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Meet Eden Hagos!

If you are looking for a real example of faith, courage, and trust in the Lord, Eden’s story is what you need.  She is a 32-year-old woman who has lived through so much.  Life has not been easy for her but through it all she has learned that God is always faithful and is trustworthy, especially when the road is hard and rocky.

Eden married her husband when she was 24 years old. They met in Israel, he was not then a citizen and was still in the process of trying to sort out all his paperwork to prove his eligibility.  This can take time, especially with those coming from countries were family documents are wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape, and some documents are simply lost or hard to find.

Because he was not a citizen, her husband could not work making Eden the primary breadwinner, a situation that required her to work three jobs while pregnant. Life for them was very much like living in between, Eden worked hard yet bills kept piling up. 

Things came to a head when Eden gave birth to a baby boy and could not work as much anymore. Their debts by then were considerable and they did not know how they were going to manage. They had no idea how long their life in limbo was going to be.

Somehow along the way, without really knowing why, her husband walked out on her leaving her alone with their son and all their debts. She was devastated.  Tears filled her eyes as she speaks: “God’s grace and mighty hand together with Arik’s help from CBN Israel are a true miracle.”

Eden had found Christ through a friend from work some years earlier but her walk with Him was not stable. The cares of life, just existing, swallowed her up. Love, debt and disappointments made her walk away.  When her husband left, she found herself in a situation where she had no food to eat, she was starving and had no money to pay the rent, she was just about to find herself evicted and out on the street with her baby.  She had reached the point of no return.

But God had not forgotten her, as even when we are not faithful, He is always faithful. Somehow, she was introduced to Arik, the head of CBN Israel’s family department. Sharing her story with him, he immediately got to work, helping her to pay her thirty thousand-dollar debts, plan a budget, talking to the bank and reducing the amount of debt left. It was to Eden as if God had sent an angel to help her. Arik escorted Eden through the hard times, guiding her spiritually and financially.

Later on, Eden’s husband started to see the changes happening in her life. She wasn’t aggressive anymore. She was calm, loving, forgiving, and smiling non-stop. Eden realized that some of the problems between them had not been helped by her attitude, she had allowed the stress and emotions of life to swallow her. She had not trusted God with her life.  Her husband started to wonder what was this change he saw in her?  Where was is it coming from?

He asked if he could go to the church with her, he wanted to know what this was.  That very first day that they went together, God touched his heart and understanding and he gave his life to Christ.

Arik continued to meet with Eden, following up on her expenses, giving her food coupons every month and school supplies. It took a few years for but finally, she was free from debt, working in a kindergarten and back on her feet.   “If not for Arik’s help and CBN Israel support, I would be in a very dark place, starving and living on the streets. I am so grateful for the help I received.”

Today, Eden and her husband are together, their faith cementing their marriage in a way that they did not have before. And Life is no longer like living in limbo, Eden’s husband received his citizenship papers and has been working, so they now have plans for their future.  And one lesson Eden has learned in all of this is this ……that whatever that future brings, He is faithful and trustworthy, even during the times when we stumble and fall. He never leaves sand forsake us. She has grown in her faith abundantly.

Thank you for supporting the ministries of CBN Israel, you are enabling us to be part of what God is doing here in the Land, making real changes in people’s lives.

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Social events for Holocaust Survivors and WWII Veterans

Solitude, abandonment, and lack of concern are some of the negative emotions that hang over many holocaust survivors like a dense cloud throughout the land of Israel. Just like the elderly in other parts of the world, many of them have little or no connection with families, children, or have anyone to take care of them.

The process of getting to that age and having a continued need for community interaction is something that may be hard to understand until you are at that place of need yourself. But adding to that the scars carried for years formed in extreme suffering, the challenge becomes that much more painful.

Today we have social media that helps us to connect with each other and that has its strengths and weaknesses. But the elderly generation in some ways has not stayed connected through the newer ways we utilize and this has led to a heightened sense of loneliness and isolation. We all have a need to be connected and needed by others. When this connection gets lost, people have a hard time justifying their existence, many lose their desire to live.

Many of the Holocaust survivors came to Israel after World War II, they became veterans and fighters in the wars that established the state.  They fought to pass on to us a place where we could live in safety and no longer be a people living in vulnerability, often without the most basic right, the right to life.

After numerous conversations with Holocaust survivors, they all have the same request and the same need.

