A Jewish refugee couple from Russia was not interested in hearing more about Christ after they attended an evangelistic event in Israel, but they did accept an invitation to participate in a marriage seminar.
A native ministry based in Israel offered the seminar as part of its effort to meet needs in the community. Four years prior Leann* and Yaniv had benefited from a marriage counselor when their relationship hit a rough patch, but both of them still felt a residue of bitterness festering beneath the surface.
The teaching on practical changes to undertake made big differences in their married life, but it was coming to faith in Christ that made all things new and all things possible – starting with a depth of forgiveness they had never known.
They also discovered how the living God can help.
“I realized that in prayer I can ask for wisdom and understanding of different situations I might be in,” Leann said.
“It has made me see that despite the past, I can start building a better present,” Leann said. “I have drawn so much nearer to God, I realized that in prayer I can ask for wisdom and understanding of different situations I might be in, and I can thank God for it, because it has helped me so much.”
She said she never imagined how intentionally planning quality time together could improve their relationship as it has.
“My husband also many times applies principles he learned in the family course,” she said. “For us, the courses were the first-of-a-kind experience. We know there’s still a road ahead, but we’re thankful for this wonderful opportunity that has brought us closer.”
Jewish refugees from former Soviet bloc countries as well as Israeli nationals come to faith in Christ through the native ministry’s varied outreaches – feeding the hungry, biblical tours of the Holy Land, celebration of Jewish festivals like Passover, and evangelistic courses and events. The marriage and family course is just one example of the native missionaries’ community and humanitarian outreaches are also designed to bring the gospel into people’s hearts.
“When you look at the people that receive our humanitarian support, it’s truly astonishing to see that lack and need does not discriminate,” the director of the ministry said. “Many can find themselves in difficult situations, our work focuses on that: fulfilling a need in our communities, while helping people meet God in the process.”
Besides feeding and caring for 1,500 families each month in various cities, workers have also reached more than 1,800 people in evangelistic outreaches, he said.
“The people we reach are from so many different walks of life – the majority are new immigrants; many of them flee unimaginable circumstances with nothing more than the clothes on their back,” he said. “And we cannot forget the Holocaust survivors, who are the last living testimony of what happened 70 years ago, especially when there are so few of them left. It is our duty and privilege to dignify them by offering the help they need in their old age.”
Native missionaries are working throughout Israel and other countries of the Middle East to bring the gospel’s peace, reconciliation and love to troubled people. Please consider a gift today to undergird their efforts.
*Names changed for security reasons