LCJE AustralAsia – Remembering Rita

LCJE member Rita Ivenskis had one of the most fascinating Jewish ministries in the world. Rita helped lead the Russian Messianic ministry at Celebrate Messiah in Australia, but she also helped conduct an amazing ministry to Russian-speaking Jews in the Russian Far East, including Birobidzhan, the location where Stalin wanted to send all Soviet Jews, one of the most far-flung regions in the world. I did not know Rita well, but I did have some wonderful conversations with her about her ministry in the Russian Far East.

Lawrence Hirsch shared this moving testimony about Rita’s passing into eternity:

Our dear friend and colleague for many years, Rita Ivenskis, went to be with the Lord early on the morning of 1 December 2019. On Saturday afternoon the day before, in front of 200 people at our Simcha conference, Rita was doing what she loved the most, talking about the love she had for her family, and giving her testimony of the Lord’s grace and power in her life.

As she was sharing, she said, “I just feel the Spirit of the Lord on me… Hallelujah… I want to fall down.” She then collapsed, and literally went to be with the Lord. Paramedics arrived quickly and tried to resuscitate her for almost an hour, and then rushed her to the Box Hill hospital 10 minutes away. Medical staff at the hospital did all they could to try to revive her. Doctors and paramedics said there was nothing any of us could have done, as her heart had just stopped.

Her husband Elia, son Reuven, and her sister Laura were at the hospital to comfort her and say goodbye. Louise and I were with her till the end, and prayed and worshipped by her bedside. Rita is now with the Lord she so loved, and it is as if the Lord came down and took her to himself in front of us all.

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