Serving in Israel
Serving Beta Israel “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Psalm 82:3 (NIV) In 1984, the Jewish Ethiopian airlift Operation Moses returned some 8,000 Ethiopians to their ancestral homeland here in Israel, bringing them in over 30 flights, of about 200 per flight from Sudan. In 1985, just after their arrival, Christian Friends of Israel began assisting many of these precious families, with many of the needs required when starting their new life here.
In 1991, Israeli airplanes again returned to Ethiopia to lift out an additional 14,000 Ethiopian Jews in just 36 hours. One Ethiopian man was quoted as saying, “We didn’t bring any of our clothes, we didn’t bring any of our things, but we are very glad to be here.” Now, after a 3-year lapse in immigration from Ethiopia, we are again seeing an increase in Ethiopian Jews making Aliyah. It is reported that this new upsurge is expected to bring another 9,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel by the end of 2020. Defending the weak and fatherless Recently, Project Hope for the Future has been able to provide much needed financial assistance to some of the neediest of families in the Jewish Ethiopian Community.
One situation was that of a dear soft-spoken, recently widowed woman. Far too early in his life, and without warning, her husband fell to the ground and moments later died of a sudden heart attack. She is now completely alone, as the two of them had not yet had any children. Complicating matters, she is now left with the task of covering all of the monthly expenses that continue, since she and her husband had not prepared for such a tragedy. Project Hope for the Future is standing alongside this precious widow, in comfort and assistance to help her pick up the pieces of her shattered life. In another situation, a hardworking and dedicated father was working in a local restaurant when a vat of boiling oil spilled on his leg. He was subsequently released from his job finding himself now on disability. He is receiving very little from the social welfare system for his case, and it is not enough to provide for his pregnant wife, and small son. As he looked back however, he remembered how he loved his job, which allowed him free food that he joyfully distributed to the children attending a Jewish Ethiopian afterschool program.
Hope during times of struggle In the last issue of For Zion’s Sake, we informed you of a young mother that we were so grateful to be able to help in her time of need. As you may recall, she was dealing with very ill parents, a 3-year-old son who suffers from autism, and she had just given up a good paying job due to the overwhelming needs of her family. While her circumstances had brought her to tears of despair, it was the help and support from your generous donations, that enabled us to provide for her. She recently wrote a letter of gratitude thanking us for helping her find hope in the midst of her struggles. She let us know that her son is studying hard each day, and she believes that with God’s help, he will overcome the daily challenges of autism. Her expression of gratitude to
Christians in the nations is far beyond the mere words of this page. It is because of you in the nations that CFI was able to relieve some of the current burdens of this beautiful family. Won’t you consider investing in this very deserving and, at times, forgotten Jewish community? It is only through your commitment to prayer and financial support as Christians in the nations, that we can continue to make such a strong impact in this amazing community. Thank you for all you do. Tsehai Legesse-Marabi Project Hope for the Future firstname.lastname@example.org 12 www.cfijerusalem.org Ethiopian Jews began moving to Israel in significant numbers after a 1973 ruling by then Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, who said they were truly Jewish and so subject to Israel’s Law of Return—legislation that qualifies any Jew to settle in the country. (Newsweek.com)
If you want to know more about Christian Friends of Israel Jerusalem? Go to www.cfijerusalem.org
Pray for Israel
LET’S GO TO THE THRONE ROOM TOGETHER: • Ask God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon the residents (Joel 2:28; Zechariah 12:10-13). With a deeper commitment to the Lord God of Israel, there will be the Divine Hand of God over His People each and every day. With His Outstretched Arm, He is able to shield the inhabitants near the Gaza border . A tractor near Netiv HaAsara’s concrete shelter (CC BY 2.5, by MathKnight, via Wikipedia) • Pray Fervently for Divine protection for all of the families and their precious children. Children in Israel have to learn to go to sleep and be wakened up by emergency sirens. They have to learn to be interrupted during school hours with sirens and emergency evacuations. Many cannot sleep at night because of fear. Please pray for the children especially, of the families in this community. • Intercede for the safety of all members of the military who are sons and daughters of the families in Netiv Ha’Asara who are serving in the armed forces of Israel. When one loses a son or daughter in a small community, the entire community, as well as the nation, weeps. Thank you for all who are caring enough to be on the CFI Wall of Prayer. When you visit Israel, and we hope you will, plan on visiting this moshav and telling them you are praying for them. They will not only be surprised, but will bless you for doing it. Thanks to all of our faithful prayer partners.
