A Messianic congregation in Israel is doing their utmost to show love to the Christian foreign workers in the greater Tel Aviv area. We checked in with the leaders of HaMaayan Congregation to hear more about their ministry and outreach.
A Messianic Home in Israel Not Just for the Jewish People
Hamaayan Congregation is a Messianic congregation comprised of both Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua (Jesus). It was founded in 1989 by Tony and Orna Sperandeo, who had a dream to grow the Body of Messiah in Israel.
The ministry and congregation of HaMaayan are in Kfar Saba, just north of Tel Aviv. This central Israeli town of just over 100,000 residents recently became famous for ranking as the best Israeli city to live in.
A national survey evaluated 16 major cities in Israel, and Kfar Saba ranked first in life expectancy, housing density, satisfaction with the residential areas, and satisfaction with parks and green spaces.
But there is also one more encouraging number that did not make it onto the survey. That is, the believing community of Kfar Saba is growing and multiplying! The ministry of HaMaayan, which means “the wellspring” in Hebrew, is already making an impact beyond their city limits.
Where Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians Meet
While they hope to grow in Kfar Saba, HaMaayan Ministry has also been very active outside their city limits. They planted a sister congregation in the heart of Tel Aviv for their Christian neighbors in Israel – for the foreign workers.
Working for wages lower than the Israeli norm, the foreign workers in Israel still send most of their earnings to their families abroad. As such, they live very simple and very busy lives. Majority of the workers come from African and Asian countries, as well as the former Soviet states.
HaMaayan congregants developed strong relationships with workers from India and Sri Lanka. Of these, some were traditionally Christian, but many came to faith through the ministry of HaMaayan.
Most of the congregation members come from humble backgrounds, and their spirituality is not so much “western”. They are hungry for the Word of God and cherish fellowship. In Israel, they tend to stick with their compatriots, because of language and familiar culture.
Today, their congregation in Tel Aviv worships in English, Hindi, and Hebrew, while prayer is also conducted in local Indian languages. For many, Yeshua (Jesus) becomes their first love and they get to know Him exactly in the land where He lived.
Christmas in a City Park of Tel Aviv
A lot of the foreign workers come to Israel only for a few years or so. Which means they don’t stay in the land indefinitely. That is why HaMaayan Ministry also puts great effort into training them for the future – to minister to others in their home countries!
But they do get an opportunity to share the Gospel already in Israel.
Every year HaMaayan Congregation from Kfar Saba organizes a special Christmas event for the workers in Tel Aviv. It focuses on the Christian holiday to bring greater understanding. And it is an opportunity to share about Yeshua, the promised Messiah, with anyone interested in joining.
The event gives the workers a chance to invite their Israeli friends or even Jewish employers to hear the Gospel. Tables were set up in the park to create a welcoming and open space for all interested. And naturally, the very welcoming and festive celebration was filled with music and gifts.
HaMaayan Ministry sees this as an opportunity to bless people who are a blessing to Israel. They distribute food and gifts in several places around Tel Aviv, while making time to share the Good News.
Wellspring – A Source of Continual Supply
Despite the challenges that the pandemic brought on Israel, the vibrant ministry from Kfar Saba did not have to take a single step back. Instead, they are expanding! When two floors opened up in the building where the congregation meets, the congregation leaders decided to take a step of faith.
The vision of HaMaayan Congregation has always been to plant congregations and grow a school of ministry to train young people to know the Word of God. Now, they have the space to do it – and more.
The scope of their work is quite impressive. The congregation meets every week and holds prayer meetings on top of that. Serving youth and young adults is part of their regular discipleship training.
Messianic Witness to the People of Israel
HaMaayan is doing regular outreaches and humanitarian aid programs through – but not limited to – their distribution center. Whenever possible, they want to show compassion to widows, orphans, single mothers and elderly.
As we already know, their work is not limited to Jewish Israelis. They welcomed the foreigner with open arms, as well as the Arab neighbor. They actively promote reconciliation between Arabs and Jews through a congregational initiative called Kingdom First.
When people come to know the Lord, they learn of the reality of the one new man. And in imitating the Messiah, the HaMaayan congregation is living out the message of Isaiah 61:1-3:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
Console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
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