Out of the Depths

The testimony of Youval, a staff intern in the Revive Israel Discipleship Program

I was born in Israel to a secular Jewish family, with roots in the Land stretching back many generations. My father was a significant figure in the Palmach fighting units starting before the Israeli War of Independence. But I always felt different, as if I didn't belong. And I had to search for a reason to wake up each morning. This search brought me to rebellion and some very strange places - Eastern Religion, religiosity, workaholism, illicit drugs and alcohol and other such deep, dark places. I suffered much, was very wounded, was an angry person, lacking self-confidence, closed and confused. I was looking for that secret that would give me freedom and happiness, but had lost almost all hope.

One day everything around me began to collapse. The business I had, owning and running restaurants in Tel Aviv, ceased to be viable. I lost my money, sold most of my possessions, and the rest was taken by lawyers. I couldn't find a job and felt more humiliated than ever. I left my luxury apartment and moved back in with my parents. I didn't even have money for food or bus fare and began to contemplate death.

I sank lower and lower, until one day, on a vacation in Cyprus that my parents paid for, I was offered a job as a scuba diving instructor, something I had always dreamed of doing. I felt that a door was opening in my life letting in a ray of light. Within two days, I decided to move to Cyprus and got on an airplane headed for Larnaca.

As I was getting settled in my new job, my roommate invited me to go with him to church. I don't know why, but I went. I entered the church building, several minutes late when all of a sudden the Holy Spirit and the presence of God, came down upon me - without me knowing what was happening. I felt a huge love; I saw a great light. I thought that an optical trick had been played on me in the church building. In a moment of grace, I was able to see for the first time with the eyes of my spirit. To this very day I am still trying to digest what happened to me in that moment.

One thing was sure - I knew that my life would never be the same, but I still did not understand why. The love that I felt then has not left me to this day. I received a Bible and began to read the words of God. I felt as if my eyes were opened and suddenly I could see. The life story of Yeshua caused me to fall in love with Him, and even the Tenach (Old Testament) seemed suddenly completely different. I don't know exactly when, but at a certain moment the week after, I suddenly discovered that I believed every word of the Bible was literally true.

Since then many wonderful things have happened to me. Yeshua is with me always hearing my cry. He guides me, comforts me, teaches me, gives me wonderful gifts, and most especially - He always promises me that He loves me and that He will never leave me.

After this wonderful transformation in my life began, I was blessed to have the chance to grow in the discipling "greenhouse" of the Gateways Training School in Cyprus where I first heard Asher Intrater teach. It was also there that I met my Swiss-born wife. We now have a baby boy and are excited to be part of this first semester of the new Revive Israel Discipleship Program here in the Jerusalem area. In addition to serving here in Israel, my wife and I also have a vision to help "revive" faith in Europe and travel there several times a year for ministry.

If you want to help sponsor a discple/intern scholarship, please contact us via email: revive.israel@reviveisrael.org

There are openings in the late summer and onward for volunteers wanting to minister by caring for the children of the DTC staff and students. If you are interested, write to: revival@netvision.net.il

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