by Ellen Jaffe
Something exciting happens when New Covenant Saints embrace Shabbat. In this article I will introduce you to Galina.
Some years ago I was visiting a small Messianic ministry and met a very vivacious Russian woman and her daughter. At that time they were living with a Church family. Galina had a great desire to discover her Jewish roots. In Russia, she was unable to explore her heritage without persecution. Her Jewish Father had abandoned the family when she was young, in the hopes of increasing their chances for work, educational opportunities, etc. When Galina and her husband came to faith in the 90’s (while the former USSR was still Communist) the curiosity for her Judaism was reawakened. In America, she discovered Messianic Jews, but had not learned/understood the biblical underpinnings of their beliefs or traditions.
We began with understanding Shabbat by reading the Torah passages Lev. 23:1-3 It is the first of the “Feasts of the L-rd” and celebrated weekly!
We also looked at Isaiah 56 which encourages all (non-Jewish, foreigners, G-d seekers) to embrace this Shabbat that makes them joyful in the house of prayer!
A Holy fire began to arise in Galina as Yeshua integrated her heart and mind in these passages. We then visited a Conservative Synagogue in the area so that she could witness how Jewish people celebrated. The experience was one of healing and joy. The burden for lost Jewish souls was firmly planted in Galina’s heart and she began her campaign to share Yeshua. In her great big purse, she wrapped a pair of Shabbat Candlesticks, head covering, prayerbook and bible. She would make her weekly trip to the city by train. Invariably, Galina found Russian Jewish people on the train to speak with about G-d. She knew that many, like herself, were not given the privilege of Jewish Education/or allowed to celebrate the Festivals of the L-rd, so she introduced them to Shabbat.
This humble beginning has led to countless home visits, bible studies, evangelistic outreaches, into what is now a vibrant Messianic ministry in Massachusetts called “Olive Tree Ministries” Galina and her husband Serguie (pronounced SIR-GAY) have planted a small congregation in the greater Boston area, produce a weekly cable program in Russian and English to share Yeshua, Perform Russian/Hebrew music in Nursing Homes, Senior Housing Developments, Churches, Restaurants, they “Chaplain” a Summer program for Jewish Seniors, Teach and demonstrate Passover, and continue to reach out to everyone and have produced wonderful fruit! In all these years Galina never forgets her beginnings and always teaches the Feasts and Festivals of the L-rd,……. beginning with Shabbat
If you would like to sponsor a Russian outreach, you can contact The Kouptsov family by writing to Galina at firstname.lastname@example.org