Blog

The End from the Beginning

ELY Israel has had the privilege of aiding and supporting many new immigrants to Israel, especially those with unstable family situations and are facing crisis. We are privileged to act as the hands and feet of Messiah for vulnerable women and children through our Families Department. For many of these women who live in Israel, or have been through grueling circumstances to immigrate (make Aliyah), their future feels so unsure, but many find faith through the small acts that ELY can provide to know that God has a plan for them, for He “declares the end from the beginning”.

A recent testimony from one of the single mothers ELY has provided on-going assistance for was especially striking, as her whole journey was riddled with unknowns for her and her family. A few years ago, M made Aliyah to Israel with her young child. She was Jewish, but only on her paternal side, therefore her elderly mother was forced to remain in their home-country in Eastern Europe. The separation was agonizing, but everyone agreed it was necessary for M and her son to have a chance at a leading a better life. Time passed, and M received word that her mother had fallen seriously ill, and was at severe risk alone. In a panic, M made arrangements for her mother to be brought to Israel for better medical care. The stress of her condition became so heavy, as M was forced to take out loans to finance her mothers’ treatment. In the end, the financial debt she accumulated and the emotional burden was too much, so M, her mother and child made the fateful decision to return to their country of origin without future prospects to return to Israel.

Their hearts were broken to leave the land they loved, but feared that if they returned to Israel the debt M had accrued there would be crushing, and she may even be at risk of arrest if she reentered the country. However, as time passed, M realized she was willing to take the gamble, as she would rather sit in jail than never return to Israel. With only her faith propelling her forward, she knew the Lord had put Israel on her heart for a reason, and that His provision would be her solace. She thanks God that she was never arrested, but M still faced problems of finding work to pay down her debt. Once again she found herself facing the brink of no longer being able to remain in Israel when she was contacted by an ELY representative who delivered a miraculous message. ELY Israel wished to stand alongside M, to assist with her debt, help her prosper and provide for her family.

Immediate support included gift cards and vouchers for her to pay for food and necessities. It was the first month in such a long time that M did not have to worry about affording basic needs after her monthly debt portion had been paid off. Secondly, ELY Israel contracted a lawyer to advise M with her financial issues, and with the help of God, she was absolved of her debt within the year! Once she was out of crisis ELY Israel did not dissert her, instead they invested in M’s future with career counseling, which led to her receiving a scholarship for a tourism and travel agent training course. Today M is at the end of her studies, and is already working in her field of choice! She says that she feels the ultimate success was that she not only can provide for herself and her child with dignity, but she has also been liberated from emotional and financial burden. She is a living testimony of faith and liberation for at-risk women who see no realistic way of getting out of their current circumstances. M’s deepest appreciation goes to ELY Israel for “seeing my problems in all of their complexity, and helping to lift me out of my lowest point”. It is difficult to see that the Lord has a plan and a path to deliver us from our most difficult life circumstances, but with an abounding faith, and employees to show God’s love to those who are struggling, women like M have found better futures in the Holy Land.

 

(Names altered for privacy purposes)

 

Read more

Celebrating Service – Lone Soldier Open-House

The Lord promised the Israelites in Genesis 12:2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing”. With every year that has passed since 1948, Israel has celebrated its independence as a truly great nation. Israelis have always viewed the prosperity of their modern state as God making good on His promise, dating back to the Exodus, to prosper the Israelites. Independence is something that no Israeli takes for granted, especially as this holiday is preceded by Memorial Day 24 hours beforehand. With the looming memory of those who have fallen in the line of duty defending Israel, it is of extra importance to celebrate and honor those in active duty in the IDF. For this reason, CBN Israel was proud to both celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) and host the first open-house event at the new home for Lone Soldiers in the greater-Jerusalem area. This project has been months in the planning, months of execution, organizing and cultivating both the physical home space and the community cohort that will be its first inhabitants.

