It is so good to have such loyal friends and supporters. We count it a privilege to provide you with these monthly updates on our lives and ministry work.
First of all, thank you so very much for your prayers for Patty. She has made great progress in overcoming the issues with her back. The recovery from surgery is going well. She is better now than she has been for over three years. Indeed, she even made a strawberry and rhubarb pie. It has been too hard for her to cook, but now she is able to do more and more. We can even travel and sit through meetings without her reclining chair!
Patty and I continue our work of mentoring future young leaders. After a meeting with one of our key couples, Patty and I were driving home and remarking how much joy it gives us to mentor the young leaders. How deeply we enjoy every leader as we prepare them to inherit the leadership of our Jerusalem congregation.
This has been a month of important teaching as well. I finished a course in Bible Interpretation for Leon Mazin’s Shavei Tzion Congregational leaders in Haifa. It was 15 hours of instruction over three weeks. Leon is serious about raising leaders who can teach and handle the Bible with competence. I think most of you know that this congregation is part of the Ohalai network that is led by Eitan Shishkoff. It is a strong and vibrant congregation.
I write this just after returning from a wonderful trip to Kiev, Ukraine, where I was privileged to teach a course in Messianic Jewish biblical theology. In seven hours I was able to cover the basics over two days of late afternoon and evening instruction. Boris Greshenko leads this congregation: the largest Messianic Jewish Congregation in the world with over 1500 members. Some of his leaders from other congregations also attended, for Boris leads a strong network of congregations. It is always a joy to see the lights go on for a person, as they understand the Bible more deeply. I was able to passionately bring out the vision as well of the identity of the Church as connected to Israel and the identity of Israel as connected to the Church. It is so important that the Messianic Jewish Movement be a pro-Church movement. Yes, we have corrections to make, but in a context of general affirmation.
On Wednesday, I was honored to give two 80-minute lectures at the Ukraine Evangelical Theological Seminary. This was also very special. The class was packed and I am sorry I forgot to take a picture. Patty is always urging me to not forget, but I do. Many have never heard the things I taught. My first lecture was on the identification of Yeshua with Israel according to the Gospels and its implications. The second was on the definition of the identity of the Church as the doctrine develops from Acts 9, 10, Romans 11, 15 and Ephesians 2. I was also able to spend time with the three deans of the school.
Patty and I pay for trips like these out of our ministry funds and many times do not receive reimbursement for our traveling expenses. The people in many countries simply do not have the money to do so. We are so blessed to able to freely bring our gifts to other ministries in different parts of the world. We also support the needs of ministries outside our own from the Restoration from Zion fund. Last month our usual level of donations was considerably lower than previous months. Please do pray and give as the Lord leads and help us make up for this shortfall. We are confident that God is able to provide more than enough for whatever he calls us to do!
In the Messiah’s Love and Service,