The "Way's" leadership
Yossi Ovadia is the senior Pastor of "Ha Derech" congregation, together with his wife Ronit who stands alongside him. They have three sons: Immanuel 24, Yedidia 22, and Aminadav 20 years old. Yossi and Ronit are working full time in the ministry.
In May 2013 we appointed Dr. Liron Shany as associate Pastor, along with his wife Karin. They have three children: Enosh 7 years old, Sheth 5 years old and Aviya 2.5 year old, and Shiloh – a newborn. Liron has recently quit his job at the hospital as a psychiatrist in favor of ministry
“HaDerech” Congregation was established in April 1989 in Karmiel, Israel.
Karmiel, ("God's Vineyard" or "God's Olive Grove" in Hebrew), is situated in the midst of lush olive groves in the valley lying between Lower and Upper Galilee, about halfway between the Mediterranean coast and the Sea of Galilee, and serves as the industrial, commercial and cultural center of this northern peripheral (underdeveloped) area. Over half of Karmiel's 55,000 residents are immigrants (mainly from the former Soviet Union). The town is surrounded by large Arab villages and small Jewish communities.
The "way" began
The Congregation started out as a group of ten people who met at Yossi's rented apartment, and took the Lord's Supper for the first time on Passover 1989. Yossi and Ronit (married in 1990) hosted the meetings in their home until 1997, and then a house was rented for the growing group. In 2005, when people were standing in the kitchen and hallways for lack of space, the congregation moved into a long term rented facility in the industrial zone of the town, where it still meets today. With the help of local volunteers and donations from all over the world, the facility was adapted to the needs of the congregation. Our main hall can serve up to 150 people. The facility itself includes offices, children's classrooms, a nursery and a kitchen.
The "way" continues
The 2nd Lebanese war in 2006 (which hit Karmiel hard) led by God's grace to further growth of the Congregation. On October 2009 we started a daughter Congregation in the Jezreel – Valley. Since then we continue to grow and now every Saturday we are about 140 to 160 people gathering together (including about 50 children from infants to 13 years of age). People from all over Galilee come to our services and activities. Our Congregants include Israeli-born citizens, as well as new and older immigrants from all over the world (many of them from the former USSR). Together we form an Israeli, Hebrew speaking Messianic congregation, with the hope and prayer that even as Karmiel is “The Vineyard of the Lord”, so it will we be in our town and the surrounding area, as we declare His name and shine His light.
Our main meetings are held on Shabbat (Saturday) mornings, with worship, prayer and a teaching in Hebrew, which is translated into English and Russian through earphones. During the services our children attend bible classes. In addition to the main services, we have weekly and bi-weekly home group meetings in Hebrew, English, and Russian; Youth and Young Adult meetings; Women's and Men's meetings; “Pro Life” activities, Prayer meetings; Etc.
Our vision is based on three main pillars:
1) Absorption of Immigrants. “For I will gather you out of all countries, into your own land. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit." (Ezek 36:24-26). We help New Immigrants with their absorption into Israel and with putting down roots in the Land.
2) Help to the Needy. "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Messiah.” (Gal 6:2) Offering aid in various ways to those with special needs.
3) Partnership with our Arab Brethren. "For Messiah is our peace, who has made the two one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation." (Eph. 2:14) Developing fellowship and reconciliation with our Arab brethren, especially in Galilee.
The "way" ahead
Our current building has served us faithfully for more than a decade. A couple of years ago we started to realize that we had outgrown it and that we need a larger place. We have just recently found a larger place to let in our area; we signed the lease-contract and are planning to move into it toward the second half of 2016.