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

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!

Read more

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.

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

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!

Read more

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! 

Read more

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.

Read more

Widow’s Freedom From Debt Brings Tears of Joy

The news felt like an additional weight in the backpack of a weary traveler. *Helen had just buried her husband and was caring for her three children, one of which has special needs, when she received a letter informing her of the debt that was left in her husband’s wake. The family were new immigrants in Israel and Helen had not yet learned her way around the culture, the language and the government institutions. She felt paralyzed by all the struggles that were hitting her at once and for lack of knowing what to do, she chose to do nothing.

Leaving the debt to grow interest in the bank, Helen focused her attention on her children and getting the family acclimated to their new country. During this time, she met a single mother who told her of the work of CBN Israel. Helen began attending the meetings for single mothers and over time, she felt safe to open up with the staff about her struggles. Because of the debts in the bank and the demanding needs of her son, she couldn’t afford to pay for a cognitive test to determine the needs of her child. 

Arik Peled, the financial advisor for CBN Israel, accompanied Helen to the bank to see what could be done about her debts. The bank agreed to greatly reduce her debt if she was able to come up with the money within two weeks time. When CBN Israel’s partners learned of Helen’s needs, donations began to come in. But to their surprise, not only was the needed amount for negotiations donated, but the amount needed to pay off the debt in full came through!

When the staff told Helen that her burden of debts was over, she could hardly believe it. She was so overcome with emotion, that her sentences were broken up by sobs of joy. She said, “I simply don’t have words to say to you. It was so many years I struggled with these debts and now it’s over. I can hardly believe it! I don’t have enough words to say, ‘thank you'”.

From this situation, Helen has learned a lot about how to handle her money. She has learned how to gain credit without gaining debt. She has learned a lot about the Israeli institutions and how the banking systems work differently than in her native country. And now, Helen is attending CBN Israel’s financial workshops to learn more about what job would suit her best. Regarding her son, CBN Israel paid for the cognitive test and as a result, Helen is better equipped with knowledge to get her son the help he needs. 

It is because of those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel that widows like Helen are receiving practical help, hope, care and love. Every donation makes a big difference in real lives here in Israel. When you become a monthly partner, you will receive three of our extraordinary documentaries on Israel! Find out more about it here

*Name altered for privacy.

Read more

CBN Israel Co-Hosts First Forum For Non-Profit Organizations

For the last year and a half, CBN Israel and FIRM-Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, have been discussing the need for training of the staff of believing, Non-Profit Organizations in Israel. Often it is the leaders of these Non-Profits that receive training opportunities and benefit from their interactions with other leaders, but the staff of these organizations do not have those same privileges and suffer from a lack of knowledge. So CBN Israel collaborated with FIRM in order to meet the need. 

On May 2, 2018, the two partner organizations hosted a Forum for Non-Profits, where leaders and staff alike could come and receive training. With over two hundred people attending the forum, both the sponsors and the participants considered the Forum a huge success. 

International Director of Israel First Fruits Center for Economic Advancement, Mordechai Weisman, commented, “I think the Forum is a great initiative and I applaud both CBN Israel and FIRM for organizing it. I think this is a great opportunity for people not only to learn and gain a greater depth of understanding in how to run their organizations, but also for the opportunity to network with other believers”. Weisman was also one of the speakers of a breakout session at the Forum and was encouraged by those who came to learn more about marketplace ministry. 

Another benefit to the Forum is the interaction between the older and younger generations. Key speaker, Eitan Shishkov from Tents of Mercy said, “I really appreciate how this Forum gives placement for the older generation to teach and share experience with the younger generation. In whatever way I can help with the next Forum, I would be happy”.

With the newly completed product of Superbook in Hebrew, the Forum attendees were the first to have opportunity to purchase the DVD’s of season one as well as the curriculum to share with their families and congregations. CBN Israel staff member, Yigal Miller, stated, “After five years of working on the creation of Superbook in Hebrew, we are very happy to present the newly finished products here at this Forum. The people seem very excited about it and feel that it will give great value to the children. We hope it will be a big blessing to the Body of Messiah and to all of Israel”.

When the day long forum came to a close, the staff from FIRM and CBN Israel received feedback from the participants of their experience in the Forum. Michael Mustretta with FIRM shared, “The people who came to the forum were refreshed and received the answers they were looking for. The people were very thankful to have this opportunity. In the areas where one organization is weak, another is strong, and instead of working against each other, the Body of Messiah can learn from one another and build each other up”. 

With the results of a great first Forum for believing Non-Profit Organizations in Israel, FIRM and CBN Israel hope to host another forum like it in the near future. 

Read more

Set Free From a Financial Nightmere

*Vera’s husband was the main bread winner for their family. He was in charge of the family’s finances. So when he decided to walk away, all the responsibility fell suddenly on Vera. At that time, Vera’s mother, who lived outside of Israel, became ill and was in need of home care assistance. Vera couldn’t imagine abandoning her widowed mother the way she had felt abandoned. So she sent her what little she had to help her get the care that she needed. But as a newly single mother, the financial burden was more than she could shoulder. 

When funds began to dry up, she took out a loan to cover her minus in the bank. Then she took out another loan to help her with monthly expenses. The debts she owed and the interest that accrued with them began to swallow every shekel that she worked hard for. Vera soon found herself in a financial nightmare; one of which she couldn’t wake up from on her own.

It was then that a friend told her of the work of CBN Israel. When the staff met with Vera, she was so thankful to know that help was on it’s way. A donation was given to close out one loan and the staff began assisting in reducing her interest with the other. As struggles with various institutions arose, the staff were present to defend Vera and get her the help she deserved.

With great gratitude, Vera shared with the staff, “You can’t imagine what you did for me. It was a miracle! I can hardly believe it! I had lost hope, but it was right in the time of Passover that you came and helped me out of my dessert! I was struggling alone, trying even to find someone who would care to listen to what I was going through. But many people didn’t know how to help me, so I learned to keep quiet. But you came and asked and you asked with sincerity. You didn’t just say you would pray, but you prayed for practical ideas of how to act on my behalf.”

Today, Vera is able to make payments towards her debt as well as afford her monthly expenses. And she has become a part of CBN Israel’s community for single mothers in her local area. 

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”- Isaiah 1:17

In Israel, many single mothers know all too well the nightmare that Vera experienced. That is why CBN Israel seeks to not only assist widows and single mothers with their financial struggles, but also to provide education through financial training seminars. Through these seminars, attendees learn how to avoid financial pitfalls, godly principles for stewarding money and how to work with the financial institutions specifically in Israel. These are all made possible through the prayers and support of those who give generously to CBN Israel. Become a partner and make a difference in Israel today! 

*Names altered for privacy

 

Read more