Will Bow-Hugging Become Trendy?

Ron Cantor
Ron Cantor (Facebook)

A leading pastor in the underground church in China recently hosted a conference in Israel. He brought with him more than 200 on-fire Chinese believers. What was unique about this conference was that they went out of their way to genuinely connect with the Israeli body of believers.

Often leaders, particularly well-known media ministers from the U.S., will bring large groups to Israel. They spend 10 days here and have no contact with Israeli believers. They see where Jesus walked, but fail to recognize His fresh footprints.

They might even hold a big meeting saying, “Here we are, ministering in Israel!” While it impacts their ratings, it has little to no effect on the country.

In fact, recently a famous minister invited Israelis to his event. They planned to translate into Russian, but had no plans to translate into Hebrew. How do you expect to touch Israelis if you won’t even speak to them in their own language?

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Get Out of the Bus
One of the Chinese pastors shared that in his first three trips to Israel, he had the same experience. He would land at the airport and get onto a tour bus. The bus would take him to the hotel and the sites. He would get out of the bus only to eat, see sites and sleep.

After his third visit, he met Asher Intrater and Ari Sorko-Ram, two veteran Messianic leaders in Israel. He asked Asher how the Chinese believers could bless Israeli believers. Asher said, “Get off your bus and visit us!”

It was a revelation for this pastor. Now when he brings believers from China, he connects not only with earth and stone, but with beating hearts—the body of Messiah in Israel.

The pastor who hosted this conference has not only given main sessions to Israeli leaders, but he turned to Ari to open the door for a good number of other leaders to share about their ministries for 20 minutes.

While I know many of these men and what they do, it was so amazing to see how excited the Chinese believers became as they heard each leader share. "This ministry has started a Messianic day school… this one started with a handful of people and is now 130 people … an Arab pastor shared his burden for Yafo… one shared his burden for revival... "

I was given time one morning to share. I told them about the three-fold focus of Messiah’s Mandate.

  • Our burden for young adults in Tel Aviv
  • The Isaiah 2 Initiative—taking the Gospel from Israel to the nations
  • The deep burden to share the Identity Theft message (how Jesus was robbed of His Jewishness) amongst the nations

The Pastor Who Ruined My Nap
What is crazy is that it had never even entered my mind that I would minister in China. Recently, however, I was sitting with Pastor John Koe in Singapore after the Sunday service. I was so tired and was looking forward to finishing lunch and heading to my hotel room to sleep. Pastor John told me, “I feel God is going to use you in Asia.” He began to share with me about the Chinese revival, as he was a missionary for many years to the underground church in mainland China.

Suddenly, I was awake. When I returned to my room I could not sleep. I could only think of 70,000,000 Chinese believers praying for Israel. He ruined my nap! I knew without a doubt that I would go to China and I felt impressed that the Chinese church was a key to revival in Israel. I didn’t realize that within 11 days, I would be sharing with 200 Chinese believers in Jerusalem!

I shared that with the group and they responded with joyful clapping. After speaking, Pastor Zheng (an alias) called all the Israeli pastors up to pray for China. The people prayed with intense passion.

I asked for a shofar and did what we have done in many places around the world. I told them that when I blow the shofar they should shout to the Lord, as in the days of Joshua. I did and they did. There was such a powerful presence of God there as they shouted and shouted and we prayed for revival.

Love Plus Theology
Many of the Chinese believers have a deep love for Israel, but no theological framework to put it in. Ari shared a powerful message, "To The Jew First," from Romans 1:16. The people responded by bow-hugging all the Jewish believers in attendance.

What is bow-hugging? They would come up to us in tears and then bow and hug us at the same time. It was incredibly humbling. They literally kissed our feet. In all my life, I have not met such humble believers.

Please agree in prayer with Israeli Messianic leaders for the right strategy to minister to the tens of millions of Chinese believers.

For the original article, visit MessiahsMandate.org.

Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah’s Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic Ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Ron also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish Roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book, Identity Theft, will be released on April 16th. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.

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