The call to “make disciples” often entails dimensions beyond teaching the foundations of the faith: it requires sensitivity to someone’s mental and emotional needs, giving guidance and encouragement, and offering support through difficulties and challenges. Through my experience with Shai, a young man who got connected with us to study the New Testament, I am reminded of this important spiritual truth: God does amazing things in our lives when we have a genuine desire to know Him and a willingness to change.

A Different Kind of Sickness

When I first reached out to Shai, I realized that he was in a dark place and had numerous addictions and emotional problems. After our conversation, we set a date to meet, but, on the day of the meeting, he called saying he was sick. So, I scheduled another meeting for the following week, but when the day of that meeting rolled around, Shai called again to tell me that he was sick. This time I knew that something other than a virus was keeping him from our meetings.

I started asking him questions and quickly realized that Shai had a debilitating anxiety to leave his house and be around other people. Instead of suggesting I come to his place, I simply told him, “The right thing to do is to come and learn to deal with spiritual issues with spiritual tools.” Amazingly, Shai listened—rather, God gave him the grace to overcome his debilitating anxiety—and an hour later he arrived at the congregation. This would be the first breakthrough of many that Shai would experience.

Overwhelming Desire

I have discipled many new believers, and I can say that Shai is different from most. From our first meeting, he showed an incredible desire to get to know God. The more he learned, the more convinced he became that only Yeshua could save him, so he clung to Him fervently and sought Him in the Word and in prayer. Over five months of meeting weekly with Shai’, often twice a week, I witnessed steady growth in his self-confidence and his ability to deal with everyday challenges which once paralyzed him.

Every positive step we suggested, he implemented, no matter how frightening or challenging. And through every critical step he took, God did wonders in him. When we told Shai that It was important to connect with believers in his area, he immediately found a home group and started attending their weekly meetings. Through this process, he started changing his circle of friends and the environment he surrounded himself with.

The Transformation

Shai’s immerson in the Jordan River

Over a period of five months, we have witnessed a steady and powerful transformation   in Shai. If someone is willing, God will do amazing things in them, and that is exactly what we have seen with Shai: he’s been set free from powerful addictions and anxieties, received grace and strength to radically change his lifestyle, and He continues to be filled with Yeshua’s transforming love.

Two weeks ago, Pastor Moti and I were honored to be a part of Shai’s immersion to declare his surrender and commitment to follow Yeshua. The witness of Shai’s life is a great personal encouragement for us, and we are grateful and blessed to be a part of God’s plan to save and restore His precious people.

Please keep Shai and all the new believers we disciple in your prayers for continued grace, growth and protection!

(*Shai’s name has been changed to protect his privacy*)

After the High Holidays, I started weekly “Going Deeper” meetings at Tiferet Yeshua where we could go deeper into the Word of God together. God has been blessing our meetings greatly and bringing together a wonderful group of Israeli believers who are hungry to seek more of Him in His Word. At the end of 2021, God put it on my heart to do something special and a little bit different at our weekly “Going Deeper” meeting: I wanted to somehow combine worship with our Bible reading for that week. I had in mind a couple worship leaders who agreed to come and lead worship at the meeting, but a couple days before the meeting they let us know that they could not make it.

A day before the meeting, a couple of young women from Tiferet Yeshua’s worship team happily agreed to come lead worship for our meeting. At that point, I still did not have a clear idea how I was going to combine the Bible study with the worship.  The day of our meeting was especially busy: we started early in the morning with preparing the congregation to host a group of holocaust survivors for a special holiday meal, and we were busy serving and then cleaning up until late in the afternoon. Our event with the holocaust survivors was very meaningful and blessed, and we were all touched by what God had done. But little did we know that God was not finished: we still had our special “Going Deeper” meeting just a couple hours away.

Tzlil and Orel blessed us with anointed worship

That evening, we arranged our chairs in a circle and had the keyboard and our worshippers as a part of the circle. We started by reading through our passage that week and sharing what the Lord put on our hearts about what we read. Then we just started to worship together. At one point, one of our worshippers began singing in the Spirit, and there was suddenly a heavy anointing of God’s presence in the room. I felt let to read 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;


At that moment the Spirit fell in a surprisingly powerful way: one young man shared a vision he saw of the fire of the Lord burning up unclean spirits. A moment later he was unable to stand and sank to his knees, overcome with waves of joy. At the same time, another man suddenly started going through a dramatic deliverance from spiritual oppression. I am so thankful that Debbi from our leadership team was there with me so that we could each minister to those who were being touched by the Holy Spirit!

We could see that God was touching another man, and Debbi and I started to pray for him: he shared afterward that God showed him several areas of wrong spiritual ideas he had (in his younger years he was heavily involved in a cult led by a powerful guru) and that God then gave Him three powerful words for his life and his family. Flori, a new believer who prayed to receive the Lord a couple months ago during one of our meetings, said she felt that the Lord Yeshua Himself had laid His hands on her head while she was praying and worshipping. Her husband Hilik was also touched in a powerful way. Everyone who was there received some special touched from the Holy Spirit.

I had no idea that this is what God had planned for us! I just wanted to do a worship evening with the Word, but He started moving because our hearts were open and worshipping Him. All of us were astounded at the end of the meeting, and none of us wanted to leave – so strong was the presence of the Spirit! I also feel that somehow our meeting was even more blessed because we had spent the morning serving and blessing holocaust survivors. Even as I write this, I am astounded by God’s goodness to us and how He surprised us with such a beautiful outpouring of His Spirit, and how faithful He is to set captives free. We are hungry for more, and are excited for what else He has in store for us!

Kosta Bikesh

The only way to grow in our faith is to get to know God, and the best way to do that is by spending time getting to know Him in His Word. This last year, God put it on my heart to start a weekly group that would facilitate studying the Word together and encourage a lifestyle of reading the Bible. After the High holy days, I started weekly “P’nima” meetings at Tiferet Yeshua: in Hebrew p’nima means to go inside or enter deeply into something. My vision and prayer for these “Going Deeper” meetings was that God would draw all of us deeper into His Word, closer to His heart, and knit us closer to one another.

As each week has passed, more people began showing up to our meetings: new believers, mature believers and seekers too. God is bringing people to our meetings who are serious about drawing nearer to Him through His Word and discovering more of the depths of His love for us. Each week I am touched and amazed by the spiritual hunger and sincerity that people bring with them and how beautifully God is revealing Himself to us through our studying and meditating on His Word together and praying for one another. All of us are also greatly blessed by the insights and revelations of God’s Word different people are sharing. Our meetings are lively, interesting, and new people are showing up every week!



Over the past couple of years, Israeli believers have been reaching out to us for discipleship; they may have come to faith years ago, but they never connected with other believers, whether it be in congregations or home groups. In their isolation, their faith did not mature, and they ended up going back to living in the ways of the world. Here in Israel, there are many challenges and hurdles people face in coming to faith in Yeshua as the Messiah. Once they do, believers endure an immense amount of spiritual pressure aimed at keeping them weak, isolated and not living in surrender to God.

Hearing the gospel and accepting that Yeshua is the Messiah is incredibly important first step in our journey of faith. However, it is critical that it doesn’t stop there. Providing a place where Hebrew-speaking Israelis can gather together, study the Word of God, and be strengthened and encouraged in their faith is critical for the growth and health of the Body of Messiah in Israel.

We are excited and expectantly praying about the things God will continue doing in our “Going Deeper” meetings! Please keep these meetings in your prayers, that He would use them to draw all of us deeper into His Word, closer to His heart, and knit us closer together to one another.