Kehilat Haderech – November 2007
The Way Congregation
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you can see at the side, we have a new logo. Its components are made of mountains ” “ the Galilee mountains (we are located in the center of the Galilee and our vision is to serve the people of the Galilee). The Olive tree, that is so common in the Galilee and is full of Biblical symbolism from the Old and New Testaments, fits our name: “The Way”, and indeed Yeshua is the way the truth and the life. There is no other way to get to God the Father, and we pray that we can be like the Olive Tree ” “ faithful, with fruit that produces good oil for people around us, lighting their way to God.
We had a summer full of interesting events. As the summer was approaching we saw the need to organize some activities for the children and the youth group. The national Messianic camps couldn’t accommodate the high increase in numbers of children.
The first camp was for our Youth (13-18 yrs). We were 18, including Youth and Counselors who enjoyed the charming beauty of Northern Galilee as they studied the life of Yeshua, enjoyed the fellowship with each other, and had fun playing games. We were very happy that more girls participated this time. This is an answer to prayer, as you probably remember, last year the few girls we had seldom came to the Youth meetings. Now we have five who regularly attend our bi-weekly youth meetings. We are still in need of a female Youth worker who could participate in the Leadership team for the Youth Group, and help lead these girls in their walk with the Lord.
The Pre-youth group (9-13 yrs) started growing and forming. It had to happen, we could see, they were longing for it. They also went on a summer camp for three nights to Northern Galilee, and now they meet bi-weekly on a regular basis. We thank the Lord for bringing 10 boys and girls. Yossi and Ronit are heading this group (in addition to all their other responsibilities). Please pray that the Lord would provide other mature workers for this ministry with these precious pre-teens.
We are thankful to God for Midge (who takes care of the house keeping responsibilities in the Congregation) and Renata (a Swiss Volunteer) and for their whole hearted willingness to serve with the children’s activities. During August they organized activities for the young children twice a week. It was especially helpful for the single parent families, everyone enjoyed it very much. Please pray for the single mothers in our congregation. They need much wisdom and patience to raise their children on their own.
Towards the end of the summer we conducted a “back to school” operation. It wasn’t as large as we had last year, but it took care of the school-supply needs of some needy families.
At the end of August a young man was baptized. He grew up in a family of believers, but only now he has chosen to follow the Lord. It was a joy to participate in this event. We’re thankful to the Lord for this and ask you to pray for Tom and for his walk with the Lord. Close to the time of that baptism, three other people showed interest in being baptized. Consequently we will start a class with these three about the subject of baptism. It’s a great joy to see people desiring to walk close to the Lord, obeying Him and living for Him.
The Jewish Feasts
We celebrated the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, at our regular Congregational meeting. It included a message concerning the new season which is approaching, and the blowing of the Shofar. On Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, several members got together for prayer and ended the Fast together with a light meal. Succoth (Feast of Tabernacles) was a big event. The hall was filled with people. The Succa (booth) was built on the stage, inside the meeting hall, and activities took place under it. The worship time was wonderful, and the children presented a dramatic show about Jonah as a culmination of their study this summer. The play was written by Maggie, one of the children’s Shabbat teachers. A lot of time and effort went into this production, and it was beautifully done. The show ended with a song written especially for this show about Jonah. As some of you know, the book of Jonah is read in the synagogues every Yom Kippur. And what is a Jewish celebration without food? So, after the show and message we had a wonderful time of fellowship with a delicious meal. People stayed for more than two hours talking and listening to good Messianic music.
The children in our Kehila (Congregation):
Our Shabbat school has grown considerably and each class has filled up quickly. We have just opened a new class (5 classes all together) and it is already full. There are about 40 children up to age 13, a number that has doubled in the last year. Due to this increase there is more pressure and demand on people to volunteer to help with teaching responsibilities. Please pray with us that the Lord would raise more faithful laborers who would be willing to teach and be a blessing in this capacity. Some of the new teachers are in the process of learning how to teach these precious little ones. New teachers also mean it is a new experience for the children, and some adjustments are needed on their part. Some of our kids are more of a challenge than others as they have learning difficulties and some disabilities. Please pray for the teachers and parents of these children, for patience, wisdom and courage. Please pray also for Ronit (Yossi’s wife) who coordinates the Shabbat School and children’s activities. Soon we hope to begin training sessions for our new Shabbat teachers.
The series on the “Foundation of our Faith” is resuming after the summer break. We pray that the lessons will be a blessing to the participants, that they will be built in the faith, deepen their roots, and will stand firm on The Rock.
In addition to the foundation course we are planning on starting a new course on the subject of “Preparation for a life of service” . Right now we are working on developing the materials for this, and pray that we can start teaching it soon. We pray it will be a blessing to our congregation as well as others in the Galilee.
Several families and singles have been added to our congregation during the summer months, and amongst them are new immigrants (very new). Some of them are new believers; amongst which is a woman blind since birth. Please remember the new immigrants in prayer, that they would have a quick and pleasant adjustment to Israel and to Karmiel, and our congregation, and pray for the new believers to be built up in the faith.
During October, as it is a tradition every year, we had a picnic for all the congregations (Arabs and Jews together) in the Galilee. 1000 people from all over the Galilee came to hear the Word of God, worship with songs, and fellowship together over a meal. One of the beautiful things is seeing friendships being built between Jews and Arabs, and seeing these friendships strengthen and deepen. We have in the Messiah something that the world aspires to and cannot get: Peace. One of the things we are working on at the moment is having an e-mailing list that will include both Jew and Arab Congregations in the Galilee. Its goal is to improve communication between us all, share prayer requests, different needs, and other subjects for discussion. Please pray for wisdom to know what, when, and how to do things regarding this project.
Plans, according to God’s will: Our fast growth requires us to think ahead. Even now we don’t have enough classrooms for the children. It is possible that the shop next to our Congregation Building will be vacant at the end of the year, and so we are checking the possibility of renting that space. If this materializes we will need to renovate, and our rent will increase. Another issue is upgrading our technology: we are in the midst of transferring our accounting program to a new system which will free our Secretary (Shahar) to do other things. We have already received a donation for that. It will also require upgrading our old computer. The ongoing car expenses are quite high and soon we will need to pay the yearly tax as well as the insurance. Please pray with us to make the right decision and that God will supply all of our needs.
We are thankful and grateful for your faithful support and prayers.
Yours in the service of the Lord
Yossi Ovadia and Israel Harel
On behalf of Kehilat Haderech (The Way Congregation)