Shalom dear friend It is such a blessing to be able to connect with you again with news of what God has been doing here at Beit Immanuel and in the land of Israel. We are living in exciting times as we’re witnessing the Gospel message spreading throughout the entire world at a rate that mankind has never seen before. Today the Gospel is more accessible than ever before through churches’ passionate support of ministries, through online and communication technology, and the mobilization of workers who are standing up to say, “Here I am Lord, send me.” Here in Israel, we are bearing witness to the physical and spiritual restoration of the Land, as spoken through the prophets, and we believe that we’re about to enter a brand-new season in which God will bring forth the church out of the valley of Covid-19, stronger than ever before. More and more Israeli Jews and Arabs are receiving Yeshua as their Lord and Savior, and the implanted Word of God is bearing much fruit in the lives of Israeli believers. We are also standing in faith and eagerly awaiting the time when our borders will open again for tourism and allow brothers and sisters from all over the world to visit us here in the land of Israel. We look forward to seeing you again soon, and until then, be blessed and rest in His Shalom!
Normally I take things very easy, but during this past week something happened in my life that really got me thinking. Our Senior Pastor, Aleksey, had a vivid dream last Sunday. In the dream he was standing in a room looking at the skin of a dead snake which was mounted on a wall. As he was beholding this sinister display, an entity of some sort entered the room and poured water onto the skin. The skin suddenly started filling up and taking shape, and the snake came back to life. At that moment the snake struck out and managed to bite me as I was in the room with Aleksey. The snake then attacked him, but he managed to kill it with a stick that he was armed with. After Aleksey had told me the details of his dream, I wasn’t sure if it was a warning from the Lord, or simply a normal dream. Either way, we took it seriously and started praying together, along with some brothers and sisters, for divine protection over our lives and everyone around us. As most Israeli believers will agree with, there’s never a dull moment in Israel and a battle rages 24/7 in the spiritual realm which can sometimes exhaust and overwhelm ministers and pastors in the Land. It seemed that the warning from Aleksey’s dream had come at a very timely moment. The next day arrived, and my morning went great and very productive. The last thing on my schedule that morning was to host and speak to a group of retired Israelis from the north of Israel. We had a wonderful time together and I was able to share much with them. Shortly afterwards everything changed. As I came into my office, all of a sudden I experienced an excruciating pain in my neck, accompanied by a severe headache. The pain soon became so unbearable that I started vomiting and losing control of my senses. An ambulance was called and the medics rushed me to hospital. Up until that time we were all convinced that it was simply a severe migraine that I was experiencing, and nothing to be worried about. However, after a series of tests at the hospital, I received news that I had not expected — I had experienced a minor stroke and would have to stay under observation for four days at the hospital. What followed were numerous tests of all kinds, some of which I had no idea what they were for or what they meant. While all of this activity was going on around me, I realized that I had been divinely protected by God from something that could have ended up a lot worse
God is a wonderful God, and He always manages to bring forth sweetness out of the bitter. That evening as I was transferred to the hospital’s neurology department, I met a dear young Arab nurse, Dina, who was attending to me. We started to talk about life and I shared about my faith in Yeshua. She told me that she had once been a believer, but that she had become “disappointed “ with God and had left the faith. We had a very good and long conversation that evening and I shared more with her about the love that God has for each of us, and of our need to be in a living relationship with Him. She asked me to pray for her, to which I gladly agreed, and I then invited her to come and attend our services at Beit Immanuel. What truly amazes me is that according to her my room was not on her list of duties for that night, and just before I was admitted to the neurology department, she was instructed to attend to the patient in room 21, which was me! The more I think about it, the more I wonder if this divine appointment with this nurse was not the reason for the whole scenario with my stroke. Please stand with me in prayer, and let’s lift up Dina to the throne of God. Please pray that a desire will awaken within her heart to come and attend our services, and for her to meet this wonderful God that loves us so much. I would also like to ask for your prayer, as I was left with a disturbance to my sight after the stroke. Please pray that this disturbance would disappear and that my vision would be completely restored in the name of Yeshua, so that I would not run the risk of losing my driver’s license. Thank you for your prayers! We serve a fantastic God and let us never forget that. Love and blessings, Pedro
After reading Pedro’s account of his stroke and his subsequent chat with the nurse, Dina, one question arises — why does the devil attack us? The answer lies in the fact that he tries to discourage us after we experience great victories and breakthroughs with the Lord. Over the last few weeks, God has been doing some amazing things at Beit Immanuel, enabling us to host events to bless the community, reaching the lost, and providing for the poor and needy with practical aid. One of these wonderful events that we got to host was a blood donation project that we did in collaboration with Magen David Adom. Many people walked through our doors at Beit Immanuel that day to donate blood to save lives and here they have heard of the blood that can really save our lives.
It was such a wonderful opportunity for us to share with all of the people who had come to donate blood, and to reveal to them the reason why Yeshua had “donated” His blood on the cross to save us from our sins and from eternal damnation. Please pray with us that the seeds that were sown into their hearts that day would bear fruit. We’ve also been receiving many groups at Beit Immanuel over the past few weeks, as it’s a famous historical landmark in Tel Aviv/Jaffa. People love to visit, and they are always eager to hear the story of Beit Immanuel and how history had unfolded within these walls bringing a message of restoration and proclamation of the Messianic hope through a Jewish Messiah.
We are so thankful and we rejoice in what God is doing among us, but yet we understand that in the spiritual realm a real war is taking place. The enemy does not want us to continue to glorify the name of our Lord Yeshua among His people here in Israel, and attempts to attack us daily in many different ways. We are in the throes of this war and we need your prayers. Please also pray for the government and people of Israel. In Judges 2: 8-14 we read of how the nation of Israel had turned their backs on God and as a result were delivered into the hands of their enemies. These days we find ourselves in a very similar situation in that most of the people of Israel do not know God, neither do they want to know God. This rejection of God ultimately leads to similar consequences as to what we read about in the book of Judges. Please stand with us in prayer for the people of Israel, that they might be saved, and that God would have mercy on them, and that He would not recompense them according to their rejection of Him.
In spite of everything that’s been going on in Israel with regards to Covid-19 restrictions and legislation, God continues to work through His community of believers. By the grace of the Lord, in the midst of the pandemic, we managed to plant three new home groups. Please pray for the continued growth and strengthening of our community at Beit Immanuel. We recently got in touch with a school for children with special needs, which our son had also joined this past year. There are many needs at this particular school, such as the need to renovate the classrooms, the purchase of special equipment for the kids, etc. We are in the midst of negotiations with the school’s leadership to see what we can do to help. If you have a heart for reaching the people of Israel with the Gospel, and for demonstrating the love of God through life-changing humanitarian aid, then I would like to invite you to support our work by sowing a financial seed at http://messianic-jews.org/partner-with-us/