BEHOLD HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS FOR BROTHERS TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY (Psalm 133:1)

By Abigail

In February, Congregation Ahavat Yeshua took three days to join together as a community. Our destination? The Negev Desert. Our goal? Quality time, relationship building, worship, fellowship and lots of fun! There were a total of ninety-five attendees, thirty of whom were children under the age of eighteen. Here are some of the participants' impressions:

"For some of us, congregational involvement can feel as if it is mainly more and more meetings. As our dear friend Dan says, 'We don't want our congregations to be simply religious event manufacturing corporations!' So I was blessed that Ahavat Yeshua recently had a weekend desert retreat that focused on fellowship one with another, and deepening relationships between us. Just being in the desert gets one into a different frame of mind, out of the intensity of the suburbs and city, to a place where the physical scale of God's creation is so dominant. This brought us into an atmosphere of peace and quiet.

We started with a guessing game of identifying slideshow photos of the congregants as children. Orit and Tal arranged fun activities that helped us all relax and get to know each other better as real people and not just those who sit in the row behind us during the weekly service. We also spent one morning hiking in a nearby canyon. To break the 'mold' we had only one conventional meeting, and that at the end of the retreat." - DAVID

"All the believers were together ..." Acts 2:44

"We saw a spiritual breakthrough during the retreat, which brought us closer together in the likeness of the body of believers in Acts. We drew nearer to each other spiritually as well as socially.

Every week since the retreat, we are seeing the fruit continuing to come forth. This is manifested by spiritual unity and closeness between one another. We feel more like a community, a group of friends in which everyone is valued and valuable. We are seeing the effect of this, especially in times of worship and prayer together.

On Friday evening we had a special time of testimony with an open microphone. It was so amazing to hear what the Lord was speaking to each one, and to see the common thread running through these things. At the end of the meeting, we entered into a time of prayer and saw the power of His presence fall in the room. The youth and young adults stayed to pray together with the congregational leaders until midnight. People were set free from demonic strongholds, received healing and prophesied over one another." - MATTI

"If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another." 1 John 1:7

"Personally I received a great blessing through both the fellowship and the power of the Holy Spirit. My kids also responded very positively. Thank you so much to all who worked to organize, plan and give a helping hand!" - SHLOMO

"I believe that this weekend gave an opportunity to the families to get to know one another on a deeper level, and for both parents and children to build relationships with other families. This was also a chance for singles and others who are often "alone" in the world to acquire new believing friends.

At any time you could step outside to the joyful sounds of children playing, youth encouraging one another in the Lord, or general relationship building and conversation. The children especially felt the freedom of community closeness and love. They freely roamed about playing soccer and enjoying the chance to be together for extended periods of time." - A.R.

Through Ahavat Yeshua (the Love of Yeshua) the Gospel was plainly declared and others who encountered us that weekend clearly saw something special. There were a number of unbelievers in the same area; one gentleman commented that he could tell we were different. "It is obvious that you really love one another." What a powerful testimony!

There is an amazing unity which comes forth as a group of people take a decided step to leave their homes and familiar surroundings and set aside special time with each other and with God. In my opinion, we saw a full picture of the heart of God expressed in this retreat. From moments of deep intimacy in worship and the power of the Holy Spirit, to singing around the campfire and roasting marshmallows, there was a deeper bond of commitment forged in our midst. We look forward with expectation to more opportunities like these in the future!


Update on Purchase of Facility for Equipping,
Weekday Worship and Administration ...

Thank you for donations you have given, which cover a third of the cost!
A purchase agreement has already been signed.
Further donations to the Revive Israel Building Fund will enable this facility to aid the growth of the body of believers in Israel, without long term loans.
If you are led to donate towards this, please make your tax deductable gifts payable to Tikkun International, with a seperate nore for "RI Building Fund," and mail to the Tikkun US office.
For more information email: dave6@netvision.net.il

Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Daniel Juster: The Replacement Theology Challenge Today
Eitan Shishkoff: 60/60 Vision
Moshe Morrison: Birth Pangs 60 Years In