Never Give up Hope

Over the summer we met some people from abroad who had come to Israel for the purpose of ministering to Israelis. I suggested that they join us for our weekly outreach to the homeless in south Tel Aviv. Their response to my invitation surprised me. They said that they used to minister to homeless drug addicts in their home country, but they found that there is very little “fruit” with that population. What it felt like I was hearing was: it’s not worth the time to serve the neediest of the needy because you don’t come away with many success stories. 

Numbers-focused ministry can get our hearts off focus

Those of us who work in ministry know that raising funds for what we are doing can be a challenge, and it is easy to fall into a place where we begin to focus on what looks impressive, measuring the worth of what we are doing by the number of success stories. That is something that we all struggle with. There are also outreach and discipleship movements models that are highly focused on numbers and multiplication: while all efforts to share the gospel and disciple new believers are holy work, we all need to be reminded how important it is to keep our hearts focused on the Lord and the people we serve.

Never Giving up Hope

There is truth in what the people from abroad said about ministry to the homeless: it is not often that you see those who are willing to make the commitment to enter a drug rehabilitation program after being a long time on the streets. There are many reasons why this is so. This kind of service can also be very difficult and challenging emotionally, and sometimes you can become discouraged and drained. But, God in His grace always sends us encouragement and reminders when we need it!

The truth is that each time we are on the streets ministering with food, first aid and the love of Yeshua, there are always those who agree to have us pray for them. Some even pray and ask Yeshua into their hearts. Even if those people don’t end up getting off the streets, we know that we have sown seeds of God’s love and truth in the darkest places.

Each person is the whole world  

We have a saying in Hebrew that says each person is the world entire. It basically means that saving one person is like saving the whole world. This last month we met a young woman in her twenties who is coming to the area to buy drugs. She is new to the streets and is living out of her car. Over the last several weeks, we have had many deep conversations with her; one of our regular lady volunteers made a special connection with her. In our conversations with her we shared about the hope in Yeshua and about getting into a drug rehabilitation program.

Last week this young woman arrived an hour before we start serving, while we were still setting up and preparing the food. The volunteer who has a good connection with her sat for over an hour with her, talking and praying. Afterwards she even joined us in preparing and serving the food. Two days ago, this young woman entered a Messianic drug rehabilitation program.

Saving just one person from the street is great fruit indeed!

I personally want to thank all of you who support this ministry and enable us to serve this marginalized and even despised population here in Israel. For us it is reason to rejoice when even just one person’s life is saved from the streets. Yeshua calls us to leave the ninety-nine for the one, and to rejoice when that one who is rescued. We hope that you celebrate with us over each precious person who is saved!

by Moti Cohen


0 thoughts on “Never Give up Hope

    • Anders Åkesson Moberg says:

      Shalom Moti. That is so moving and so true. We experience very similar things when I go out with Street Church or with SOS Church here in Malmö, southwest Sweden. May the Lord bless you all and for your work for Yeshua Meshicheynu. Amen

  • James R Rairdon says:

    My dear Moti,
    Thank you for your faithful service to our Master. As one who ministers occasionally to those considered unreachable enemies of Jeshua by many, I understand the “lack of numbers” you refer to. Some will never understand why one would toil hard on dry, rocky ground, but the love of God compels us to do so. We too were once enemies of the good news and even fought against the grace of God reaching out to us.
    Please my friend, we must never make the mistake of thinking we know why someone is saying or doing something. This offends our Lord as He loves them no less than He loves us, and He is the only one who truly understands them. Someone once said, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”
    Your servant

    • Tiferet Yeshua says:

      Dear Jim, thank you for your kind and gentle reminder not to assume meaning in what people are saying and to be gracious with everyone. With that, we have edited slightly the article to reflect more that heart. At the same time, we feel it is important to talk about this dynamic that can easily crop up in outreach ministry that can become numbers focused: we have run into it more than once. Our position is, as Moti wrote, that sharing the gospel is holy work, no matter what someone’s motive is, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached…” Philippians 1:18

  • Dennis Z. Halasz says:

    Thank you for this article. It is so true! It is heartening to see that others believe the way I do. Yes, we don‘t often see much fruit, but even then, we simply must believe that God‘s Word never returns void, even in the lives of others, just because He said so.

  • Ja Gottes Segen euch in eurem Dienst. Das Wort Gottes Redet von Saat. Und Ernte. Darum säet. Und Gott lässt es wachsen. Und wir brauchen nur Geduld. Und dann Ernten wir zu Ehre unseres Herrn. Jesus Christus. Ihm sei Ehre Denn ohne ihn gibt es keine Frucht nur mit ihm bringen wir Frucht zu Ehre des Vaters Danke euch Allen meine Geschwister im Herrn.

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