The celebration was a momentous occasion for residents to proudly show off the home to their friends and families, many of whom traveled from abroad to visit and support them. Soldiers proudly gave tours of the 4-floored building, giving special attention to each room, which was decorated by each house member in their own unique style. Now that pictures have been hung, the kitchen filled, and the initial 5 bedrooms all occupied, the home is something to behold. One resident stated in a self-guided tour that, “you can really sense that it is a ‘home’ for us, and not just a house. All week we sleep on closed bases, 10 or 15 to a room, so getting to come back to a huge porch with a panoramic view, a home-cooked meal, and our own beds is something very important”.

Around 70 people attended the event! The day began with an introduction and explanation on the home’s goals and purpose by ELY’s national director, followed by prayer for the success and continuation of the home. He stated the types of support ELY is providing, including: subsidized rent and meal costs, community programming, and logistical support for acquiring lone soldier benefits. Then everyone enjoyed a catered meal together on the house’s expansive balcony. It was a joyous festivity, and an amazing opportunity to watch active and former lone soldiers, ELY staff, and friends and family from near and far, connect over their common goal of supporting these young people in their military service.

Please help us pray for the success of the home for lone soldiers! We pray for a cohesive community, who are blessed to be a blessing during their military service, and to cultivate an environment of peace and rest amidst the obstacles they may face in their time of duty. Please also help us pray for Israel; that it will continue to be a ‘great nation’, as God called it to be; and that as the hands and feet of Jesus in the Land, that we may serve lone soldiers and other communities in need with the abundant love of Yeshua. From the staff of CBN Israel, and residents, friends, and families of the home for lone soldiers, we say thank you!

Read more

The True Meaning of ‘Home’: Idan’s Story

What is the true meaning of home? For 18-year-old Idan, this word has meant many things throughout his life. After his parents’ divorce and a series of familial difficulties, he was processed through the Israeli Welfare Ministry, facing many moves between permanent and temporary housing. He found himself living alone as a minor after being subject to many family struggles. On the eve of one of the Jewish holy days, he was invited by a local family to join their holiday meal, and from that evening forward, Idan proceeded to live under the Levy family’s care for the 3 years that followed. However, now that he has graduated from high school, he will follow his peers in his mandatory army service in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). He will serve in the navy, and live during the week on a closed base.

Because Idan was never officially adopted by his foster family and has now reached the legal age of emancipation from the foster-care system, he is considered a “lone soldier”. This status is usually reserved for new-immigrant international Jews who go through the ‘Aliyah’ or immigration process and serve in the IDF while their families remain in their country of origin, however, there are special cases such as Idan’s where this classification is granted to native-born Israelis as well. Lone soldiers are allotted certain benefits such as a living stipend, time off for family visits, and other supports to try to mitigate the difficulty of completing their service without family support. However, despite these strides to offer greater assistance to lone soldiers, often the struggles they face are still too steep, and many are forced to return to their home country, slip into depression, or in some cases have even been known to take their own lives. There is a great need for this population to find a place they can truly call “home” during their service, and CBN Israel felt called to fill this void. CBN recently rented a large home in the greater-Jerusalem area, to support lone soldiers of different life circumstances. The home will eventually house up to 10 soldiers and 2 house-parents and will give highly subsidized rates for rent, food, bills, and other expenses. The home will also be a space for structured programming to offer the soldiers a sense of community to come home to.

Idan said that he prayed to God to prosper him in the next season of his life, as he knew his emancipation date from the foster system was drawing near. When asked about his next step after high school, he would tell people that he was believing for a home for lone soldiers like himself, where he could find community and a permanent home during his service. He even thought of starting one by himself. Therefore, when Idan heard that this was exactly what CBN Israel was trying to provide, he says that he was very eager to join the project, and help build it from the ground up. “I was so happy and I knew that I was destined to go there”, he said in the early stages, even before a home had been rented, or any other soldiers had signed on to live there. When asked about why this type of program is an important option for lone soldiers, Idan stated, “People want to feel safe and understood, to seek out support from people with common challenges, even though they come from all different backgrounds. A home for lone soldiers can easily become a real family for those without”. He also added that there is a need to honor those who travel across the world, and potentially risk their lives to serve Israel – “I believe that such projects [as this one] need to operate in a wider range of areas, to help as many lone soldiers as possible. At the end of the day, lone soldiers do not normally come home to warm hugs, a listening ear, or people to reaffirm them in their faith. They also must face the struggles of adulthood alone in terms of the financial burden and home responsibilities that their families would otherwise support them in”. It is with the support of foundational participants like Idan that the home for lone soldiers is now up and running!

