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Youth Camp – Yes!

Teens headed off to summer camp for an exciting time of making friends, having fun,  and growing in faith.

“Serving as a youth pastor for many years now, I find myself facing the same issue concerning the youth ministry in Israel. We don’t have enough programs for them.”

These are the words echoed by many youth pastors around Israel. Our youth lack programs, such as youth conferences, youth trips, gatherings, and many more. 

We are small in number here in Israel, faith in Jesus is a real issue in the land, and many times can cost you, your friendships, and relationships. We are aware of the struggles our young people face, such as speaking openly about their faith without being judged, outcasted, and in some cases, ostracized.

That is why we need to invest in this future generation, prepare them and teach them how to establish a strong faith. A faith that belongs to them and burns in their hearts for generations to come. Our faithful youth ministers, who dedicate themselves to these young men and women, manage to organize youth camps twice a year.

This year’s summer camp included various activities, worship, and studying the word of God together. The theme of this year’s camp focused on serving in the kingdom, daring to dream, saying yes to God and working as a team. 

These camps open doors for new friendships and help them to strengthen their walk with the Lord and to know they are not alone. During the last camp, 16 girls dedicated their lives to the Lord. We have heard stories about some who attend the same school and even the same class without knowing they share the same faith. 

Thanks to your financial support, youth around the country have the opportunity to attend these camps. Your contribution to the future of these young people is tremendous.

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Single-Mothers’ Retreat

Working with single mothers is an integral part of our work here at CBN Israel. We have a local team dedicated to serving them through providing for their needs and resources. One of the ways CBN Israel provides support for these mothers is through hosting a single-mothers’ retreat.

At the end of July, 45 mothers and 60 children gathered at the Yad Hashemona Country Hotel on a Moshav in the Judean Hill Country outside of Jerusalem for a time of fellowship, fun, and learning about forgiveness.  

Most of the single mothers in the country never have the opportunity to go on vacation. They spend most of their time working multiple jobs, and any extra time they may have includes involvement in their children’s extracurricular activities or helping them with their homework. 

As part of the weekend, the women delved into the difficult topic of forgiveness. We have learned from these women that forgiveness is one of the most challenging issues they deal with as it involves forgiving an ex-husband or someone who has hurt them. As a result, there are times that they feel alone or that nobody understands. These women deal with a lot of pain and loneliness while at the same time trying to raise their children and it takes a lot of energy and strength out of them. 

Dealing with forgiveness as a single mother also carries spiritual implications and at times can be overwhelming. The speakers covered the spiritual, emotional, and physical side of forgiveness, helping these women to overcome bitterness and learn about the freedom that comes with forgiveness. 

We also conducted programs for children of all ages to help them focus on the Word of God as well as rest in His peace.  The families spent their afternoons relaxing by the pools and the children had many hills and open fields to run around and play games with other children.  

The feedback we received from the mothers and their children was heartwarming. 

“I have nothing I can give my son. He has never gone on vacation in his life and I am so thankful for this weekend,” said one mother. 

“My kids and I wait for this weekend every year,” said another participant. “We are so thankful to everyone who made this weekend possible.”

We were honored to make a weekend such as this possible for these families. For them, it was such an unusual experience. The mothers couldn’t believe they didn’t have to cook, clean or run around after the kids. All they had to do was relax and rest for an entire weekend. For many of them, it was an unreachable dream. 

Thank you from the depths of our hearts, for an opportunity such as this. Your donations and generosity make dreams come true. 

May the Lord bless you in every way possible.

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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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The Blessing of Rain

In Genesis, the Spirit of God rested above the waters during the formation of the Earth, for millennia the Lord has provided the Israelites and his children with the blessing of rain for their prosperity, and through water, we are baptized into the Holy Spirit. It is no coincidence that water is often used literally and metaphorically throughout the Bible to describe our most vital spiritual resource and to communicate the dire need when there is a season of actual or spiritual drought. It is no surprise that many Believers in Israel have been praying for rain this winter, as Israel was projected to reach desperate drought levels should it endure another dry winter, as it has since 2016. Thankfully this winter has been one of abundance!

For the first time in 3 years, the water levels in the Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Kinneret, have surpassed the ‘red line’, and water levels have risen over 2 meters since the beginning of this year’s rainy season. Other reports show that this month has been the rainiest April in Israel in over 20 years! These numbers sound encouraging to anyone whose country often faces drought, as they know how vital rainfall is to crop cultivation, daily usage, and the overall health of a nation’s citizens and wildlife. However, for Israel, this is an even more vital necessity.

