A Year of Blessing
As we move into 2016, we want to stop and say thank you to all who have prayed for us this past year! This has been a wonderful year filled with blessings and open doors from the Lord, and we are thankful for how He has brought the increase as we have brought the Good News “to the Jew first and equally to the Gentile.”
We have much to praise God for as we look back on 2015:
Last February, we traveled to Israel in order to conduct leadership training seminars, assist Messianic congregations, and minister to the congregation planters and leaders who are faithfully serving the Lord in the Land. As many are coming to faith in Israel, we are thrilled for the opportunities God has given us to train existing leaders and help raise up new ones so that more Israelis will be reached with the Good News through the testimony of local Messianic congregations who are proclaiming God’s faithfulness.
The Hebrew translation of our Messianic Discipleship book continues to be used by congregations throughout Israel. Recently, we received this encouraging note from one of these congregations: “Shalom Sam, I go to Kerem El congregation in Haifa, and we’re using your great discipleship material to help follow up with new believers here.” Praise God for this congregation and for many more like them who are taking the time to help new believers become rooted and grounded in their Messianic faith through discipleship.
Opportunities for ministry this year have been both global and local.
Each year, we have the opportunity to share the Good News with hundreds of people through outreaches for each of the Feasts of the Bible, from Passover through the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as outreaches for other special days such as Purim, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Hanukkah. We praise the Lord for the many Jewish and non-Jewish people who have given their life to Yeshua as a result of these outreaches. We are currently following up with discipleship for several of these new believers, and are excited to see them grow to be great men and women of God as they put God’s Word into practice in their lives.
This year we have also seen growth at the congregation plants with whom we are working. In the past couple months, two of our congregations, Hope of Israel Monroe, NC, and Roanoke, VA, have transitioned from meeting monthly to weekly as they continue to grow and reach out to their communities. We continue to assist multiple other Messianic congregations around the country and have traveled to visit a couple of them this year in order to help train leaders and give guidance in addressing issues which arise.
As we have been invited to speak at churches nearly every weekend, we have shared God’s burden for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and have been blessed to see both pastors and individuals take this burden on as their own. Through our training seminars, local believers have been equipped to share Messiah with their Jewish friends and neighbors.
We have also had several opportunities to conduct various training conferences around the country. Messianic leaders were equipped at our “Establishing Healthy Messianic Congregations” conferences, which were held in Tampa, FL, last January, and in San Antonio, TX, in October. Also in October, Miriam encouraged women in our calling to abide in Messiah through her invitation to speak at Beth Messiah Congregation’s sisterhood conference in Columbus, OH. Along with our annual Messianic men’s and women’s conferences, each of these opportunities were occasions for great rejoicing as men and women are stepping up to God’s calling on their lives to serve as leaders, whether in their homes or congregations.
As we praise God for these victories, please continue to pray for us as we move forward into 2016, anticipating the opportunities God is giving us to serve Him here and around the world.
Back to Israel
We are anticipating our upcoming trip to Israel where we will be leading conferences for Messianic planters and leaders across the country. Please pray that the details will come together for this trip and that God will use us to encourage and equip believers there as well as share the Good News as He opens up opportunities.
Ministry in England
This coming fall, we also have been invited to travel to England where we will be conducting leadership training for the growing Messianic community there.
At the end of this month, from January 23-25, we will be in Phoenix, AZ, leading another “Growing Healthy Messianic Congregations” conference for planters and leaders from several congregations in the Southwest. Please pray for other conferences that are in the works for this year as we seek to address the needs of Messianic planters and leaders in various regions of the country.
Thank you for praying for our continuing book projects as we work to get more evangelism, leadership, and discipleship materials out to Messianic believers around the world. It is our goal that, Lord willing, an updated version of “Establishing Healthy Messianic Congregations” will be published this winter, along with two more new books, “Messianic Marriage Matters,” and “The Israel Factor” arriving in the coming months.
Translation of our materials continues to move forward through the Russian and Amharic translation of Messianic Discipleship, as well as a Spanish translation in the works.
Again, we cannot thank you enough for your continued prayers and support. Each prayer is of eternal value as we stand together in reaching out as the hands and feet of Messiah to Israel and the nations.