Idan also recently returned from a pre-army trip to an orphanage in Kenya, where he says he “took 40 children into his heart as new brothers and family”, and says he is eager to return to these children after his army service. Idan’s commitment to helping build a sense of “home” for so many people is what makes him such an inspiring presence in this program. Whether it is for soldiers who traveled across the world to serve Israel, or the children Idan hopes to cross the world for after his service, “home” is a feeling that Idan has learned to take with him, and it is something CBN hopes to provide for many more needy soldiers in the future. If you are invested in stories, such as Idan’s, and other residents of CBN’s lone soldier home, please consider partnering with us today to ensure the continuation of this project for inspiring young people. From everyone at CBN and the lone soldiers we support, we say, “thank you”!

[Name(s) have been changed for privacy purposes]

 

Read more

A Renewal for the Spring Season – Single Mothers’ Gathering

As Spring begins to bloom across Israel, flowers peek out from behind a long winter’s frost and animals rise from their deep slumber. From biblical to modern times, Spring has always symbolized renewal and reawakening. The Jews celebrate the coming of Pesach/Passover when God liberated His chosen people from their enslavement in Egypt, and through their Exodus, they wandered for 40 years in the desert until they renewed their identity as free people. For Christian Believers, this is also a season of renewal as Jesus’ miraculous resurrection is the ultimate symbol of revitalization in both body and spirit. However, for many disadvantaged women, there are few opportunities to see themselves outside of the role that society and their life circumstances have placed them in.

Across Israel, CBN works with different congregations to bring together groups of widows, single mothers, and victims of abuse in different cities to create a space of fellowship to share their common struggles and build a community of support. This past week, CBN Israel hosted a group of Jerusalem Believers for a seasonal dinner to share a meal and connect as the Spring season approaches. There were 35 women in attendance, many of whom have been present at previous events as well. The women were gathered to sing worship together, enjoy a meal, pray in small and larger groups, receive food vouchers for the coming season to support their families, and receive teaching on the renewal of one’s identity in faith.

The teaching was based on the Old Testament book/Megillah Song of Solomon. From Chapter 1 through 8 this book follows a woman who undergoes a transformation in self-perception, and this is exactly what the CBN Israel staff tried to inspire in the attendees of this event. The woman at the beginning of the passage is described as dark due to sun exposure from tending to her brother’s vineyard and neglecting her own – Look not upon me, that I am swarthy, that the sun hath tanned me; my mother’s sons were incensed against me, they made me keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept’ (Song of Solomon 1:6). We can see that she forgoes self-prosperity for neglect, and lives into the role that was set for her. Her identity is conflicted though, as she describes herself as beautiful like ‘the tent of Solomon’, yet she knows she is viewed in contempt by her brothers and is described as dark and gloomy. In Chapter 2 we can see how the Spring season brings in transformation, as her newfound beloved calls her out of her hiding place, wishes to hear and see her, and wishes for her to be visible to all.

The teaching shows that it is easy to become this woman; A woman that sees herself through the lens of others or gets stuck in her own self-perception. However, we can choose what kind of mirror to look through, and the truest reflection is found through the lens in which God sees us. Life is a journey of balancing these different views, and at last in Chapter 3 the woman is shown as having a renewed way of describing herself. She speaks to her own strength as a border wall, and how she has become “[…] in his eyes like one bringing contentment”. Lastly, the woman states, “my own vineyard is mine to give”.

