Archives For Faith and Life

Last week was an amazing week. It all started several months ago when two Israeli believers were inspired by YouTube videos of Todd White. If you have not seen Todd’s testimony, he was saved out of decades of drug addiction. He now shares Yeshua with nearly everyone he meets, and there is usually a healing or word of knowledge involved.

These young men felt that if Todd could simply take God at his word, then certainly they could. They began to go out on the streets of Tel Aviv and ask people if they needed healing. Most of the people they prayed for were healed. It began to spread throughout our congregation and now much of the body of believers in Israel.

Todd White in Israel

When we heard that Todd would be in Israel, we arranged a night for him to minister to Israeli believers. GODTV, where I serve as the Israel Regional Director, agreed to host the event. Over 300 people came—standing room only.

On the way to the meeting, I asked Todd to lay hands on me and pray that I, too, would be able move in the supernatural as I shared Yeshua with Israelis. While I know that I can go directly to God and pray for such things, I have learned that when someone who is doing it prays for you, there is a special “oomph.”

Mahmoud’s Knee

That was Sunday night. We stayed in Jerusalem all week in a hotel for the annual FIRM conference. On the second morning, I saw Mahmoud cleaning my room. I asked him if he needed healing. His knee was in pain. We prayed and, what do you know, this Muslim man was instantly healed! I shared with him about Yeshua. The next day, he came to the room and said to Elana, “Please thank your husband for praying for me. I have no pain in my knee. I can’t believe it!”

Achmad’s Back

The next day I met Achmad. He had back pain—I have learned that most hotel workers have back pain. I prayed for him, the presence of God came, and he, too, was healed. The smile on their faces after God healed them was amazing.

Rafa’s Knee Brace

The next morning, Rafa (also a Muslim), who works in the restaurant in the hotel, had a knee brace on. I prayed for him and I could feel the power of God going into him. He was instantly healed and overjoyed. The next day, he was all smiles and we videotaped him.

Sudanese Refugee

The day before we left, I saw another worker cleaning rooms. He was a Sudanese refugee. We have many in Israel who fled the racism, rape and murder from Sudanese Arabs. He told me that on Sunday, he was scheduled to see a doctor because his back was in so much pain he could not even work. We prayed and he told me felt something like heat and electricity going into him and was instantly healed. We taped him and saw him the next day—still healed.

Lital, the Israeli “heard”

Up until now, I had not prayed for an Israeli Jew in the hotel—three Muslims and one agnostic. Of course, they are all deeply precious to God and I shared the Gospel with each of them. But my passion and calling is towards Israelis. On Friday morning as we checked out, the young lady at the front desk, Lital, said to me, “I heard that you are a healer.” She explained how each of these workers had all told her that they were healed after receiving prayer. I explained that it was Yeshua that heals, but I can pray. She had hurt her knee that morning.

I had her sit down and I prayed for her knee. And the precious young Israeli felt the presence of God as He healed her knee completely. When I taped her, she kept saying that I healed her and I kept correcting her, saying that it was Yeshua. In Hebrew, Yeshua and Joshua are the same name. She didn’t understand that I was not speaking of Yeshua, son of Nun, but Yeshua, Son of God. However, overjoyed by what happened, she took a copy of my book, Identity Theft in Hebrew, and promised to read it.

Your Turn

Now it is your turn to pray for them by name, that God will continue to reveal Yeshua to them. For the Muslims, it is very difficult to leave Islam. It is drilled into you that you can never leave. It is hard for Jewish people as well, as we are taught that Yeshua is not the Messiah. But with Jews, we are not telling them to change religions, but to embrace their Messiah.

And it is your turn to use the power that God has given you. It is time to get stirred and seek God and then step out in faith.

“When they heard…”

We are on the verge of something special here. I told my congregation, the week before when I was teaching, that if we continue to pray for the sick—not in the congregation, but on the streets—they are going to start coming to us asking for prayer. Just like in the days of Yeshua, they heard about His miracles and sought Him out.

“When they heard about all He was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.” (Mark 3:8)

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak…” (Mark 5:27)

“When he heard that it was Yeshua of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Yeshua, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Matthew 10:47)

And that is what happened. The Israeli girl heard how four of her team members were healed and sought me out, assuming I was some healer. Of course, there is only one Healer and healing their bodies is not His primary aim, rather using the supernatural to allow Him to heal their souls.

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Elana joined Jewish Voice Recently on Mercy Mission to Ethiopia

Children often drink polluted water.

God has called the nations to bless Israel, but as an Israeli, who am I to bless? The answer is in Isaiah 49, where Israel is called to be a “light for the nations.” For many years now, I have been taking short trips to Ethiopia for medical missions. Recently, I traveled to Wiliso, Ethiopia with an amazing team from Jewish Voice Ministries. Some of these simple procedures, that people take for granted in the West, can save a life in Ethiopia.

