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Loving Holocaust Survivors

The Ripple Effect of God’s Calling – Dima

His vision had taken root in my heart…

I remember when I met Rabbi Stewart four years ago in Jerusalem. I overheard him sharing with a pastor friend of mine about his vision for serving Holocaust Survivors. I was not supposed to be at this meeting, but God had a plan for me to be there. My friend listened to Stewart’s vision and said he would let him know if he found anyone who would be interested. But I felt Stewart’s vision had taken root in my heart and I was very excited.

Soon after this, I discovered that there were over 200 Holocaust Survivors who lived in my city. I contacted Stewart and shared how God had put on my heart to serve them. I began ministering with Reach Initiative International, first as a part time volunteer. As I met survivors, my love for them began to grow.

After six months, I had to have an open-heart surgery and after this began to receive disability compensation. This allowed me to devote myself full-time to serving the survivors. After my disability compensation ended, I faced the possibility of returning to work. However, I knew that if I began working again, I would not be able to minister to the survivors as I wished to. This is when Stewart invited me to become a staff member for RII and this gave me the ability to serve them with all my heart and life.

My wife, Olya, supports my ministry to survivors, helping to organize meals, making food for bus trips, and sharing her love for them. This last year she joined the RII team. She now conducts about 40 visits to Holocaust Survivors homes each month. Many of these people are home-bound and need assistance with small tasks. They also often feel lonely and forgotten in their old age. Through her visits, we see their lives changed as they experience love and joy.

We currently have 6 home groups for survivors, where we fellowship, eat, pray, and study the Bible. We have become their family and their hearts are open to the Lord. There is more to do, but physically we cannot do it all.

Our ministry is not easy because often we hear the stories of what they endured and how they survived. It is difficult and emotional for us when they share their experiences. We need wisdom, and the love of Yeshua to lead them to Him for comfort. This is not a simple task, but is an essential part of what we do…

Loving them into the Kingdom, one at a time.

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