My parents are Christian so I was born into a Christian home and grew up in Presbyterian Church with ‘conservative ‘ perspective.
But as I grew up I realized that I wans’t a Christian, I just attended church service as a family tradition.
When I was 17, I was about to commit suicide. I was in a subway station waiting for a train to come so I could jump in front of the running subway.
But just then my dad called me and he said, “Do you know why God created dust? Without dust we will die because of ozone. God created everything with their own purpose to exist even dust. Then, you must think about why God created you and said ‘it was very good’.”
Because of that call, I started to agree that God really existed and I had lived to find out the reason I created.
When I was 21, I went on a mission trip to Ghana, Africa where I helped to set up kindergarten curriculums for 4 months. During that time, everyday, at least once a day, someone came to me and said “Jihye, you are so adorable. You are so bright girl. God loves you so much”. The time in Africa slowly changed me to start loving others with His love.
I think that God sent me there to restore my self-esteem through people.
When I was 24 I went to Jerusalem to teach art to Ethiopian Jewish kids. I thought that I could do something for God. But through this trip God delivered me from spirit of suicide with which I’ve struggled so much since 15 years old. Even though I went on many mission trips, I couldn’t break through the spirit. But one day God healed me perfectly.
And that experience made my life fully turn to Jesus.
After God healed me, He gave me new identity in Him through new job.
Last year I went to the States and met an American woman in Iowa. She is a strong intercessor and prophetic painter. Having had a very conservative childhood I didn’t know much about the Holy Spirit. I told her that I had seen a tree in a vision and really wanted to draw it.
Then she and her team stood up and came to me and said, “We believe the Lord wants to give you a special gift so that you will flow in the Holy Spirit. As you pray you will see colors and movements to paint.”
The day after that, during the Sunday service, all of a sudden I saw something like big green waves filling up the sanctuary. And after that God keep showing me what to draw.
I know that God has given me a special gift, it’s like my painting is intercessory prayer. He has given me the gift of discernment about people groups, nations and issues so that I can pray and paint.
As I pray, He teaches me how to paint, what brush to use, and even what color to use.
I can`t draw without the Presence of God. And I am always praying for Bible references for the pictures. I believe that God says to the person who gets a picture through Words, and He will let them know how He loves them as He did to me.
Looking back I realized that for my whole life I totally misunderstood God. I never could believe that He had a good plan for me, that He loved me and wanted to have a relationship with me. Most of all I could believe that He would choose me among so many people in the world. I thought, “If God is good, why does He allow others to bully me? Why does He allow me to want to commit suicide? Why did He allow my close friends die?”
But I was wrong. He was always there, and waited for me such a long time to have relationship with me.
Now I know and believe He decided to love me before the world created and He will love me more than anyone forever and ever.
So I decided to follow His way for His glory, and help people to come closer to Jesus and bring them to Jesus Christ for King`s glory.
German - Retired
I am married, have three children and five grandchildren. I work at a kindergarten with the little ones (1-3 years). I found YHWH at the age of 16, but it was more than 30 years later that He turned my life upside down. While on my first visit to Israel 2008 that I saw how much non-biblical traditions had influenced what the world (and the Jewish people) know of Christianity. Somehow the purity and simplicity of Yeshua’s message got lost.
That led me on a search of His Word, from Genesis to Revelation.
I found myself turning to the “ancient paths”, not in my faith in the atonement of Yeshua, but in my expression of my faith.
Keeping a biblically kosher home and celebrating Yeshua through the feasts of the Lord has been a real blessing to me for a variety of reasons. Many of my friends and family do not understand and sometimes I feel very alone. I recognize that we all have different expressions of worship, but as long as we keep Yeshua central, we will find unity at the Cross.
From the very beginning of living with Him I felt a great love for Israel, and when I was there for the first time, I also felt in love with His land.
So I am glad to help people pray for His land and His people!
French Translator (Retired)
My Dream Came True
As a little girl I used to dream the same awful dream at night – a dream I still remember. In my dream I was on top of a very large hill. I was very afraid because I knew something was after me constantly, and I did not want it to get me. On this hill (it was very green and beautiful) there was a spiral path that I could see laid out ahead of me. The path was narrow – just enough for me to step on, and it led to the center of the hill where a gorgeous red flower – a kind I've never seen before – was blooming. I knew I had to get to it, but I could not cross over on the grass, and it seemed that the faster I ran from what was chasing me, the farther away from the flower I got. Because of this dream I often thought about God's existence (even though I was specifically told He was a matter of fiction) and how I would like to know Him if He was actually real.
