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Shalom to All!
Once again it has been a busy season. Before getting into my update—and just in case you don’t make it to the end of this letter (I can’t imagine such a thing)— let me say thank you for all your prayers and support over the last few months. Let’s get into the latest news.
I’m sure you are all aware of the horrible shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. Like so many others, we grieved along with those who lost family and friends that day. I did let people know my feelings on Facebook but also wanted to reach out to people face to face.
I was in the Nashville airport when I saw a young Orthodox man walking to his gate. My heart told me to speak with him. As I approached him, I began to cry because of the sadness and through tears said, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to bother you, but I wanted to express my sadness about the Tree of Life shooting.” He stopped walking and said, “Thank you so much for saying that. You’re the second person who came up to me today.” I was glad God’s Spirit prompted me to speak with him.
A week before, I spent a few hours helping my friend Robert Spector with Rock of Israel with his outreach at the Arizona State Fair. Doug, a worker with them, was telling me what they did at the Fair. One of the things he told me was they had a book for Jewish people who came to the booth. It was a book of Messianic prophecies which could be given for free if we had a conversation with someone. Then Doug went for lunch.
A few minutes later, I had a conversation with Murray. He was a Jewish man living in Phoenix. During our conversation, I mentioned the book to him and told him he could have it free of charge. Murray’s response was, “I’m an atheist.” To which I responded, “You’re in luck! I just happen to have the atheist version right here!” Murray laughed but decided to take the book. As he was leaving he said, “Would you mind if I gave this to my sister after I read it? She lives in Tucson.” I told him, “No problem.” With that settled, Murray turned and walked away.
As mentioned in my last letter, our dear friend Gennady Brutsky suddenly passed away. I had to make a trip to Minsk to meet with our workers and some of the local pastors who help us oversee our work in Belarus. We were able to share with, and pray for each other. I was also able to attend our congregation in Minsk and bring a message to the congregation.
Below is a picture of another Gennady (our new congregational leader in training), me, Alexander (a senior pastor with the Baptist Union), and Gary Hedrick, president of CJFM.
In September, I also traveled to Toronto for our CJFM Sukkoth Bible study. October was a special time of travel. I was asked to speak at the 40th anniversary of the Olive Tree Congregation in Chicago. I don’t have a picture because I think everyone was so enamored with my message they forgot to take one. The next day I drove to Crossview Church in Antioch to share a message and meet with some of the people at a missions luncheon afterward.
The following Monday I was able to meet with ten students from Moody Bible Institute to speak with them about our Leading Others program. Our goal is to prepare leaders for the next generation, specifically in Messianic congregations. Below is a groovy picture of me in front of MBI.
Speaking of Leading Others, there have been a few exciting developments. First, we are beginning to expand our vision for this program. We will not only have a full-time, two-year program, but are adding two new components. One will be a “fellowship" category. This will consist of connecting with a person who is already doing ministry to prepare them for congregational ministry. We will come alongside and help them with mentoring and some financial support.
Another new category will be a “student” component. We will be looking for students who desire to work in a congregation after graduating. I’m excited about these new opportunities.
In October, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of Leading Others. One year ago we started with one person, Kyle, helping full time in a congregation in New Jersey. Since that day, we have added two other people, both Israelis who are currently studying in the US but will be returning to Israel in the next year or two. This is thanks to you and your prayers and support.
Please keep these things in mind as you pray. Pray for God’s help with the work in Minsk, our Leading Others program, and for us to be able to follow God’s lead in our work.
Sharon and I would like to send out our wish for all of you to have a safe and blessed Hanukkah and Christmas! Praying also for God’s continued blessing in the New Year.
Thank all of you who have been giving faithfully and have helped us financially in our ministry.
Your online giving couldn’t be easier! In Canada, please check our webpage: cjfm.ca. Go to the button marked GIVE, find my name, and donate.
For the US, go to cjfm.org/robs and select donate.
PLEASE BE SURE TO PREFERENCE YOUR GIFT for Rob and Sharon Styler! Why is this important? It’s the only way to be sure your gift will get to us!
Shalom and blessings to you,
Rob and Sharon Styler