One of the side effects of living in a country as complex as Israel is being subject to the continuous flow of ever-changing circumstances. As much as we want and need some stability, especially when it comes to pastoring a congregation, we often find ourselves thrown into a circumstantial tornado that only prayers and support can help us overcome.
We are in one of the tornados today. Earlier this week, Pastor Ariel, pastor of our Eliat congregation, met with the landlord of the building they’ve been renting for the past 8 years to speak about renewing their lease. During the meeting, the landlord notified Pastor Ariel that they were no longer interested in having a messianic congregation gathering in their building. To ensure they would not seek to renew the lease, the landlord raised the rent by over 50% and changed the contract terms to disallow messianic organizations from renting space.
We also learned from Pastor Ariel that an ultra-orthodox charity organization leased facilities in the same building, and this organization had pressured the landlord into evicting or not renewing the lease with our Eilat Congregation after 8 years of working together.
Out of options and only 5 weeks to find a new place, the Eliat congregation began looking for a new space. The main problem encountered when searching for facilities in Eliat is that very few suitable places can meet the needs for the kind of activities a church requires.
After a long and extensive search, Pastor Ariel and his team finally found a place that fulfilled the congregation’s requirements in price, size, and location. However, extensive renovation work is required – flooring, sanitation, plumbing, lighting, air conditioning, etc.
While funds are available for rent, there are no extra funds for a renovation budget. The minimum budget needed to renovate is $33,000. They will only be able to lease this space if they can raise the necessary renovation funds by the end of May.
We are walking in faith that God will make a way, through people like you, who see the importance of this work. We are in a time when we need more churches to open, not close. We are the messengers of hope for a desperate and lost generation.
Please consider supporting our Eilat Congregation in this new challenge to keep their church open! Any amount, whether big or small, will make a difference! Choose to be a part of kingdom building!
Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.