My Dear friend[s], I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, as I know you are well in spirit. (3 John 2).
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for your prayers for us, and for your support, which enable us to serve here in Israel.
About two months ago, there was talk about the pandemic subsiding within Israel, but now a new outbreak has begun, especially among the ultra-orthodox population and the Bedouins. Today we have over 2,000 confirmed cases of infection per day, and like EVERYONE, we need prayers that strengthen faith and overcome fear. We have already started to feel the economic crisis. More than 35,000 small businesses have closed between February and July 2020. This is an immense number for Israel. The people in our messianic congregation are also losing their jobs, so GOD IS VITAL to us!
I ask you to pray for us and for our projects that are helping those in need (english.shaveitzion.org/soup-kitchen and english.shaveitzion.org/category/news), which have not paused in any circumstances, and that we would always give what is needed to those who ask! The project reaches out to both Russian-speaking olim (immigrants from other countries) and to the Arab population from the Christian and the Muslim sectors.
We want to continue to be the hands of the Messiah!
Shavei Tzion Congregation
Since the beginning of the quarantine, thanks to the Lord, we have not only kept our congregation together, but we have seen a significant growth of our ministry. Home groups have taken on more importance, and online meetings have expanded; instead of 500-600 viewers per week “before quarantine,” we have reached 2,000 viewers during our Shabbat service alone!
Also, we have divided our congregation into two groups (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there was a requirement to limit the number of people in one room). Today the Russian-speaking group gathers at 11 a.m. and the Hebrew-speaking group at 1 p.m., and an additional group has emerged on Wednesdays. As a pastor, I had not led home groups before, but beginning in March I began to run an online home group for those who are not members of any home group. Today, during online studies of the Scriptures on Wednesdays, about 90 to 100 people are gathering. This is an essential addition to our congregation, with its own requests, needs, and questions.
We do not know how the ongoing events will continue to develop and whether we, as a country, will enter another full shutdown. How will we be with the congregation and communicate with the people? All these issues are very challenging, and I ask you to join us in PRAYER for wisdom from HEAVEN!
Thanks again for your faithfulness!
Leon and Nina Mazin
Lead Pastor, Return to Zion Congregation