About Argentina Jorge Goldstein, the former worship leader of one of the largest and most respected churches in Argentina, was sent out to plant his own church in one of the poorest suburbs of Buenos Aires. Jorge and his wife, Marcela, were the only Jews in their church. Jorge’s Jewish ancestors came from Ukraine, and Marcela was the daughter of an Italian Holocaust survivor.
When the Hear O Israel festival came to Buenos Aires in August of 2000, their hearts were gripped with God’s call to reach their own Jewish people. Yes, God had called them to the poor. But now, He was calling them also to their own Jewish people. With soberness of heart, they accepted this call and began the MJBI in February of 2001. Four years later, God has elevated Jorge’s spiritual stature as an elder in the land and a key pioneer of the Messianic Jewish vision. They now oversee several congregations in Argentina and Peru. They presently have other requests to start new Messianic congregations and MJBIs in other cities in Argentina and Spanish-speaking countries. The Goldsteins consider the MJBI very strategic in raising Messianic leaders for these new works.
The Goldsteins expanded the MJBI with a Jewish Music and Dance Department, and Jorge’s teaching is on national television which is a means for student recruitment. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
About Brazil The MJBI linked with Har Zion Messianic Congregation in Brazil and Netivyah Ministries in Jerusalem, Israel, to form a Brazilian MJBI in February of 2000.
Under the leadership of Marcelo Guimaraes, the MJBI has graduated over 500 students. Many of these graduates now lead Messianic congregations and pastor churches throughout Brazil. Though remaining closely related in vision and friendship with the MJBI, the school is now fully self-supporting and independent; and the final MJBI graduation class will be in December of 2012. Many of the MJBI classes have been integrated into their successful online CATES program for Portuguese speakers.
We encourage any Portuguese speakers to avail themselves of the rich CATES curriculum. For more information, please go to www.cates.com.br.
About Ethiopia Jonathan Bernis, Executive Director of Jewish Voice Ministries International, began to hold medical clinics among poor Ethiopian Jews in the slums of Addis Ababa and Gondar. As a result of these outreaches, many lives were touched. A Messianic congregation was birthed, and a need for training leaders became evident.
There is a strong Hebraic influence within Ethiopian culture dating back to Solomon’s time. From primitive villages to cities, it is not uncommon to find Stars of David engraved on buildings like Orthodox churches or attached to grass huts. The national language, Amharic, is a Semitic language with many Hebrew root words.
There is also a Jewish community in Ethiopia. Some have kept Jewish traditions for centuries; others have embraced the Orthodox Church and mixed traditions.
A rabbinical decision from Israel declared that the Ethiopian Jews indeed were Jewish. Therefore, in 1984, the government airlifted 25,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, but they left many sick, orphaned, and elderly behind. Those who remain live in deplorable conditions. Truly, they are the poorest of the poor and desperate to hear a word of hope.
God’s Word says, “Ethiopia will soon stretch out her hands to God” (Psalm 68:11). The African Jews of Ethiopia have been rejected and almost forgotten…But not by God. Their untold stories are profound and must be voiced.
Today, the MJBI has three locations in Ethiopia:
- Addis Ababa, among the Beta Abraham community
- Gondar, among the Beta Israel community
- Woliso, among the Gafat from the Beta Israel community
Working under the leadership of Mezmur ZeMichael, the MJBI has its national office in Addis Ababa.
About Hungary After the Hear O Israel Festival, an MJBI began in Budapest, Hungary, in 1999. The school continued as a full-time day school for four years. Today, there are a number of MJBI graduates serving the Lord in Jewish ministry.
Currently, the MJBI is providing courses online in Hungarian and offering seminars and teachings to educate the church and support the Messianic Jewish movement in Hungary. We also support a staff person who actively serves the Jewish community and provides opportunities to share the message of faith in Yeshua. The MJBI also works with a local board of leaders who oversee a charitable foundation in Hungary.
