanted us to do and not to do, but I didn't know who God was. And because I didn't know Him, I didn't see how I could love Him. Still, deep in my heart, I longed to know the essence and purpose that would complete the missing part of my life. When I was in elementary school, God sent His Holy Spirit to touch my heart and gave me the understanding that Yeshua is not only a historical figure in Christianity. He is one of the most important figures in Judaism. He was a Jew; one of our own. This was the first secret God revealed to me, before I began to know Him.
About a year and a half later, God sent me a new friend. I did not know at the time that she was a Messianic Jew. After we became acquainted, she confided to me that she believed in God and in Yeshua the Messiah. I was 13 years old and had never heard the name of Yeshua in my household. But after I heard the name of Yeshua, all the different parts of my life suddenly fit together. It was as if I already knew this Messiah. Several months later I visited a Messianic Jewish congregation. It was the first time I saw people serving the living God and having a personal relationship with Him. At that moment the Spirit of God again touched me. I cried and knew I had come home.
Since then I have been learning to be responsible in my walk with Him as part of the mosaic. Through the years I have had the honor of being part of the leadership of the Israeli Messianic youth, both in conferences and in my own congregation of Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. I have sought to speak truth and encouragement to the youth and have at the same time learned much from them.
After finishing high school I was drafted into the Israeli Defense Forces, and served for 2 years as a military social worker. This role opened my eyes to see the gaps in Israeli society and my people's need for salvation. One incident engraved in my memory was of a female soldier whose mother threw her out of the house. Her mother told me she was not interested in her daughter any longer. This soldier kept on having to find a new place to sleep every weekend and finally ran out of places to stay. I found a believing family to host her. This is what the Psalmist wrote: "Even if my mother and father forsake me, God will take me in."
After being discharged from the army, I joined the Revive Israel team and Discipleship Training Center. I am currently a staff member in training. Today God has placed a vision in my heart: discipling young people who are coming to Yeshua to know their First Love, and to delight themselves in the presence of the King.
I believe that each one of us, men and women, old and young, are chosen pieces of His mosaic, to influence and make His kingdom abundant on this earth. In God's eyes no one is better or worse, because every little stone in the mosaic has an important part in the overall composition. Without even one of the stones, or when one stone is moved from the place the artist set for it, the picture is not complete. I believe in and am praying for the unity of this mosaic picture; that God would give us the ability as his handiwork to reach every person with His love. God knows even what we do not know. Who could have known 9 years ago, when my friend shared Yeshua's love with me, that today I would be serving God with all my heart, as one of those stones, part of His mosaic.
Also in this issue of the newsletter:
|Dan Juster: Do We Want the Jews to Disappear|
|Eitan Shishkoff: The Cloud is Moving|
|Martin Shoub: A New Life - A New Song|
|Shani Orfani: Part of the Mosaic|
|Holly Wallace: For Such a Time as This|