Newsletter - December 2011
SHALOM, SHALOM, FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS OF YESHUA HA MASHIACH!
Hope you celebrated the biblical Feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23) this year, embracing our Yeshua in every part of the celebrations - there is so much revelation into who He really is when we celebrate His feasts! And as this Gregorian calendar season comes to a close, may you be blessed if you are celebrating the cultural and traditional celebrations of Christmas (Lk.2)and Hanukkah (Jn. 10:22-39) with a heart of love for Him! The Lord created us to be people of celebration because He has certainly made much provision for feasting in His Word! Let our hearts be true and pure as we honor and worship Him. It’s all about His worship, and I know you join with me in exalting the God of Israel and the glorious Name above all names, Yeshua, our Messiah!
Thank you for taking your stand for Zion’s sake and for all that you are doing to prepare the way of the Lord. Thank you for supporting this ministry with your affirmation, prayers, service and finances. If you are receiving this newsletter, I know that because of your stand for Zion’s sake you have more than likely endured challenges and objections to your faith and have probably been “misunderstood” from time to time. You are bold and courageous as you stand on His Word. I am so grateful for people who love Him with passion and zeal and who are fixed on His face and who understand our faith and its foundations. He has sent us to proclaim His Word and make disciples in these last days. These are proclamations of hope – as Bible scholar Randall Price pointed out – “there is good news and there is great news” - we have experienced the good news at His first coming and we will experience the great news at His second coming! He is so near us. Don’t stop proclaiming the truth – prepare the way of the Lord! (Isa. 62:10-12)
Many of you serve the Lord in your churches and also support us at Highway to Zion as you bridge the gap between the mostly “Gentile” cultural expression of One New Man and the “Messianic Jewish/Gentile” expression of One New Man. Thank you for your partnership in this last-day proclamation of His Word. I am expecting that soon we will see this “one new people” (NLT) rise up in accordance with Ephesians 2:15! Surely the season of “elementary teaching” will soon be complete.
This year was so very full and there were surprises – in the Spring, while teaching one of our classes on prophecy in a mainline church, we found our subject matter was so controversial to them that we decided it was best to move our class to another venue and outside of the church’s umbrella! It’s always a surprise when concepts and principles that seem so biblically clear are challenged, and even though it can be a lesson in “loving one another”, we still must take our stand.
This experience strengthened us in our teaching and our seeking the Lord to confirm to our hearts His truth – we knew we had to be sure we were hearing Him correctly and following Him rightly. Our new venue turned out to be a great blessing and a central place for us to have our classes for both Spring and Fall sessions. Instead of folding our class, the challenge turned out to enhance our class and our conviction and the anointing over the teaching on prophecy, Israel, and the end-times.
Our classes and our teachers grow every year, and we are finding that there are now severaldifferent “levels” of understanding – some folks are still new to the Jewish roots/Messianic movement and some have been in it a while and want to go deeper, and we don’t want to stand still – we want to teach foundations and also the “deeps”, and by His grace, we will continue growing and learning together.
Another surprise was that we did our first all-women’s event – it was a seminar on the Song of Songs – this class fits with our ministry goal of imparting worship and intimacy with the Lord. And women came from all around and from many different backgrounds – a very spiritually diverse group. The biggest surprise was that out of this class, a group of women who desire to minister before the Lord in worship dance emerged. The blessing of it was that this group wound up ministering together in several venues already this year – including a women’s event at a large local evangelical church, a church-wide event at a glorious multi-cultural church in Marshville, a “cultural event” at an area high school, and several times at the Messianic service of another local assembly. It was as if we were propelled by the Ruach! We plan to continue to serve Him in this way as the Lord opens the doors for ministry. It’s about releasing others into freedom and joy in worship.
We are grateful to Curtis and Carolyn Loftin of Beit Yeshua in Lincolnton who have mentored and taught us Israeli folk dance in several class settings and also as we participate in events together. Our goal in worshipping in the dance is to encourage others to participate and learn to worship Him in this way - this is for all of us – we call it “congregational worship dance, not performance dance”! We praise ha Shem for this wonderful blessing of this group of worship dancers coming together.