Hungary has the largest Jewish population in Central Europe. It is in the center of the “Land of the Holocaust,” a place of great suffering and despair. At the same time, it is a land of great destiny. Theodor Herzl was born in Budapest and was used by God as the architect of the Jewish State of Israel. Sadly, anti-Semitism still taints the hearts of many in Hungary.
The time is critical for MJBI Budapest to be a voice to the Church and to bring the Good News to the Jewish community of Hungary.
MJBI Israel’s Objectives:
1. We are committed to the centrality of Yeshua and the power of the Holy Spirit. Our discipleship training includes learning to listen to the voice of God and to be active in group-meetings that follow the pattern of I Corinthians 14. We obey the command to, “Seek earnestly the best gifts.”
2. We seek to teach all the students to develop character through obedience to the teaching of Yeshua. In this we believe in the place of the Torah as applied in the New Covenant.
3. We are committed to a continued Jewish lifestyle that is rooted in Torah and applied in the New Covenant. The Jewish heritage, where it is in accord with the letter and the Spirit of the New Covenant, is fostered. In Israel, this is especially connected to the return to the land in a Hebrew language society in conjunction with Romans 11:29.
4. We are oriented to the systematic teaching of the Bible and its application for all students. Our teaching is primarily in Hebrew with English translation. We purpose to have an emphasis on Holy Spirit impartation, not only head knowledge.
5. We purpose that graduates from MJBI will be equipped and empowered to:
- Enter into full-time ministry.
- Enter the business world and market place and be successful in their fields.
- Some will go on to further schooling.
- We envision that some will start house congregations while also pursuing business and professional careers. Part-Time Programs: MJBI Israel also offers module courses that enable students to complete the classroom part of a course over a three-day period. These special modules will also include full-time students. In addition, we may offer classes at various locations to fulfill the need of other communities in the Land.
The MJBI has a relationship with a Korean local Church and the Grace International Bible Institute (GIBI). The purpose of this school is to train members of the local church, but also:
- To educate and train with a proper theology regarding Israel and the Jewish people.
- To raise intercessors and supporters for Israel and the Messianic movement.
- To train laborers for Jewish works, as Korea is the second sending nation of missionaries in the world.
- To give valuable teaching to an affiliated school for North Korean defectors.
Jonathan Bernis is the president of the school, Pastor J.S. Lee oversees the school, and Dr. Wayne Wilks Jr. and our USA office coordinate guest teachers. The GIBI is an affiliate school with the MJBI and began in November of 2003.
Korea 2012 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you” (2 Cor 10:13 NIV).
Paul recognized that there is a specific “field” that God has assigned for each one of us. I believe that, with humility, we should all be able to discern these spheres of influence. When we overextend beyond these boundaries, however, we can suffer “unnecessary” difficulties. Following God certainly has enough challenges without adding more stress to our lives!
We know that the Lord sovereignly linked us to the “field” of Korea in 2003. Following several divine confirmations, Jonathan Bernis held a Messianic festival there, followed by a request to begin an MJBI. Since there are not many Jews in Korea, the MJBI board also recognized that the Lord was leading us to begin an “affiliate status” of schools.
While our primary mission had been to train leaders for Messianic congregational ministry, we began to recognize we must also provide education for the Church as God would allow us. Thus, in November of 2003, under the leadership of Pastor J.S. Lee, an MJBI affiliate school began in Seoul, Korea.Today this school is called the Grace International Bible Institute hosted by Grace International Church. The purpose of this school is to train members of the local church, but also:
In April, I had the joy of visiting these precious saints and attending their most recent graduation of 28 students. I was also able to teach and minister in their training program for North Korean defectors who, while facing great personal peril, escaped from North Korea into China. They then traveled across China, snuck into Laos, and made their way to a South Korean embassy. These humble students are eager to serve the Lord, and some are preparing to return to North Korea as missionaries when the walls of separation fall.
I thank God for sovereignly linking MJBI to the special field of Korea.
Through Rabbi Marty Waldman’s influence, the MJBI began this affiliate school in 2009.
