One of the things we love to do most in our beautiful Land is help other people! And you are going to see, in this issue, exactly HOW we have done that this past 12 months. When I say "we" I actually mean our Maoz partners! And that means YOU!
In fact, in the last 12 months alone, our Maoz partners have given us the privilege to distribute $772,737 to 51 individuals, 25 congregations, and 17 Israeli ministries! That's a lot of giving and love poured out to our people across the nation!
So many in our beautiful Messianic community in Israel have been blessed by IstandwithIsrael—their visions becoming reality, their hopelessness turned to hope, their despair turned to faith. You will read some of their touching and heart-warming stories in this issue.
And we also have impacted the lives of unbelievers here—Holocaust survivors, new immigrants, school children, and even a community center... all to show them the love of our Lord in tangible ways. We have helped Messianic and non-Messianic discharged soldiers with scholarships for college and career courses.
We invite you to sit back, read and enjoy what God has done—through YOU this past year! It will thrill your heart, and bless you through and through!
Back to Top
FINDING THE GOD OF ISRAEL
IS ALSO THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
God calls us to stand with those in need, and here we were able to bless a family whose lives were completely changed by their faith. Here is their amazing story:
"My name is Yacov Koifman. I am 25 years old from Ashdod. I am a professional chef, and I studied culinary at Ha'Chef College. Today I work at a coffee shop located in a gym in Ashdod. Youth from our congregation work at the coffee shop, and we use this as an opportunity to spread the Gospel.
I want to tell you how I came to faith in the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua.
I grew up in a traditional Jewish family that keeps Jewish customs and traditions. My entire life I was taught that the name of Yeshua was "Yeshu," (meaning, 'may His name and the remembrance of Him be blotted out').
I was told he was a god of the 'goyim,' the nations/gentiles, and not of the Jews, and that it is vehemently forbidden for the Jews to believe in Him or even to speak about Him in a good way because that would be idolatry.
Three years ago, my nephew became sick with cancer and was taken to a hospital. The doctors said the cancer had caused a nasty fungus, which was now spreading towards his brain. It had already reached his eye, and the only solution was a surgery, which would leave the baby blind, disabled and only able to eat through a tube in his stomach. Should he not have the surgery, he would die when the fungus reached his brain.
We asked many rabbis to come and pray for healing for the baby, but remained without an answer.
During that time, my older brother Chen first heard about Yeshua the Messiah, and about healings in His name. In spite of his lifelong objections to Yeshua, at that moment he did not care about that anymore, saying to himself, 'if this will save my child, I'm willing to do anything.' He accepted Yeshua in faith into his heart.
Trusting completely in God, he prayed that God would heal the baby. He did so in faith, completely trusting in God. The next morning the doctors, along with a professor, entered the hospital room and were surprised by what they saw—a miracle! The fungus had completely disappeared! The doctors continue to use this testimony and give hope to many other patients.
After this miracle, my brother shared the real Gospel with me about the light of Yeshua, the Jew, and the New Testament. I was surprised to see all the verses about Yeshua in the Old Testament.
On the one hand it was amazing to me, but on the other I felt awful. I told myself, 'Wow! My entire life has been a lie. My entire life people lied to me and hid the truth from me... hid my salvation from me!' I was so angry!
When I became a believer, I worked at Japanika—a prestigious Sushi restaurant. I was the head Chef and worked long hours every day. I had no time to serve the Lord and devote my life to Him, so I started to pray asking Him for help.
After a number of weeks a friend, a businessman I knew from my past, came and offered me a 50/50 partnership in a coffee shop, without me having to invest even one cent. At that moment, I knew this was unusual and that it must be from the Lord. I accepted the offer, and became an equal co-owner of a business.
However, after some time I noticed that my partner hid profits from the authorities, made deals under the table and stole from the State. I remembered the scripture where Yeshua said, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." My partner's behavior really bothered me, yet, discerning this business was from the Lord, I began to pray for God's help.
God answered me quickly, and after a week, my partner offered to sell me his half of the business for 100,000NIS ($28,000). (I remind you that I received my 50% of the business free!) I did not have this huge sum.
I prayed a second time, and again the answer came fast. My partner offered me to pay half of the sum immediately, and the remaining part in monthly installments, but this still was too expensive for me. I prayed for the third time and God answered me; my partner said he could sell me his part of the business if I paid him 8,000NIS ($2,300) each month. According to my calculations, this would not be profitable, but I knew God gave me this opportunity with a purpose and a plan, so I agreed to this proposal, trusting He will bless me...
With the help of IstandwithIsrael, I was able to pay the debt I accumulated during that time, and it really gave me breathing room and enabled me to keep going. I'm sure God sent you my way.
