“It’s too small of a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” – Isaiah 49:6
Nearly 14 years ago my wife Ayelet and I were married and together we were dreaming together about our passion, ministry, and vision for Israel and the nations. After praying together, we decided to name the ministry that we started, “Simeon’s Cry Ministries”. We were inspired by Simeon’s prophecy in Luke 2:32 that this tiny baby Yeshua would be a “light unto the nations, and the glory of His people Israel.”
Ayelet became a believer while having a supernatural experience when Yeshua appeared to her while she was attending an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva in Jerusalem as an Orthodox Jew. She felt firsthand the longing of Simeon for the Messiah to come and also the joy when He was first revealed to her. The cry of our hearts has since been for the Jewish people to know their Messiah, which is their own glory. Its the heart of what is going to make Israel spectacular. On the other hand, seeing this same Yeshua being a light to the nations through the sending out of apostolic gospel workers in Israel to the nations.
We have since helped pioneer and train many new disciple-making and congregation-planting teams among first the Jewish people, but also among the Arab people here in Israel. One of the most exciting dynamics is that both the Arabs (many of them Palestinian Muslim background believers) and Jews are working on both sides of the wall and learning to make disciples cross-culturally. We help both sides with cross-cultural training in how to reach Jewish people and Muslims in their own context. However, the biggest training is that of love for one another, which is the Holy Spirit’s job.
We have since seen one of the teams also start to reach out to international students with targeted training, they are also excited to report many new baptisms, as well as home groups planted. As we desire to reach to ,”the Jew first” here in Israel; there are still many unengaged and unreached people groups in Israel. We still need much more outreach among Bedouins, Druze, Circassians, and even a small group of Bosnians. I believe this is a task that we as the messianic Jewish community could be praying into and actively pursuing, since we are called to be a “light to the nations.”
It is from this that we embrace Yeshua’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). This includes both our Jewish neighbour, our enemy, and cross-culturally to many nations.
Over the past few years we have brought several Israelis, both Jewish and Arab Israelis, with us to India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Thailand for outreach to Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims. I will never forget the excitement on their faces when they learn tools to reach these people groups cross-culturally and see God use them so powerfully in a culture and religious atmosphere foreign to their own. They have learned to pray for the sick effectively and see mighty miracles. They have learned how to raise up indigenous leaders and plant simple house churches that multiply. They have also learned how to share the gospel to Buddhists through Buddhist scriptures, to Hindus through the Vedas, and to Muslims through the Quran to effectively open them up to hearing the stories of Yeshua.
Israel is called to be an apostolic sending nation. A nation that will one day change the world. It all starts with reaching out cross-culturally to our neighbour down the street. Maybe Jewish people can reach out to their Arab neighbours? What about the Thai workers in the agricultural fields spread across Israel? South Tel Aviv and its foreign workers? The Universities? From there I believe as Messianic Jews we can launch out and reach the nations.