Light of Life
I was greatly encouraged by my recent visit to ‘Light of Life’ congregation. Pastor Samuil has faithfully shepherded this flock for over 20 years. It was so good to see a group of 60-70 with a healthy mix of ages, especially young families with children. They are a committed church family with a love for solid biblical teaching. Before I preached God’s word to them, it was a delight to take the Lord’s Supper together.
Samuil has entered his 70’s and his health is not what it once was. As he contemplates retirement, he is making an intentional effort to prepare the next generation of leaders for the church. Samuil is blessed with a strong handful of men into whom he is pouring his doctrine and pastoral experience. One of these men is a former professional soccer player, now a coach, whose love of the game is now being overshadowed by his love for Christ’s church. This man’s son, currently finishing up his military service, is also very active working with the young people in the church.
Please pray for Samuil and these men as he seeks to implement 2 Timothy 2:2 and train elders into whose hands he can commit this precious congregation.
Equally encouraging was my visit to a church pastored by ‘Tim J.’ in the Tel Aviv area. ‘Tim’ has a fascinating backstory. He was an American missionary in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and managed to safely exit the country. As his ministry in Iran developed, it had become largely focused on Iranian Jews. There was quite a large population of Jews in Iran at the time. In fact, our dear friend David actually grew up in Iran.
‘Tim’s’ ministry to Jews eventually led his family to settle in Israel after leaving Iran. In time, David’s church, Grace and Truth Congregation, sent ‘Tim’ as a church planter. Like Samuil, ‘Tim’s’ congregation is now around 60 in number with a good mix of ages. And, like Samuil, ‘Tim’ is giving a great deal of thought to the future. He is not quite Samuil’s age, but he would certainly love to see the church handed off to a younger, indigenous, Hebrew-speaking, Israeli pastor.
The Need for Well-Trained Young Men
Some in Israel are seeing an openness to the gospel among young people, military and university age, that has not been seen in older generations. In the years to come, this younger generation of believers will need pastors for their churches. These future pastors need training and tools for ministry. This highlights yet again the crying need for excellent books in modern Hebrew to help pastors better understand and teach the Bible.
Please pray for Pastor David Z. (left with book table at a Christian event) and HaGefen Publishing as they strive to translate and print these much-needed Hebrew resources. Visit HaGefen’s website https://www.ha-gefen.org.il/en/ to learn more about their vital publishing ministry.
Before his current role at HeartCry, Robert served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary. He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. Robert and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.More By Robert Shepherd