Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Messianic Jewish Leadership Retreat in Crimea, Ukraine

Dear Friends of the Schneiers,
      As we approach Thanksgiving, Leslye and I thank you so much for your prayers and financial support in 2011. It means a lot to know that you are interested in what the Lord is doing amongst the Jewish people in Europe. Please keep in touch with us at, at our website at and at our blog at
      Lots of joy in Ukraine: I, David, just returned from nine days in Ukraine splitting my time in Crimea at a leadership retreat for IAMCS congregations and interested unaffiliated Messianic leaders and pastors and in Odessa. Our hall was filled at the evening meetings with about 300 leaders and congregational members for three joyful days of worship, teaching and fellowship. One of my key topics was a biblical view of the power of Joy in our lives. It's interesting how many times joy appears in the Bible and the varied ways it manifests itself. I was surprised at sources of and effect that joy has us and how we need to see joy as more than something we can have only if we are happy. "The joy of the Lord (is truly) our strength."  I took this verse to mean that both His joy over us and our joy over Him is our strength. However you look at it we have access to a joy that is so powerful is unspeakable no matter the conditions around us witnessed by Paul and Silas praising God after being beaten and thrown into the darkest, innermost prison. So, if nothing else, be thankful and joyful this Thanksgiving because of  the hope you have that will never disappoint you.
      We were so blessed to have Pastor Barry Boucher share at the conference and thank God for his recovery after surgery. Also we had leaders from Czech Republic (Jarda and Rut Kupka) and from Amsterdam (David & Caroline Warnink) who lead IAMCS congregations there. It was the Warninks first time in Ukraine and I can say that they loved what they experienced with the Ukrainian Messianic believers. Last but not least, we so enjoyed our visitors and new friends from Shreveport, LA. They were a team of five led by Pastor Timothy Carscadden. They had a blast and joined in on dancing and praising the Lord in a new way.
      Here are some movies that give a picture of joy amongst a people who could have very little in this world to be joyful about. (You can see the movies on YouTube at The title of the movies are MVI_2478.AVI and MVI 2463)
Worship at the conference in Crimea, Ukraine

Victor with hand made iron

 Team from Louisiana, Barry Boucher, me and leaders from Czech and Amsterdam
 New IAMCS congregation in
Ukraine from Uzgorod

Meeting of IAMCS congregational leaders at conference


Torah procession at the retreat

Three key leaders in Ukraine: Yura, Victor and Sasha

Torah reading in Odessa


A call to England: We have been sensing a call to journey to England to be with a Messianic congregation there that just joined the IAMCS. It's interesting that at a popular English bookstore in Paris we met a group of Macedonians. I reminded them of Paul's Macedonian call which they were familiar with. This was further evidence to me to act on this call to England, so I will spend three days in London from December 2-4 encouraging a Messianic congregation there and possibly speaking in a receptive church. Please pray for my travels to and from London and for inspiration as to what exactly the Lord wants spoken there. I am sensing a similar call for Leslye and I to travel to Spain and Italy this spring to connect with Messianic believers and perhaps to hold small conferences to encourage the Messianic movement there.
      Challenges ahead: Our children are all facing challenges involving either health, finances, business decisions and other personal issues. Please pray for them when you think of us. We are also going through a transition with our finances due to the recession, the illness of a key donor and the scheduled ending of a foundation in 2012 whose annual gift formed a large portion of our support. We see some interesting developments in this area from sources that we did not expect (we love that). Please pray for our financial needs and consider in this season an end of the year gift and monthly support no matter how small or big that might be. There is information below on how you can help us to do what the Lord wants us to do here in Europe.
       Winter & Sping Schedule: We know some of our schedule for the winter and spring which is:
  • January 7-11: Orlando,FL for IAMCS Rabbis conference
  • January 12-13: Mt Dora, FL at the Garden Gate
  • January 21: Orlando,FL at Congregation Gesher Shalom
  • January 27-28: Tampa and Lakeland  FL with Congregations Shoresh David
  • February 25: Ormond, Beach, FL at Congregation Beth Judah
  • Late March or mid-April: IAMCS regional leadership conference in Nikolaiv, Ukraine
  • Possible trips in April or May to Spain and Italy
  • Possible leadership conference in France or Belgium in April or May
      Updates to this schedule appear at www.closeupsfromfaraway.blogspot and Let us know that you are coming! Any Messianic leaders and congregants or anyone on our mailing list who want to attend our leadership conferences should get in touch with us personally at
      Development for Eastern & Central Europe: Right now there are 26 IAMCS congregations with 20 in Eastern and Central Europe. In our last IAMCS Steering Committee meeting I proposed the formation of an official IAMCS Region for Eastern and Central Europe to recognize what the Lord was doing there and to promote local initiative amongst these congregations. I have been appointed to be the Interim Director of this Region until such time as local leadership rises up to take the lead.
      Again, thanks so much for your prayers and support in 2011. If you would like to financially partner with us you can do so as follows:

Please send your check, made payable to Glory of Zion Int’l Ministries, to:
The Schneiers
c/o Glory of Zion Int’l Ministries
PO Box 1601
Denton, TX 76202-1601 
(Please include a note with your check that it is “For the Schneiers.” (Your gifts are tax deductible).

    If you would like to make a credit card donation, go to, click on "Donate" on the left side of the home page, fill in your credit card info on the "Send a Donation" page, in the "Put Toward" section click on "Designated Gift" and in the "Enter Recipient" section fill in "The Schneiers." This last step will insure that  your gift goes to our ministry. You can indicate in the comment section if your gift is one-time or to be charged monthly on the date you provide.

   Blessings in 2012, Love and Shalom,

       David & Leslye

Red Flags over Odessa

It was November 7, 2011 and the bedraggled band of about 70 communists celebrated the revolution, surrounded by an equal number of policeman, probably  marching somewhere, singing about the glory of their former days and hoping for the return of a new Stalin and Lenin to lead them on. So many have died here at the hands of the old regime and yet there are those who long for the good old days. It was sad for me to see such lingering nostalgia for probably the most brutal regime of all time rivaled only by Mao. Let it go says I. Shalom. David Schneier