I was born in Siberia, and grew up in Lithuania when it was still a Republic of the USSR. When in 1989 Jews were again allowed to escape the communist regime by immigrating to Israel, my parents quickly jumped at the opportunity and in August of 1990 we arrived in Israel.
Apart from the heat, the language barrier, the incredible culture shock and the fact that I had just left everything I knew and came to a place where, supposedly, my family belonged all along, as a twelve-and-a-half-year-old girl I had to face the pressure of teenage life in a country which (it seemed) had no rules, barriers or limitations.
SEEING A BIBLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE
After learning Hebrew fairly quickly, I was put in a regular Israeli class, where I studied Tanach – The Old Testament – among other things.
For the first time I read the incredible stories and learned about the amazing miracles God performed for Israel thousands of years ago. The Hebrew language of the Tanach was very hard for me to understand, however I did receive a wonderful gift from the state of Israel – the entire Tanach in Hebrew with the Russian alongside. That made things much easier, but, unfortunately, while we learned about the stories, no one spoke about God Himself.
It actually took a tragedy for me to realize the power of God existed today just as much as back in the days of the Bible.
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery one day when I was at school. She then continued radiation treatments which left her faint, sick and tired almost all the time.
LOOKING FOR A HEALER
Through a relative we found out about a woman who called herself a "healer" and we went to see her. The woman said she was a Christian, and that she was cleansing and healing people through prayer, setting them free from the oppressing spirits.
She covered us with a white sheet while she waved candles around in the air and whispered some prayers.
We let her perform "healing" ceremonies on us multiple times. My mom still wasn't getting better. Finally, the woman said that since nothing else was working, she would pray for her in the name of Jesus – since that always worked in the harder cases.
Lo and behold, my mom started getting better immediately! Whoever this lady was, and whatever was in her chants, God in His mercy touched my mom. So we gladly started believing in Jesus.
Of course, we had heard about Jesus before – even in Russia, but since communism hated religion and faith in God, we didn't even think about these things. We also knew what was done to our Jewish people for centuries in the name of Jesus, so believing in Him always seemed taboo. But now that my mother was healed, and since we weren't in Russia anymore, we had no problem!
A CHURCH IN NAZARETH
We somehow heard about a Russian Orthodox Church in Nazareth, and looking for a community that believed in Jesus, we started going there once a month on Saturdays. As a 17-year-old, I was much more interested in boys than in listening to boring (though beautiful) chantings of a priest. I also did not want to tell him all my sins to obtain forgiveness, so I would always confess lying and get it over with.
After a few months I was baptized in water and learned a few prayers I could recite on cue. I had no idea what I was baptized for, or why I should say prayers written centuries ago, but I did what I thought I was supposed to do. Though I sincerely desired to know God, no one told me how to do it (or that I could do it!), and I thought a relationship with Him through a priest was the best I could hope for.
Within a few months I almost completely lost interest in my dead religion.
I graduated from high school and was getting ready to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). After my 18th birthday I started having doubts about believing in Jesus. Besides, my mother and I didn't know any other Jews who believed in Him, and my reasoning was a Jew cannot believe in Jesus and remain a Jew.
I was afraid to talk about my beliefs because I didn't want my friends to think I was crazy for believing in God. Also, my lifestyle by that time was not reflecting that of the only example I knew of people who believed in God – the ultra-Orthodox – and I was ashamed to admit that I believed in His existence.
I was brewing in this conflict for a few weeks, and then, one day, I decided that I no longer wished to battle myself on this issue. So, as funny (and horrible) as this now sounds, I decided to give God an ultimatum.
I GAVE GOD A SEVEN-DAY DEADLINE
"God," I said, "If this Jesus thing is real… if He's really your Son… then within seven days you will show me other Jews who believe in Him. Otherwise, I'm just going to go back to being a normal Jew and have nothing more to do with Jesus. You can just forget about me!"
Naturally, I would never dream about doing the same thing today, but at eighteen, after over five years in Israel, I acquired enough of the Israeli hutzpah to do it. I wanted answers from God and this was the only way I could think of getting them.
I started counting the days. One… two… five days passed and nothing happened. But on the sixth day my mother came home with the biggest and best news I'd ever heard.
She said she had a customer that day who started talking to her about God and His Son, and who was really surprised to know that my mother believed in Jesus. Only she called Him Yeshua, saying it was His Hebrew name. Mother also said the woman invited us to her house on Saturday (Shabbat) where they had a congregation with other Jews who believed in Yeshua.
I was excited. And then I thought to myself, "If God cared enough to do this for me, He's so much better than I have ever imagined!"
