Israeli Pastors and Leaders Gather at The Joshua Fund’s Annual Retreat

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For three days in November, 2015 – Jewish and Arab Israelis serving in ministries throughout the Land joined together in Netanya, Israel for a vital time of encouragement. This special get-a-way is designed to provide rest, refreshment and renewed vision for ministry as we spend crucial time together in the Word of God.  This is a much-needed respite for so many who labor tirelessly in the ‘white fields’ of Israel.

This retreat is entitled “Preach The Word / Shepherd The Flock” and is an annual gift to the local body from The Joshua Fund.  This November’s gathering was the fourth year both Jewish and Arab believers in the Holy Land came together to study the scriptures, worship, fellowship and rest.  The Joshua Fund has a heart to serve these pastors, ministry leaders and workers; for them to be physically refreshed and spiritually built up in the Word – and to encourage them in their efforts to reach the lost in their midst.  The founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund is Joel C. Rosenberg, a Jewish believer who recently moved his family to Israel from the States and one of the retreat’s Bible teachers.

This retreat is designed and managed to host local Israelis, and the body of believers deeply values this unique time together each November. The atmosphere during shared meals and between the worship and teaching sessions is truly sweet – revealing familiar faces laughing together, friendships being renewed and the Lord’s true love readily displayed by us all, as we soak in this much-needed blessing. This year, Joel and four pastors from the States led the 260 special guests through Acts chapters 1-4 – including passages on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the early church’s transformation and the resulting powerful witness and remarkable unity. Just as was demonstrated by the Lord’s followers in Jerusalem on Pentecost, the days ahead can and must be led by Spirit-filled believers, empowered from on High with all boldness.  As Peter explained to the crowds of onlookers, this blessing from the Father had been foretold long ago through the prophet Joel and was only beginning to be fulfilled among the Lord’s early disciples. As we each hope to be vital witnesses of the fact of Yeshua’s resurrection, we also desperately need the indwelling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, just as He revealed Himself in the book of Acts. While there remain differences as to how some may choose to understand the Lord’s clear and powerful work among His earliest followers, there is no doubt that in order to see what we all hope for – salvation being poured forth in Israel far beyond what we’ve ever experienced — then all of us will need to rely fully on the convicting, convincing,empowering work of the Holy Spirit personally, and within our congregations.

“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:39 

The very encouraging and challenging teaching sessions were in English – but TJF provided live translation for locals into Hebrew, Arabic and Russian.  The MP4 audio files of each of the five teaching sessions will be made available for the Body’s further use very soon.

Later that week in November, this same blessed time of refreshment and Bible teaching was also brought to our brothers and sisters from throughout the West Bank.  We heard the time there was a tremendous blessing as well; thanks to all who faithfully prayed for that effort!

Thank you also to The Joshua Fund and any others who helped make our time so enjoyable and enriching. May the God of Israel bless you in return for your kindness to us!

Below are a few brief interviews with participants at the conference. Click on the videos to view.

Interview with Wayne Hilsden, Founder and President of FIRM.

 

Interview with Jacob Damkani, Jewish Evangelist and Founder of Trumpet of Salvation to Israel.

 

Interview with Annu, a Biblical counselor from Beit Immanuel.

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Miriam Abramov is Israeli and resides in Israel. She has published and written 2 books, "Shalom At Last" (co-authored with her husband Shlomy) and also her biography titled "Married to Israel". She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from Israel College of the Bible and pursued an M.A. degree in Jewish Missions. She sponsors tours in Hebrew for Israelis to teach about the Bible. She co-leads a fellowship with her husband and teaches on Israel’s feasts internationally. She is recognized with International Journalism status and enjoys writing free-lance about Israel from an informed citizen’s perspective on a variety of subjects connected to the Holy Land.