Our names are Pastors Leslie and Siobhan Elston from The Church of the Four Winds in Cleveland, Ohio. We met Rabbi Ralph Messer over eight years ago. From that point forward it has been a wonderful and maturing journey. We were introduced to his I.C.T.S. courses and who would have known how much this would change our lives individually, collectively and for our community. These classes were the best, most informative and scripturally based wisdom we have ever encountered. They were so impacting that as the Senior Pastor it became my responsibility to implement them not only in our community but our vision.
I.C.T.S. along with Rabbi Messer’s mentorship educated us on the Sabbath, biblical feast days, the Hebrew language, the Shema and the hours of prayer. This type of teaching implemented brought unity to marriages, healing to individuals, and consistency within the community and study habits. The Sabbath meal brought the “Family Time” back and the old calendar saying, “The family that prays together stays together.” It took our family arguments into agreements.
Healing began to take place as our community began to implement these principles being taught. We currently have 15 complete families in our congregation. But most of these families started off as individuals. In the process of time husbands began to see their wives join them in service and wives who husbands were just sitting at home and working are now active members together. The true testimony about our married couples is that most of them are now facilitating Torah classes together. We have also had several babies born just over this past year alone.
Our family alone started this journey $250,000.00 in debt because of a foreclosed home and a car repossession. After three years this debt was removed during a Yom Kippur season. Our repossession has turned into a replacement as God and His principles have cleared our credit report which has restored the joy back into our hearts. Believe it or not our entire community has either received job promotions, completed their college degrees, driving new vehicles and our next goal is to get new homes and build a Hebrew community.
One of the most heartfelt blessing on this journey is to see our men in a consistent pattern of study. From Ancient Foundations Vol. 1 to Genesis Factor, men of all ages and cultures are learning about the Torah, God’s teaching and instruction. They are wearing prayer shawls not out of sense of religion but dignity and authority. They are leading their families now that they have the instructions to lead. They are supporting my wife and me by attending the Feast days and Leadership Conferences that Rabbi Messer holds on Passover and Yom Kippur at S.T.B.M.
Finally, the true sign of growth are our children. Our community consists of pregnancies, newborns, children and teenagers. We currently have four generations learning the Torah and applying the principles. They have found more Yeshua, Jesus Christ, than they have ever known seeing Him throughout their bibles. Truly, we have grown in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because of Rabbi Ralph Messer and his teachings. I would encourage every community leader to invest in these teachings. I have found that it is fine to error but it is honorable to fix it. We have the answers now to do it!!!