I FOUND A HOME
Not coincidentally my mother’s client was a pastor at a local congregation! The next morning we visited and met dozens of other Jewish believers in Yeshua.
My parents tell me that I started singing when I was three. I personally don't remember a time when I did not sing. So, when the music started on that Saturday morning, my heart was instantly drawn to God and all I could do was cry. Though I didn't realize it back then, the Holy Spirit was moving upon me and I heard Him speak to me for the first time.
This was something I had never experienced before, and looking at the smiling faces of people around me I knew I was at home, where I belonged. I accepted Yeshua and invited Him into my heart that same day. This was also the day I stopped having my dream, even though I continue thinking about it until this day.
My transformation wasn't immediate. In 1996 there were not many believers (especially my age) in Israel, and the fact that I joined the IDF soon after we came to the congregation didn't contribute to my maturing as a believer either.
COLLEGE DAYS WERE SPIRITUALLY DARK
After the army came college and though for the first two years I maintained a good relationship with the Lord, my third and fourth years were harder, and I found myself with one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the kingdom of darkness.
Because I lived on campus, I had little contact with believers from my congregation at home. I didn't know of other believers who attended the same university. I stopped reading my Bible. The only time I worshipped was when I would go home every other weekend and go to the congregation where I sang on the worship team. I did still pray every night, because I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I had no weapons to fight my sin.
I surrounded myself with friends who didn't know God and had no desire to know God.
At night, especially after going to the congregation, I would lay in my bed crying and asking the Lord to help me overcome this backslidden state. I was thirsting for God, but I'd given up the fight with the enemy. I felt that the ground underneath me was splitting and time was running out for me to make a decision which way I wanted to go – to God or to the world.
After college I moved back home. Within a month I finally realized what I was doing, and this time I cried out to the Lord one more time, asking for His intervention and surrendering my life and my desires to Him. I repented of my sin, and asked His forgiveness.
I also asked Him to remove me from Israel for a time, because I knew that if I stayed, people who I called friends back then would continue bringing me down and my chances of surviving as a believer would be close to zero.
OFF TO THE UNITED STATES
Not even two weeks passed from the time I made my request, and the pastors asked whether I would like to go and study the Bible and worship in the US. I didn't need to think about the answer. I knew my love for the Lord was real, and there was nothing more I wanted than to please Him, know Him and dedicate my life to Him.
In August of 2003 I started the fall semester at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. My life has not been the same since then. For practically the first time in my life I had literally hundreds of peers who knew the Lord. I was taught each day how to maintain a relationship with Him. I studied the Word of God and I was getting to know my Savior personally at last.
During and after school, for three years I lead worship at a local Messianic Congregation and at the end of 2005 I began working for a Messianic ministry with offices around the world.
I am still working with that ministry as well as translating for Lunchtime Prayer for Israel.
I'm so grateful for the opportunities the Lord is opening to me to bless Israel using my talents. Though my first passion is still worship, my second passion is doing what I do for the Kingdom; I'm not sure that too many people get to live their lives doing two things they are most passionate about on a daily basis.
Fifteen months ago I received another blessing from the Lord. I became a mother to a beautiful daughter. When I look at my children and think back to where I came from, I can't help but praise God for His faithfulness, mercy and love.
INTERPRETATION OF MY DREAM
Just recently, as I was preparing to write this testimony, I believe the Lord finally let me understand the interpretation of my childhood dream. The red flower, of course, was Yeshua, whose blood paid the price for my atonement and salvation. What was chasing me was, of course, Satan – who was lurking around like the roaring lion seeking to devour me. The path I was on (and still am on) is the life God gave me, and the reason I could not cross on the grass was because everything on the path of our lives is carefully planned by Him, and every step is ordered and ordained by Him.
I'm thankful that He softened my heart so that I could hear His call and choose to follow Him. I pray and believe that His promise that all Israel shall be saved is closer to fulfillment than ever. And I'm looking forward to the day when all Israel shall say, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!"
I do not have an easy life. I've had days I would like to forget but which are still very vivid in my mind. But it is through these experiences that my faith in God grew and so did my love for Him. If I started to believe in Yeshua because He healed my mother, today I believe in Him and love Him because of what He took me out of. I would not change anything on my way because everything that happened made me the woman I am today.
The Whole Family is Involved My name is Sergio, I am the husband of Ana Paula and parents of Paul Melquiades*. We are senior pastors of the Ministry House of Prayer in Pelotas, Brazil.
Our family and church have a deep love for Israel and know that the Lord has showered his blessings to all peoples through Israel.
We love Jesus and those who do His Work.
Hugs! Family Guimarães
Portuguese Translation (Retired)
Hi, I’m Iana, I’m from Brazil.
