by Tatyana Sviontek, MJBI Ukraine
Their journey starts from various Lemba tribal locations across Zimbabwe. Whether by bus, bike, or foot, these deeply-committed Jewish believers sacrifice much to share their faith all over their country. As new MJBI students, they are unified by a passionate purpose: to grow deeper in their Jewish roots, and then share more effectively among the Lemba who have not yet heard the Good News about their Messiah Yeshua.
Arriving in the city of Harare, Valentin and I were privileged to meet and teach 39 of these precious students. They were hungry for their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was also a great blessing to see other students who, after completing their own MJBI course work, are now on the field doing practical ministry in various parts of Zimbabwe.
We shared from the book of Nahum, which gave students a great perspective on their faith and calling in Yeshua. Afterwards, one student stood up and addressed the others with this statement: “We must fear the Lord as long as we live. We must keep His commandments as long as we live.” The class received this word with great applause, shouts of excitement, and joy in the Lord! The heart of the Jewish Lemba is to fear the God of Israel and obey Him.
There are big challenges, but also big opportunities. While the religious Jewish community actively tries to convert the Lemba people to Judaism by standing against the Messianic movement and the work done by MJBI students, God is opening many doors. For instance, an opportunity has developed to meet with Lemba tribal leaders in South Africa. Pray these meetings will result in outreach to the South African Lemba tribes.
These on-fire students need our prayer covering as they walk through opposition as well as open doors of ministry. They have so embraced the Messianic vision, and carry it deep within their hearts. Speak God’s favor and blessing over all of those who will boldly stop at nothing as they share their Messiah with the Lemba of Africa!
A Protestant Lemba pastor heard what God was doing among his people and felt an immediate call in his heart to learn more and return to reach his tribe. The church elders blessed him, released him to pursue God’s call on his life, and he became an MJBI student. Sadly two months ago his daughter died in childbirth, leaving him and his wife to raise their grandchild. Despite this heartbreak, they remain strong in faith, trusting God to carry them through the struggle. He is still very excited to be part of the Messianic movement in Zimbabwe.