A new house of prayer in the Galilee will be dedicated on the grounds of the Aliyah Return Center (ARC) this week on the evening of Shavuot in a live streamed event. The beginning of watches at this new house of prayer is auspicious and miraculous in its timing.
“God is doing a new thing and it’s marvelous in our eyes,” ARC Director of Operations Chaim Malespin told Kehila News. “The greatest miracles accompany aliyah. The outpouring of God’s spirit always accompanies aliyah.”
Aliyah, immigration to Israel, is derived from the Hebrew word la’alot, to go up, to ascend. Malespin explained that when Moses ascended to Mount Sinai on Pentecost, on an aliyah journey, fire came on top of mountain.
He cited other examples of aliyah including: The children of Israel going on an “aliyah journey” as a pillar of fire traveled with the prayer tent; the Israelites ascending to Jerusalem to Solomon’s Temple and fire consuming the sacrifice; Yeshua’s disciples going up to the Upper Room to await the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and fire came on their heads.
“How many more miracles can we expect as hundreds of thousands of Jewish people now desire to make aliyah to Israel?” Malespin asks.
Malespin, who immigrated to Israel when he was 15, listed several other examples from scripture and modern history including the Azusa Street revival in 1906; the Latter Rain revival in 1948 and the Jesus Movement in the 1970s — events which paralleled waves of Jewish immigration to Israel.
Malespin is not alone in predicting that a new wave of aliyah is on the horizon now as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused Jews around the world to consider making their home in Israel. Already a 20 percent uptick in aliyah requests has been reported this month.
“Hundreds of thousands could be coming now because of the Passover plague — corona,” Malespin said. “I believe it is going to be a Jeremiah 16:16 moment. Do you remember Azusa street? Get ready for Mezuza Street.”
The timing to coincide with the upcoming observance of Shavuot, the first harvest holiday, created an apropos deadline for ARC to complete the Vertical space as central to the three-story house of prayer, Malespin said. He called the coronavirus — which shutdown the country for Pesach — a type of Passover plague and paralleled it to their current situation.
“God told Pharaoh, ‘Let my people go so they can worship me,’” Malespin emphasized. “God allowed 10 plagues to come at Passover time so that Egypt said, ‘Not only are we going to let you go, but we are going to fund aliyah and the house of prayer!’”
In their own transition to the Promised Land, new immigrants land and directly come to ARC’s absorption facilities in the Galilee. Some 150 immigrants and Israelis participating in the various programs at ARC, live on site most for a six-month period and are equipped during this time to forge successful lives in Israel.
On the grounds of what was once Israel’s first kibbutz, ARC has established housing facilities for new immigrant families, widows, soldiers, pre-army teens, people with disabilities and more.
Of the many buildings on ARC’s many acres in the Galilee, Malespin and his team weren’t sure what to do with that one abandoned and dilapidated three-story building at the center of the compound. What else could ARC need on site?
Malespin and the team decided what was missing was the “heart” of the operation — a place from which to draw life and keep all the other services pumping: prayer. While surveying the unused building, someone on the team chiseled the words “house of prayer” on the walls. It was a good idea, but with no viable budget to transform the deserted shell of a building, they left it at that.
Not long afterwards, a man who represented a donor from China approached them out of the blue and asked if ARC would establish a house of prayer with them. Malespin took him to the building and asked, “Will this do?”
With confirmation of the building’s purpose and now, a budget, the project was fast tracked. However, a few weeks after they began working, the coronavirus pandemic overtook the world, challenging the team’s progress and potentially the seed donation from China, which originated from the Wuhan region.
During the past few months the usual ARC staff of volunteers and interns and team of up to 83 people (highest ever) was reduced to just 17 on site due to restrictions leveled across Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was nothing short of miraculous that with fewer people, the remaining staff alongside workers buckled down and completed one room, the Vertical space, which is now ready.
“It would seem that ‘let my people go so they can worship me’ is a call not only for China, but this Passover plague has shown that God is asking the world to step into an Isaiah 49:22 and Amos 9:11 clarion call for return and restoration of the land and people of Israel,” Malespin said.
This house of prayer is called Vertical — a name which defines its mission.
“We want to minister to God and hear from Him. We are going to be different in that we are trying not focus on proclamations and declarations,” Malespin said. “Yeshua, the Galilean, asked his disciples, ‘Would you watch with me? Stay with me. Be with me.’ That is what we want at Vertical.”
The launch of Vertical will establish daily prayer shifts at the house of prayer. Anyone who is interested to pray at the house of prayer can book online at AliyahReturnCenter.com/pray.
“We are expectant of what God will do,” Malespin said.
The dedication will be held live on Zoom on Thursday evening which is tomorrow, the eve of Shavuot or Pentecost, and anyone from around the world is invited to join online.
Malespin and ARC Co-Founder Dean Bye will be joined by worship leaders: Shilo Ben Hod, Joshua Aaron, Paul Wilbur, Matt Redman. Speakers will include Tom Hess, Rick Ridings, John Mulinde from Uganda, Arnie Klien and other leaders from around the four corners of the earth. Tom Hess and Rick Ridings both lead separate 24/7 prayer houses in Jerusalem will bless the launch of the Galilee house of prayer.
To aid in the restoration of the rest of the house of prayer, or to sponsor families that are immigrating to Israel, donate now.