by Tamar Afriat
We are year in this covid pandemic (which has felt more like ten years!) and I believe it is important for us to stop for a moment and take a step back. When I look around in the secular society and even among believers, I see much fear and confusion. But when I look at God and focus on what He is doing, I am filled with gratitude and excitement. I will go so far as to say covid has been a blessing, and most of us don’t know it.
A year ago, Gil wrote these words:
“Why would God use a plague to judge the earth? …Trial and tribulation are a tool that God sometimes uses to wake people up, to cause them to seek Him. Looking at the present sufferings in that light, this pandemic can be seen as an expression of God’s grace and love in that He is shaking the very things that may be hindering many from seeking Him. God is more concerned about our eternal destiny with Him rather than keeping us comfortable in our temporary lives here on earth.”
The Covid Harvest at Tiferet Yeshua
While we have experienced many trials and difficulties the past three months here at Tiferet Yeshua, at the same time we have had an unprecedented number of young Israeli seekers, some from religious backgrounds, contacting us and joining us each week in our services. Gil had the opportunity to partner with an outreach ministry here in Israel to teach a seminar on Yeshua’s parables. From that seminar, two young people have been joining our services regularly.
It is such an amazing blessing that God gave us the budget to hire Kosta last year to focus on discipleship: Kosta is busy meeting weekly with new believers for discipleship and communicating with new seekers who are asking for New Testaments and information about Yeshua.
Kosta shared this testimony about a young man he is discipling through zoom:
While I was praying for E., I felt like I couldn’t continue, like something was blocking me. God put on my heart that E. has an issue with forgiveness. So, I stopped and asked him if there was someone in his life he was not able to forgive. He told me that there was a difficult situation with someone at work, and he had told himself that he would never forgive this person. So, I prayed for E., that God would touch his heart to help him with forgiveness. The next week when we met, he told me, “I can’t believe it! When I went back to work after you prayed for me last week, I saw that guy, and I was actually happy to see him! I can’t understand it. It’s like my heart has totally changed toward him.”
Another young man, B., who reached out to us through our Facebook page, came to faith all on his own through seeking information online about Yeshua. He began reading the New Testament on his own and asked Kosta if there needed to be witnesses for baptism. The reason: he already made the step of to commit his life to the Lord and baptized himself in the Mediterranean.
God is Doing a Quick Work
We have shared about H., a man from a religious background who came to faith at Tiferet Yeshua this last year. H. committed his life to the Lord over the summer and immediately started joining Moti at our weekly Feed Tel Aviv outreach to the homeless. This week I saw H. at the congregation: he was there for a meeting with Gil and Kosta, and he had a young man with him. It turns out that H. witnessed to this young man during Feed Tel Aviv outreach. Apparently this young man has a very difficult life story. During their meeting, H. told him: “I want you to know, whether or not you choose to follow Yeshua, I will be here for you. I will help you in any way that I can.” A nine-month old believer witnessing to others and leading them to the Lord – how many of us could take a lesson from this “babe” in Messiah?
I am convinced that God is using the Covid crisis to cause people all over the world to seek Him while He yet may be found. The question is: are there workers for the harvest? Yeshua’s words come to us now, almost with urgency:
Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
We are praying that that the Bride of Yeshua would look to her Bridegroom who wants to share with her what He is doing because He wants her to partner with Him. Our prayer is that God would send workers to His harvest in every nation of the world.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who support us! Your generous giving is allowing us to have workers who can devote their time to this harvest.