Last month we told you about the team’s time in Israel … now you can read about their adventures in India!
Eli Birnbaum reports: “As always, the travel to India takes two to three days. We arrived in Delhi early Wednesday morning and took the evening bus to Manali. It was a good 14-hour bus ride. No one was sick. We stopped to spend the night in a neighboring town called Vashisht and took the next day for spiritual preparation and rest.
"The team adjusted well to the India outreach phase. We decided to meet once a day to share testimonies, worship, pray together, and record our progress for the day."
"It’s been good to see everyone on the team getting into conversations, sharing the gospel. We are also aware of some spiritual battles and have been able to deal with and pray against it."
"Shoshana and I will be heading to Delhi to head home on Sunday. We fly out Tuesday morning. Praise God everyone is healthy."
Eli Birnbaum reports: “I am writing you on my way home to Israel from Delhi. Our second week in India was spent in Manali. We organized a Shesh Besh [like backgammon] tournament. We did an open mic at a coffee house, where Giselle was able to give a small concert and share the gospel briefly. Forty people attended, half of whom were Jewish.
“We also were able to minister at the local church, all first-generation believers. It was an incredible time. We ended the day with dinner at the home of the Christian who owns the coffee house and that was a real encouragement.
“Hadas, a 30-something-year-old Israeli woman, was widowed a year ago. She invited us and many other Israelis to a one-year memorial jam session for her husband, and Giselle sang her song ‘Home.’ It was good to be there, as all the Israelis knew who we were and were touched to see us come. Hadas is one of the people Giselle has continued to develop a relationship with.
“A couple we met were deeply impressed by the love of the team and our sharing. They asked us to continue contact with them. We also had a Chabadnik [ultra-Orthodox] sit in one of our devotionals!”
Will Rosenberg: “We were sad to see Eli and Shoshana head back to Israel last week, but at the same time eager to move on to the next step of the outreach.
“I took four team members with me to the Parvati Valley. Our plan was to hike up to a village called Khir Ganga. The hike was said to be anywhere between three to six hours. It took us about five and a half hours to make it up to Khir Gunga. Once on the top of mountain, there is pretty much nothing to do but hang out, eat, and talk about spiritual things. The first night everyone on our team crashed out early. The next day the team was more alive and some Israelis joined us on the mountain. We quickly made friends and shared the experience of the hot pools at the top of the little village mountain town. It was Shabbat. So we did a simple kiddush with our new friends and enjoyed the whole night together. We engaged with two groups of Israelis. Some of them seemed real open.
“The next day our team met together to pray and decide on staying or leaving the mountain. It was a real unifying day for the five of us. We ended up climbing down the mountain together and felt real victory in our journey.”
Giselle Le’Aupepe: “The rest of the team and I took an overnight jeep ride to Dharamsala. We’re staying in a guest house in Bhagsu where everyone is Israeli. The morning we got there, we ran into a couple, Amit and Shira, that we had started developing a relationship with in Delhi. A few days after we arrived, Amit left to go back to Israel and Shira was on her own. Distressed about this, she knocked on the door of the girls’ room and stayed with Ginny and Teila for a while. We were able to share with her and pray for her to have peace, and for Amit to have a safe flight home. It’s so cool to see how the Lord is giving us opportunities to build on relationships we started at the beginning of our time here. Many people we connected with in Manali have also traveled here, and we’re getting lots of opportunities to talk more about the Lord with them.
“We gave a Hebrew New Testament to an Israeli named Oren. Aaron and I sat down and had a two-hour visit with him; we opened the Bible together and explored what the Scriptures say about the Messiah. Three of his Israeli friends came and sat with us, and we had a great visit with all of them.
Aaron Geller: “During our time in Israel, I did a photo series of Israelis living in the neighborhood where the Rosen Center is. I had photographed a young woman my age who was working at a local cafe, and I wound up using her image for our White Night event. While witnessing in India, I ran into this same woman and her family, who came to Dharamsala for vacation! It was a good opportunity to tell more about who we are as Messianic Jews. And I may have the opportunity to photograph her family for a pending event in Israel in February.”
Will Rosenberg: “This was an interesting week in the journey. The teams rejoined and there seemed to be a bit of a struggle to keep momentum. The question was posed/challenged to the team: ‘Where do we go from here?’
“Later in the week we also found ourselves dealing with some sickness. I had a 24-hour stomach bug that really took me out of the game. But we pressed through and are continuing to move forward as a team. I think these struggles are something that any team faces in the midst of an outreach.
“Ministry in Dharamsala/Bagsu seems different than in other places. We have been able to develop some longer term relationships with our not-yet-believing friends. There is some good trust there and I am seeing deeper conversations pop up at the most unexpected times. God is good in the midst of this.”
Giselle Le’Aupepe: “It felt good to be reunited. We are now operating as a unit in a very small place where we already have relationships with people, and have already talked to them about the gospel. The team agreed that the best way to raise an image here is through continuing to build the relationships we’ve already begun.
“The other night we were in the restaurant at our guest house sitting around, and suddenly we were surrounded by Israelis singing and playing guitar. Two guys in particular with whom we had very good interactions were Yoni and Yakir. Yakir asked for a New Testament right away. He seems really open to the gospel. Yoni is from a very religious background and has been traveling for almost a year. He still considers himself religious and feels like he’s grown closer to God while he’s been here. We had a really awesome conversation about Yeshua, and I felt like he really understands the gospel.”
Thanks again for praying for Massah. Next month we’ll have a wrap up report from the final week of Massah … though the journey will be over for the team we launched from the U.S., we are excited that we have a group of Israelis ready who will have just begun a Massah of their own.
More about that next time …
A taste of India from Massah
Click on thumbnails for larger picture