By Leon Mazin
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Since March 2020, when Covid first came to Israel, our congregants had not gotten sick. This was remarkable considering that hundreds of people pass through our facility every week – for congregational events, the music school, humanitarian aid, etc.
However, on July 23, 2021, by some unknown means, Covid broke into the congregation.
Everyone was affected in one way or another. I was in the hospital for 10 days in intensive care, though I able to understand everything that was happening around me. I received God’s grace and the many sincere prayers of friends. A strange feeling occurred when my oxygen level dropped. There was no fear of death, even though death was near.
In all probability, for everyone, there comes a time of lowered resistance, opening us up for the moment of meeting with our Maker. God determined that my moment had not yet come. Now I am back at home with my family, and we are all recovering together. Even our 3-month-old grandson got ill, along with eighty people in the congregation. Covid infected both the vaccinated, and the un-vaccinated. August, instead of being a time for summer vacation, turned into a month of illness and recovery!
God is the one who helped us get through all of this. He is faithful!
Ministry to children of economically challenged families
In our Music and Art School, after a challenging school year, we arranged a final concert on July 8th. At times the children had to learn online using Zoom and Skype, before returning to in-person lessons. The students performed exceptionally well; the parents were overwhelmed with joy; and the teachers were bursting with pride. We are so grateful to God for His mercy and grace with so many difficulties during the past year. This ministry helps children from low-income families develop their talents in music and arts, and learn about the beauty of God through creativity. Presently, we mentor about 90 children from the neighboring areas of our community
On July 13th, we had the privilege of organizing a festive dinner and concert in our building for those who went through the horrors of the Holocaust. We expected 50 people, but due to the heat, about 40 people attended the event. We were moved by how God touched them. They enjoyed delicious food and listened with admiration as children from our music school performed their pieces and shared what they had learned throughout the year. Many of these elderly people are over 85 and have gone through “hell on earth.” We seek to minister to them through prayer and to bring some healing for their inner wounds by giving them love and attention.
In mid-June a dozen people were ready to be baptized, thanks in part, to the fellowship and patient discipling of our elders and leaders. Even while following governmental policies of social distancing, the Lord continues to add those being saved! These people join home groups and are growing spiritually. We humbly listened to their wonderful testimonies during our Shabbat service on July 23rd.
We appreciate your prayer, partnership and friendship. Thanks to you, we can minister effectively.