Messianic believers in the land also have inspiring and even miraculous stories to tell about moving here. Hence we are delighted to present a new feature in Kehila News, “Why I Chose to Make Israel My Home.”
Although I was born into a very secular American Jewish home with agnostic parents, it’s clear that God was drawing me to him even as a young child through my Hungarian grandfather who truly loved God and prayed each day to Him in my presence. As I sat on his lap, listening to lovely bible stories, it made a great impact on me that I never forgot. One day, he asked my mother if he could take me to Israel, but she refused saying it wasn’t safe enough. Yet, I would get there eventually.
It was in the 1980s, after a fair bit of heartbreak and disappointment, that the Lord began a process in my life which would end up with my coming to faith in the Jewish Messiah. Although I never liked the name Jesus, associating it with Jewish persecution and the loss of family members in the Holocaust, I kept hearing that name over and over from many different people. I even remember some pamphlets coming to my door with the message of salvation, but as a Jew, I knew that wasn’t for me. It wasn’t until one day that I caught a television program that spoke about Jews who believed in Yeshua the Messiah, that I finally came to faith myself.
Once I became a believer, reading God’s word became very special to me, and seeing so much about Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, I knew it was important to visit, so in 1986, I did just that. I came as a tourist but with no desire to live here.
In 1991, I, again, was watching a believers’ program and heard about a particular ministry which had decided to go to Russia and do all they could to help the Jewish people leave and immigrate to Israel. In fact, many believers were praying at this time when there was an open door for Russians to leave, to come to their homeland. That program moved me to pray fervently for those Russians, believing that they, indeed, should come home. However, I hadn’t yet personalized that.
Yet, the more I prayed about it, the more it stayed in my mind. I remember also seeing on that same show the image of a little Russian man stepping off his plane which landed in Tel Aviv and bending down to kiss the ground. It literally gave me goosebumps, and I remember God audibly said to me, “You’re moving to Israel.” Here, I had been praying for the Russians to move but not for myself. Yet, the visual of that man definitely turned my thinking around, and I knew I was moving to Israel.
I took two subsequent trips in order to scout out the land, and during one of those trips, I met a couple with whom I stayed in touch. Not having any idea where to live, they offered me a place to stay in their own home for two months.
They then found me a lovely apartment with a beautiful park right across the street.
After two years, I moved again to a community which had a vibrant and growing congregation. Since then, I have moved to Jerusalem.
There were many twists and turns along the way and especially since I arrived here in 1997 – not all of which was pleasant, but I can honestly say that in the midst of it all, God directed my paths and provided housing, friends who became like family to me, an amazing congregation and a meaningful way to volunteer and help the elderly and less fortunate in the country.
He has more than filled my life with meaning, happiness and, most of all, His constant presence.
He is with me each day, leading and guiding, showing up in all I do. I am blessed to be surrounded by a network of strong, mature and godly women who support me, pray with me and uphold me in so many ways. So I don’t ever feel that I am alone. We study the word together, pray together and serve the Jewish people in the country. Our heart is to help and give in any way we can.
Israel has become my home, and I wouldn’t want to live in any other place. I love this nation and am privileged to live in Jerusalem, God’s holy dwelling place.