Posted in Zealous Magazine on August 19, 2019 In 1994, I was a staff-elder at Shady Grove Church serving under Olen Griffing, along with Robert Morris, the current pastor of Gateway Church. God began to speak to our eldership about the value of “to the Jew first.” One year later, Bonnie, Julia, and I were called by God to leave the comforts of our home in Texas and move to Odessa, Ukraine, and form the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute in support of Jonathan Bernis’ Hear O Israel Festivals. Pastor Olen, Pastor Robert, and the SGC elders laid hands on us in 1996 and sent me out as their first elder into missions, “to the Jew first.” Pastor Robert was sent out and formed Gateway Church in 2000. From the beginning, he carried “to the Jew first” as a foundational value of Gateway, even giving Gateway’s first check each month to the MJBI! While the MJBI has had a great impact for 23 years, by God’s grace, we began to sense the wind of God blowing on something new in early 2018. Nic Lesmeister, the MJBI Board, the Gateway Church elders, and Pastor Robert all affirmed a new entity that God was forming at Gateway, adopting the legacy of the MJBI. Pastor Robert’s teaching of “to the Jew first” has been opening many doors for the MJBI, as well as influencing key church and seminary leaders around the world. This new entity would prayerfully steward this modern move of God for Israel. THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME MUST BE SEIZED DURING THE LIFETIME OF THE OPPORTUNITY In January of 2020, the MJBI lifecycle will conclude in order that this new entity can emerge, the “Gateway Center for Israel.” Nic, passionate and called to influence emerging leaders for Israel, will direct this new initiative with my oversight at Gateway. In light of this supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit, I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity.” The MJBI was formed to address the critical need of training leaders for the Jewish harvest, and I am humbled that MJBI has, indeed, fulfilled this role. I am thankful that there are now MJBI graduates serving around the world in Yeshua’s service. And now, the Gateway Center for Israel is seizing on a new opportunity to influence pastors and Christian leaders to embrace Israel and stand with the Messianic community. Few are currently laboring in this field. The influence of Pastor Robert and Gateway Church affords us a great window of opportunity! May our efforts bring glory to His name, for it is His Kingdom that we seek to promote above all else. Thank you for your love and support all these years. We have successfully run this race together. Please join us in running this new race, to seize this divine opportunity! CHECK OUT OUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE NEW GATEWAY CENTER FOR ISRAEL AND MJBI’S UPCOMING TRANSITION.