The teaching clearly had a large effect on the women of the event, as many were moved to reevaluate what lens they viewed themselves through, and how in this new season they may feel empowered to seek His lens first, how they may prosper their own fruit of transformation in their lives, and how they may seek to be a strong figure through the love of God. CBN hopes to bless more disenfranchised women throughout the country to begin a season of renewal in the Lord. It is through your support and partnership with CBN Israel that events for female empowerment such as this one can take place within the local Body of Messiah. From the CBN Israel staff and the beneficiaries we support, we say “thank you”!   

Read more

A Season of Healing in Sderot

Let us pray for God to keep a watchful eye over His People, and bind the schemes and resources of their enemies so they can do them no harm (Zechariah 12:1-5; Psalm 91)

Fifteen seconds… Imagine you are awakened to hear a siren blaring, and must gather your family to rush to shelter from incoming rocket-fire, and this is the amount of time you have to say a quick prayer under your breath and hope that you will see another day.

Due to on-going tension along the Gaza Strip, Israelis have had to endure a barrage of attacks, from their Western border since 2001. These attacks have historically included the throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails, large and small-scale terror tunnels for burrowing subterranean routes into Israeli territory, Qassam rocket launches, and most recently the threat of incendiary kites sent from Gaza in the hope of burning Israeli agricultural fields and setting nearby villages alight. This constant security threat is felt most by those closest to the border, and it does not get any closer than the city of Sderot, which is only 1 kilometer from the active conflict zone. This reality leaves the residents of Sderot only 15 seconds on average to rush to nearby bomb shelters when they hear the siren alerting to an incoming rocket attack. Because of this, an estimated 75% of children between the age of 4 and 18 in Sderot exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can cause severe anxiety and disturbed sleeping habits, among other symptoms. Because of this, CBN Israel has felt a strong call to assist these victims of terror through partnerships with local organizations in Sderot.

However, amidst this reality is a beacon of hope! Yir HaHaim is the local Messianic Congregation in Sderot, and despite starting their ministry in a city which is often referred to as the “bomb-shelter capital of the world”, they have named their congregation the “City of Life” as a proclamation of faith despite these adverse conditions. They have been called to be a light to their community, as they are aware that the city of Sderot houses many new immigrants, Holocaust survivors, homeless and low-income families, widows, orphans, and those affected by both direct terrorist attacks and the general threat of living in one of the world’s most conflicted zones. It is through the support and partnership with CBN Israel that this ministry is able to offer numerous programs for both Believers in Sderot and other citizens in need, making the congregation a hub for healing, support, and living the Gospel. Not only has CBN’s support allowed for community members to receive much-needed food vouchers, but there has also been an emphasis on funding holiday celebrations at the congregation. These food security efforts are vital to not only ensuring that daily needs are met, but also to create annual milestones for trauma victims to look forward to, and inspire more community involvement and outreach. Arguably though, the most impactful assistance has been CBN’s funding of therapeutic efforts for victims of terror. These efforts have taken different forms. There are one-time healing events, such as a sponsored day for elderly victims to visit a therapeutic thermal spa for restoration and relaxation following one of the most brutal nights of rocket attacks. There is also a focus on long-term support though, such as the sponsorship for over 52 families to receive vital trauma-informed therapy for overcoming PTSD. This investment in the community’s mental and spiritual health has been a large priority for CBN and Yir HaHaim to ensure Sderot residents have the opportunity to resume a normal life and seek a ‘refuge and a fortress’ (Psalm 91:2) in the protection of the God of Israel.

Please help us pray for the peace of Israel, the ‘shelter of the most High’, and the efforts that CBN has been called to fulfill in aiding victims of terror in these Southern territories. It is because of those who give selflessly to CBN Israel that these victims are finding help and hope in their time of need. Would you consider partnering with CBN Israel and helping us make a very real impact on the lives of the needy in Sderot? On behalf of our staff and the many lives we have already touched through your support we say, “Thank you!”

