2014 Fall Festival Outreach Reports
We’ve been blessed by the Lord’s work during the Fall Festival season. In many places we’ve seen a great response to the Good News of Messiah, present through the Jewish New Year, Day of Atonement and the Feast of Booths. Some of you know I am working with many planters world-wide and I want to share a few abbreviated reports from three new ‘local’ Messianic congregation plants in Roanoke, VA, Monroe, NC, and Columbia, SC. They’re so new that they do not yet have weekly services, but are in the gathering phase of doing evangelism and discipleship in order to form a core group of about 10-15 discipled families. At these early stages we call them “fellowships” and not “congregations”.
Each one of these groups has a different planting formula: Roanoke is a traditional pioneer work, starting with no one, and reaching people one soul at a time. Monroe is a branching model, with several families leaving the Charlotte Messianic congregation to form a nucleus for outreach and discipleship in another local area. Columbia, SC, is a live-streaming model, where the group leader will be the onsite shepherd, but the message and worship service will be live-streamed into their meeting place; then the leadership will pray, conduct local evangelism, disciple new believers, follow up on visitors, conduct classes, etc. Roanoke has had their first full holiday outreach services; Monroe has had one service for outreach purposes, and Columbia is so new, they are just getting their toes wet. One thing I’m blessed to say, however, is that all of them are led by very godly and committed servants of the Lord.
Messianic congregation plant in Roanoke, VA, under the leadership of Tony and Michelle Mardian:
Our monthly gatherings average 40-50 people with new visitors each time. Over the past year we have added a children’s class utilizing a Messianic Jewish curriculum. Due to families with small children, we are now looking towards nursery care as well. This Fall, the servants’ team decided to conduct our own High Holy Day services rather than live-streaming with Hope of Israel Congregation in Charlotte, NC, as we did last year. This was a wonderful test on our current system and our Servants’ Team as they were challenged with what weekly services would be like. We were able to see areas of strength, as well as areas of weakness. Hope of Israel Roanoke had forty new visitors for Rosh Hashanah*, Yom Kippur*, and Sukkot*. This opened the door for Tony to hold the first of a series of informational meetings to share the vision, mission, and values of HOI with the many new visitors. We had eight new people attend this meeting and several expressed genuine interest in moving forward with us in the vision of Messianic congregational planting.
Those in the greater Roanoke, VA, area interested in becoming involved, contact Tony at www.hoiroanoke.com , call 540-632-0009, or find him on Facebook: Hope of Israel Roanoke Messianic Fellowship.
Messianic congregation plant in Monroe, NC, under the leadership of Devin and Traci Baucom:
This was a wonderful Fall Feast season. I found myself burdened to share the message of the Messiah found within the Feast Days with the newcomers at our Monroe congregation plant. One is a Jewish man, “J”, though born of Jewish parents, he was raised in a non-Jewish family. He lacks the traditional experiences that many Jewish people may take for granted. Another newcomer is a woman, “M”, whose grandmother was Jewish but her own parents raised her outside of traditional Judaism. What a splendid time we had exploring the Scriptures and the layers of holiday customs that point straight to Messiah Yeshua and His redemptive work.
For Sukkot* we were blessed at our outreach with more Jewish and non-Jewish visitors alike; we are following up on each of these seeking souls. I live outside the city and my sukkah (booth) was set up away from the house so it would be more visible. It became a conversation starter and a great jumping off point for sharing Messiah, His redemptive plan and His coming return. Yeshua said, “Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16); and that’s what we continue to do. I had a great opportunity this Yom Kippur* and Sukkot* season to share with and get to know another Jewish seeker, “R.” I look forward to what the Lord is going to do with his faith-obedience as he becomes a disciple of Messiah. I can’t wait to see what this month holds and I am equally anticipating the Spring Feast days as well. Blessings, Devin
If you are in the Monroe, NC, area and want to get involved, contact Devin thru Facebook at Hope of Israel Monroe or email him at email@example.com.
Messianic congregation plant in Columbia, SC, under the leadership Lew and Debe Wayburn:
Shalom, we have had wide open doors and a wonderful response to our early efforts here in Columbia, SC. Everyone is so encouraging and those I have spoken with are really excited to see a Messianic congregation getting planted here.
Since we’re just in the “Gathering Stage” by reaching out with the Good News of Messiah, we haven’t had as busy a fall festival season as I’m sure will be happening in the years to come. In fact, we recently held our first “Live Streaming” services. This first ‘service’ was wonderful! We met in an office building downtown, centrally located for folks. The worship service, message, and live-streaming went very well! We had a small Oneg (light refreshments) afterwards and we spent an hour discussing the message and various matters of the Lord.
We have begun discipling one man and there are several others to whom we are reaching out. We are making new friends along the way and praying for God to continue to work in the hearts of people in Columbia, and for Him to lead us to where He is doing that work, so we can join Him there. Please pray for continued growth and protection for our families here! We are experiencing some resistance from the adversary, which though expected, is still challenging nonetheless, yet victory in Messiah is assured!
Please remember these seedlings in prayer, that the Lord will use each of them to raise up the testimony of Messiah “to the Jew first and also to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16)
* Rosh Hashanah= Jewish New Year
Yom Kippur= Day of Atonement