I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior at age 15, in 2003 when I was depressed because of my parents’ divorce. They were separated since 1996, peacefully; but to make it official all the peace was gone. There was a point I constantly thought of committing suicide, I could not see the point of life anymore. Living with my father, we moved to a neighbor city and I started High School there.
In this new school, a classmate invited me for dinner at her friend’s with a group; I didn’t know it was a Christian group. The following week she invited me again for the group and she explained to me it was a Bible study group that sometimes had dinner together. At the end of the Bible study she shared the GOOD NEWS with me and I hesitated: how could such a weak person follow Jesus Christ? After hesitating, I said: “I want to follow Him, but I don’t know if I am capable of it.” She gave me a wide smile and said: “What matters is that you want it, let’s pray.”
After praying I didn’t feel anything special but when I arrived home that evening I felt something I had never felt before – I felt my heart fulfilled as if it were empty before. I laid on my bed and I stared the ceiling for about 20 minutes trying to figure out what was happening with no TV neither radio on. It was a marvelous feeling!
My dark thoughts vanished and I found myself seeking sermons on TV. I felt the desire to know the Bible, God gave a meaning to my life and reasons to smile. I got involved with church and I have been on this journey with Jesus. I am so thankful God takes care of me 24/7; I am happy nothing can separate me from HIS LOVE.
I’m into languages and I love doing translations. I’ve worked as an interpreter before for American missionaries in short-term mission trips in North Brazil several times and now I work as a full-time teacher in South Brazil. Sometimes my path seems confusing, but I trust the Lord is putting the pieces of the puzzle together and I am sure in His time a picture will be revealed.
Joanie and I were introduced by a dear friend via e-mail, it’s been a joy serving with this Ministry. I love being useful for God’s work!
Trusting the Lord
I grew up in small family, a single mom and two sisters in Korea. My dad died when I was 7 Years old. Sadly, I don’t have a happy memory with my dad except that he was in the bed because of his illness, or of my mom. I think my childhood was a kind of gloomy and lonely in a way under the circumstances. But I was happy in the Sunday school of the church. I enjoyed all kinds of activity such as singing in Choir, playing on Christmas Day, dancing in Worship service and even I loved the time of the bible quizzes and memorizing bible verses. As long as I remember, I was church girl that always stayed in the church. It molded me into good shape. Thank God!.
As I grew I struggled in the relationship with my mother. I didn’t like her, nor respected her. I knew what the Bible said but I could not do what it said. My conscience was bothered me but I couldn’t love her. Because of the guilty feeling, I stopped going church when I was in college and expected that I’d be happier with new freedom.
But I was not happy at all. It was worse. An inexpressible emptiness and confusion overwhelmed me. That empty feeling ruined my college life. I had neither desire nor passion for my life. Everything looked like worthless but a thought of deep down in my heart kept saying “You need to fight these feelings; don’t give up!” I looked for anything to hold. I started to learn Japanese. I think that’s what held me and kept me going.
But I was continually fighting that overwhelming empty feeling even as I worked as a tour guide and interpreter for Japanese tourists after graduated University. I kept asking but never found the answers to my questions, “Why do I live? What do I live for?” Gradually I got sick and finally had to quit the job.
My mother suggested that I visit my older sister who’s living in USA.
The first Sunday after I arrived in the USA, I went to the church where my sister and her family attended. I experienced a great relaxation and a peace that I’d never experienced before. I felt like I’d returned home from a long journey. One female group leader of the church invited me to the Bible study. Finally I found the answer – Jesus was the answer to all my questions. I promised myself that I’d never leave church and His fellowship again. Since then I’ve never had the empty feeling any longer.
Now I began to wonder what His plan was for my life.
Seven years later I met my husband. I had been praying if it was the time for me to go back to Korea, or to stay in USA. Or if I wanted to be married.
My husband-to-be came to the university from Japan to begin a PhD course. I met him on his first day at the university while I was visiting a friend who was in the same department! I saw my husband in the office with my friend. Three years later we married.
A man’s steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:24 NKJV)
My husband became a Christian tree years earlier than our marriage through a student next door of his dormitory. So when we married, my husband was deepened in the Bible. We served Japanese American United Church in NY.
We’re fully committed to the church. I joined the Sunday school and my husband led the Bible study in small group. It became to “man to man care”. Many Japanese young fellows became Christians through this care.
When I taught Sunday school, I found in myself that I love children and happy with them. Although I wanted my own baby for many years, we could not have our own child.