Because Israel has historically not been able to rely on its neighbor-countries for either technology-sharing, import or export trade, this small country has had to work industrial wonders to becomes self-sufficient in desalination and processing their own limited fresh water. Israel leads the world in water recycling, as it treats and reuses almost 90 percent of its wastewater, which is mostly pumped into agricultural irrigation. However, there is still a large reliance on rain catchment and natural freshwater sources. The largest freshwater source is, of course, the Sea of Galilee, and it is the beating heart, which fuels Israel’s underground aquifers. The major increase in rainfall in the North of the country was seen by many as a God-send, after numerous years of carefully regulated consumption for agriculture and personal usage. People across the country have celebrated this blessing of rain, and it has raised the question of how to be an even more resource-conservative nation in the future.

In this season, as the end of the Passover celebration comes to a close this weekend. Jews across the world remember God’s faithfulness to bring them out of slavery in Egypt, and must, therefore, remember Moses proclamation for what they would find when they reached the Land of Israel. Moses declared that the Israelites would not be delivered to a land like the land of Egypt, which they irrigated by hand and foot, “But the land, where you go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinks water of the rain of heaven […]” (Deuteronomy 11:11). Therefore, the symbolism of rain in Israel can never be divorced from its divine roots. It is with this promise that every rainy season that touches Israel is viewed as a covenant between the Jewish people and their faithful Creator. With this promise, please help us pray for a continued blessing though to the end of this rainy season in Israel, and continued prosperity for Israeli technological and agricultural development in the future!

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Establishing the Kingdom

In 2nd Samuel chapter five,  we see the establishment of David as king over all of Israel. This didn’t happen all at once. There was a long process between the time David was anointed by Samuel to be king as a young man and when David becomes the king of all Israel in Jerusalem. The process was a time of preparation, where both David and the children of Israel come to a place where they were ready to receive David as king.

The David who is anointed by Samuel is not the mighty man of war that we read about later.  He is an insignificant lad who is tending the sheep of his father. He is not even considered by his own family as anything special and is forgotten when the rest of the family attended the special sacrificial feast that the prophet Samuel showed up at. David had no accomplishments to put on a ‘resume’ in order to become the king of Israel.

God, however, sees the heart. He examined this boy and found something that He did not find in any of his brothers. We do not know the details about his battles with the lion and bear that he fought to protect his sheep. But we know that these hidden battles early on in life gave him a testimony that he carried with him into battle with the giant later on. He struggled against a strong adversary where no one could witness his bravery, and he experienced first-hand a God who gave him the victories. God saw the heart of a boy who cared so much for the dumb sheep entrusted into his care, he could be trusted to care for His people also.

The foundation of David’s life which was laid in this lonely time is where he found God to be a special companion. He may have become familiar with the stories that he had heard about God’s dealings with the Patriarchs and his ancestors. He may have even been like others who revered and worshiped this God of his fathers. But in the lonely place where David is of little significance, he experienced God in a way others didn’t. His extraordinary confidence in his personal relationship with a great God is why David’s courage stands out. When everyone else retreats in fear, David runs towards the challenge of the giant:

“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Sam 17:45-47, NKJV)

God desires us to know him in the same way that David did. His call is not to just hear stories about Him from others, or even participate in distant worship and reverence. Not that these are bad things, but we miss out if we do not seek out more. It is in experiencing God in your own circumstances, and seeing His hand at work in your own life that enables you to become all that He has called you to be.

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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! 

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Residents from Sderot De-stress in Israel’s “Healing Waters”

With the recent security situation at the Israel-Gaza border, the elderly residents of Sderot have been experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety. The south-west city of Sderot is only eight miles (or 13 kilometers) away from all the “action” at the gaza border. The continual sound of gun fire crosses the distance and is a constant reminder to the Sderot residents that they must live on alert. One can imagine the toll that takes on the mind and body over time. 

Thanks to those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel, our partners in Sderot were able to relieve some of this tension by taking a group of fifty resident Holocaust Survivors to the rehabilitating resort of Hamei Yoav. This resort located just twenty minutes north of the city is known for it’s thermal mineral pools. The heat in these thermal waters helps reduce blood pressure and bring relaxation to the muscles. These waters are also full of sulfur and minerals that are absorbed into the skin and are an effective treatment for those who struggle with mobility or are suffering from stress and anxiety.

 

After a great time of relaxation, everyone enjoyed a sit down meal on site. The group was filled with joy and thankfulness to have had this opportunity to be refreshed and to forget, if only for a short while, about the constant struggles they live with every day.

