Our Massah team has completed the Israel leg of their journey and they are now in India—we were so encouraged by this report from team leader Giselle Le’Aupepe, and we hope you will be, too! Prayer is a huge support factor so PLEASE read and share this to help uphold the team:
“A week ago, we traded our hummus and pita for dal fry and naan and set off for our adventures in India!
“We arrived VERY early into Delhi on Tuesday morning, missing a few bags but having gained David Liebman, a veteran of the Massah program who met the team in Frankfurt.
“We spent the next two days acclimating to this sensory onslaught of a country, first in Agra, visiting the Taj Mahal, and next in Delhi, exploring and shopping just before taking our bus up north.
“The bus trip was pretty eventful—with a group of three young Israeli guys and a group of three young Lebanese women also on the bus. It was really cool to watch our team interact and share their faith with both groups—at one point we were all up the back of the bus talking about faith! An interesting, insightful and very cosmopolitan experience.
“We made it to beautiful Manali in one piece, despite some bad weather and car trouble. I must say, having four leaders who have been to India before—three of us with a lot of experience in the country plus “backpacker extraordinaire”—made our navigation from Delhi to Manali super smooth and helped the team of newcomers adjust quickly to our rather strange environment here.
“We quickly got situated in our guesthouses and the team immediately went out to survey their surroundings and taste the local cuisine. We have built really good relationships with many of the business owners here. We’re continuing our great partnership with Rajan, our Indian believer friend who runs a local cafe and with Sarah,* an Israeli lady who owns the cafe with the most delicious chicken schnitzel in the town. They are always pleased to see our team and to have us in their spaces to share our faith and to help—even Sarah, who is not a believer but has allowed us to host many Shabbat and festival dinners at her cafe over the years.
“We have a fairly young team this year, none of whom have traveled extensively. This is a wonderful experience for them to have—travel with a purpose. I hope and pray that this would instill in them the desire to always travel with purpose, to do God’s will and spread His light and kingdom all over the earth! David Liebman, who is truly gifted at ministry in India, has embraced the team and they have embraced him. He has been so great at coming alongside those who are feeling out of their element here, and letting them observe and participate in his visits and conversations.
“Our first Shabbat here was very sweet. We simply sat on the floor at a long table at Sarah’s cafe, lit the candles and broke the bread generously donated to us by our friend the Chabad** rabbi, whose invitation for Shabbat dinner we have not yet accepted. Naturally we invited the others sitting around us to join in for the blessing over the bread and cup, and we eventually had about six Israelis mingling and talking with various people in our group. Some of the team stayed at Sarah’s well into the night as people kept coming in, seeing the candles and challah (traditional Sabbath bread) on the table and wanting to know what we were doing and who we were!
“We are going to be volunteering at the cafe this week—it’s proven to be a REALLY excellent way to meet people, as well as a way to bless our friends—and also we’re going to see if there is a way we can volunteer at a nearby orphanage and bring some of our Israeli friends as well. That gives us an opportunity to bless the kids and also to share a meaningful experience with those we are witnessing to.
“A real shift has happened in the last few years. It seems that basically everyone we have met knows someone who is a Jewish believer in Yeshua, and most of their interactions with the gospel have been with friends in the army who are believers. This does not mean that they understand any more about the gospel or who Jesus actually is, but it means that this is no longer such a foreign thing for Israelis.
“Thank you for your prayers. We can feel it and we know God is with us. She has been teaching through the book of John and it’s been really awesome for us to focus on Jesus, who He is and what His life, death and resurrection continues to mean for our lives, as we share what it means with the other travelers around us. We are finding ways to minister here with gifts that we have.
“Thanks for praying and sharing in our epic adventures!”
*not her real name
** Chabad Lubavitch is a very strictly religious sect of Judaism
– we have had some weird cold/flu sickness floating around—pray for our health!
– David Minsky’s bag has STILL not arrived from Israel
– for continued wisdom in leading the team, where to go and how best to minister
– that we ourselves would never stop being amazed and affected by the gospel