Annual Report - 2022
Shalom dear friends, brothers and sisters, and partners in service for Zion. I would like to report to you in general about this past year.
I hope that each year makes us all wiser, more experienced, more dependent on the Lord God, and more willing to do His will.
2021 was remembered by many for the difficulties with Covid (I personally spent nine days in the hospital, and thanks to the Grace of God I survived.), then 2022 became a year of many corrections.
Unfortunately, Covid did not go away in 2022. Unfortunately, the war between Russia and Ukraine began, we saw troubles and flows of refugees in Europe, and we saw new immigrants and refugees from this war in Israel. All this causes a lot of sadness and expectations of future upheavals. The Holy Scriptures write about “coming upheavals,” but the main instructions for us in this context are the words: “... do not fear what they fear, serve the Lord your God ...” and “... raise your eyes to the mountains; from there Salvation will come".
So, to sum up the year:
Personal: 2022 has been a blessing for my family – our eldest daughter got married. There was a certain conflict with the Israeli Interior Ministry. They did not want to allow her fiancé to enter Israel, but thank God they are together today, and I thank everyone for their prayers.
Trips: This summer alone I had to make four trips – to Norway, Cyprus, Finland, and Germany. But this is a good sign – a sign that our international ministry is being renewed and that the borders are open. These were special meetings and services, sermons about Aliyah (the return of the Jews to Israel), the renewal of the youth ministry, as well as meetings with believers from the Arab/Palestinian churches. In September 2022 the international conference of Messianic Russian-speaking pastors was dedicated to the issues of Aliyah, refugee migration in Europe, and humanitarian projects.
Congregation: We have grown in numbers. As always, we emphasize the spiritual development of our youth and young leaders. Please pray for this. We are currently in a deep overhaul of our home groups. Their number has grown from 9 to 14, and I think we will add more. In the new scheme, groups have not only believers from the community, but also new people. Please pray for this.
Our humanitarian ministry has grown tremendously. Because of the Russia/Ukraine war, many donations came to support those who left the war for Israel, and “Return to Zion” works persistently and effectively with this group of people.
Last year 15 to 17 families a week passed through our Humanitarian Aid Center. Now in 2022 we receive about 40 families a week and sometimes more. I want to thank you for every shekel/dollar and euro you donate to the support of these people. Money cannot heal their pain and the horror of war. Only God can do that through our prayers; nevertheless, good help from you and us provide relief and encouragement for them.
We continue to provide hot food for elderly / incapacitated people, in about the same numbers as in the past. We are now praying for the opportunity to rebuild, upgrade and improve our kitchen.
As you know, for many years, on a permanent basis, “Return to Zion” has been supporting families who brought their children to Israel for medical treatment. This support requires huge sums of money, and I thank you for donating to this project.
Music school: everything is going well. Thank God. We enrolled about a hundred students at the beginning of this academic year. We are no longer beginners; we provide an advanced music education program that offers professional music lessons. I think this is good evidence of the Grace of God and creativity in serving people through music and mentoring. With God's help, we plan to develop a Department of Drawing and Modeling. We also pray for a computer course for children. (But there are not enough hands and manpower for everything.)
HTI – Haifa Theological Institute. We are not a big educational institution. We have about thirty students. It's not much, but in our format it's normal. We are waiting for the “wave” that will show us how to develop further; your prayers are welcome in this direction.
Oasis Media – TV ministry via the Internet. There are no significant breakthroughs, but still 30-35 thousand people visit our programs every month, and I dare say this is probably the largest media resource for Messianic Jews in the Russian language. Thank you for supporting this ministry.
Holocaust Survivors. Since the beginning of the pandemic, this ministry has become very insignificant. The number of these people is dwindling. We do what we can. This year we gathered them for dinner/concert three times. We hope to see them again at “Return to Zion” before the end of the year. I ask for your prayers for these people. They saw a lot, they suffered a lot, and the Peace of God is essential for their hearts.
A significant event during this outgoing year was a trip to the Sea of Galilee by our whole congregation. After the lockdowns of the pandemic, it was a great time together. We had rest and prayers, "Tvila" (baptism) and a boat ride on the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Our leadership’s aim is to continue strengthening our congregation.
I want to thank you, your congregations, ministries, organizations and churches for sharing this year with us. Your prayers, help and friendship are huge blessings for us. I thank the Lord God for each of you and pray for peace and prosperity for you and your loved ones.
Feel free to share this report with your friends.
I believe that in 2023 we will be able to continue walking together in serving Israel in the name of Yeshua the Messiah.
You can support or learn more about our mission here: www.Shaveitzion.org