At the end of the trip one of the leaders who himself is a Survivor, spoke on behalf of the group; “Thank you so very much for such a wonderful day”! The group agreed with cheers and applauds.  Every person present also received a Bible to remind them that the God of Israel is on their side and He is faithful to keep His covenant with Israel.

We at CBN Israel want to thank those who help us bring healing, love and care to over fifteen hundred Holocaust Survivors throughout Israel through your generous donations. For those who have a heart for Holocaust Survivors and desire to partner with us, we invite you to visit our website to learn what you can receive by becoming a monthly partner today!

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War at the Border, Love in the Home

Thanks to those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel, the staff were recently able to gain an additional partner to serve the locals in an area nearby the Israel/Gaza border. These new partners are excited for the opportunity to expand their services to the local Holocaust Survivors as well as to those who are suffering from fear and trauma. In the short time they have been working together with us, we have already seen much fruit! Here are just a few stories of those who have have received love, care and hope. 

*Andreas, a sixty-five year old widower has a son who works in a secret unit in the Israeli forces. He is alone and not able to connect much with his son. But now, he looks forward to a routine visit from our partners who offer him encouragement and support. He appreciates the opportunity to discuss his difficulties in life and loneliness without his wife. This month, he had a birthday and we went to visit him, pray with him and gave him a present for his birthday. He was so very thankful. 

Yelena, age seventy-nine, is a Holocaust Survivor who lives alone. Her two sons and their families live many miles away in the center of the country. The partners of CBN Israel accompanies, supports and assists Yelena in whatever way she needs. Recently, Yelena underwent surgery on her knee. After the surgery, we visited her in the hospital in a rehabilitation unit at Tel Hashomer. When she returned home, she asked for our help in receiving approval for assistance through the organization Yad Sarah. We continue to support Yelena through home visits, prayer and encouragement along with the gift of food vouchers and toiletries.

Tamara, age eighty-seven, is lonely and without a family in Israel. But now, she looks forward to our home visits which are an emotional experience every time. She says, “It is good that I have you. You are my family”. We support Tamara with encouragement, prayer and an opportunity to express herself while we take the time to listen with a sympathetic ear. Recently, Tamara was taken to the hospital after her health care nurse found her unconscious. Because her caregiver knows she can turn to us whenever she needs, we were updated on the state of her condition. When the good news came that she could return home, we picked her up from the hospital and assisted her back to her house. The therapist said in amazement, “Tamara lives in a miracle. It is so good that you are always here to help”. 

It is because of your generous support that CBN Israel is able to reach out to the hurting, the lonely and the needy. Now, if you become a monthly partner you will receive the free gift of three of our documentaries about Israel! Become a monthly partner today! 

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Think on These Things

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good reputation, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things”. – Philippians 4:8

It is not by force, nor by our ability to fight, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can overcome. Throughout my time of working with families in financial crisis and single mothers, I have met many believers who think that we need to focus our attention on overcoming the enemy and “taking him down”. While there is a time and a place for this, there is something we miss that I believe is even more powerful and effective. It is our offering of thanks and praise to God.

Over the years, I have learned that God loves to see us at peace despite our circumstances and to hear our praises and offerings of thanksgiving for all that He has been and done for us. Our spiritual enemy, on the other hand, loves it when we focus our attention on the battle that rages around us. Satan lures us into his battle field where his chances of defeating us increases.

I believe that what we need to do is walk out the victory that Yeshua already won for us. The question is not whether or not the struggles we have and the pain we suffer will come to end. The question is what we will do with our struggles and what we will learn and gain from them. Didn’t God say that through our struggles we will grow in godliness and in character?

Here are three things to remember as you endure the inevitable suffering you will face in this life.

1.) You have a choice. God does not force you and I to do or think or believe in a certain way. That is a choice He has given us to make. He has given us all the instruction we need for life and godliness, but it is up to us to take it, believe it and apply it to our lives and circumstances.  

2.) Our words have power. When we speak negatively about our circumstances and we don’t add faith to the equation, we may not realize that our negative words are paving a path for us to walk on. But on the contrary, when we choose to speak God’s truth and perspective over our circumstances, we will see those words taking effect in our lives.

3.) God is good and He is with us who believe. No matter what we face in this life, He will walk through it with us. You are never alone. He who began a good in you will complete it until the day of the coming of Yeshua our Messiah!

I encourage you today to take your cares to the Lord and do as His word says, “cast them” or a better translation would be to “throw them” at the feet of Yeshua and let Him bring all things into focus. Don’t be afraid to take time to make decisions if it means that wisdom will be your guide instead of fear and hastiness. One moment of prayer and asking God for help could change the entire outcome of your future.

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