By Shira Sorko-Ram
As I write on this hot summer day in Israel, the entire Middle East is on fire.
Last month, Hamas terrorists kidnapped and shot three Jewish teenagers. They were scarcely buried when six alleged Jewish terrorists kidnapped and burned alive a Palestinian teenager. Arab riots broke out across the land. Through these acts of murder, literally overnight, years of co-existence between Israeli Jews and Arabs evaporated. For the first time since the trauma of the second intifada dissipated in 2005, the Jewish-Arab conflict began spiraling out of control.
Hundreds of rockets from Gaza rained down, and exploded in villages and towns in Israel’s south day and night. Israel forces had no other choice but to again penetrate the Hamas strongholds purposely burrowed deeply in the heaviest populated civilian areas - and fight for Israel’s survival while the world clamored loudly that Israel stop “overreacting.”
But even this scenario is nothing to compare with what is going on in Syria and now in Iraq. As the world knows, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is on the move - beheading, shooting, crucifying, and raping human beings who are considered by them infidels. Of all their “enemies,” Christians are the most hated. Iraqi and Syrian churches are being burned to the ground, Christians slaughtered.
At this moment, Syria is no longer a state. It has imploded. Some 12,000,000 Syrians are displaced men, women and children who have fled their homes, their jobs and who have lost all hope of a normal life. Food prices have tripled and assorted armed bands roam many parts of the country unpoliced. A generation of children is growing up in a moral moonscape of shortage and crime, never even entering, let alone graduating, elementary school. (Jerusalem Post, 16May2014)
The war is depleting the very fiber of Syrian society. More and more of those Syrians from the upper class are fleeing the country. Doctors and professionals are escaping the hell. The damage of such a flight is immeasurable, as the country’s commercial class and professional elite are leaving, and only the poorest remain - those who have no means to leave.
“For most of the Syrian women and girls who have fled the genocidal horrors of Syria’s civil war, rape - whether by pro-government or rebel forces - has been identified as one of the primary reasons for their exodus from that war-torn country. (frontpagemag.com;1Feb 2013;Frank Crimi)
Journalist Crimi reports, “Now, having supposedly escaped that nightmarish reality, Syrian girls as young as 12 years are being subjected to a new horror, being auctioned off by their families to unknown Muslim men for use as sexual toys in coerced and forced early marriages.” (Ibid.)
The grinding poverty of Syrian refugees is causing parents to sell their young girls in order not to starve to death. Disturbingly, in most cases, the younger the girl, the more desirable she is in the eyes of the intended pedophilic groom.
Crimi describes the incredible licentiousness of Islamic religious law: Newly purchased child brides who are virgins are taken to rented houses outside the camps by their “husbands.” “After having their fill of sex, the men will quickly divorce the girls, in many cases often only days and even hours after the nuptials.” (Ibid.)
According to a charity office that works with Syrian refugees, many Syrian girls have been impregnated and abandoned in this way.
In Islam, a widow or single woman with children is a burden to her extended family. Their lives are worth little to anyone. There are many articles documenting the hordes of Muslim men who prey on these women and their young daughters.
This crime against young girls metastasizes because Sharia law allows, actually encourages, this form of pedophilia. These “marriages” were concocted by Islamic religious law which gives legitimacy to short pedophilic dalliances.
The Islamic male, when he tires of his sexual spree, often after a few days or weeks, returns the child to her parents. The girl’s life in “conservative Islamic culture” - that is conservative only for women - is forever ruined.
Older Islamic men marrying young girls originates from Islam’s leader and role model, Mohammed, who is said to have married some 15 women, including a nine-year-old named Aisha when he was 49 years old. The pedophilic aspect of this relationship has institutionalized such marriages within Islam.
Arab critics of this practice acknowledge these temporary marriages are little more than dressed-up prostitution. Others describe it as nothing more than licensed rape.
But Jordanian journalists report from the Syrian refugee camps that “People do not talk about anything else these days but about Syrian girls you could marry for one or two hundred dollars.” (Ibid.)
MUSLIMS ARE TURNING TO YESHUA BY THE THOUSANDS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
However, God has not at all forgotten the Arab people.
Last week I attended an Evangelism Conference for Muslims. I heard Father Zakaria Botros who is daily seeing multitudes of Muslims come to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. He spoke of how his 90-minute daily satellite TV program is reaching over 50 million listeners every day in Muslim lands! He is an Egyptian Coptic Christian who has been exiled from his country. The jihadists find him so dangerous that they have put a bounty on his head for $60 million.