 

Read more

From the Book of Esther to SuperBook

This past weekend marked the celebration of Purim in Israel and across the Jewish diaspora, marking the beginning of the Spring holidays/feasts. Purim is the Jewish holiday commemorating God’s faithfulness to his chosen people against the wicked Haman in the ‘Megillah’, also known as the Book of Esther in the Bible. This holiday is celebrated every year on the 14th of Adar in the Jewish calendar and extends into the weekend in Jerusalem, where an extra day of festivities is observed. This holiday is vital to remember God’s promise of protection to the Jew’s in ancient Persia, and that he delivered them from the tyrant Haman. Haman plotted to kill off every Jewish man, woman, and child in Persia and would have succeeded if it were not for the courage of Queen Esther who interceded for her people. Today the more serious tones of heroism and near-death peril for the Jewish people have been transformed into a joyous occasion for Jews, young and old, to celebrate the Lord’s fidelity to protect them and ultimately restore His people to their homeland.

Many of the cultural traditions of today that are done in light-spirit can be traced to serious teachings from the Megillah. For example, the holiday of Purim in modern times is celebrated by participants wearing elaborate costumes, which can range from the likeness of the biblical characters themselves to modern-day superheroes and pop-culture icons.This tradition of costumes and masks, many believe, is derived from the fact that there is a lack of outright mention of God’s name throughout the written story. For some, this lack of the Lord’s name indicates an absence of His presence in ancient Persia. However, for many who can clearly see His works on behalf of liberating the Jewish people say that it is not an absence of God, but a ‘hidden’ nature. Jewish analytical texts show that the name Esther comes from the Hebrew word meaning “concealment”, and the word Megillah comes from the Hebrew root meaning “revelation”, therefore, the entire story indicates that it is our job to find revelation in the hidden nature of God in the story of Purim!

CBN Israel had the pleasure of hosting Purim festivities this past weekend at Yad HaShmona, a “moshav”, or collective village/settlement outside of Jerusalem, which was originally founded by Finnish believers of the Kibbutz movement in the 1970s. It is now a vibrant community of Believers residing in the picturesque Judean Hills, and are known for drawing in crowds for their celebrations of numerous Jewish feasts. CBN Israel was proud to host a vibrant festivity for members of the Moshav and surrounding residents to eat traditional fare, like Oznei Haman (also known as Haman’s ears, a cookie shaped after the famous villain), and enjoy watching the episode of SuperBook’s illustration of the story of Queen Esther.SuperBook is CBN’s collection of beloved animated Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments for distribution across the globe in over 40 languages and was just recently produced in Hebrew. Children gathered at the Moshav to color in SuperBook coloring books, receive SuperBook merchandise, watch the Purim story in theater-style animation, and even greet Gizmo, the famous robot side-kick who travels throughout the episodes on biblical adventures. Clearly, SuperBook was the star of the show at this holiday gathering, and for parents, at the event, they noted that “to see the stories that [they and their children] had grown up reading now in animation really brought the Bible to life!”

New and old traditions merged for a celebration of Purim, the Book of Esther and SuperBook this past week. As one looked out onto the celebration of Israeli Believers, celebrating the miracle of Esther and the unveiling of the Lord’s faithfulness from atop the Jerusalem Hills, it clearly showed that God’s promise to protect and deliver His people is surely not hidden any longer!

Read more

Seeking Prosperity in the Startup Nation

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).

Israel, “the startup nation,” has proven that not only can the Lord prosper the Jewish people in their return to His land, but He wants to prosper their businesses and economy as well. Second, only to Silicon Valley in research and development, Israel’s name has become synonymous with progress and innovation. However, imagine taking this miracle one step further! Imagine the power of a union of Believers coming together in business, to share wisdom, fellowship, and fulfill the glory of the Lord’s kingdom on Earth through the Israeli economic marketplace. This is precisely the idea behind Israel First Fruits, which aims to foster entrepreneurial leadership in the Body of Messiah to fulfill its ancient mandate to bless Israel and the nations. They are doing this through business courses, individual consultation, seed-funding and investing in kingdom business models.