Serving in His Name,
Christian Friends of Israel - Jerusalem
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
The first Hebrew word many people learn is “shalom” (שלום), which has three meanings: hello, goodbye and peace. It is the word with which friends greet one another, but ‘shalom’ is more than a greeting,
it is also a blessing. Peace is the most important gift we can ask from God, on an individual level, as families, and between nations. It is therefore of utmost significance that the world’s holiest city, Jerusalem (ירושלים), has the word ‘shalom’
at its core, because it is meant to be the source for all peace on earth. King David exhorts “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” for when Jerusalem is confronted with conflict, the whole world suffers, however when Jerusalem is at peace, the entire
world enjoys serenity.
Jerusalem under attack
Suffering Wave of Arab Violence
According to Israel Today magazine, Palestinian Arab assailants on Thursday hurled firebombs at an Israel Police vehicle in eastern Jerusalem. The occupants of the vehicle were able to escape as it went up in flames, but suffered smoke inhalation.
A day earlier, a knife-wielding terrorist stabbed and wounded an Israeli police officer near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. He tried to stab several other Israelis before being overpowered and arrested. The attacker had previously murdered Israeli Jewish historian Menachem Stern in 1989. In 2013, the stabber, a 56-year-old resident of Hebron, was set free as part of a highly controversial prisoner release corresponding to US-brokered peace negotiations.
These are only the latest attacks in what authorities have identified as a major increase in violent incidents in the Israeli capital. Over the past two months, Jerusalem has experienced no fewer than 580 reported attacks on civilians and security forces. Some 477 of those were cases of stone-throwing at Jewish motorists, while 28 were arson attacks against Jewish homes and vehicles. Jewish cemeteries were also repeatedly desecrated.
These are separate from the even more numerous violent incidents in the outlying Palestinian suburbs of Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber. Aryeh King, a right-wing member of Jerusalem’s City Council, accused the government of tying the hands of the security forces in dealing with this phenomenon for fear of a political backlash.
Despairing of any serious response by the political echelon, those Jewish citizens suffering from this wave of violence have launched an initiative known as “Anti-Terror TV.” Those involved have determined to document on video every possibly attack in order to draw attention to the worsening situation.
Abbas Builds Himself a $13 Million Royal Palace
While a sprawling mansion complete with helipads is being built outside Ramallah, at least one Arab journalist laments “PA corruption” (Arutzsheva August 26). Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is building a $13 million palace for himself in Ramallah, the PA governmental seat in Samaria, as revealed in an official website recently. The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR) official website published an announcement of the massive construction project.
PECDAR, established by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terror group in 1993 as part of the Oslo Accords, posted “The Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah” as a two-year project. Abbas often refers to himself as the “President of Palestine,” leaving no doubts that the palace is indeed intended for his luxury. The palace is to sprawl over 27,000 square meters of land, and is itself to be 4,700 square meters in size. Along with the palace, a “building for the Presidential Administration and Guards” is also to be built spanning 4,000 square meters.
Two helipads for helicopter transport are also to be built on the grounds of the palace, which according to architectural sketches on the site is to be nothing short of royal in terms of its design and scale. The $13 million for the palace is to be financed by the PLO’s budget, which is deeply debt ridden and largely propped up by US donations.
According to the PECDAR website, “donor’s funds are disbursed effectively and efficiently and in the most transparent manner. Funds are project oriented in accordance with national priorities.” The website adds that PECDAR is “accountable to a Board of Trustees which is headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.”
The fact that PEDCAR, which answers to Abbas, found the construction of a $13 million palace for Abbas to be a “national priority” throws into further relief the massive corruption in the PA, where Abbas continues to rule despite his term having expired in January 2009.
Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote an article in the Gatestone Institute last week detailing the corruption, after PLO unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah the same week told visiting Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives, that the US invested $4.5 billion into the Palestinian cause over the last 20 years.
Abu Toameh pointed out that figure did not include money forked over to the PA, and noted that “Palestinian economic analysts estimate that the PA has received a total of $25 billion in financial aid from the U.S. and other countries during the past two decades,” ever since the PA was established in the Oslo Accords. “One does not have to be an expert on Palestinian affairs to see that the billions of dollars have neither created democracy for the Palestinians nor boosted the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”
The journalist noted that the PA was “actually a one-man show called Yasser Arafat; he and his cronies were the main benefactors of American and European taxpayers’ money. ...At the time, the assumption in the U.S., Europe and other countries was that a corrupt and repressive Arafat would one day make far-reaching concessions for the sake of peace with Israel.”
