Jerusalem-area ministry brings unity, discipleship and restoration to Israel

Revive Israel team (Photo: Revive Israel/Facebook)

Revive Israel is a ministry dedicated to uniting believers from diverse backgrounds, including Jews, Arabs, and Christians from various denominations, in the pursuit of a common goal as stated on its website: To bring the Kingdom of God to the heart of Israel by sowing seeds of the truth of Messiah Yeshua’s redemption power, cultivating community, reaping the fruits of dynamic discipleship, creating authentic connection, and engaging in passionate worship in preparation for the harvest.”

Revive Israel is led by two couples; senior leaders Youval and Valerie Yanay and worship leaders Raphael and Liel Almeida.

Youval and Valerie’s journey towards this ministry began over two decades ago when they crossed paths at a course at the Gateway Discipleship Center in Cyprus. Valerie, a Swiss-born fashion designer, had temporarily stepped away from her career, while Youval, who hailed from a secular Tel Aviv upbringing.

Youval shared some of his background during an interview with Kehila News. His mother is a fourth-generation Israeli and his father came to Israel at the age of 14 from Warsaw, Poland to visit and ended up staying here, thus avoiding the Holocaust, however, his entire family was lost. He would later become one the leaders of the pre-state navy called the Palyam and become instrumental in bringing Holocaust survivors to Mandate Palestine, breaking the British embargo and essentially becoming one of the founders of the Israeli Navy.

Youval’s life had taken many twists, from exploring Buddhism and meditation to diving into Torah and Talmud study and even experiencing the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, having built and lost several businesses and, after falling into debt, began working for a diving school.

However, it was during their time in Cyprus, amid the influence of believers, that Youval’s heart was touched by the Holy Spirit. Nabil, his Arab roommate from Lebanon and fellow believer, played a pivotal role in introducing him to a church, where Youval’s transformation began.

One Sunday morning he convinced Youval to join him at a church saying “Come, you’ll enjoy it. There are girls, music.” Youval said when he entered, the Holy Spirit touched him, and he started feeling “warm waves like oil” on his back which were pleasant and he had to sit down because his knees became “like water.”

As they were leaving, Nabil, his roommate, gave him an NIV Bible and when he began to read from the Book of Matthew, he said, “I fell in love with Yeshua, I just  fell in love with him, but I couldn’t believe demons existed.”

Youval also said it was initially difficult for him to believe in the resurrection.

“It’s not logical, I couldn’t believe in those things,” however, he continued, “I lived with the people of the church who were very nice to me. Each one was simple, but each one did something: Fed me, prayed for me, smiled at me, hugged me, loved me, talked to me, gave me money, did something.”

The kindness and love he received from the church community ultimately led to a profound change in his beliefs, and he embraced Yeshua as his Messiah.

Youval said eventually it all made sense, even that Methuselah could have lived 969 years and that Yeshua lived and died and was resurrected. He says that all this came about as the result of his having lived among believers for a few weeks. They became an example to him and a hole within him was filled.

Youval and Valerie’s love story blossomed after the discipleship program in Cyprus and their commitment to the Lord eventually led them to the founding of Revive Israel, along with Raphael from Brazil and Liel, who was born in Israel. Together, they found a community of like-minded individuals seeking a close relationship with God.

The Revive Israel ministry emphasizes community life, outreach, discipleship and worship.

Amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the IDF’s efforts to find the hostages following the attack on Oct. 7, Revive Israel has been actively raising funds and providing support to both evacuated civilians and IDF soldiers stationed in the Gaza Strip.

The organization has provided aid to soldiers, offering essentials such as pillows, mattresses, hygiene products, sleeping bags, books, and first aid kits, items not typically supplied by the army. They provide watches to soldiers, a critical tool for time-sensitive operations. The provision of transistor radio and protein bars, which the army does not provide.

(Photo: Revive Israel)

Youval described the joy the soldiers express when they provide them with personal coolers filled with iced soft drinks, and juice drinks, free of preservatives or additives, that are produced in their village near Jerusalem.

The ministry has gone a step further by housing 130 evacuee families from the south in their moshav, where they offer therapeutic activities for the children, including horseback riding, and celebrate birthdays, uplifting the spirits of the young evacuees.

Looking ahead to 2024, Revive Israel has set ambitious goals, aspiring to bring the Kingdom of God to Israel by rebuilding and restoring hearts, minds, and souls through various new and existing projects.

“We will restore everything that our enemy has broken,” he said.

One of their central initiatives is the Third Day Revive Organic Farm, located on fertile land adjacent to their discipleship center.

As Youval explains it, “The ‘Third Day’ organic farm derives its name from the Creation. It was on the third day that God created plants and vegetation and trees that would bear fruit.”

This nonprofit farm operates a farmers’ market where products are offered at reasonable prices or even given away. The farm serves as a backdrop for encountering God’s presence and offers a place of peace, healing and restoration.