The trip to Israel this year had a distinctive dimension as this group of twenty mature and anointed believers was flowing in the “One New Man” revelation all over the Land, lavishly pouring out their gifts. It was a particular blessing to have thirteen of this group come from Beit Yeshua, deepening the commitment and camaraderie to bless Israel that both our ministries share. Our focus in the midst of seeing the Land and experiencing God’s choice of Israel and the Jewish people as the means to reveal Himself to the nations was definitely laser sharp as we interacted with and connected with Messianic believers in the Land. It was as if all of us, Jews and Gentiles, knew that we were at a new level of this coming together of the nations with Israel. This blending of Jew and Gentile into one heart, one new creation, is happening and it is an awesome blessing to be part of it. There is a great sense of “knowing” that we are walking out the prophetic and one of the biggest blessings is that it is the most genuine and obvious and comfortable “next step” that while we are doing it, we are not having to “label it” or call it anything – this ministry or that ministry - if you know what I mean – it’s more real than that – it’s expressing a great love and desire for the same One – Yeshua ha Mashiachand a great love and desire to see each other grow up into the maturity of the faith.
Our commitment to complement, support, unify and serve together with other like-minded, Messianic ministries in our area has continued to crystallize, with the Lord helping us “fit together” with each other. Some “fits” are deeper and more obvious than others and we know that He will “fix us” so that we are joined together in the best combinations for His purposes. We are grateful for the friendship and the fellowship with Beit Yeshua Jewish Roots Group, Love for His People Ministries, One New Man at Steele Creek Church, Christians for Messiah, Israel Media Ministries and others who share similar callings and vision for these last days.
We continue to develop relationships with Messianic leaders, individuals and groups in Israel – we are growing in our friendships and in our service together. Please consider giving an offering for Israel – you can designate where you want your gift to go or you can let us put it “wherever needed”. We support many ministries in the Land and distribute gifts at different levels of financial support – “Partners”; “Friends”; and “Neighbors”.
Our partners in Israel: Dugit Outreach Center (evangelism); Chazon Yerushalayim (discipleship/Messianic believers); Vision for Israel (humanitarian aid). We have several “friends” and “neighbors” who receive from us, too. We may be making changes this year as the Lord directs in terms of rotating our giving in our categories as He shows us our focus for service.
To recap 2011 – CLASSES: We offered 9 weeks of Leadership Training Classes; 3 Dance Classes; Two choices for Spring Classes – Jerusalem in Prophecy - 8 weeks; Song of Songs Classes - 6 weeks, plus the Song of Songs Seminar; our Fall Classes were on foundational subjects and lasted for 10 weeks. ASSEMBLIES: We also were blessed to host Assemblies with special speakers including Warren Marcus of SCCC’s One New Man Service; and Peter Wyns of Christians for Messiah. FRIENDS: We were blessed to attend Beit Yeshua for the Feasts of Purim, Pesach and Shavuot plus the joint meeting for Evening Honoring Israel, which included participation with Beit Yeshua, Love for His People and Beit Shofarot. We also participated at Beit Shofarot’s Holocaust March. WORSHIP DANCE: Our “rising-up-by-the-Spirit” Highway to Zion Messianic Dancers danced at four or five venues. TOUR: Throughout the year we had several “pre-tour” meetings, culminating ingoing up to Zion for Succot. It was a very full and rich year. Baruch ha Shem!
My special love and thanks to those who minister with me on the Executive Board at Highway to Zion – Jan Stevens, Jeff Boyle, Joan Boyle, Chris Raborn, Derek Brown, Fran Hoover, Titia Nickens, Cheri Daly, and Thomas Biddy - thank you with all my heart for everything you have done this year - you are so faithful and powerful, wielding His Word and giving your gifts. To our intercessory prayer team – there are no words to fully thank you for all you’ve done, but we humbly say thanks. Thanks to all of you who will be serving and participating with us again in 2012!
As we put our ministry calendar together for 2012, we will keep you updated and informed of how He is leading us to serve this year. We trust Him to put us together in such a way that will accomplish His purposes. Hope to be serving and worshipping Him with you this year!
ALL HONOR, GLORY AND PRAISE TO THE WORTHY ONE – YESHUA HA MASHIACH! WE WORSHIP AND EXALT YOU FOREVER AND EVER! THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE SAY “COME!”
Much love and blessings,
Cathy Hargett, Director
Highway to Zion Ministries, Inc.