With a $60,000,000 bounty on his head by Islamists, Father Zakaria
preaches daily to 50,000,000 Muslims by satellite TV.
He and the other evangelists at the conference reaching Muslims are absolutely fearless. Father Zakaria reports there are two and a half million converts to Christianity in Egypt, a similar number in Pakistan and five million in Sudan. He says in the last three decades, more Muslims have come to believe in salvation through Jesus Christ than in the last 14 centuries of Islam.
Even in hard-core Islamic Arab nations God is on the move. Joel Rosenberg, prizewinning author and founder of the Joseph Fund, reports that each year 10,000 Muslims are becoming Christians in Algeria, 35,000 a year in Morocco, 50,000 in Saudi Arabia. Some 6,000,000 a year in Africa are converting to Christianity! These bold evangelists believe by faith that Islam is collapsing.
To me the most important thing about understanding biblical prophecy is to be able to clearly see what God is doing right now! Israeli Arabs and Jews have been given an open door together with Jordanian Christians to help the struggling Syrian refugees - who see no hope for their lives. (See the following article.)
This is the moment God has given us. This is a big crack in the door to reach the Muslim people. We can touch the lives of multitudes who are looking for hope and need our help. Let’s penetrate this huge dark harvest field and bring hope and healing to the Syrian refugees scattered throughout Jordan - bringing them food, clothing and the Gospel!
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From Israel’s Arab Christians:
BRINGING HOPE TO SYRIAN REFUGEES
By Shira Sorko-Ram
Our first shopping trip - toys, jackets, diapers, warm socks and sweaters.
We can’t tell you the name of the organizer of this beautiful act of love originating from the Israeli Body of Messiah to the Syrian people. We can’t show you many of their faces for fear of persecution or retaliation.
Although my name is on the bi-line, this story is from God’s people among Israel’s Arab Christians who have reached out to the Syrian refugees who have fled for their lives into Jordan.
Here is their story...
The UN said recently that Syria’s “hemorrhaging” of its people is the worst refugee crises in modern history! Such a statement doesn’t begin to describe the situation accurately. In our visit to Jordan early this year, we met so many Syrian refugees and displaced people for whom life has turned into one long nightmare. The UN and many NGO’s are trying their best to ease the disaster but they can’t begin to take care of 1,500,000 Syrians in the small and poor nation of Jordan.
Despite the dark tunnel the Syrians live in, we are shining a light with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Jordanian churches. Our team of six Arab believers from Israel worked with several churches in Jordan and carried the Light of the Gospel to every city and home we visited.
Heaters, blankets and cooking stoves.
100 sacks of food, milk, formula, diapers and more for 94 families.
Some of items we purchased, concentrating on items for children.
We met hundreds of Syrians in Jordan and heard so many sad and horrifying stories about their exodus from Syria to Jordan via the desert. They shared with us their fears and pain as they lost loved ones and family members whom they will never see again. To be honest, we couldn’t hold back our tears as we heard their stories. We, in turn, shared with them the Only Hope for the world today - Yesua HaMasiach (Arabic for Yeshua HaMashiach) of Nazareth.
The Body of Messiah in Israel - both Jews and Arabs - gave us $34,000 to reach out to the Syrians in a practical way. Since all the goods we planned to give to the Syrians had to be purchased in Jordan, we went to Jordanian grocery stores and clothing stores and bought essentials that the UN and other organizations don’t offer - such as milk for children, diapers, jackets, warm clothes, toys and candy for children.
Other items we purchased, also not provided by any other humanitarian aid organization, were hygienic kits and personal cleaning items such as soaps and shampoo. We also bought heaters and blankets, small cooking stoves, cooking pans, milk for older children and mattresses.
Our team visited the four cities of Mafraq, Irbid, Amman and Fuhais. We worked through the local churches that are doing an amazing job among the refugees. In one particular church, every Tuesday night more than 130 Syrian Muslim families meet and hear the Word of God. They receive free Bibles and other literature together with food packages.
The day we were at that particular church, we distributed more than 350 hygienic kits in addition to the food packages the church provided. For two hours we talked to Syrian refugees, serving them and sharing the Word of God with them. I have never seen a church full of Muslim women as in the picture. What a sight!
