Last week on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we were standing on the balcony of our Haifa apartment on the western slope of Mount Carmel, admiring the beautiful green valley that sweeps down to the Mediterranean Sea. At 10am the shrill sound of the siren went off in our city and throughout Israel, and for two minutes the nation stopped all activity, people got out of their cars on the highway, and we all stood in silent remembrance of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
This week on May 11, we again stood in silence as the siren was sounded on another solemn occasion, Yom HaZicharon, honoring all our fallen soldiers and terror victims who have lost their lives in the continuing battles for Israel’s existence. The solemn mood then changed radically at sundown that day, as celebrations and fireworks broke out for Yom HaAtzma’ut (Independence Day). On the top of Mount Carmel on the grounds of our worship center, we held our annual congregational family picnic, with worship and the Word, children’s games, and wonderful food and fellowship, as we celebrated the miracle of the re-establishment of the State of Israel 68 years ago – truly an end-time sign of the Lord’s faithfulness to His word.
Although Yeshua is still not recognized as our Messiah by most Israelis, there is a stirring and awakening that has begun. Many are hearing and discovering the truth of salvation in Yeshua that has been hidden from our people during the tragic centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, including the horrors of the Holocaust, and currently re-surfacing in the insidious movements to de-legitimize Israel’s right to exist in the nations. As the body of Messiah in Israel continues to grow, the Word of the Lord is running swiftly through the Land -- through websites and social media, friendships, outreaches, music and printed materials. We continue to intercede for the great move of the Holy Spirit which will sweep over the “valley of dry bones” (Ezek. 37) and bring “life from the dead” (Rom. 11:15) to our people.
“Their Waters Flow from the Sanctuary” (Ezek. 47:12)
It is in the context of this “kairos” season that we will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Kehilat HaCarmel in our worship center on top of Mount Carmel. On Shabbat, June 11, on the Eve of Shavuot (Pentecost), we will be worshipping and thanking the Lord for His great faithfulness toward us as a congregation. As we look back at the earliest days of our meetings at House of Victory in 1991 where the congregation was born, we are in awe of His grace and provision that have been upon us throughout these decades, causing the growth and flourishing of the ministries which have been birthed under the spiritual covering of Kehilat HaCarmel. The Lord has graced our leadership team with a deep spirit of unity and love which has enabled us to withstand the many challenges we have faced over the years.
We have watched the Lord bring forth, as well, a new generation of anointed leaders in our midst who are carrying our founding vision, who are faithful and tested, and are now being fully released into their callings. Thus, it is with great joy that on this special occasion we will be officially installing Dani Sayag, a native-born Israeli, as our new lead pastor to carry the congregation further into the Lord’s purposes in the coming years.
As we continue to worship the Lord and drink together from the living waters that flow from His sanctuary on the top of Carmel, He promises that “along the bank of the river…will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine” (Ezekiel 47:12).
Please stand with us in prayer on this special Eve of Shavuot, June 11, as we call upon the Lord to release a fresh outpouring of His Spirit upon us and all His body in the Land, that the living waters will flow down into the valleys, bringing healing and salvation to our nation.