by Jams Jacob Prasch
December 29, 2014Victor SmydjIt was on Christmas Eve upon receiving word from Ronnie Cohen in Jerusalem that my wife Pavia & I learned that The Lord called Victor Smydja home after many decades of faithful service to Yeshua as a founding leader of Jerusalem’s first modern indigenous Messianic Fellowship in modern Israel. Victor’s service spanned three generations and saw the size of the resurrected Body of Yeshua in Israel transformed from a handful of Jewish and Arab believers and a small contingent of ex-patriot believers into a living Israeli Hebrew speaking organism in pace with the rebirth of the nation.
Victor’s testimony was a remarkable one as a youth in French Colonial Tunisia when everyone he knew was either Moslem, Jewish or Roman Catholic. After coming to faith Victor did not only think he was the only Jew who was born again, but as far as knew he was the only person who had this incredible regeneration in his Messiah that the French priests could not comprehend. Victor’s story of the murder of his father in France by the Nazis during the holocaust and Victor’s eventual meeting of his beloved quite and his immigration to an infant Israel is a testimony of God’s Hand upon him despite almost unimaginable hardships and heavy challenges from the rebirth of the Jewish state until the present day.
Victor began the first Messianic printing ministry in Israel called Yanetz which became the first Messianic publishing house placing both Christian classics and testimonies of saved Jews as well as an array of scripture editions, commentaries, and hymn books into modern Hebrew.
My own family will always be grateful to The Lord for Victor who both baptized my wife and preached at our daughter’s Bat Mitzveh. He was indeed a friend and brother but more than that a pioneer and a father to many believers.
We mourn with Victor’s wife and his son Schmuelig whom I knew in his youth and Victor’s family. But the mourning is but temporary. Even before the inexpressible joys of eternity Victor will again walk the streets of Jerusalem with Yeshua and with us in The Milleniel Reign of the Messiah whom he served. Like Yakov Goren, Rose Wurmer, Yosef Vactor and so many other pioneers whom The Lord used to re-lay the foundation for The Body of Messiah in these Last Days in resurrected Israel, these saints of God now with Yeshua will indeed be resurrected themselves in that coming day.
Please pray for Victor’s family, for the Messianic Fellowship in Jerusalem, and for the on going ministry of Yanetz. Victor was such a pillar for so long it is difficult to picture him not still being with us. But above all we thank and praise Yeshua that the separation is but for a season and he will be with us once again in the victory and grace of The Lord Yeshua the Messiah Victor served.