Recently, youth and young adults who believe that Yeshua is the promised Messiah of Israel gathered in Tel Aviv from all over Israel, Gaza and the world to worship God at the annual Elav Conference.
As in past years, Elav (Unto Him) was held at a major rock concert venue in Tel Aviv called Hangar 11. Instead of rock music, however, worship and praise filled this huge warehouse for three days and nights.
Young Arab Believers in Yeshua (Jesus) from Gaza and Bethlehem united with their Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters to seek the face of the God of Jacob with one voice and heart.
“Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah.” (Psalm 24:6)
Elav isn’t about politics. It’s not about who is right or wrong. It’s about prayer, worship and teaching.
The event was also attended by international and Israeli speakers and worship bands, including Americans Eddie James (worship leader) and Wes Hall (former lawyer and now bible teacher) from the Kansas City International House of Prayer.
Avi Mizrachi, who is the Messianic leader of Adonai Roi (The Lord is my Shepherd) Congregation in Tel Aviv, prophesied that this year would be the “year of God’s power to change lives and set young people free.”
Yoel, a young Messianic Israeli soldier, said he believes God is planting ‘vision’ in young people’s hearts and that Elav is a big part of this holy purpose in these end times.
During a tremendous time of worship hundreds of youth stood in united prayer and fervent worship towards the heavens for a change in the spiritual atmosphere over Tel Aviv. Some prayed for rain.
And then all of a sudden a miracle took place—God answered with a change in the physical atmosphere. It began to pour with rain!
You must understand that here in Israel during the summer months, we don’t receive ONE DROP of rain.
From May-October, this Middle Eastern country with a lot of desert doesn’t receive a drop of rain until late fall.
These newcomers had no idea they were praying for something considered akin to the miraculous!
“And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26)
Please pray that this exceptional summer rain will be a sign from heaven that spiritual blessings of life and salvation are also coming to the people of Israel this year!
Israeli Youth Sharing Yeshua on the Streets of Tel Aviv
Known as the Manhattan of Israel, Tel Aviv is a city that never stops. Many young Israelis go there for its nightlife and to hang out on the streets. During the conference, some of the worship team youth who were sleeping on the roof of a youth hostel heard a scuffle in the streets below at 4 AM.
A 17-year-old woman was being harassed by some men.
When these Believers in Yeshua came to her rescue, the culprits immediately left. The young musicians spent the next few hours singing, break-dancing and sharing the Scriptures about Yeshua fulfilling prophecy with this young Jewish woman.
This young woman told them: “I believe in a ‘higher power’ but I’m not happy with my life.”
She was searching for that ‘something’ she knew was missing, but wasn’t finding it on the streets or in the nightclubs of Tel Aviv.
In the end, she asked if she could have a bracelet one of the team members was wearing that read “Pray Continually.” She said she wanted it to remember to keep praying for answers.
If not for the faithfulness of these young men sold out to God, this situation might have ended tragically. Instead, however, this precious, young Jewish woman was introduced to her Jewish Messiah Yeshua, and shown the way to salvation.
Not every young woman on the streets of Tel Aviv is so fortunate.
Some young women end up being abused and involved in human trafficking. Girls as young as the age of 13, mostly from the former Soviet Union, are promised a ‘new life in Israel’. Then they are sold as sex slaves and passed from one person to another on the streets of Tel Aviv.
Messianic Jewish Believers in Israel have a vision to bring God’s Kingdom into the areas of social work and law in order to help these unfortunate young women.
Please pray for the Believers in the Land who are laboring in this difficult harvest field.
The powers of darkness may be strong over Tel Aviv, but God is El Elyon (God Most High)—above all principalities and powers!
In another instance on the streets of Tel Aviv, members of the Elav ministry team met an Israeli woman who said she had had dreams of the Messiah. In one of her dreams, she said, the Messiah had told her that she would give birth to twins, and her dream later came to pass. She had been wondering who this Messiah is who had spoken to her in her dreams. What a wonderful opportunity the Elav team members had as they shared with her the love of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah), and the Messianic prophecies that He fulfilled in the Jewish Scriptures.