Those delusions blew up in the 2000 Camp David talks when Arafat rejected then Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s unprecedented concession offers, and went on to launch the Second Intifada terror war.
In comments that echo resoundingly given the new palace construction project, Abu Toameh wrote, “one does not need to ask Palestinian Authority officials about the way they spent the American aid money because the reality on the ground is too obvious. The PA took the billions of dollars and continues to operate as a corrupt and undemocratic regime. Democracy is the last thing the Palestinians expect to see from the PA or Hamas.”
USA Rabbis Oppose Iran Nuclear Deal
Hundreds of United States rabbis, from all major Jewish streams, signed a letter urging members of Congress to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, writing that the hope for a good deal “is not yet realized,” according to Haaretz newspaper.
The letter, co-authored by Rabbis Kalman Topp of Beth Jacob Congregation in Southern California and Yonah Bookstein of Pico Shul in Los Angeles, was posted on the Care2 petition website earlier this month.
“Together, we are deeply troubled by the proposed deal, and believe this agreement will harm the short-term and long-term interests of both the United States and our allies, particularly Israel,” reads the letter. “Collectively, we feel we must do better.” As of Tuesday morning, more than 840 rabbis had signed on; the petition remains open until September 7, with a goal of 1,000 signatures.
The letter criticizes key aspects of the deal, including the lifting of the arms embargo and providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief without an “airtight, comprehensive inspections structure.”
In mid-August, a petition urging support for the nuclear deal with Iran signed by 340 U.S. rabbis from the major denominations of Judaism and sponsored by Ameinu, a liberal Zionist organization, was sent to Congress.
Congress will vote on whether to approve the deal, in which the United States and five other world powers offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its nuclear program, in September. President Obama has vowed to veto any legislation aimed at blocking the deal.
More and more Israel stands alone with very few friends. Jews are killed and no one cares, except other Jews. The only weapon we as Christians have to defend Israel is prayer. Let us make good use of this weapon, and never fail to daily ask God to watch over and protect Israel.
Rosh HaShana – the Jewish New Year, begins on September 13. Please especially be in prayer for the High Holy Days – Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), followed by Succot (Feast of Tabernacles), as this can be a vulnerable time in Israel, security-wise.
“But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill” (Psalm 3:3-4).
Lonnie C. Mings
Christian Friends of Israel - Jerusalem
Christian Friends of Israel
Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) is a charitable, non-profit, international evangelical Christian ministry legally registered in Israel with headquarters based in Jerusalem, and representative offices throughout the world.
The calling of the ministry is to:
Stand with Israel. Pray for Israel. Comfort Israel.
Throughout Church history the Jewish people have not shown the true Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible. They have suffered at the hands of people proclaiming a different Jesus. [2 Corinthians 11:4] It is now time to show the real Jesus to His people and this is the calling of Christian Friends of Israel. Many times over the 26 years the ministry has been operating Jewish people have been amazed to find they have Christian Friends who love them.
I was privileged to work for the ministry in Jerusalem and one day as I was writing out a voucher for a lady who had come for help, the Lord spoke to my heart and said: “You are living Bible prophecy”. We can see in many places in Scripture, such as Jeremiah 31:7-14 that God will bring the Jewish people back to the Land and of how the Gentiles will help in their return. [Isaiah 49:22]
Many of the Holocaust survivors remember how people who claimed to be Christian threw their friends into the gas chambers. Others tell of how they were beaten everyday with the statement - “You killed Jesus” The Lord is calling the Church to stand firm on the Word of God and to help His people. [Matthew 25:31-40]
We try to show the love of the real Jesus in many ways, as there are many hurting Jewish people - from the poor of the land to the mentally injured from the holocaust or a terror attack living in Israel. Many still carry physical scars of these events. The Lord has called CFI to love unconditionally and to reach out in the Father’s love to let them know God loves them, Jesus loves them and we love them.
