The vision of our Feed Tel Aviv outreach was born, first and foremost, out of a desire that our congregation would be a blessing to the community around us. One neighborhood, near Tiferet Yeshua, happens to be the worst area for homelessness and drug use in the entire country of Israel.
Since its beginning, Feed Tel Aviv has been a labor of love through which many of the congregational volunteers have been blessed to see lives touched and people rescued from the streets. What I never imagined was that Feed Tel Aviv would become a “training ground” (of sorts) for believers who want to serve the poor and learn how to witness on the streets but don’t know how to begin or don’t have the opportunity. It has been a surprise and a joy for me that, through this ministry, we get to see so many sincere believers from all over Israel who want to serve the poor, be touched with the passion for outreach and sharing the gospel!
This past winter, Eliav contacted me. He is a youth group leader from a congregation in the north who wanted to volunteer with us on an outreach to the homeless.
Moti and Eliav with the youth group from the north preparing food for an outreach
The first thing we did together was to make over a hundred hamburgers and other sandwiches to hand out on the streets. Then we prepared large thermoses of tea, and brought jackets, blankets, gloves and hats to give to the homeless. With so many helping hands, the work was light.
The day of the outreach, the youth group had many special encounters with people on the street. Some just wanted food. Others asked for prayer in addition to the food and warm clothing. Still others just wanted to talk and pour out their hearts to someone who would listen. It was amazing to see these young people responding with love to some of the most disturbing sights of poverty and desperation they had ever seen. With God’s grace, these youth overcame their shock and feeling of awkwardness and began praying for and sharing the love of God.
Eliav and his youth group are Hebrew and Russian speakers. Since a large percentage of the homeless drug addicts are from a Russian-speaking background, there was a special connection. They ended up spending much time speaking with, listening to, and praying for those they met.
Many drug addicts, even some who were Arabs, came up to this group of young people to give them a warning: “We were young like you when we started trying drugs, and look where we ended up. Don’t make the mistakes we did!” It was powerful for the youth to hear such sober warnings from the drug addicts themselves, and to hear their sincere hurt and regret over the choices they had made.
We are so thankful that God is putting it on the hearts of many here in Israel to devote time to serving these “invisibles” and that He is using this outreach to train believers here in Israel to walk out their faith as Yeshua did: reaching out to the lost and suffering with love, mercy, and hope.
Thanks to your support, we can continue this important outreach here in Israel. Thank you!