I had no chance to express to my husband that how desperately I want to have a baby. Because he was so busy for both of the school and the church, I decided to pour it out to the Lord God instead. My prayer started with reading 1John, a chapter by a chapter everyday. When I red the 1John 5:14-15,
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him”.
I bursted into tears for an hour and next day also emotional crying on same verses. When I started the prayer, I was afraid I might lose faith on the issue but He searched my concernment. He gave me perfect answer for my prayer.
I stopped praying for having a baby with peace of mind and trust in His plan whatever He has.
Our steps are of The Lord indeed!. How then can we understand our own way?
Unexpectedly my husband’s PhD dissertation took 10 years. In those 10 years, he spent most of his time for teaching bible and counseling people who were in serious trouble such as suicidal, drug involved, having a fair, etc. The Holy Spirit touched them and they accepted the Gospel and baptized.
One of them is now serving as a manga missionary to spread the Gospel through cartoons.
When he got the PhD, It was 2009, the United States confronted increasing unemployment. It seemed hard time to him for being an employed in America.
We started praying every morning in the church near by our flat.
Even though our goal was getting a job, unwillingly we prayed for different thing. We prayed separately, but each of us prayed for the Holy Spirit. We experienced the presence of God and received a private prayer language.
Our prayer continued to next year for an year and a half and then found ourselves on our way to India! During the prayer of every morning, The Spirit of God healed each of us, our brokenness, low self-esteem, with His love.
I mentioned above about my gloomy childhood, so was my husband’s life. We both were broken. Our father God had cared about us and when we’re in middle age, we met real father, our Heavenly Father.
We worked in the University in India for a year and nine months. The University is located suburban of New Delhi. My husband was teaching civil engineering and eight-month later I was hired for Chinese students as a esl teacher. We thought we going to live in India in rest of our lives.
Surprisingly one day we had to leave India and return to Japan without job. We were welcomed by Kelly, who was saved in New York and had dedicated her talent for spreading the Gospel into the world since then.
We have stayed with Kelly and her family. We were 24/7 with her, listening to her, praying with her, and gradually involved her ministry for a year, and have seen wonderful works of the Lord God.
At the same time, the Holy Spirit has worked for the staffs of Kelly’s ministry and for the church members including church leaders of Kelly’s local church that we’re attending as well.
They are healed and find their gifts, they also aware of working of the Spirit and praise the Lord.
The two pastors ( father & son ) of the church now admit that work of the Spirit for their church and believe God sent us for the church. The pastors have started teaching about The Holy Spirit to congregations in his sermon. ( They’re careful when they “Holy Spirit” out in public considering the atmosphere of the society. )
The pastor’s wife who had been diagnosed of “interpersonal phobia” several years ago. Through my husband’s counseling by the Spirit, she repented. She’s recovered completely and happy to work for the church.
We knew nothing but our steps were of The Lord.
We travelled to Japan without understanding our own way just trusting God’s leading. Its going to be more than a year without occupation, no income to live, but our father God gracefully provided us our daily bread and place to sleep through beloved people.
As yet, there is no job opening to my husband so far, he desperately sending his résumé over the world.
Of course it’s joyful to see the restoration among the people and we are grateful for being His instrument. But we have a question to The Lord, ‘until when…’
From Refugee to Daughter of the King.
I was born in post-WWII Germany in 1947 in a refugee camp to Holocaust surviving parents who were born in Poland. All my mother’s family were murdered by the Nazis, and all, except one brother who immigrated to Palestine before the war, were also killed in the Holocaust. After the war, homeless and without possessions, the Jewish Agency took them (separately, they didn’t know each other then) along with other displaced Jewish refugees to a refugee camp in Germany. My parents got married in the camp and there I was born in 1947.
Given a choice between going to America or Israel, that was soon to become a state, my parents chose to live in the Land of the Jews – no more persecution, no more wondering from place to place, no more holocaust – that was the refugees’ hope.
We were loaded up on one of those old boats filled with numerous other refugees, waiting at the Haifa port to be allowed entry into Israel. In May 1948, Israel gained her independence and we were allowed to make “Aliya” (immigrating to Israel).
We were given an Arab deserted house at an Arab ghost town near Lod called Ramla. Even with the hardships and daily survival battle of living in a new land, It was interesting growing up with the State of Israel.
I was a very outgoing, talented little girl, and excelled in almost everything; reading, drawing, dancing and singing. I wanted to be a ballerina at the age of 5, but didn’t get much encouragement from my parents, because we were a very poor family of six. One night (I was 8) we moved to the poor area of South Tel-Aviv without preparing us, kids for the move. I became despondent in the new place, often gazing at the window of the classroom – it took me a long time to adjust, I was no longer the center of attention and became very introverted and shy.