We also met by divine appointment a Syrian woman who is a well-known figure in Syria and a strong born-again believer. Of course we cannot show you her picture. We gave her $3,000 to spend on the saints in Syria. We laid hands on her and prayed and prophesied that Yeshua is building His Church in Syria.
We also found a way to transfer $18,500 to seven churches inside Syria - in the north.
We could see the joy in the eyes of anxious children as we ministered to them and gave them toys. We saw hunger for the truth as people started to question Islam. Endless opportunities are opening for Israel’s Arab Christians to bring the Gospel to the Syrian people.
The refugees were so thankful to us. They told us, “When we approached Muslim Imams, mosques and Islamic institutions thinking they would open their hearts to us as their brethren in Islam to help us, we were shocked that they never responded to our needs or offered any help. But when we approached the churches, they opened their hearts and their doors to us and gave us beyond their capacities. Thank you for loving us!”
You cannot take four Israelis to Amman, Jordan, without experiencing the best Kenafah in the world - a special Arab dessert made of sweet cheese and syrup, topped with something like shredded wheat and pistachios.
This organization made a second trip last April. This time the Israeli team included six Arab pastors and four Messianic Jews, three of them pastors.
Here is their latest report...
Two thousand years ago, a man named Saul was on his way to Damascus to terrify and kill those early followers of the Messiah. As you know, on the way he met Yeshua who changed his life and became his Lord and Master. He entered Damascus as a terrorist and left it as an Apostle. What a powerful story of salvation that made Saul, the terrorist, Paul, the Apostle.
Today in Syria there are so many people like Saul who need a personal encounter with the Messiah. The question Saul asked, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” is the same question we are asking the Lord today. What does He wants us to do in Jordan? Syria is our enemy, politically, but as the One Body of Messiah, we have an historic opportunity to share the love of the Messiah with them in a very practical way.
This spring trip to Jordan was divided into two parts. First, I took four Messianic Jewish believers to meet with key Jordanian partners and pastors who are reaching out to the Syrians.
We had two busy days meeting lots of people and visiting Syrian families. The three Jewish pastors preached in three churches on Sunday. For me it was a great pleasure and honor to introduce my family in Israel to my family in Jordan and be a bridge between them. I believe the Church in Jordan and beyond in the Middle East should be introduced to the Messianic Body in Israel in order to enjoy the unity of the One New Man and to fulfil the Lord’s prayer that we be one.
I believe this might be the first group of Messianic pastors from Israel who ever came to preach in Jordanian churches!
During the second phase of the trip I had six Arab pastors and two Messianic Jewish brothers on the team. We travelled to different places carrying the message of God’s love and hope. We were able to purchase more than 225 food bags, 200 baby formula, 160 bags of diapers, 50 fans, plus other items such as toys and candy for children, hygienic items, kitchen utensils and more. In one city, we visited 20 more families known to Jordanian believers and carried the items to them, sitting with them and hearing their pain and agony. Most of the rented apartments of the Syrians had 10-15 residents each and sometimes more. We shared the message of hope in Christ and prayed for each family.
In addition to visiting many homes in the larger cities, we went in the north of Jordan where we prepared 100 food bags. The church invited 75 Syrian families to come. Ninety four families showed up! We gave out food bags, milk formula, diapers and more.
For three hours, we were giving out what we had - serving the people, hearing their stories and giving them love and hope in Christ.
Now we, the Maoz partners, have an opportunity to bless this team for their next trip, coming up in September.
It costs $100 a month to feed a couple, and another $100 per month for two children.
Let us give our Israeli Arab Christians together with Israeli Messianic Jews - all our brothers and sisters in Yeshua - the opportunity to spread the Good News up and down the land of Jordan, caring for the needy and preaching Hope Eternal.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me;
Because the Lord hath anointed me
To bring good tidings unto the humble;
He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the eyes to them that are bound;
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s good pleasure
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all that mourn.
Children are the number one victims of this devastating war in Syria. There are hundreds of thousands of Syrian children who are refugees just in Jordan alone!
This sweet child will never see her father again because he was killed a few weeks before we visited her family. A new generation is emerging in Syria that is full of fear, killing images, sad stories and more.
The UN predicts that the crises in Syria will last for ten more years at least. What kind of new generation will Syria have?
Will you please pray for all the Syrian children inside and outside Syria? Pray for God’s Spirit to sweep across the Syrian nation.
Thank you for your prayers for our future steps in establishing long-term partnerships and ministry presence in Jordan as Arab and Jewish believers from the Land of Israel.
