Ten Years have passed since Maayan Leonard sent out the first issue of Beynenu magazine.
Although all these years have passed, the vision and purpose of the magazine has remained the same: ” To encourage women in the application of their faith in practical living.”
The need to publish a Messianic magazine did not come from any personal ambition, but rather from a concern for the moral decline in our culture, and it’s harmful effects on the institution of the family. Through testimonies and articles the magazine aims to give a Biblical perspective on marriage relationship, childrearing and other related issues.
Maayan lives with her family in the Northern part of Israel, and is a member of the Pniel Fellowship in Tiberias. She is also active in Be’ad Chaim (Pro-Life).
Maayan and Gil met in Israel, and after their marriage, raised 7 children here. At that time there were few Believers, and no Messianic family resources to support and teach families in the land, which made creating a healthy, Bible-based home a very real challenge. Also the lack of a secure place to openly talk about problems and learn appropriate solutions was not available; thus they often stayed unaddressed.
Maayan thought of the family magazines which were accessible abroad, and for years hoped someone would take it upon him/herself to publish a similar magazine in Israel. Especially when she started to work with women in crisis and in Family distress, the need for written materials in Hebrew and Russian, focusing on raising children and building a family according to God’s guidelines as written in His Word, became more pressing.
Maayan explains, “I have seen many single mothers and whole families, mostly new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who arrived here without any father figure. No husband, father, or grandfather to help shape and direct a balanced home. So many couples were themselves raised in dysfunctional homes, or by divorced parents. I’ve seen women dealing with unwanted pregnancies, women fighting the guilt and shame of past abortions, and marriages on the verge of break-down. I wanted these women to have access to healthy and informative guidelines in the form of written materials, which would give the support, encouragement, and help, based on Biblical principles and truths. I just never thought I was the one to do this seemingly impossible job, lacking many of the skills necessary to publish a magazine in Hebrew and Russian!”
Like Moses, she felt her language skills to be inadequate. While reading his story in Exodus, she noticed that Moses also worried about him doing this God given task , feeling limited. But God chose to use him, and that was all that mattered. To encourage and comfort Moses, God made sure to give him his brother Aaron, and later other assistants to build the Tabernacle.
Encouraged by this insight, Maayan started to pray for her “Aaron”, so she could turn her dream into a reality.
“I started by building a team of translators, editors and a designer,” she says. “I began with reading lots of articles while searching for the right ones, requested copy-rights for them, and learned the process of putting together a magazine. I was greatly helped by Tehilah, my daughter, and all others who helped me to see Beynenu published.”
And so, just before Shavuot, in the Summer of 2005, the first issue of Beynenu magazine was printed and distributed.
“The magazine offers a way to get informed about sensitive subjects that require attention, such as, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, pornography, anorexia and more. Each magazine also pays attention to the abortion situation in Israel, and teaches the readers about all aspects of it. These issues are very hard to address in larger gatherings, like congregational services, also due to having children around,” Maayan says.
And yes, for years now, many Messianic families throughout the country have been blessed with a very edifying magazine, filled with advice, support and tools to strengthen their relationship with their spouse, raise their children and manage their home according to Biblical principles.
Despite having her vision seen come alive, and feeling the satisfaction of doing an important job, Maayan admits that there are difficulties in managing the magazine. Technology is advancing, also in computer use, making it harder for her to deal with newer programs. Also the physical part has become harder for her:” Packing and delivering the magazines requires lifting and carrying, which becomes more difficult as I grow older,” she admits. “Also people do not always pick-up their package at the mail, nor send me a change of their address.”
She would like some-one else to continue with the magazine, or help with the computer part of it.
“My readers are little responsive, which makes it hard to know what they are interested in. I also would like to add more testimonies and stories which are written by the Beynenu readers.”
It is very possible that soon a change will come, and Beynenu magazine will cease to exist, making place for another form to take over. Likely on the Web.
The Beynenu team is asking you to write comments, testimonies, ideas for articles, and questions to: [email protected]
You can also help by donating through “Be’ad Chaim”: www.beadchaim.com/donation (please specify that the donation is for “Beynenu” Magazine)