CBN’s partnership with First Fruits has been an enduring one, as we have partnered to help support many areas of their vision for young entrepreneurs in the Body. Most recently, CBN co-hosted the Israel Business Forum in Netanya. The event drew in nearly 40 business-minded Believers from the international community and 120 local Israelis. The local believers were able to pitch their ideas for a panel of selected industry professionals and investors, receive small-group and individual consultation with mentors from across the globe in break-out sessions, and compete to win up to 25,000 shekels in the business plan competition. In addition, these global entrepreneurs got the opportunity to explore the Holy Land on a guided tour, enjoy fellowship and worship together, and network among new and esteemed business minds from the Body. The participants had the unique experience of not only touring the country’s many biblical locations of Jesus’ life and ministry, but also visiting incubators and business accelerators in Tel Aviv; reminding the entrepreneurs why they were all there, but also where they could aspire to reach. In all, the event created a much-needed space for believing investors, hopeful startups, and seasoned business gurus to collaborate on both areas of the immediate future of the State of Israel and the eternal value of their business and contribution. Psalm 122:9 calls to those who seek the prosperity of God to maintain their works and intentions for ‘his sake’, and for this very reason, First Fruits and CBN are striving to create a network for eternally-minded business in the Land.

The business plan competition, which was the focal point of the 2-day conference, allowed for 8 entrepreneurs to present their business strategies, 5-minute overview presentation, and projected growth capabilities for their venture. In the words of First Fruit’s CEO, the competition showcased “the diversity of callings and ideas that can be found in the Body”. Business plans ranged from product design, like for a secure electronic locking and tracking courier parcel, to development ventures, like the creation of a tourism-generating bed and breakfast network in Ariel (Judea and Samaria). The many ideas brought before the panel were innovative and distinct. In the end, the first prize winner was a woman from the upper Galilee region who worked as a real estate developer, looking to improve the region’s reputation for high-end tourism. In second and third place were a brother and sister luthier and piano tuning service, a dying craft with unmet demand, and a business to teach school children about sustainable ecology, therapeutic gardening, and edible and medicinal plant cultivation. These entrepreneurs stood out largely because of their personal histories that made them uniquely qualified to operate a business that would not only prosper them personally, but further the advancement and ideals of The Land. 2nd Prize winner – ‘Ronit’s Garden’ was based on her knowledge from her Kibbutz upbringing, and history of tending to agricultural land in Israel, where she discovered the many benefits for youth and people with disabilities.

The whole event was a smashing success, and both investors and entrepreneurs left with new connections for future business and a renewed connection in God’s plan for their future. In the words of one of the panelists, “The goal is really to carry out our work in the marketplace while honoring Christ with our resources […] and our objectives are much greater than dollars and cents. God is in the marketplace, as well as the ministry, and what we are trying to create is ministry in the marketplace.” So help us pray for the prosperity of Israel, God-honoring business-people in the Land, and to help bring the Lord’s presence to the forefront of Israel’s economic future.

 

Read more

Once Served, Now Serving Others

Come one, come all! Anyone who has a heart to serve and is looking for an outlet, look no further. The need is all around you!

For the past six years, the staff of CBN Israel have worked with Holocaust Survivors, widows, single mothers, new immigrants, families in financial crisis and many more who are struggling in the Land of Israel. Many of these in need are surrounded by communities of people, but on the day to day basis they are lonely, feeling hopeless and unsure of who they can turn to for help. Their struggles are real, urgent and overwhelming. But for a lack of knowledge they silently drown in their sea of burdens alone. 

Our example, Yeshua the Messiah, instructed His disciples to go out and make disciples so that the kingdom of God would expand and more souls could be healed, delivered and saved. Yeshua’s example was the inspiration that birthed CBN Israel’s new “Heart to Serve” seminars. 

Without any advertisements, word got out about the upcoming seminars as if God Himself whispered the news to the ears of those He wanted to be a part of it. In the first meeting, over thirty people arrived who truly had a heart to serve those in need around them. As an introduction, the staff laid a foundation discussing topics such as the importance of listening with compassion, becoming a person of trust and the need for education in practical ways to help the hurting. 