I liked to learn in school, especially reading and languish. I loved the Bible stories as literature and distant history of the nation I belonged to. However, I decided that the God of the Bible they believed in did not really exist.
However, I admired my forefathers’ wisdom and courage. I thought that the Jewish religion was the best, most decent and fair of all religions. Growing up in a poor family forced me to go to work right after elementary school, but because I wanted education I went to evening high school with the ambition to became a writer or journalist, but gave up that “dream” after two years of study, and settled for a career of Architectural drafting, after finishing a short course in technical school. I loved reading American novels, I imagined myself living there in luxury, so when my boyfriend invited me to come to America, I jumped on the first plane (my first time at the age of 19) and arrived in Los Angeles, California – I thought was “the Promised Land.”
I did not live happily ever after. I wasn’t happy, not in America, not in my marriage and not with myself. Actually, being happy became the primary goal in my life. I had everything, a big beautiful house with a swimming pool, a live-in maid to clean and help take care of our two little sweet children, money to buy whatever I wanted, an active social life, a Cadillac and trips to exotic places around the world, a dream life for anyone, but I wasn’t happy. I didn’t value myself and was dependent on people to validate me and my abilities. I turned to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with hunger and burning desire to know Him – I had to know if He existed – I had to know if He is the true God. I was seeking Him with all my heart, and did not let go until He showed me through a series of events that He was real. I knew they were not mere coincidental acts; God of the Bible is the true and living God.
I had many questions, and talked to Rabbis and experts in Judaism to find answers. They didn’t satisfy me, and deep inside I still felt the nagging push to find happiness – something was missing at the center of my being and I didn’t know what it was. Even though I had revelation of Him, I did not feel right with God.
Reading the Hebrew Bible was very difficult because of the biblical Hebrew language, and I often found myself frustrated, not understanding, especially the Prophets. Until one day I picked up an English Gideons Bible from a hotel room and took it home. My initial desire was to read an easier version to try to understand the Tanach better, but to my surprise there were more writings at the end of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John…I knew instinctively that they were the New Testament books. I had never read them because I was taught they were the Christian books of the Gentiles, and that they were anti-Semitic. That Yeshu (I never knew His real name – Yeshua, which means Salvation), But when I started reading the first book – Matthew, from the very first few verses I was fascinated and surprised to find out how Jewish and Israeli it was. His genealogy – from the house of David, His parents – devoted Jews who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, kept the Law of Mosses and celebrated all the Jewish holidays. Most of all, I was impressed with the character of Yeshua (Jesus), He wasn’t at all like I was thought. I sensed as if He spoke directly to me, and felt His love and acceptance. His honesty won my heart – He was strong yet gentle, loving and wise. But I couldn’t agree that He was the Son of God. Was He the long awaited Messiah of Israel or the “God of the Gentiles”?
The more I studied about Yeshua and the way to salvation, God was pulling my heart and also showing me I was a sinner, and that only thru His atonement in Yeshua I can become right with Him. – I started seeing myself the way God saw me – a sinner. All my “goodness and righteousness” were like “filthy rags in His sight” (Isaiah 64: 6). I saw everything I did to others from God’s perspective, that I was not as good as I thought I was. With this, I felt His great love and mercy; I wanted so much to be pleasing in His sight.
Believers in Yeshua started to come into my life and affirm what God was already showing me, and from hearing radio and television Christian programs I knew in my heart that Yeshua was the Messiah and savior of Israel and the world.
A few times I found myself on my knees, confessing my sins and asking Yeshua into my heart and save me. But the next day I would sink into despair and fear: “What have I done, I was probably hypnotized into becoming a Christian!” I spent many hours crying out to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, my God, to show me once and for all if Yeshua was truly the Jewish Messiah, His son – I will believe only Him and not any man. One day, while I was lamenting about it, I felt of sudden as sense of peace in my soul, quiet in my mind – all my thoughts and feeling came to a halt. A still small inner voice said: “Get up and open the Bible and where you open it you will have the answer.” I knew God was directing me and in much excitement and expectation I got up and opened the Bible with my eyes closed, and when I opened them they fell on His words from Isaiah 53: 5, 6, 8 … “He was wounded for our transgressions and was bruised for our sins…We all like sheep have gone astray each one to his own way, yet God laid on Him the iniquity of us all…stricken for the transgression of my people, says the Lord…”
At that momentI knew for sure that Yeshua died as a sacrifice from God, not just for me but also for God’s people Israel, my people. I knew for sure that Yeshua was my savior, and that I got the answer directly from my God. All doubts vanished, and I was able to feel Yeshua’s love enveloping me, reassuring me, and accepting me.