“We want someone to care about us, to talk to us and ask about our day.”

Thanks to the financial support of CBN Israel and the faithfulness of our partners here in Israel, we can organize social events for the Holocaust survivors and WWII veterans who are living among us. We sing with them, dance, eat together and, most importantly, listen to them and their stories. In addition to the social events, our partners visit these survivors living in their area on a weekly basis, bringing them food, walkers, and medicine.

Seeing them tear up with emotion at the realization that there are people around the world that care for them is a wonderful experience. Simple acts of kindness eventually raise questions about faith in the Lord, and create an openness to the message.

We are so thankful for our supporters from around the world, for enabling us to show the practical love of God to others.

May the Lord bless you and your families.

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Sophie’s Miracle

“I couldn’t believe my mother found me after the war. I couldn’t. It is a real miracle.”

Sophie opened our meeting with a big smile on her face. She said her life is a testimony to God’s intervention.

Sophie was born in Latvia on the day that World War II began. When she was only a few months old, the Nazi’s started bombing Latvia from the Baltic sea. Over time, the bombing reached Sophie’s house and they were forced to evacuate.

Sophie’s father was recruited to join the war in the Baltic sea. He died a few days later.

A good Samaritan took Sophie’s mother in and hid her in the basement.

A week went by and, a neighbor informed the Nazis of their whereabouts.  The morning after Sophie was separated from her mother. The Nazis had taken her to an orphan home to be a part of experiments conducted by the Nazi doctors.

Sophie’s mother worked in the camps and was raped daily by the guards, but she never gave up.  She promised herself that she would survive the war and find her daughter.

Meanwhile, Sophie and other babies who were cruelly separated from their parents were injected with various shots and tested on like lab rats.

Every day babies died from the experiments, the unbelievably cold weather, hunger, and lack of human warmth and care.

At the end of the war, when the Soviet army conquered its territories back and freed the camps, Sophie’s mother started her journey of looking for her daughter, who was then a 5-year-old girl.

Thanks to the Red Cross, she found Sophie.

In the 1970s, Sophie and her husband received their documents and finally immigrated to the Land of their Forefathers.

Today, Sophie is a part of the Holocaust survivor’s center in the city Carmiel.

She is an active member who helps other survivors like herself as well as receives the necessary help that she needs.  

She says that being a Holocaust survivor, old and lonely is a burden. Not being able to buy food and medicine and live on only the ridiculous pension is not possible.

CBN Israel is an active supporter of the Holocaust survivor’s center and its ministry.

“The people who run the center are the kindest people I have ever met. For me, the love, care, and compassion they show is nowhere to be found. I could not but wonder what is this endless light that shines through them,” Sophie said with a big smile on her face.

Sophie continuously thanked CBN Israel and all its supporters for their generosity. She wishes everyone good health and, says CBN Israel is the reason she and many others like her, have hope and someone to care for them and their basic needs.

May God bless you abundantly. 

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The Alpha Course

Life as a new immigrant is not without its share of difficulties, attempting to learn a new language and attempting to integrate and become accustomed to a new culture. Yet, CBN Israel has a number of programs to help new immigrants with these challenges they face. One such program is the Alpha Course. The Alpha Course is a course where families come together to learn about the History of Israel, Israeli traditions and culture. 

 

“Being a new immigrant is very difficult, but thanks to the “Alpha course” I can now learn about the history of Israel in-depth, as well as, participate in traditional Shabbat dinner,” said one participant. 

 

Taking part in some of the traditions and customs help new immigrant families to feel they are a part of the nation and its traditions. 

Our partners in the city of Ramla began organizing these meetings, providing food, materials, and resources for what these families need to know and study to help make this transition easier. 

 

“Many of the new immigrant families are lonely and except for “Ulpan”, Hebrew language school, there are no additional programs to help the absorption process, meet new people, and form relationships. 

 

A majority of the participants in this program come from secular backgrounds in they are not connected to any religious or believing community, yet, with the Alpha Course, we are able to reach their hearts and share with them the Good News. 

 

Many of the families who have taken part in this course are now attending a local congregation and few have received Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

 

Thanks to your generous donations and support, we are able to provide monthly financial assistance to our partners in Ramla who are working hard to help new immigrants through the “Alpha course.”

 

May the Lord bless you and your family.

