I am excited for you to hear this good news first—that Nic Lesmeister will be joining our staff in the fall as my right-hand man and Executive Vice President of the MJBI. It is truly a work of the Holy Spirit how God connected Nic with me and the MJBI. I am very proud of him and asked him to express something from his heart in the newsletter this month.
~ Wayne Wilks Jr., Ph.D., President MJBI
It all started with $15.
Sometime during the year 2004, the Lord asked me to start sacrificing $15 of my monthly income to a ministry unknown to me at the time – the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute. I was a jobless Bible college student, and $15 per month was a chunk of change from my budget. But even as a young 22-year-old, I knew to obey the Lord when I heard Him tell me to do something.
Fast-forward 10 years, to 2014. I am looking out the window of an airplane in Tyler, Texas, as the October rains soak the tarmac below. My wife and 3-year-old daughter sit next to me as we enjoy one last glance at the beautiful pines of East Texas. We are off to Jerusalem for 10 months, following the Lord’s leading to graduate school at the Hebrew University for a Master’s degree.
Our support of MJBI had gone from $15 per month to $1,000 per month in the last 10 years. I had become a successful young entrepreneur, buying, developing, and selling numerous small businesses along the way. In 2011, during my first trip to visit the MJBI’s schools in Ethiopia, the Lord moved miraculously on my heart to purchase a building for the Beta Abraham Messianic Congregation in Addis Ababa. We emptied our savings and obeyed His leading.
Less than two years later through the generous blessing of the Lord, we purchased 100 acres of rolling, wooded land to settle down and raise our family. How the Lord gave back to us—“pressed down, shaken together and running over!” Meanwhile, my trips to the MJBI schools in Africa became more frequent. The Lord began knitting our legacy to His ancient work amongst the Jewish people.
In April of 2014, while on a trip with Dr. Wilks in Ethiopia, the Lord again spoke to my heart that it was time to get even more involved. Two weeks later, on our first visit to Israel, my wife and I heard the Lord call us to advance my education in Israel. Only halfway through our year in Israel, the Lord has now set our course to join the MJBI staff when we return stateside in early September. Our excitement cannot be measured!
My prayer to Yeshua has always been “Here am I, send me!” All that I am, and all that I have is His – whether that’s $15 per month or $15,000 per year. It is my greatest honor to now give myself fully to advance the ministry and vision of the MJBI. May my journey inspire you to ask the Lord how you can be more involved? Will you consider a commitment of $15 per month, just as I did as a young college student? Just like me, you will not be disappointed at the exciting journey on which God will lead you and at how He will give back to you!
For Zion’s sake,