Massah celebrates ten years: God is blessing this short-term outreach to Israel and India!
Massah means “journey,” and it’s not only a physical journey, but a spiritual one for teams of young Jewish adults who believe in Jesus. The first half of this ten-week experience brings the team to Israel for discipleship, as well as learning about the country and its culture and of course, evangelistic training and outreach. From there, the team moves on to India, where they continue to live out and share their faith with Israeli trekkers.
Several people from our Jews for Jesus Tel Aviv team invest their hearts and their time in the team each year, as well as introducing them to friends and partners who are not on our staff.
From the beginning, our big hope and our big question has been whether the connections and gospel conversations our teams had each summer would continue “post-India.” This year, we were thrilled when Giselle Le’Aupepe Bruce reported: “Elisheva and I [both veteran Massah leaders] are finding it difficult to visit with all our Israeli friends and run the Massah project simultaneously. Dave [Giselle’s husband], Elisheva and I could all easily be visiting with five or six not-yet-believing Israelis a week if we had the time.” Giselle is talking about Israelis they’ve met in India during previous years of Massah—that’s how far this program has come, and how powerfully God is bringing our hopes to fruition!
Giselle also tells us that this year’s “Massahniks” are already spending time off with new Israeli friends they’ve met during the first half of the program.
Besides the usual teaching, outreach and spiritual formation mentoring, this year’s team has also participated in internships, a new component of Massah. Three times a week the Massahniks go to their chosen assignment, be it studying Hebrew; volunteering with a ministry called Red Carpet, which focuses on serving under-resourced women; or using graphic design to draw attention to our outreaches. One young woman on Massah spent a day each week volunteering at a local salon, and another organized a fitness class!
Giselle says, “These activities have provided our team with organic situations where they can share the gospel as well as serve the community. We’ve also been cleaning up the neighborhood every few days, picking up trash and connecting with our neighbors, and it has really been marvelous! These aspects of the program have promoted ownership among our participants. This is their program. This is their opportunity to see the gospel work in their own lives and in the lives of those they share with, and our leadership team are just glad to facilitate it.”
For the past four years, Massah has worked with our Tel Aviv team to host an outreach on Laila Lavan at our Moishe Rosen Center. Laila Lavan means “White Night” in Hebrew, and it’s an annual event to celebrate the beauty and artistry of Tel Aviv. This year we had about 350 guests pass through the Moishe Rosen Center, and there were great conversations throughout the evening.
One of our participants, Emeth, had a meaningful gospel conversation with an Israeli named Malachi. After nearly two hours of discussion, Malachi expressed an interest in reading the New Testament, and Emeth was glad to provide him with a copy in Hebrew.
The team has also had some great conversations on Rothschild Boulevard, a popular hangout in Tel Aviv.
Emeth reports, “We were out sharing the gospel with Jews and Arabs. It hurts to see how lost people are, but it can also be an amazing joy to see God open up someone’s heart. I experienced both with a particular couple as I began to discuss faith and Yeshua (Jesus). The wife, Rivka, was eager to listen once her husband began talking to his friends. We talked about some significant theological questions before she took a Hebrew copy of the New Testament and began flipping through it. Very quickly she discovered that this was a Jewish book, but more importantly she began to see that the Messiah had come.
“Rivka’s husband turned his attention to our conversation and it immediately shifted as he explained how he had grown up Orthodox. Though he now claims to be an atheist, he couldn’t believe that Yeshua was the Messiah because ‘his heart was still Orthodox.’ He then noticed that Rivka was placing the New Testament in her purse. He took it from her hand and dropped it on the ground. I can only hope and pray that God continues to draw Rivka to the Messiah.”
From Giselle, “I sat down at our paint-by-number canvas on Rothschild where a Jewish man named Hugh was diligently coloring in a paisley flower. Hugh, who’s from north London, was in Tel Aviv for just the week. He was having a miserable time, he said—he had thought Tel Aviv would be ‘much friendlier’ than he found it to be. As we talked, I found out that he was a philosophy major and had been exposed to the gospel growing up. All of a sudden he started asking me some really good questions about why I don’t consider myself ‘just a Christian’—and then he asked about atonement. When we finished chatting he said, ‘Wow, that all makes so much sense to me—thanks for giving me a lot to think about.’ Pray for Hugh!
“I also met a girl named Eli who had been on the iGod website, where she had seen the evangelistic videos posted/created by our friends Moti and Eitan. She was eager to have a copy of the New Testament so I gave her one, put my number in it and told her to text me if she had any questions. She texted me a few hours later and we arranged to have coffee Sunday. Pray for Eli.”
As of this report, the Massah team has had a total of 219 individual interactions (explaining that they are Jewish believers in Yeshua) 100 conversations (having some specific interaction about faith in Jesus) and fifteen visits (a lengthy conversation where the gospel is discussed in greater depth, including mention of specific Scriptures). Ten people they’ve spoken to have asked for and received a copy of the New Testament in Hebrew.
The team is now in India. Please pray that God will continue to speak to the hearts of people they met while in Israel, so that they will know His peace through Yeshua. And pray for God to bless and make this year’s Massah team a blessing in India!