That was in 1984. Many years past, my life changed because I have changed from the inside. My faith life grew and developed. I have been through a lot, there were many ups and downs, there were difficulties and downfalls, and there were victories and achievements in my faith life and my earthly life. Yet through it all, I never doubted Yeshua’s love, He has filled me with His Spirit and given me peace and joy that are incomprehensible.
“In the world you’ll have tribulations” Yeshua said in the book of Yohanan (John) 16: 33, “but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world”. Yes, through faith in Yeshua I can truly say that I am happy, independent of circumstances or human beings.
Through Yeshua I grew in knowledge of God, I have turned away from my old sinful life, have repented and given Him my heart and life and in turn He has changed me in monumental ways.
In 1996 I returned to Israel and have been living in the Land ever since. Today I am experiencing God’s many blessings; a beautiful home full of love, peace, joy and happiness. God has blessed me with a Godly husband who loves Yeshua and loves me with a Godly love. All my needs are met and I lack no good thing. Above all, I have right standing relationship with my God, My Lord and Savior – I truly can say that I have never been happier in my life.
I Thank God everyday for His mercies and goodness. I pray that all of Israel will come to know and accept His Messiah Yeshua and experience His great blessings.
Leslie – Chinese Team
My grandma and my aunt were Christians when I was young. At that time, I would follow them to the church and read the Bible as a storybook, sometimes I even taught some elderly people to sing praise the Lord.
But after they both passed away during my junior high school, I didn’t have anyone to lead me in life with Jesus Christ. So I didn’t go to the church or read the Bible after that.
But God will not leave his little sheep outside of the sheepfold.
During my sophomore year in college, I was the vice-chairman of the English Drama Association of SWUFE; I wanted to invite some foreign friends to attend our activity. Brendan was the only foreign student and he was in my financial management class. A teammate gave me his phone number so I texted him if he had time for our activity.
He said he had one fellowship to attend that day so he couldn’t help. He told me it was a Christian meeting, so remembering my good experiences as a child, I decided to attend. So that Friday night I came to the fellowship “womendejia (our family)” with him!
That night was amazing. As soon as I went into that room, I was overwhelmed by a strong touch in my heart. And when we sang songs, I kept crying quietly without knowing why. And what’s more, when they were sharing their ideas about the verses of the Bible, I started to raise my hand time after time just because I couldn’t hold back my emotion to say it loud. And after all that, the sisters and brothers in our fellowship prayed for me to decide to follow Jesus. Then I burst into tears feeling that I had finally come home!
But the next year, in my third year I was confused and frustrated and even wanted to drift from our fellowship. Actually I hadn’t attended our fellowship for almost a month at that time. I thought maybe I would be an unbeliever again.
But once again God sent someone into my path. I met Mirco, a German exchange student. The Holy Spirit sent him right to me; he saw all the blessings around me. After that night, I was surprised that Mirco wanted to continue to chat about the Lord Jesus. Since then, I’ve had lots of help from him, as we’ve talked about my family, my reason to believe and why I felt confused and helpless. The timing was perfect. Mirco dragged me back from the edges of falling off the cliff. I believe there isn’t any coincidence when I met Mirco after Brendan. My dear Lord kept trying to take me home.
Sometimes it’s hard not to feel that I don’t deserve to be loved the way God loves me because I’m just a “normal person.” And yet God’s love is not “normal. ” I know that I am loved with the Father’s deep and unconditional love in Jesus.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
I became a Christian in March 2009 as Jesus showed me the power of the supernatural world.
Before I was involved in every type of esoteric stuff (reiki, channeling,…).
I wasn’t sure if Jesus actually lived and certainly denied His deity. I ignored His claim: “I am the only way to the Father. Only through me you can come to God.” This phrase was against everything in what a esoteric, spiritually open person believes.
This group believes that there is an universal source that creates everything that exists. Everything is energy and god is that energy. Everything comes from that energy and everything goes back to it. But it is an unknown energy with no personal attitude and all religions are good and will lead to this energy (god).
That night in March 2009 I learned the truth. The Lord said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8.)
I really wanted to know the truth although I had created such a big picture of my own world view, I was sure that Jesus was not the answer. But that night I learned the truth.
I didn’t know that earlier that day, my Christian friend prayed that this night would be a night of revelation and decision; that all evil powers would be revealed.
That evening we went to a musical about Jesus and his life. But this program showed a different aspect of Jesus’ life – His power over the spiritual world. Actors who played demons went around the audience and whispered in the ears of people speaking lies. They were reminding people what happened to Judas as the demons whispered, “aaahhh yes, take the money, betray Him, tayke the money….”