The school is hosted and led by Pastor Agustin Enriquez Vargas and Pan de Vida Church in Mexico City, Mexico.
The school began in 2009 and today hosts visiting teachers from the USA who teach the MJBI’s core curriculum to over 200 students.
In 2005, the school and base of ministry was moved to St. Petersburg. Working closely with Mike Becker, pioneer of many Messianic congregations in Russia. Yura is serving the congregational network there and overseeing education for the Russian Messianic Union.
St. Petersburg is a significant city because it is the location where an awakening of Jewish faith in Yeshua began through the Hear O Israel Festival Outreaches in the 1990s.
Today there is a congregation planted in St. Petersburg and a fruitful humanitarian aid outreach. A number of MJBI graduates are leading Messianic congregations in Russia today, but the need for laborers remains great.
The school currently rotates among several key cities, drawing in students from that region.
“Course Not Yet Available”
Val Sviontek, MJBI Ukraine Director, suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery on 9/20. If you would like to track his progress, you can receive updates and send him comments online at http://val.messianicjewish.org/
Odessa is the gateway from the former USSR to Israel. Ships leave regularly from Odessa to Israel carrying new immigrants. In World War II, over 200,000 Jews were killed from the Odessa region alone. This city has been a center for Jewish life and thought for decades.
In the summer of 1995 in Odessa, Hear O Israel Ministries carried out the largest recorded Jewish outreach in history. A large outdoor stadium was rented, and 60,000 people attended the meetings over three nights. To God’s glory, 45,000 professed faith in the Lord, and 23,000 of those were Jewish. While many Jews are returning to Israel as the Bible prophesies, many remain. By God’s grace and the capable leadership of Valentin Sviontek, the Odessa MJBI and Or HaMashiach Messianic congregation are raising laborers for this continued Jewish harvest.
Since the first graduation in 1998, former students are now serving in Jewish ministry in Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Belarus, Romania, Germany, and the USA. Additionally, the Odessa school has satellite Russian-speaking video schools in numerous cities in Ukraine, Russia, and Central Asia.
All who visit Odessa witness the special sense of God’s destiny on this city and the strategic role the MJBI is playing there. Truly God’s zeal is being manifest in these days to reach His Chosen People with the Good News of Yeshua. Under the leadership of Valentin Sviontek today, there is a thriving congregation, full-time school, and effective outreach and humanitarian aid programs.
“Course Not Yet Available”
The MJBI offers three options for study in America in English:
- Our online School of Messianic Theology (SMT). This is the best way to experience the curriculum of the MJBI from quality leaders and instruction. More classes are being developed and will added online as the curriculum becomes available.
- Our affiliated program with The King’s University is for those interested in getting an accredited graduate or undergraduate degree in Messianic Jewish Studies.
- Our affiliated program with the Messianic Life Institute provides quality education with course mentoring.
In 2012 Jonathan Bernis, chairman of the MJBI Board, led the most fruitful medical outreach in his ministries history. Their focus was treating and reaching the Lemba tribe in Zimbabwe, an ancient Jewish people.
The Lemba became famous worldwide in 1996 when genetic testing demonstrated the authenticity of their long-kept Jewish traditions. A study conducted in 2000 showed a significant number of male Lemba carried a Y-chromosome from the Cohenim—the Jewish priestly tribe.
In challenging conditions and sleeping in tents, the Jewish Voice Ministries medical team ministered to nearly 8,000 people, and over 5,700 prayed to receive Yeshua as Messiah for the first time. They were desperate for training as Jewish believers in the Messiah.
Therefore, the MJBI was needed to immediately mobilize a training school to prepare those called to plant indigenous congregations among them. During an MJBI training session, the Lemba Chief and some of his Headmen accepted Yeshua as his Messiah.
MJBI is mobilizing institute graduates from the various Ukraine and Ethiopia schools, ministries and other international Messianic Jewish leaders to continue to train and raise up many of the key new Lemba leadership.
“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” John 4:35