Now, I am no doctor, and you won’t find me in the medical tent performing surgery (although I did hold the hand of an Ethiopian woman as she gave birth on this last trip.) My passion is the children. Often, the families travel for miles to get there and the kids are left outside.

Poisoned by Drinking Water

Drinking contaminated water causes much of the sickness and disease, not only in Ethiopia but all over Africa. We gather the children and their parents to teach them about the dangers of drinking unfiltered water. You have to understand that when a child is thirsty and he sees a puddle of water, he will drink it.

We handed out a product called LifeStraw. It is a portable water purification system, that even a child can use. We demonstrated exactly how to use it. The LifeStraw is super light—and you can wear it around your neck. Each one lasts for a year or more. Who knows how many lives will be saved because of this simple invention.

Always Hard to Leave

Elana participates in delivery!

As the bus was pulling out, my heart was hurting for the precious kids. I was overjoyed to look out the window and see some of these children drinking, right out of a puddle, with their new LifeStraw!

I can’t wait to go back! It is through your gifts to Messiah’s Mandate that I can make these trips, so in essence, you just saved the lives of children in Ethiopia!

Today was one of the most amazing days in our congregation. An Arab woman from the Iraq shared how she left Islam for Yeshua.

Fatma was raised in a strict Islamic household. When she was eight years old, her father took her to Mecca, where she saw a woman beheaded for adultery. Her father told her that the same thing could happen to her, if she did not live a devout Muslim life.

From that time on, Fatma was afraid of Allah. She shared with us that in Islam there is no assurance of eternal life. Allah is not a loving father, but someone to be feared. Despite the fact that she prayed and prayed, Allah never answered her prayers. Eventually, she was not allowed to leave the house without her father, brother or uncle. Her younger brother was given permission to abuse her physically if she was not living up to Islamic standards.

They took a trip to America and because of political unrest in their home country, they sought asylum and it was granted. As a young adult, while living in Georgia and still under her family’s control, she met a believer. Her grandmother, who was her only friend, had just died and she was devastated. This woman befriended her and took her to her congregation.

One striking part of her testimony was that Fatma had lived in the U.S. for eight years and passed church after church in Atlanta, and yet, not one person invited her to go to one. Not one person—until this friend.

She went and was amazed at how friendly everybody was. In Islam, everything was competition—there was little affection, but here were people who simply loved her. She took a Bible home and began to secretly read it. She loved what she read.

Eventually, Fatma decided that she wanted to be immersed in water as a believer. After that, her whole life changed. She has no contact with her family and has to be very careful, as there are those who would like to hurt her.

She now travels around the world sharing her testimony. The most powerful part of her message is that she was wearing full Muslim dress—like a burka, with her face covered during the whole story—until she shares about being born again. Then, dramatically, she removes the oppressive Muslim garb to review a beautiful young woman, full of the light of Yeshua.

Everyone in the congrgegation clapped for joy!

Tiferet Yeshua prays and blesses Fatma.

She repented before us for the hatred she had of Jews—a hatred that was instilled in her from childhood. She said that she’d never met a Jew, and yet she hated them. Several in the congregation expressed forgiveness to her and asked for her forgiveness for their own attitudes towards Arabs and prayed that God would open their eyes.

Everyone was deeply moved, not just by her testimony, but also by her expression of love for the Jewish people and the Jewish nation, that she carried as an Arab woman.

(names and places have been changed to protect her identity)


Dear friends, we are outgrowing out space at Tiferet Yeshua and we are “Expanding the Tent”. We are doubling our seating capacity from 150 to 300 and we will start live streaming our services to reach Israelis wherever they may be.

We need your help

We have raised $37,000 of the needed $200,000. You can partner with us here or learn more here. Thank you for helping is Reach Tel Aviv!

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A recent report on RT News, reveals scores of former Muslims converting to Christianity in Europe. I recently met with a missionary to Europe who told me of one evangelist from a Muslim background who goes into refugee camps every day. Because of the danger, he asks the Lord to lead him to those refugees who are ready. The results of have been astounding.

One church has grown from 150 to 700 mostly from refugee converts. Last week 80 refugees from Iran and Afghanistan were baptized. In Austria, since January 1st there have been more than 300 applications for baptism and 70% are Muslim background refugees. And a church in Liverpool is attracting over 100 in their Farsi service (language spoken in Iran).

Furthermore, many of these have followed Yeshua into the waters of immersion—making it official to all their friends and family that they have left Islam and now serve Yeshua. One young lady says in the video, “Since I became a Christian, I fear no one.”