The story and the testimony of this Syrian Muslim woman (face covered) will blow your mind.
In our first trip to Jordan last winter, one of our Israel teams visited this woman and one of the team members was Pastor Hani (man in the middle). A few days before the team visited the family, her daughter was diagnosed with Ventricular Spetal Defect commonly known as a hole in the heart. In addition to that, she had a problem in her coronary artery. When they visited their house, Pastor Hani prayed for the girl to be healed in the name of Yeshua.
One week later, the girl had another check up by a cardiologist and the doctor said that she has no hole in her heart and her coronary artery is normal!
The mother could hardly believe what the doctor said and rushed to the church looking for our team to thank them but couldn’t find them. She looked for us in different churches but couldn’t find us. When she finally did discover one of our team members, she immediately ran to him and shouted with joy that her daughter was well!
Not only that, her neighbor who was there when the team visited, had asked them to pray for her husband still in Syria, whom she hadn’t heard any news in some time. After the team prayed, she got a call from her husband saying that he is alive.
All the Glory belongs to the Lord Jesus!
The wife, daughters and grandsons of Abu Ayman with our team.
Abu Ayman was a successful businessman originally from the Golan Heights. Due to the civil war in Syria, he had to relocate several times in the past 3 years. Finally, he moved near Damascus. But while attending a funeral of one of the young men from his village, a missile hit the crowd and Abu Ayman found himself lying on top of 403 dead bodies - 15 of them his extended family.
A month ago, he decided to run for his life to Jordan with his family. He, his wife, four daughters, three sons, a daughter-in-law and grandsons walked in the cold desert and crossed the border to Jordan.
One couple among the group of people fleeing with them were killed by wild animals. A pregnant woman had to deliver in the cold desert. They had to burn their jackets to make a fire to keep the newborn baby warm. They lost hope that they would survive.
Desperately, Abu Ayman left his family alone in the dark cold desert and walked for five hours until he found a Jordanian army base which helped him and brought his family to a village.
We visited the family and brought them jackets to replace the ones they burned. We shared the Gospel with them and prayed for the family.
Please pray for Abu Ayman and his family.
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A PAGE FROM THE DIARY OF MOTTI COHEN
A few hours ago I arrived home to Israel after visiting Jordan and I am still trying to absorb what I saw there. The evil in the Muslim world is overwhelming. What is happening in Syria exposes the true face of Islam. Yeshua said that the thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy. And this is exactly what is happening in Syria.
President Bashar al-Assad has obliterated city after city; the Islamic rebels and Assad’s army kill everybody in their path, and the victims are mostly innocent people such as women and children who have been raped; their family members shot in front of their eyes, and the elderly tortured and starved. For millions of people hell has arrived. A mind-numbing 1,500,000 fugitives have escaped to Jordan. Six hundred thousand have been housed in UN tents; the rest have to fend for themselves.
When we arrived in Jordan, we met a pastor who felt a call from God to minister to the Syrian refugees. He told us that in the 1980’s and 90’s there was a devastating war between Iraq and Iran. During this war over one million refugees passed the border from Iraq to Jordan, and the churches in Jordan had the opportunity to help them and bring the Gospel to those refugees. During that period hundreds of Iraqi refugees came to Yeshua.
After the war ended, they returned to Iraq, and many founded congregations. This testimony gives hope to the churches in Jordan today which are working with Syrian refugees. We believe that through this joint ministry of Jews and Israeli Arabs among the Syrian refugees, many will give their lives to Yeshua and return after the war to their home country to spread the Gospel among their friends and families.
The circumstances in Jordan are beyond what people in the West can imagine. From the hygienic point of view it is a disaster. The government cannot handle all the waste on the streets and so the refugees burn the piles of waste.
Whenever chaos overtakes a people, the true human fallen nature surfaces. In every Muslim nation, the Syrian refugees are ruthlessly abused. A member of the church told us that his landlord is trying to get him out of his apartment in order to rent it to Syrian refugees. He pays 50 dinars per month, whereas Syrian refugees pay between 250 and 300 dinars a month. Two or three refugee families share one apartment, and are willing to pay incredibly high rents in order not to live on the street.
The sheikhs and the rich Muslims - especially Saudi Arabian men - come looking all the time to seduce refugee families with money. Mostly it is elderly men who buy 13 to 15-year-old girls.