Revive Israel farm (Photo: Revive Israel/FAcebook)

Youval said: “We are bringing people to the farm so they can be restored.”

He explained that agriculture in Israel fulfills biblical prophecy and connects people to their faith, allowing them to engage in the divine act of managing and cultivating God’s creation, as read in Genesis 1:11-12: “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good…”

“Working the land and agriculture in Israel is a fulfillment of prophecy, “ Youval continued. “God promised us that the day will come when the cities will be inhabited and the land will be cultivated and tilled, so when we work the land of Israel it is not just agriculture for us but it is a way to be part of the fulfillment of prophecy the fulfillment of the God of Israel to Israel. We wake up in the morning and take our tools and cultivate the land and till it and know that we can find ourselves in the Bible.”

The ministry wants to extend beyond the physical realm as it strives to help individuals heal and be renewed, as well as helping to restore people’s faith. For example, Revive Israel’s Discipleship director, Tal Haroni, shares their commitment to providing a safe haven for young believers.

She described one of their restoration projects last month during Hanukkah when a group of young believers from the southern city of Ashkelon came to the farm for five days of discipleship training.

Ashkelon has had the most “Red Alert” missile sirens since the beginning of the war due to its proximity to the Gaza border. These young people face the constant threat of rocket attacks and live under tremendous stress. Revive Israel’s discipleship programs aim to offer them refuge in the Lord, guiding them to become disciples of Jesus even in challenging circumstances.

“We want to provide a resting place, a safe space for these young people,” Tal explained.

These programs include worship, prayer, fellowship, farming, and the opportunity to learn from the testimonies of other believers.

“But we all know that true peace comes from within, and that’s what we want to give them. This discipleship training is not only a place free from the pressure of continuous rocket alert sirens but to give them a resting place in the Lord, and to help them be disciples of Jesus even when it’s tough.”

“This is the core of our discipleship program. We welcome our disciples into our homes to live alongside us. When you live in close proximity to others, nothing remains hidden. The disciples witness our daily struggles, observe our parenting styles, and see how we handle relationships with friends and family as well as crises and pain.”

Tal shared that as a young believer coming from a non-believing family, she spent time with a believing family and received discipling through their example. As she explains it, “I didn’t know what to do as a believer, but through discipleship and the time spent with others who already were grounded in the faith, I learned to make decisions that honor Jesus in my life. And today, I am grateful for the opportunity to offer others the same transformative experience.”

(Photo: Revive Israel/Facebook)

Revive hopes their training programs will be a time of healing, internal renewal, rebuilding, and restoration as those participating build the foundation of their faith and draw closer to the Lord. The leaders pray that the participants in the discipleship program will “discover the depths of His love and hope that is found only in Him,” and that the time that they spend “be days of revival that leave a lasting mark and forever shape their walk with the Lord.”

Revive Israel’s dedication to restoration extends to young messianic soldiers who have finished combat or regular army service, as well.

The organization partners with European ministries to bring these “broken” soldiers to a place of restoration and healing through time spent with these believers in Europe.

Additionally, Revive Israel runs the Camp Connection project, toward believing children from messianic families living in communities that have suffered heavy missile attacks for months. Revive brings them to a recreation camp in France. This initiative aims to nurture inner peace during times of war, offering a safe haven for these young hearts and spirits.

“It is a time to find a place of comfort during this time of war, in their hearts, souls, and spirits. To find this place of peace that they need to find,” Revive Israel co-founder Valerie explained.

“Earlier this year, 16 Israeli young people, many just before beginning their mandatory military service, and five leaders and their families headed to France for Passover Youth Outreach Camp. French youth and Israeli youth came together for a time of fun and fellowship, with hikes and outdoor games, but most importantly immersing themselves in the Word of God, worship, life-changing teaching, sharing testimonies, and service.

As Youval and Valerie described it, these camps serve as transformative experiences, uniting youth from various backgrounds to share their challenges and experiences in a non-believing world. The bonds formed during these camps led to unity and breakthroughs, ultimately impacting their families, communities, and congregations upon their return to Israel.

“Four years ago, this burden and vision to bring French and Israeli youth together came to fruition when we did a first camp in 2019 which was followed by two additional camps. We have seen the magnificent fruit of bringing young people together to get to know each other and experience something supernatural together,” Valerie said.

“French, Arab and Jewish young people live in very similar worlds, and by bringing them together, they are able toYon share their experiences and challenges of daily life in a non-believing world. Some of our young people are traveling abroad for the first time – an opportunity not only to travel abroad but to fellowship with French young people and to grow in their relationship with Yeshua while being a light in a new place! Arabs and Jews also are traveling together.”

“By taking them away from tensions, a unity is formed that brings breakthroughs and deepens their relationships. And when they come back from France they are a light to their families,  their communities and their congregations.”

To learn more about Revive Israel and support the ministry, click here.