Israelis’ Deep Brokenness and the Hope of the Gospel

Dynamic play buttonIsraelis’ Deep Brokenness and the Hope of the GospelIsraelis’ Deep Brokenness and the Hope of the Gospel

If you’re looking for a heartwarming story of salvation in Israel, this isn’t the one. But if you want a raw glimpse into the darkness many Israelis are trapped in so you can pray more passionately, read on.

Sometimes believers who love Israel can have an almost romantic conception of Israel as the chosen of God who are praying at the Western Wall and living as a holy nation that just needs a bit more revelation to receive His Son, Jesus, Yeshua.

But what happened during our recent outreach exemplifies just how far most Israelis are from their God.

This week, Avi, Halel, and I prepared food baskets, then set out to a poor neighborhood in Haifa as part of our new outreaches to the needy.

On our way, we encountered a Muslim beggar. We gave him some food and started sharing the Gospel with him, and then demons started to manifest in him. Suddenly a demonized woman came by and reached out her hand toward him as if channeling power to him, yelled at us with a man’s voice, then left.

Although by God’s grace we’ve seen God deliver people from demons as we’ve prayed in Yeshua’s name, in this instance when we prayed, the man wasn’t set free yet.

Since it was lunch time when we got to the neighborhood, we decided to get some shawarma and then go to some houses. As we walked up to a restaurant, a drug-addicted woman cried out, “I don’t recommend it!”

We went there anyway, and after we started eating, that lady came back and started cursing the workers at the place and us.

The workers all wore shirts that said “Priest” on them, and they had Scriptures and blessings written out all over their restaurant, including, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth” (Exodus 34:6). And how did these men, who claim to be representatives of God and to cherish His Word, respond?

They started yelling at the woman and cursing her, too.
Then she said, “I’m going to close you down,” and stepped into the restaurant. One worker rushed over to her and pushed her out of the restaurant – her back landed against the bottom of a bench. Her friend and her started screaming, and called the police.

We all jumped up from our seats and tried to bring peace and calm things down. We also prayed for the woman and apparently her pain went down significantly, as she stopped screaming and set up on the bench. But then when the police and ambulance were about to arrive, her friend told her, “Get back down on the ground again,” and she did.

The police arrived and heard the women’s side, and then the owner of the restaurant (whose brother had pushed her) flat-out lied and said that his brother hadn’t pushed her but that she just slipped.

Meanwhile, the ambulance driver was trying to help the injured woman, and got so upset at her friend who was frantically telling him what happened, that he roared at her, “Be quiet, lady!” 

Knowing that Yeshua is the only answer to all this mess, we started sharing with people there.

Hatred, violence, and lying coming from those who are called “priests,” drug addicts acting maliciously, even an ambulance driver exploding with anger. Oh, how far we’ve fallen as a people!

A Ray of Light in the Darkness

Knowing that Yeshua is the only answer to all this mess, we started sharing with people there. Interestingly, the person who was the most open to the Gospel was Yoel,* the man who had pushed the lady.

Avi shared his testimony of how Yeshua delivered him from anger issues, and later I was able to share with him about the One who took all of our guilt upon Himself and died in our place to grant us atonement and everlasting life.

After reviewing the Messianic prophecies with him, I asked, “Is there anyone who fulfilled all this?” He thought for a moment, then said, “Is it Yeshua?” Amazing! Please pray that as he processes the Good News, his heart will be open and he and his family will turn to their Messiah and become true priests before God.

Afterwards we visited a couple of families. The last one was a Jewish religious family that invited us in, and we stayed there for about 2.5 hours sharing the Gospel.

The husband, Ziv, injured his back 20 years ago and is still partially paralyzed in his foot. The wife, Heli, had been in a serious accident and was bed-ridden for over a year and on an oxygen tank.

We listened empathetically to their stories, and then as they shared how a family member was murdered, Halel said, “I’m so sorry for all that you’ve gone through. Do you know what the source of evil is?

We shared with them about what happened in the Garden of Eden – how sin entered the world and how all of us are infected by it – and about God’s promise of the Messiah, the Seed of Eve, who would crush the serpent one day. 

Our people would reject the Messiah? We thought He wasn’t the one?...He took all of our sins and filth on Himself? This is powerful!...He would rise from the dead? Wow!

We asked if they had a Tanakh (Old Testament) so that we could read some Messianic prophecies together. They said that their house was falling apart so much (which we could see was true) that the area where their Tanakh is was inaccessible. We couldn’t help but see the symbolism there.