The Syrian families are sometimes in such difficult situations, that they agree to sell their daughters for money. The pain of the families is bottomless. There is no family who hasn’t lost loved ones. We saw many widows and orphans, mothers who lost their children, people with missing body parts. Many refugees are injured. A widow with children in Muslim society has simply the worst possible life. They are especially vulnerable to the lust of men on a daily basis. Prostitution is often the only way these women can stay alive.
The war in Syria is a full-fledged catastrophe. We saw hatred and anger in their eyes. Everyone there is talking about revenge. When they speak about (Syrian President) Assad and his army, there is murder in their eyes. During our visits to families, we talked to them about faith in Yeshua and that forgiveness and faith can set us free from the chains of anger and purify our hearts. Yeshua is their only Hope. We spoke to them from the depths of our hearts, telling them that whereas Islam glorifies death, Yeshua will give them New Life.
I returned to Israel with a lot of pain because of the sufferings of these people, but also with hope, that as there were many new believers in the war between Iraq and Iran, so also the war in Syria will expose the evil and the lies of Islam, causing many of them to understand that the God of Israel sent His only Begotten Son to die for them, so that they might live.
Motti Cohen is an elder of Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv, and serves at Dugit Coffee House.
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THANK YOU MAOZ PARTNERS!
YOU GAVE $34,090 FOR THIS GROUP OF 32 ISRAELIS TO ATTEND THE MESSIANIC JEWISH ALLIANCE OF AMERICA CONFERENCE.
Congregation Tiferet Yeshua’s Band from the Land leads worship on “Israel Night”.
Ron Cantor, Executive Pastor of Tiferet Yeshua and founder of Messiah’s Mandate gave a passionate
message on the need for a fresh outpouring of God’s spirit on the Messianic movement.
Elihana Elia, a Brazilian/Israeli, was a big hit with her Hebrew songs and her Latin/Middle Eastern beat.
Shani Sorko-Ram Ferguson in concert with her unique sound and one-of-a-kind Israeli worship music.
At the 2014 MJAA, the Alliance and Maoz Israel Ministries partnered to bring 32 young people from Israel to Pennsylvania to experience the conference, to meet new Messianic friends and to catch a deeper vision of what God is doing among the Jewish people worldwide.
Maoz U.S. Director of Partner Relations, Ted Vanlandeghem, served at the Maoz Israel Booth
at the MJAA, giving attendees the opportunity to hear about Maoz Ministries,
to acquire Hebrew music CD’s and sign up for the Maoz Israel Report.
Ari Sorko-Ram introduced the 32 Israelis who flew in to attend the conference.
Israeli Member of Knesset Omer Barlev, keynote speaker, was invited by the MJAA through
the Israel Empowerment Lobby CEO Dr. Eli Nacht. Mr. Barlev commended the outstanding humanitarian work
the MJAA is doing through the Joseph Project in Israel.
Joel Chernoff, MJAA General Secretary/CEO (left) and Ari Sorko-Ram with M.K. Omer Barlev.
As I write this letter, Ari is returning in two days to Israel, and I am at home listening to reports of rockets falling across our nation.
But after hundreds of rockets have exploded, not a single person has been killed and the few who have been wounded are making quick recoveries. Israel’s news anchors talk about “miracles.”
The human reasons are that Israel has what is called the Iron Dome which has shot down 90% of the incoming rockets from Gaza towards heavily populated areas, and the fact that the government and families have spent literally billions on building bomb shelters in their homes and buildings. The spiritual reason is that God has given unfathomable promises that He would not let Israel be destroyed:
But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth... Fear not, for I am with you... Yes I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:8-10
But these mighty promises have a goal even beyond Israel’s physical well-being. God’s calling to Israel is to be a light to the nations.
And here in Israel, Arab believers, who have cast their lot with Israeli believers, have been given an opportunity to help Syrian refugees who are absolutely, totally hopeless. And this team can return to Jordan again and again with resources to buy supplies for the refugees and bringing practical and tangible hope!
God has not forgotten the Syrians! He does not want them to perish. We have the chance to give them the truth they have not ever heard before.
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the shadow of death Light has dawned.”
Let us give and give liberally to these destitute refugees. Every dollar, sterling or currency that comes to Maoz for the Syrian refugees will be given entirely for the purpose of providing basic necessities. And they will hear, most for the first time in their lives, about the Loving God of Israel and His only begotten Son, Yeshua.
For the sake of the lost,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. You can help us be a blessing to the Syrian refugees. Every gift you give this month for the refugees will be used to bless those families and bring them hope!
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