I was really impressed that Christians knew about angels and demons. Of course I thought that the Christians didn’t understand the whole truth about the spiritual world.
The esoteric believer believes he has power over the spiritual realm of angels and demons.
I was wrong.
Once we got home after that musical, the guys asked me, “So Mirco, tell us to which god do you pray, because it cannot be to our God. We pray to Jesus but you do not.
They knew that I prayed to the “universal source…some unknown energy.”
I tried to answer them, but every time I wanted to say, “Come on guys, it’s all the same,” I was unable to speak.
It was like someone or something was holding my throat to avoid prevent me from speaking. I moved my lips and wanted to speak but nothing came out.
For the next 5-6 hours my friends helped me get free by proclaiming the mighty name of Jesus and by worshiping Him.
I recognized that Jesus is sovereign and has all authority over angels, demons and all supernatural and natural powers. The Bible and all the testimonies about Jesus are true.
It was a hard battle, but I surrendered my life to Jesus and went under his protection. Since then my life has so dramatically changed that I thank God for every day and for every blessing.
Lunchtime Prayer for Israel was started two years ago as a result of a weekly prayer meeting with several American friends. I made the comment, “America will never change until America changes its attitude towards Israel.”
One of the women asked, “How do we pray for Israel?” Her question surprised me as she always and only prays Scripture. “Pray just the way you always pray, pray the Word. Pray God’s promises to Israel.”
“What promises?” she asked in frustration.
That’s when I realized that if she didn’t know God’s promises to Israel, neither would many other Bible believing Christians. For the next few days I used Facebook to offer daily prayers for Israel using God’s promises. There was such a great response, we developed the website you are now on.
Lunchtime Prayer for Israel goes to countries I’ve never visited but I’m so grateful to God for each one of our prayer partners. Truly the word of the Lord is going forth from Jerusalem!
So you want to know a little about me?
I grew up in New Jersey in a Jewish home. While my family wasn’t “religious”, my parents considered themselves very Jewish. My dad was an atheist and mom an agnostic, but like my maternal grandmother, I knew God existed. I just didn’t know what I actually believed about Him.
In the last years of high school, I was very involved in a national Jewish youth group. There was a bit of spirituality but mostly it was about the boys. Then during my university years I began to attend various churches, but again more for social rather than for spiritual reasons. Finally I decided to get serious about being and living as a religious Jew.
“I learned to keep a kosher home (maintaining four sets of dishes) and studied the Jewish holidays.
But by the time I was 40 my life was a mess: a failed marriage, broken relationships, and various career changes. “I knew it was the bottom when I entered a hospital’s Mental Health Ward.” While there rage gave way to the pain I’d been stuffing for years.
One day as I was walking around the hospital I looked at the hills and remembered Psalm 121:
‘I lift up my eyes unto the hills, from where comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.’
‘He that keeps Israel never slumbers or sleeps’
I shook my fist at God and challenged, “Well, I’m Israel, and I’m here….where are You?”
Of course God was there and heard me. I imagine Him rolling up His sleeves and smiling, “It’s about time!”
Within a year He sent a messenger, dressed in a three-piece business suit to tell me about Jesus. When I saw a reenactment of the crucifixion and heard the words of Isaiah 53, I was astounded. All I could think, “That Jesus, not the one I saw hanging on a cross, but THAT Jesus was rejected, abandoned and betrayed. He understands. And He did all that for me!”
I was overwhelmed. Suddenly the Jewish holidays of Passover and Yom Kippur made sense. Jesus was the fulfillment of everything Jewish.
On April 20, 1986, two days before my 40th birthday I gave my heart, future, my life to Jesus. Three months later I was baptized and four years later graduated from Western Seminary with a MA in Biblical counseling. Admittedly I wasn’t and am not a very good counselor…my response to people’s issues is, “Just turn to Jesus!”
I haven’t been able to keep quiet since. I’ve been to 20 countries and still traveling telling people of God’s holiness and love available by faith in Jesus.
“Both the Jewish people and the Church need to see Jesus from the perspective of the Old Testament, especially through the feasts and celebrations of the Lord. We tend to forget that Jesus came to and through the Jewish people.”
“As a believer and as a Jew, God’s call upon me is clear: fill the earth with the knowledge of His glory – Jesus the Messiah.”
I love proclaiming the Gospel in many forms especially visiting churches to facilitate a Passover celebration. When I have the time I’ve written some books on the feasts of the Lord:
Celebrate Jesus! The Christian Perspective of the Feasts of the Lord
Celebrate God’s Love: Christmas/Hanukkah, Fact and Fiction