Anyway, we had a Hebrew Bible with us and began reading with them, and as we read Isaiah 53, we stopped after every couple of verses and spoke about it. They were absolutely astonished at what they heard for the first time, “Our people would reject the Messiah? We thought He wasn’t the one?...He took all of our sins and filth on Himself? This is powerful!...He would rise from the dead? Wow!”

Then we asked, “So who fulfilled all of this?”
Right at that moment, there was a knock on the door. It was Heli’s brother, Idan, and sister-in-law, Romi. We prayed silently for an opportunity to still get to the whole Gospel.

After getting to know them a bit, we did a quick review of what we had shared with Ziv and Heli. It turns out that Idan was the most open of everyone to the Gospel, and his wife also was deeply touched and agreeing with what we said. And when we asked who fulfilled all of this, Idan smiled and replied, “It sounds like Yeshua!” Amazing once again, especially in a religious household! We shared testimonies and more about Yeshua with them.

Then we offered to pray for Ziv and Heli and at first they were hesitant (as many religious Jews are when prayer is offered in Yeshua’s name). But then Idan and Romi urged them to receive the prayer, and they did. We’ve seen God heal literally hundreds of times when we’ve prayed for people in outreaches, but unfortunately we didn’t see an immediate healing for them.

After seeing how deeply in darkness many Israelis are, it stirred our hearts to seek the Lord even more.

When Yeshua saw how broken and lost the multitudes were, He was moved with compassion for them, and urged His disciples (that includes us!), “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).

After seeing how deeply in darkness many Israelis are, it stirred our hearts to seek the Lord even more for breakthrough and salvation and more laborers in the harvest to reach every one.

We’re recommitting ourselves to intense intercession for God to bring deliverance and healing to help these broken people and to confirm the word of the Gospel.
Join us in praying as the first believers did, “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30).

Please Pray with Us:

  • For fruitful outreaches on the streets and to the poor
  • For a breakthrough with critical evangelistic ads – Big Tech has been blocking one of our most important ads and just recently blocked all our ads on two platforms. Managers will be reviewing our appeals in the next few days, the result of which could affect our future use of ads significantly. Please pray for favor and greater impact than ever before!
  • For our discipleship video series and program – for powerful anointing as we begin filming together with Dani Sayag, Lead Pastor at Carmel Congregation, and for the full impact God desires
  • For God’s grace to fulfill all the goals and purposes He has for us this year
  • For all the new believers (see more stories here), including: 
    Yariv, a man from Samaria who grew up as an ultra-Orthodox Jew. Yariv first contacted Halel with a great curiosity in Jesus and had researched about Him. They began studying the Gospels, and spent time praying together. Yariv shared that praying to Jesus gave him unique joy and peace, decided to receive Yeshua personally, and was praising and thanking God! But now he hasn’t answered for a while, so please join us in prayer that we’d be able to reconnect soon with Yariv and others who haven’t answered recently, and that the Lord would lead them to deeper fellowship.
  • For follow-up with thousands of Israelis online and on the streets, including:
    Eliyahu, a former Orthodox Jew that we asked for prayer for just recently. And now he’s written to us, “I think I believe in Yeshua a little.” But he wants to be completely sure that Yeshua is the Messiah before deciding to put his faith fully in Him and to follow Him. One of the main reasons for Eliyahu’s hesitancy is the warning from his father that he would kick him out of the home if Eliyahu begins following Yeshua. Please pray that God would cast out all doubt from Eliyahu’s mind and that He would take that “little faith” and provide assurance that Yeshua is truly His Son.
  • For our Pro-Life and Gospel Campaign, including: 
    Karmit, an 18-week pregnant woman who’s seeking an abortion because her partner abandoned her with her 5 children. On the hotline with our counselor Rene, Karmit shared her tragic history while weeping, including two abortions and a stillbirth. Please pray that she will see the human being – her child – in her womb and she will choose life despite the difficult circumstances.
    Ilham, a Muslim mother of four children who aborted her baby two months ago and is now frantically seeking an abortion as she’s pregnant again, but not from her husband. Please pray that she and Osman, the father of Ilham’s unborn child, will courageously choose life, be protected from honor killings, and ultimately find forgiveness and transformation in Jesus.
What could be more important than saving lives? You can be a part of bringing life to Israel – life for children in the womb, and eternal life for all through the Gospel of the Messiah.
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