Over the years we have started many areas of outreach to show this love and in 1991 in the middle of the first Gulf War, when missiles were falling on Israel, the Lord said to start a centre to look after the influx of Jewish Immigrants. In faith the Distribution Centre was opened in time for the greatest exodus from around the world since the time of Moses. The people came in their thousands from the North many with just the clothes they were wearing. They told of their stories of how they had managed to escape the horrors of persecution and war. [Jer.23:7-8]
The young, the old the women with Child, the blind and the lame, they came back to the Land God had promised to them [Isaiah 43:5-6] and confirmed in Psalm 105:7-11. So many came the infrastructure of Israel could not cope so the Lord - as told in Bible prophecy - set up several Christian Ministries to help, Christian Friends of Israel being one to help with material goods. [Acts 15:27]
Christian Friends of Israel has many different projects to the people of Israel.
Project Open Gates:- Assisting new Israeli immigrants with clothes and household items. People from Russia and surrounding areas are classed as poor and get some government assistance but in many cases it is not enough. People from countries like America are classed as not requiring help but this is not always the case so they come for help. We met Jewish people from all over the world; a true sign God is moving His people home.
Project Streams of Blessing: Romans 15:27: Providing assistance to the poorest of the poor in the Land. These people, born in Israel, are very poor as the cost of living in Israel is very high and many people struggle to make ends meet. The UN caused many problems with their open cheque-books for flats and housing for their staff. This put the cost of housing almost out of reach for many poorly paid locals.
Project Bridal Salon: Many years ago we received a few wedding dresses as part of the shipment of clothes that are received from many Christians around the world. After wondering what to do with the wedding dresses it was decided that the Lord had sent them for a purpose so they hired them out for the cost of cleaning. This ministry is providing beautiful wedding gowns donated by believers from around the world to future Brides and through this ministry we are able not only to show them love but we can also explain why Christians love the Jewish People.
Project Forsake Them Not: Helping needy Holocaust survivors with financial aid and Christian love. Many Holocaust survivors have not even told their stories and feel very much forgotten. So the role of the Ministry is to show these people the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has not forgotten them. We visit them in their homes and just reach out with the love of the Lord. There are about 300,000 survivors in Israel, all in old age and their needs are great, so we try to help them cope with life.
Project First Fruits: Providing financial assistance and encouragement to local Believers in the Land of Israel. Many of the Believers in Jesus suffer for their faith and can lose jobs and their housing through persecution by the Ultra-orthodox Jewish community. This community suffered the most in Europe during WWII at the hands of people claiming to be Christian.
Project David’s Shield: Reaching out to those who defend the Nation of Israel, many of who are only 18 years old. The pressure on these young men and women is immense. Every day their lives are in danger as they serve their country. The stress they suffer at such a young age is so great that when they finish their service many head overseas to be able to relax for a while. They need to know that they have friends and their time protecting their people and land is not in vain.
Project Hope for the Future: A CFI Ministry Outreach to Ethiopian Jews. On May 24, 1991 Operation Solomon airlift set a world record for single-flight passenger load when an EL AL 747 carried 1,122 passengers to Israel (1,087 passengers were registered, but dozens of children hid in their mothers' robes). Two babies were born during the flight. Since then hundreds of Ethiopian Jews left behind have been able to join their families in Israel. Education was low and the people require a lot of help to start a new life in Israel.
Project Under His Wings: Touching the lives of the terror victims and reaching out to them with comfort and also in financial and practical ways. About 2007 a friend of ours was on a bus that was blown up by a suicide bomber. He survived but his medical expenses were very high and five years later he died from the cancer the bomb caused. This is but one story out of thousands that have been affected in some way by terror bombings. These people feel the whole world is against them and they need love and support and that is where the Lord has us working as His arms of love.
Project Wall Of Prayer: Linking members of the Body of Messiah in the nations with specific places in Israel to pray. This project was started during the Gulf war when it became obvious to all that Israel needed prayer. So the Wall of Prayer was started and every City, Town or village, whether it be Jewish or Arab is prayed for. Plus the Members of Government and local body leaders, whoever they may be are prayed for also. There are 5000 people heading prayer groups around the World praying for all the people of Israel, that one day they may all live in Shalom, peace.
God is moving and His Word is being revealed to us as truth within the miracle that has and is still occurring in Israel, the dry and deserted land is being restored. God said it would happen and it is and we can rejoice in His truth. [John 3:33]
Written by - Dennis McLeod
With his wife Penny, Served Christian Friends of Israel for twenty years.