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What the LORD is doing...
Purim Sameach! (Happy Purim!)
A Purim Reminder from Dov Schwarz,
Beginning Monday Evening March 6, 2023 Jews around the world, and some Christians, celebrate Purim. All disciples of Messiah Jesus should remember something very important about Purim this year. By way of reminder, Purim (feast of lots or dice) pertains to the time when Jewish people living all over the Persian Empire were slated for slaughter by wicked Haman.
Yet, the LORD raised up deliverance for the Jews establishing a beautiful Jewish woman named Esther to be the wife of the King of Persia. Through the righteous and challenging witness of her cousin Mordecai—Queen Esther chose to confront Haman, at the risk of her own life, to save the Jewish people. By the grace of the LORD of Israel the Jewish people were delivered.
Once again, winds of war and threats come from the east as Persian Muslim Mullahs continually threaten to wipe Israel off the map! Recent reports say they are within just days of having enough weapons grade uranium to assemble a nuclear bomb. May we remember the words of Mordecai and act in prayer, raising our voices, and support of Israel at such a time as this!
“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
An Update from Dov Bikas,
AVIV Ministry - Tel Aviv
I was born in Ukraine, in a normal family. I attended school and played sports. But when I was 14, I tried drugs for the first time, and by the age of 17 I had already become heavily addicted. By the age of 20 I was married with two kids, and my wife was pregnant with the third. I tried quitting drugs many times, went through various treatments, but without success.
When I was 22 my legs gave out. I was bedbound for a year, but my wife was taking good care of me (she did not leave me) and I slowly started walking again. Now I understand that it was God’s grace. I was my wife’s fourth child… I was clean for one year, but when I became mobile again, I started thinking about drugs and soon returned to heavy abuse.
In 2021 my wife and I decided to move to Israel, since I was Jewish. We thought I would be able to get rid of my addiction there, but when we had arrived, I understood that I would perish here even sooner, since drugs were so easy to get anywhere. My drug abuse continued for a year, and eventually I ended up on the streets, since my wife could no longer bear this situation.
One day I asked my wife to let me see the kids, and we decided to meet in Ashkelon (where we lived), near the beach. While we were there, a person approached us and asked: “Are you new immigrants? Do you need anything?” His name was Eduard, and the same evening he brought a food basket to our home in Ashkelon.
Some time passed and I went to Tel Aviv. One day my street fellows suggested that we go to a Christian soup kitchen nearby. I did not exactly understand what it was, but I went, because I was hungry. I was brought into a place where several people were distributing meals. One guy was playing a guitar and others were talking with the visitors with care and warmth. I was surprised when one guy approached me right away and offered me clean clothes and treatment for the festering wound on my arm.
Then another guy came to me and offered a cup of hot tea, and suddenly I recognized him – it was Eduard from Ashkelon! He did not recognize me, but I reminded him of our meeting and he was very happy to see me. He told me about his life and by the time he invited me to go to his rehab center, I was 100% sure I wanted to go!
I have been in rehab for a month and a half already, and I have got a serious intention to dedicate my life to God. My wife is happy, she attends the church with me and gives thanks to God. When I look back at everything that has happened to me recently, I see the need for Aviv Center: in the middle of this deep and dusky swamp of south Tel Aviv there is a small island of God’s love, where exhausted and troubled people can come and find peace. I am very grateful to all those who serve there and do not forsake us, those who are dying on the streets without hope…
Thank you for your care and prayers!
May God bless you all, Dov and Olga and Aviv Ministry team
A Praise from Ariel & Shayla,
Tree of Life Ministry
A man named Yaron called us recently, he’d been watching videos about Jesus – Yeshua – he read the New Testament on his own and came to the conclusion that Yeshua is his Messiah and Savior. He even wanted to get baptized immediately and excitedly asked, “Can I do it by myself?”
But then he shared an inner fear that is holding him back: how will his wife and his religious Jewish family react? He’s quite certain that she will leave him.
Our team member Eliel read to him the words of Yeshua from Matthew 10 about the cost of following Him (including possibly losing one’s family) but also the reward of eternal life with Him.
We never know how people will respond to this difficult truth, but Yaron’s reaction was surprisingly positive. He said, “These verses are emotionally moving.” He also said, “Inside my heart, I know this is the right thing to do, and I can’t escape that.”
So he decided to move forward with it! We connected him with a local congregation to baptize and disciple him. Please keep Yaron in your prayers.
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Romans 15:26-27 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal (material) things.
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