To encourage, strengthen, and disciple the young generation of believers here in Israel, we have implemented a three-fold vision to reach young believers in middle school and high school, to continue supporting them through their mandatory military service, and finally to provide scholarships to study at a local or international university or trade school.
The first stage of HFI’s youth discipleship begins at Ner Yah youth group which consists of 60 to 70 middle and high school aged believers from various congregations in Jerusalem. Living in a culture that is ignorant of and often hostile to their faith, it is vital that the youth have a place to be encouraged and supported in their faith with the fellowship of believers their age and to receive discipleship and guidance of excellent youth leaders. Ner Yah meets weekly for praise and worship, prayer, and bible study. At Ner Yah, the youth also learn to put their faith into action through community service projects. We firmly believe in encouraging the youth to cultivate a wholehearted devotion to God that is rooted and grounded in a deep knowledge of His Word and experience of His love and presence in their lives so that they will remain steadfast in their faith and be bold, bright witnesses to their people.
The second stage of our youth discipleship program begins after high school graduation when all Israeli youth enter mandatory military or civil service for 2-3 years. Army service is an integral time when young believers are separated from family and friends and must endure the pressures, challenges, and difficulties of army life while facing the temptations of the secular lifestyle of most of their fellow soldiers. As a result, many young believing soldiers end up feeling alone and confused. To support and encourage our soldiers, we send them weekly text messages with Scripture to encourage them as well as frequent care packages filled with personal notes from their friends at Ner Yah and other goodies that every soldier needs and loves. We have also established a meeting for soldiers when they come home for the weekend. It’s a relaxed environment where soldiers can get much-needed fellowship & encouragement, with a time for prayer, worship, and discussion.
The third stage of our youth discipleship is a scholarship program for graduates of the Ner Yah youth group who have successfully completed their military service. We believe it is essential that young believers become leaders in the Body of Messiah and a positive influence for the Messiah within Israeli society as educated professionals. We encourage all the Ner Yah youth to work towards a professional degree or certificate, depending on their field of study, and offer scholarships to those who face financial difficulties. We want to see this generation of believers become educated professionals who can support and bless their families, their congregations, the Body of Messiah, and the Israeli society at large.[/EXPAND]