A Congregation Grows in Johannesburg
The Friday after Jews for Jesus missionaries, Laura and Andrew Barron, stepped off the plane onto South African soil in November 1989, they immediately initiated a weekly fellowship meeting. To their delight, it was quickly attended by 30 people and the numbers grew each week as more people came to faith. Jews for Jesus was then approached by some of the more regular attendees who longed for their own messianic congregation. Beit Yeshua Congregation was born in November of 1993. Today it stands as an independent congregation, largely supported by the local Jews for Jesus staff in the areas of leadership, preaching, teaching, worship and discipleship of new Jewish believers.
As the only messianic congregation in Johannesburg, Beit Yeshua serves the larger believing community and attendance swells during the High Holiday season and for other holiday celebrations. Jewish believers from churches in the surrounding area are drawn in at these times. Many unbelieving family members attend as well, and they are able to observe the dedication of a messianic community celebrating their faith in Messiah.
Although Jews for Jesus is not geared toward church or congregation planting, the value of our interrelationship is seen in the area of discipleship. A regular Tuesday night Bible study provides good, solid teaching for the new believer. There is a continuing, one-on-one visitation program as well. Beit Yeshua is a place where seekers can ask questions and find answers. Many couples from mixed marriages find the congregation to be the best option for themselves and their children. The bar mitzvah training program is a particularly valuable means of discipleship for younger people.
This visible and growing remnant of God’s people has become an anchor for the messianic community in Johannesburg. Rejoice with us in the good work God is doing in the uttermost parts of the earth.”