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BACKPACKER FINDS PEACE AT ZULA LODGE

"Ela,* is an Israeli girl that your prayer and support is helping reach with the Gospel," says staff member, Stephen A. You can tell that her time at the Zula Lodge in New Zealand had an impact by what she wrote in the guestbook:

Right at the first moment when I arrived at the Zula, I felt at home. Something in me just calmed down. I didn't know yet how this place would soon become a real home for me. This is the first place I felt like this after six months of travels, and this is not just because the Zula facilities are so amazing. It is because of the special family that you are. Thanks for not only opening your house to me and including me in all your daily routines, but more than that, for opening your hearts and really letting me feel that I belong in the most natural and generous way. These days with you were a unique opportunity to learn and get to know a different way to live life in this world... Thanks for making me ask questions and having the patience to answer them too. You are, without a doubt, a big and meaningful part of my trip around the world, and of my life journey. Stephen said, "It was such an amazing opportunity for us to talk with Ela more about the Gospel in Isaiah 53, and live out our faith before her eyes."

 
TRAVELLER UPBEAT IN MESSIANIC SERVICE

Young Jewish man Adam* from Perth walked into the worship service at Beit HaMashiach Messianic Congregation Shabbat meeting, having heard the music while walking past. After the meeting he approached leaders to ask questions. During the exchange he expressed that he was a musician himself, and much preferred the upbeat nature of the service compared with the more sombre liturgical experiences he'd had within Orthodox Jewish synagogues. He also spoke to some young leaders, and numbers and facebook details were exchanged. Adam has since been in contact, and has agreed to come along on a camping trip with some of the young adults. Please pray for Adam, that God continues to draw him to the Jewish Messiah.

 
POWER IN THE NAME OF YESHUA

Celebrate Messiah worker Max was on his way home from the office and went to the petrol station in the heart of Jewish Melbourne to top up with fuel. While at the pump, an elderly Jewish lady asked if he could help locate the fuel door release on her brand new Hyundai. He couldn't find it inside the car, so searched Google for the answer. As he was doing this, the woman said the words "Yeshua HaMashiach" taking Max by surprise. Then Max realised that he was wearing a T-Shirt made for our National Messianic Simcha Conference with those very words on it (Jesus the Messiah in Hebrew). The woman asked if Max was Jewish and he explained that yes, he is a Jew who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah. Meanwhile Max worked out how to open the fuel door and the lady thanked him for his help. We are praying that God's hand was upon this divine appointment with the opportunity to help this elderly lady, and that a seed was planted in her heart to seek the Jewish Messiah.

 
ISRAELI SEEKER PROVOKED TO JEALOUSY

An Israeli Anat* who visited the Thanksgiving celebration at Canberra's Hiney Yeshua congregation, had an interesting discussion with one of the congregants. He was concerned he might have offended her by shaking her hand and offering a hug, but that's not what offended her. She said that was fine, what she had a problem with was, "You are using our dance to worship your God!" Leader Robert guessed that she was actually provoked to jealousy, just a little. She actually considered coming to the Hanukkah celebration at the park, but it was a really hot day. Robert asks for prayer that she'll come again and be open to talk.

 
GOD’S WORD CHANGES SURVIVOR’S LIFE

Maxim organised a three-day meeting in Jerusalem with 12 Holocaust survivors from different parts of the country: Ofakim, Sderot, Hadera, and Haifa. "We noticed changes in many people and namely in their attitude towards God and their life in general," Maxim rejoiced. One couple told how they witnessed God's deeds in their lives. Ella told how her life was changed and how she started to pray to God during the whole day. The group gathered to contemplate the Word of God, on the topic of Purim – the story of the salvation of the Jewish people. One of the guests said that he wanted to believe in God. However, he had some kind of conflict in his heart. Please remember him, and the other Holocaust survivors, in your prayers.

 
YESHUA THE BEST MEDICINE

A Russian Israeli couple, Lana* and Jerry*, now living in Australia reconnected with a local GP who had helped take care of their sick daughter when she was a child. Dr Noel* has since ceased practising medicine and is now a full-time pastor. During the friendly visit the couple asked, "Why do you have such a strong love for Israel." Dr Noel responded, "My Saviour came from the Jewish people, and without him I'm nothing." Lana said that she felt a need to get back to the roots of her Jewish religion. Dr Noel replied boldly, "What you need is Yeshua!" Praise God that Lana agreed, "Yes, I do need Him." Please pray as we begin to minister lovingly to this precious Jewish family.

 
PHILLIP, MORRIS DRAW TOGETHER

New Jewish believer Morris* shared his testimony with young rabbi Phillip* at an Orthodox Jewish event. Since then they have become great friends despite their significant theological differences. Rabbi Phillip continues to invite Morris to shiurim (lessons) and social events, and dialogue about the identity of the Messiah, including watching debates by Messianic apologist Dr Michael L Brown. This kind of friendship between an Orthodox rabbi and a Messianic Jew is a promising sign of the times. Please pray that Rabbi Phillip will soon recognise Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah that the Orthodox community awaits. (*Names changed for privacy)

 
MOVED BY LOVE FOR ISRAEL

At a Jewish Community forum on the proposal to move the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Elly met an Israeli woman who is teaching Hebrew to a member of her Messianic congregation in Canberra. She asked if Elly was Jewish or Christian. Elly said she'd studied the Tanach (Old Testament), celebrated the feast days and loved Israel. Then the member of the congregation mentioned how she observed Shabbat along with around 30 others who loved Israel and the Jewish people. "Our congregant told her that we are Messianic and invited her to come and celebrate Shabbat with us," Elly shared with excitement. The Israeli woman is now very interested in attending a service and meeting so many who love Israel. Please pray that the Lord will continue to draw her to Himself.

 
ANCIENT RITE TO BLESS BIRTH

 Barry needed to collect a few things at his local Jewish kosher supermarket. Jeremy, the Orthodox shop owner has become a family friend over the past 7 years. Just before Barry left the shop, he felt the need to tell Jeremy that soon he was to become a grandfather. "His face lit up, and as he was walking with me to my car, for the first time in our friendship he asked would I share in a mitzvah (a religious good deed) and put on tefillin to bless the birth." Tefillin are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. They are worn by male observant Jews during weekday morning prayers. Barry accepted the invitation. "I knew then that God's mitzvah was not only to be presented on my forehead and my arm but He had placed His divine mitzvah upon my heart." Barry said that Jeremy was fully aware that he and his family were followers of Yeshua as Messiah.

 
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