Demonstrating the Kingdom of God in a “Conflict Zone”
We want to start by thanking those of you who have been praying for us, sowed into, or even joined us live for the ELAV conference. God desired to show his heart and demonstrate His kingdom in the midst of a very intense season of conflict.
The context of the kidnappings, riots, and tensions with Hamas just before Elav gave even more meaning to what we experienced at ELAV, July 5-7. Thankfully, the conference was not cancelled because of the situation, and about 600 Jewish messianic and 300 Arab and Palestinian believers gathered with us to worship, pray, weep, rejoice, and get to know people from the “other side”.
We began the conference with the Lord’s Supper. The prayers of blessing were led in Hebrew and Arab by local Jewish and Arab pastors. As hundreds of young people came for communion, we proclaimed that we would not allow the tensions of the past weeks to pull us apart, but would instead demonstrate that: “He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one, and has destroyed the barrier, the middle wall of hostility… and has made of the two One New Man, Jew and Gentile”.
The next day, we were led to have a time of “foot washing”, with Jews and Arabs washing each others’ feet. There were lots of tears, hugs, and prayers over one another. At the end of that time, one of our Jewish young adult leaders from Succat Hallel, Joel Jelski, proclaimed that “This is the Kingdom of God”. Click on the image at the top of this email to see the video highlight.
One new development this year was to have two seminar sessions, where Jewish, Arab, and Palestinian young adults could share with each other in small groups. There were moments of very honest questions and answers towards each other, and a real sense of deepening relationships.
-Please pray: That the young people who were deeply touched during these times will not lose what happened in the continuing tensions here, but will determine to be salt and light, and to continue to demonstrate the unity that is ours’ in the Kingdom of God.
Being prepared to stand strong in a “Persecution Zone”
We were blessed that our international guest speaker,Heidi Baker, of Mozambique, and a leader from the Indonesian youth movement, Elisa Poluakan, were able to share testimonies of overcoming in the face of persecution. They shared of the breakthroughs in their two nations where tens of thousands of Muslims have been coming to the Lord. The Lord is building faith in the young people here that great breakthrough can come in even the most difficult places. The messages shared by local leaders such as Eitan Shishkoff, Peter, Tsukahira, Khader Khoury, Itzak Mor-Haim, and Rick Ridings brought much encouragement, vision, and hope for the future. To watch all the video archives of the conference, click on the link above “go to video archives”.
Learning to “Dwell” in the “Heavenly Places”
Much time was spent in worship and prayer, both in the sessions where our guest international worship leader, Cory Asbury led into some times of true joy and worship, and in the majority of the sessions led by local worship teams in either Hebrew or Arabic.
In between the sessions, local worship teams also led in a demonstration of “house of prayer” type extended worship and prayer. The young people are developing a hunger for the Presence of the Lord, and learning how to press into and dwell in His Presence.