Keyword:

In the name of Yeshua

I was born into a secular middle-class family in Haifa, Israel in 1963. Being Jewish meant keeping the “traditions” and nothing else. For me God was an abstract being that existed only in biblical stories. My parents were of Eastern European Jewish origin but they had never been religious. On special occasions we sometimes went to the local synagogue where I used to watch people reading from the prayer book but it always looked like they were doing it out of habit rather than from a sincere heart. My dad was a coach driver and tourist guide. During my childhood I used to travel with him to the various places “where Yeshua walked”, but although I had heard about Yeshua, I knew little more than that he had been born in Bethlehem.

From the East to the West


Like all Israelis, I had to do three years compulsory military service and in the 1982 Lebanon War my unit was deployed around the city of Beirut. I trained as an officer and in the latter part of my service I worked as a computer programmer in the Tel-Aviv area. At that time I was searching for God but, because I could not see a path to God in Judaism, I read a lot about Eastern philosophies, especially Buddhism and Hinduism. I was also interested in alternative medicine and when I left the army I decided to study acupuncture in England.

Before leaving Israel I visited a lady who had given me private English tuition when I was younger. I deeply respected this person and when I met her again she told me that she believed Yeshua was the Messiah and gave me some advice: “Gil, you are about to go to a foreign country and may come across many difficulties but, whenever you are in trouble, ask God to help you in the name of Yeshua and wonderful things will happen in your life.” Her words became very precious and valuable in the years to come.

How Many Times?


I moved to England to begin my studies but, in spite of these and my New Age activities, I could not find fulfilment and God seemed to be further away than ever. In the summer of 1990 I started my own acupuncture practice but within a few months things started to go very wrong; I did not have enough patients and I was deep in debt. In my despair I decided to return to computer programming and contacted various recruitment agencies but, because I didn’t have a full permit to work in England, none of them would help me. I felt like there was no way out for me, and my despair deepened.

One night in December 1990 I lay in bed thinking about the words of my English teacher. Nothing else had seemed to work, so I called out in my heart: “God, if you are there, please help me in this difficult time. In the name of Yeshua.” Without thinking much about what I had done, I went to sleep. A few days later a recruitment agency called to say their client was willing to issue the required permit and employ me. Within four months I had repaid all my debts and was driving a company car. However, at the time, this sudden change in my life after praying “in the name of Yeshua” all seemed to be just "coincidence".

By 1992, I thought my position was secure and bought a new house. However, after moving into it I was told that, due to the recession, I no longer had a job! I was back to “square one” with no work and no permit, but now I had a mortgage. Again I asked God to help me in the name of Yeshua and after a few days the impossible happened. A recruitment agency obtained an interview for me, I was offered the post and a work permit was eventually issued. However, I still refused to believe that this was an answer to my prayer; I thought it was just another lucky coincidence!

Two years later my work permit needed renewing and again I prayed. The very next morning the office phone rang and I heard the voice of my agent: “Gil I have good news for you. We have just received your work permit for another three years.” I was overcome with joy and shocked by the obvious link to the request I had made the night before. For the first time I saw a definite connection between my plea to God and the answer.

Hear, O Israel


Everything in my life now seemed to be fine. I had a good job, plenty of money, a new car and a nice house but I did not feel at peace in my heart and I felt the need to find God. I talked to some friends who showed me very convincing reasons for believing that Yeshua was the Messiah and I suddenly had the strange feeling that maybe this was the truth. These friends gave me the book Betrayed by Stan Telchin and some time afterwards I was introduced to a young Israeli called Sarah. During a phone conversation with her, she kept mentioning her faith in Yeshua. I felt really fed up talking to her and was about to slam the phone down when a sharp thought – almost like someone was speaking to me – came into my mind: “Just listen to her!” I was startled. I felt like I was frozen and could not put the phone down.

Soon I began to feel haunted by many things in my past that seemed to be incomplete; especially by the way I had treated people and how I had not always been totally honest in my relationships. I also started to think about what would happen to me after death. Would I be with God? I felt no certainty of that and began to realise that I might end up in eternal darkness away from God with all the wrong and incomplete things from my past surrounding me. In terror I thought, “No, this cannot be true”. But I felt as if my life was crumbling around me and that I had a great need of forgiveness. I said a prayer of repentance that I found at the back of a booklet I had been given but nothing “happened” so I decided to go to bed and sleep everything away. However I couldn’t sleep. I realised that Yeshua had died for me and in my mind I could see him on the cross. I started to plead with God from the heart: “O God, please forgive me for all the wrong I have done and the way I have treated people in the past. Please take me, I give myself to you completely”. Then I asked God to accept my plea “in the name of Yeshua”.

Shalom


The next thing I remember was that I sensed a kind of a wave or wind, descending on me and going through me. I felt as though a huge heavy stone had been removed from me, and a peace and love that I had never experienced before surrounded me. I felt the presence of Yeshua around me and I wept quietly, thanking him for looking after me all those years, for leading me to himself and for saving me. Suddenly I wanted to know more about him and almost instantly the “answer” came to my mind: “Read the New Covenant (New Testament).”

A few minutes later, surrounded by his love and serenity, I fell asleep. After one of the most peaceful nights I can recall, I woke up feeling completely different. It was as though I was not the same person anymore. I had a very strong urge to get a Bible and then my mind moved to various issues and beliefs that I had held for years that suddenly looked so wrong. I felt like a new person and my heart was full of love, peace and joy. I knew nothing about the “New Birth”. All I realised at the time was that Yeshua was the Truth and the Bible was the Word of God. The first thing I did that morning was to get a Bible and then go to see some of the friends who had been telling me about Yeshua.

Coming to know Yeshua was the most important event of my life and his joy and peace are with me every day wherever I go. I am grateful to the Lord for all he has done for me and I wish my life to be dedicated to him, that whatever I do or whatever path I take may be for his ultimate glory and purpose.

Gil Alon
A member of CWI’s Council of Management

This article first appeared in the September 2006 edition of the Herald


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