Another highlight of Elav 2011 was the response of a religious Jewish man to an altar call.
Being the son of a prominent rabbi, the young man had come in disguise. He had been so touched by the worship and preaching that he came forward to receive Yeshua.
Unity Between Believing Arabs and Jews
During the conference, Believing youth from both Jewish and Arab cities and towns all around Israel, strengthened their bonds of unity in Messiah.
There were young Arab Believers from Gaza praying fervently over Jewish Israeli soldiers with a love that only Yeshua can give.
At least 97% of the people here in Israel do not believe in Yeshua.
It’s estimated that there are only 1,500 Messianic youth spread out across Israel, so they often feel isolated among their Israeli secular and religious Orthodox Jewish peers. This conference helps them know that they are not alone, but that there are many other young people in Israel who also believe in Yeshua.
Pray that the Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian young people in Israel and the surrounding areas will stand united and firm in their faith and be powerful witnesses for Yeshua among their peers.
Issues Unique to Israel
Some of the issues that Israeli youth face are unique to Israel alone.
A poll conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach reveals that the majority of teenagers fear venturing out of their houses because of the threat of terrorist attacks, and doubt if Israel will even exist by the time they reach middle age. It also reveals they are overwhelmingly determined to remain in Israel.
The contrast between Israeli and Western youth is striking.
While many high school students in suburban America worry about getting into a good college or having a date on the weekend, Israeli teenagers worry that if they go out for a pizza, they could lose body parts—or their lives!
In America, gun control is an issue and teenagers and gang members commit violent crimes using these lethal weapons. In Israel, however, a full two-thirds of 18 to 21-year-olds must walk around carrying an armed automatic rifle as part of their army duty to protect the State of Israel.
Army regulations require Israeli soldiers to carry their weapons at all times, even when off duty and even while sleeping.
Here, it’s completely ‘normal’, if at first unnerving, to see young Israelis in public places in a T-shirt and jeans, with an M-16 slung over their shoulder. All young men 18–21 and girls 18–20 serve in the Israeli Armed Forces!
Despite that, the number of crimes committed with these guns is almost non-existent. There haven’t been any reported cases of off-duty soldiers using their guns against another person, such as in personal disputes, or domestic quarrels.
While in most Western countries, the present generation produces more business majors than social workers, only 5% of Israeli youth consider becoming rich a priority in life.
“Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, none of them can by any means redeem his brother nor give to God a ransom for him….” (Psalm 49:6–7)
To most youth in other countries, the concept of death is something that pertains to their parents or the elderly.
In Israel every 18-year-old entering into the Army, Navy, or Air Force, must confront their own mortality. Rare is the Israeli teenager who hasn’t lost a friend, relative, or neighbor.
The young people of Israel are embarking upon an uncertain future! Half of high school students polled said they were uncertain Israel would exist 50 years down the road.
Most expect the terror attacks to continue, which makes every simple outing to a movie, a mall or a cafe like playing Russian roulette with their very lives.
One might think that most Israeli youth would opt for a “saner”, “safer”, more “normal” life somewhere else. And yet, despite these formidable facts of life, 84% choose to stay in Israel—at any cost!
Why? We see an answer in the Word of God:
“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its skill….” (Psalm 137:5)
Most Israeli teenagers at some deep level, aren’t willing to sacrifice the hard-won privilege that Jewish people have longed for—for thousands of years—as written in the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah (The Hope): to live as a free nation in this land, Zion and Jerusalem, at last!
Please pray for Israeli young people who risk so much to defend the borders of this nation. And we also ask that you keep the Israeli Messianic Jewish youth in your prayers.
The young Believers in Yeshua (Jesus) that we have mentioned need your prayers for God’s Spirit to fill them and anoint them to be His witnesses to their peers here in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Many of these young people will one day be distributing the Messianic Prophecy Bible in Hebrew to people in all the large and small cities, villages and towns, throughout the Holy Land.