Why Now?

One of the reasons for the mass conversations is ISIS. Many of these refugees have witnessed the most horrible atrocities in the name of Islam at the hands of ISIS members. They want nothing to do with that religion.

Another reason is that in Muslim countries the penalty for converting is usually death. In Europe no such laws exist.

Additionally, it is rare that someone can hear the true message of Yeshua in countries like Syria and Saudi Arabia. However, in Europe, they can freely go to a church.

In their home countries, even if they are not killed, they will suffer complete rejection from their families and communities. There is no where else to go. In Europe they are finding new friends, who embrace them fully in the love of Yeshua.

Let’s keep praying for eyes to be opened and more Muslims to find freedom in Yeshua.

“Truly I tell you,” Yeshua replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31)

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Overcoming the “My Ministry” Mentality

There is a phrase that we used in Bible school that I have all but purged from my vocabulary. It is the phrase “my ministry.” We used to ask each other, “What is your ministry?”,  “I think this will be my ministry”. Now, of course, we have unique individual callings, but rarely does someone fulfill that call alone. Yes, when the disciples scattered after Stephen’s death, Phillip goes to Samaria alone, but what is the first thing he does when the Holy Spirit is poured out? He calls for apostolic backup, and those stalwarts, Peter and John, are sent.

Paul worked in Apostolic Teams

We don’t see this concept of “my ministry” in the Bible. The only time it is used is when Paul says, “I magnify my ministry” in his efforts to win Jewish people to Yeshua. He is hardly exalting himself in an egocentric way; Paul was the ultimate team player. He begins his ministry serving Barnabas and the other leaders in Antioch. Then he is sent out as a junior apostle with Barnabas.  As the grace of God grows upon him, he becomes the team leader with Barnabas and John Mark. Later, we see Paul with Silas, Timothy and Titus.

Maybe no congregation was closer to Paul’s heart than Ephesus. He sends for the team of elders, not the senior leader alone, to give his final farewell to them. These are men who he raised up into leadership. He is not threatened by their success, as so many senior leaders are by those under them, but rejoices as they spread the gospel.

From there, he goes to Jerusalem to meet with James? No, to meet with James AND the Jerusalem Apostolic team.

Our Example in Tel Aviv

In our ministry here in Israel, Tiferet Yeshua congregation, we have a team of five couples in Tel Aviv. For several years, I led this team and just recently turned it over to a native-born Israeli—but I am still part of the team. Also, we are in covenant relationship with two other congregations in Jerusalem. Besides this, we have a growing relationship with five Messianic congregations in the Western and Eastern Galilee that have similar core values.

We have just started a brand-new show: Out of Zion on GOD.TV. I am the one who people see on screen, but it is the team that makes it happen. The program would be nothing without our producer Ivan, our cameraman Yigal, our soundman Michael and Ruth who does makeup and so much more. There is also Miriam, in the office. So now, Out of Zion is not MY ministry, it is the Lord’s ministry through which we, the TEAM, have the privilege of serving Him.

Young Leaders Sometimes Threaten Older Leaders

Sadly, some leaders have more of a king mindset. It is THEIR ministry and everyone else is there to serve them. In such a scenario, leaders of substance are rarely raised up. These lone leaders tend to fear men of authority and gifting, and so, they push away others with calling and anointing for leadership. They fear if they allow these leaders more exposure, it will lessen their impact. Consequently, they push them away and these potential leaders often leave in frustration, seeking to work with people where their gifts can be used.

The controlling leader is left with the equivalent of eunuchs or yes-men, who do their bidding. In some cases, he surrounds himself—yes, even in congregational ministry—with hatchet men, to keep young bucks in line. Paul abhors these personality cults and he rails at the Corinthians for saying, I am of Paul or I am of Apollos.

One of the great privileges of my life is to work with men who exemplify this mentality towards ministry. Asher Intrater, Dan Juster and Eitan Shishkoff made a decision in the 1980s that instead of birthing their own ministry, they would make a covenant before God to work together and serve each other. From that commitment, dozens of congregations have been birthed in Israel and the US, not to mention schools and discipleship training programs.

The Power of Synergy

We work in ministry teams where each one has a unique gifting. This is called synergy. The idea is very biblical and it means that the sum of the parts working together is greater than the sum, if they worked independently. Essentially, we, as leaders, can get more done in the kingdom, working in partnership, than we could if we worked alone.

But that takes commitment. It means not quitting when someone disagrees with you. It means embracing humility and rejoicing when your brother succeeds, not just when you do. It means preferring others above yourselves.

So, let’s shed the “My Ministry” mentality, and embrace the Apostolic Team model that we see in the New Covenant.

 

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