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Mikhail’s Story of Salvation

Through your faithful support and our partners in the south, we are able to distribute food supplies for families who have just immigrated to the country and are finding it difficult to adjust to life in Israel.

Mikhail and his family immigrated to Israel almost a year ago. And, like every family who just moves to a new country, there are difficulties with learning a new language and culture. Mikhail has been trying to provide his family with the most basic needs of food and supplies.

As a result of not being able to provide his family’s needs, he began drinking, and his family began to fall apart. Life seemed like it was going in the wrong direction.
Our partners in the south heard about Mikhail’s situation and immediately paid he and his family a visit. Bringing some food and other things his family needed.

Mikhail was amazed by how our partners cared for his situation and wanted to know more about the love he felt from them. Through the love and prayers of our follow-up workers, Mikhail received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, time went by, and Mikhail testifies to how the Lord has changed his heart and has allowed him to become a godly husband and father through his walk with Jesus.

Today his family attends a congregation in the city he lives in and continues to receive monthly support from CBN Israel.

Thank you for your generosity and faithful support of our ministry here in Israel. May your life be filled with the love of God.

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A Great Testimony, Visit with Alina

As part of our food distribution program, our team in the south meet many Holocaust survivors, and other elderly people who don’t have the ability to provide themselves with the basic need of food. 

Our partners working in the south of Israel went to visit Alina, a dear 80-year-old woman, which resulted in a powerful testimony of a divine appointment.  

Alina had undergone several surgeries throughout the years and was so debilitated that she was unable to lift more than a kilogram. Our team visited her in her apartment with food and other essentials, which touched her deeply to know people cared that much. The team spent some time with her in fellowship and getting to know her further. 

She told us how she had immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine nearly 20 years ago and that it was a dream come true for her as a Jewish woman to return to the Land of her forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

The presence of the Lord was tangible at that point that Alina couldn’t help but be touched by the Holy Spirit. She then opened up and shared how during one of her many surgeries she died clinically. She remembers that she left her body and could see her own body from above, she then remembers how she suddenly saw the world from on high, saying how she felt an incredible light all around her and a feeling of complete peace, but then in an instant she was brought back and she found herself back in her body in the recovery room after the surgery. 

This precious lady has now come into newness of life in Jesus, full of strength and hunger to know her Savior more intimately. We gifted her with an audio Bible and she is thoroughly enjoying it! 

It is truly a moment out of time, when God comes and meets one person, in their own home, not because of who they are, but because of who He is – a faithful and loving God.

We want to thank you deeply for the faithful and on-going support you provide us with. You are a great part of the biggest changes in people’s lives all over the Land of Israel. 

May you be filled with the presence and the blessings of our Father. 

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Helping the Residents in Sderot

Despite the number of missiles launched from Gaza into Israel, CBN Israel’s partners in Sderot continue their faithful ministry to the people who have suffered from significant attacks on their homes, businesses, and properties. 

 

The people of Sderot are living under constant attack and as a result, deal with various types of psychological trauma, as well as financial problems caused by the security situation. 

 

Sderot became a ghost town after many citizens fled this war zone, leaving many local businesses without workers and clients. 

 

The team working Sderot managed to provide psychological treatment and support for several people of differing ages. They supplied them with diapers which, in pursuance of their mental state, were, and still are very much needed.

 

An incredible story came to our knowledge about a family who fell apart following the security situation, and the mental weight it brought to their relationship. After receiving the proper psychological care, the family was restored and began attending the local congregation. 

 

We are beyond grateful for the support to enable us to help this local congregation in the south of Israel to serve those in their communities. Because of it,  great work that is being done here in the land of Israel.

 

May the light of our Savior shine upon you and your families.

 

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Supporting Single Mothers

School is out and we are in the middle of summer break. It is difficult for a parent to both work and take care of their child. As a result, our single mothers are struggling.

The government doesn’t provide a summer education program, and the private school’s system is unreasonably expensive.

Our “single mother’s” department is busier than usual as single mothers continue to call and ask for help with the basic need of feeding their children.

We are doing everything there is to be done, to provide these wonderful mothers with the help they need, by giving food coupons and other necessary supplies.

Thank you for standing in prayer with us, and for your commitment to our ministry, you are the ones who make it all possible. To partner with us and help these single mothers, click here.

May the Lord bless you and your families.

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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)

 

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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!

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