Moshe Ami da Costa

"my experiences ... would show me how we all can be mistaken and full of prejudice."

By Moshe Ami da Costa

Gila and Moshe
A year has passed - a year of hard work and challenges overcome. This could be the story of any middle-aged immigrant in a new country, but because I am a Messianic Jew in Israel, my story has a certain context. The story is also about a Brazilian believer - a servant full of flaws, trying to survive aliyah (immigration) difficulties while staying true to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The God of Israel uses strange tools to shape us. When I started working at Return to Zion Ministries, I realized it would different from any experience I ever had. Over 90 percent of its members are of Russian origin, and at first the cultural differences between us seemed insuperable. I'm from a generation that grew up watching Hollywood blockbusters. Before immigrating to Israel, the only impressions I had of the Russian people were prejudiced and distorted images I saw in American movies.

Upon arriving in Israel, I heard unfavorable stories about the Russian Israelis. I imagined that I would find the Russian immigrants to be hard, inflexible people, like the military characters in Cold War books and spy movies. At first the words Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine aroused haunting images. But my experiences with these "Russians" would show me how we all can be mistaken and full of prejudice.

"I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors" (John 4:38).

At Return to Zion Ministries, my family and I have had the opportunity to meet people from around the world with vastly diverse backgrounds. Yes, I met a former KGB agent, but he had already been transformed and restored by Yeshua. We became best friends with a wonderful family from Kazakhstan. I was completely charmed by the countless conversations I had with an old man who spent his childhood in Siberia where his family went to escape World War II. He became a believer at a Roman Catholic Church in Berlin, Germany, although nobody understood what a Jew was doing there praising God with them. If I was looking for new stories to share, I came to the right place.

In addition to the wonderful new friends, I have had the opportunity to start communicating with the "worldwide body". In the last year, we received several groups from around the world interested in strengthening ties with Israel. As I write this, Im saying goodbye to a Taiwanese group that has often visited Israel
By Moshe Ami da Costa
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19:35 28Apr15 William Rowan -
Thank you for a wonderfull news letter,your writing always makes me feel at home with many brothers and sisters in Christ ... Sh'mah Israel.

00:30 29May16 Elizabeth Nelsen -
The truth of GOD in us, changes attitudes and a love for the mishpohah so real. You feel that bond no matter what our preconceived ideas were. It truly is a spirit led love for the family of faith. Thank for sharing.

06:18 29Apr16 HS -
Excellent article!! Prejudices and misconceptions blind us to the reality of how unique each person is, despite their background.

19:24 27May16 Kathy Sanford -
I really enjoyed this article. Thanks for posting it.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Dan Juster: The Israel Anomaly
Etian Shishkoff: Liberty for the Captives
Moshe Morrison: Toward Freedom
Asher Intrater: Paul's Self-Description
Asher Intrater: Anointing Oil for the Head of Government
Asher Intrater: What Can't I Hear?