One of the women who were present shared with the group how she had once received help from CBN Israel in her own time of need. “What I needed the most was for someone to come and show me they cared”, she began. “I was on the edge- full of discouragement due to my circumstances. Honestly, I would have taken my life from the heaviness of my situation if it had not been for the timely encouragement and the gentle push in the right direction”. 

As the first session came to a close, the staff received a flood of positive feedback from the attendees. “This was so good, I am going to invite my friends to come to the next one”, one attendee shared. “Thank you for putting this together”, said another attendee. “It was easy to understand and very practical”. 

In the upcoming seminars, guest speakers such as lawyers and psychologists will come to discuss practical matters including how to deal with debts and bankruptcy, helping people heal through forgiveness, and much more. 

Meeting the needs of the hurting is made possible through those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel. Now, when you become a monthly partner, you not only make a very real difference in very real lives, but you will also receive three of CBN’s most current and popular documentaries about Israel. Click to find out more! 

Read more

God’s Revelation Through Humanitarian Aid

“Comfort, O comfort My people”, says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem and call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”- Isaiah 40:1-2. This command to comfort which was spoken by the prophet Isaiah was not to the people of Israel, but to the gentiles. The people of Israel were chastised for their sins and it was time for them to return home to their Land and receive comfort after all their affliction. At the time these words were spoken, it related to the return of the people from Babylon. But these words are also true for us today as they relate to the great return of the Jews from among the nations of the world where they were exiled. 

Take a look at the verses that immediately follow this command to comfort God’s people; “A voice is calling, “Prepare a way for the Lord in the wilderness, make a smooth path in the desert for our God…Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh will see it together”. 

Gentiles from the nations who bring aid and comfort to God’s people help pave a way for the Lord’s return and the revelation of His glory! All of us who know the Lord, have at some point experienced God’s mercy while we were still sinners. Is it not His goodness that leads us to repentance?! (Romans 2:4). Through acts of free and undeserved kindness, comfort, and aid, we reveal God’s heart of mercy that we ourselves received from Him. We at CBN Israel are continually seeing God use humanitarian aid as a catalyst to draw His people to Himself. 

Today marks seventy years since Israel was recognized as a Jewish State. Seventy is a significant number in the scriptures signifying perfection and completion. As we look forward to seeing the ways God will reveal Himself to Israel this year, will you partner with us as we seek to comfort Holocaust Survivors, widows, single mothers, new immigrants and many more here in the Land of Israel? 

 

Read more

Elderly Atheist Finds Faith Through Healing

*Aneta was both a psychotherapist and an atheist. When Aneta met people who spoke of their faith in God, she felt compassion for them. For she was convinced that believers in God were in need of mental therapy. But when Aneta was given a hopeless diagnosis, she experienced a first-hand encounter with the Truth.  

Aneta spent the majority of her difficult life in the Former Soviet Union. As a child, she was separated from her family and never told of the siblings that she had. Until one day, when she received a phone call from a woman named *Danya in Israel explaining that she was her blood relative- her sister! Danya had been searching for her through a Russian tv program called, “Wait For Me”, which helps families to reconnect. It was through this reunion with Danya that Aneta decided that she too would immigrate to the homeland of her Jewish ancestors. 

After arriving to the country, Aneta reached the age of retirement and spent her days caring for a sick member of the family. A short time later, she too fell severely ill, and was hospitalized. “I know believers in God who could pray for your healing”, she was told by a visiting friend. “I’ll ask one of them to call you if you’d like”. Aneta’s thoughts concerning believers hadn’t changed since her younger years. But she felt that a refusal of prayer would seem disrespectful. So, she agreed. 

A few days later, one of the staff of CBN Israel’s partners from Beit Hallel, phoned Aneta in the hospital. The staff member prayed for Aneta’s healing and hung up the phone. After the prayer, she began to feel something happening inside her body. A doctor came in to give her a blood test and had a look of surprise in his eyes as he reported that she was completely healed!

When Aneta returned home, she knew the truth. Today, she shares with everyone she meets that God is alive and it was He that healed her. 

“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”– James 5:14-16

*Names altered for privacy.

 

Read more