It is no small thing, in Israel, for Messianic Jews to purchase or build their own building. Wages are low and the cost of real estate is high. Pastor Israel Pochter is from Ashdod, where Orthodox Jews have been harassing them and their congregation for many years. Not long ago, the 300 members of Beth Hallel (House of Praise) dedicated their new building.
Earlier this week, two Orthodox Jews spray painted graffiti all over their facility. They wrote the same words everywhere: "Missionaries are a National Danger." Of course, we are not missionaries, but rather Israeli citizens exercising our free right to worship Yeshua and spread His message. They seek to portray us as foreign workers coming here to convert people, not as we really are: Jewish Israelis spreading the message of Israel's Messiah.
The police are usually reluctant to investigate such matters, but Pochter has video surveillance evidence of the actual vandalism. As well, a soldier who goes to the congregation caught them in act and chased them off, which was also caught on film.
While these attacks can be frustrating (even scary), we must remember that these are the very people we hope to reach. Saul of Tarsus was a violent, anti-Messianic individual – until He met Yeshua. Plus, we are called to rejoice in the midst of persecution (Matt. 5:10-12). Pochter does not want to press charges, but simply wants the perpetrators to fix the damages. Pray that through this, the message of Yeshua will prosper.
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