I know that in addition of being a source of income for me, this business is a place of blessing for the youth from our congregation, who enjoy working at the coffee shop. Moreover, we all share the Gospel and serve the people of Israel through this business. Now my mother has become a believer too.
We thank all the donors from around the world, whose desire it is to help others. All my employees and I appreciate your help and praise God there is such an organization. I thank Yeshua for you!"
Back to Top
PUTTING ROOTS DOWN
While many believing families' greatest desire is to plant roots in the Land, financially this is almost impossible for them due to the high prices, super-large down payment requirements and lower than average salaries in Israel. We are witnessing your investments multiply as more and more believing families grow and establish themselves in Israel!
RUSTAM AND ALYSSA
"We are Rustam and Alyssa, new immigrants from the Ukraine.
I am 33 years old and we have a four-year-old daughter Moriel. I first heard about Yeshua at 18. I met an acquaintance, who I knew was a drug addict and a criminal, and he told me about the Lord Yeshua who changed his life. At that point I had been a drug addict for seven years.
This acquaintance took me to a rehabilitation center where I was set free from drugs. I had several failures in my life, but I always knew I could only get help from the Lord. Today I have been drug-free for eight years. God gave me a family—a wife I love and a wonderful daughter. Four-and-a-half years ago God brought us to Israel.
When we arrived, we immediately joined Beit Hallel congregation in Ashdod. We started serving and today continue volunteering there. We have been renting an apartment, and dreaming of our own. Rentals are so high in Israel, but to buy even a very small apartment is extremely expensive.
So we just prayed and waited for a miracle from the Lord. In April 2016, our friends told us about a special government lottery project in Israel of lower apartment prices for families who do not have a home yet. We entered our name to win a special-priced apartment, which would be 20-30% lower than market price, and require only 10% down payment. After two months, we received a letter informing us that we won the opportunity to purchase an apartment in the town of Rosh Ha'Ayin! [Incidentally, this is where Wonder Woman Gal Gadot is from! Editor] The Lord Yeshua gave us this opportunity that we could only have dreamed of before! All that was left was to pay the initial down payment of 10%—which we did not have. Both of us work regular jobs and receive minimum wage. It was very difficult for us to get this sum in a short period of time, and we knew we could lose our chance to purchase an apartment in Israel.
People at the congregation told us about IstandwithIsrael, and that we could apply for help. Through the congregation, we immediately applied for assistance and soon received a financial miracle! This was a blessing! Thanks to your help, we were able to pay the initial down payment and sign the purchasing contract!!!
We thank God for IstandwithIsrael and for the hearts of the people whom God has moved to donate and help Messianic Jews in Israel."
"My name is Marco Ben Or. I was born in the Communist island of Cuba in 1975, to a family of Sephardic ancestry. Raised in a secular environment, I was taught early that God was the 'opium of the people.' Nevertheless, through the years, I 'somehow' earnestly searched for the truth about God and answers to the many existential questions I had. No one could truly answer.
After a long struggle for freedom from Communism, in 1995 I immigrated to the United States. When I was 21, and while going to college in Orlando, Florida, a young evangelist exposed me to the simple and powerful truths of the Gospel. He had the answers I was desperately searching for. Yeshua was the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE I had yearned for! I was completely transformed by the Love of my Savior and the Knowledge of the God of my forefathers. Some years later, God called me to immigrate to Israel as fulfillment of the prophecies of old. So I did in 2003, and to my surprise, besides falling in love with Israel instantaneously, within the first month I also fell in love with a local Sabra (Israeli-born) believer I met while doing volunteering work.
My wife Rinat was born in Israel in 1982, to a family of young immigrants who came to faith in Yeshua at a Kibbutz just a few years earlier. She was raised knowing her God and Messiah and from a young age decided to follow Him. I met her when she was finishing her IDF service, and after 2 years of praying and seeking God’s will, we married. We have now been blessed with 3 young boys, Amichai, Asael and Refael. Today I work as a Mechanical Engineer and Rinat is a certified tour guide.
A few years ago we started building a house with the savings we had, together with some family help and the bank loans we were able to receive. We had no idea how expensive and difficult this was going to be. Close to the end of the building process we ran out of funds and the little we had left, we lost to a local window manufacturing company that went bankrupt.
We suddenly found ourselves with an unfinished house, no money left to complete the construction, large monthly loan payments, and rent. Our only hope was that God, who placed us on this path, would somehow provide. We kept the faith, worked hard and waited for His miracle.
This is when we heard we would receive help from IstandwithIsrael. The news came as rain from Heaven at the right time! With the funds you provided and extra help from the family, we were able to order new doors and windows and complete many of the things we needed for the house.
We believe your ministry, and those who support it, are helping the Body of Messiah in the Land, as instructed by the words of our Lord and the Apostles.
We thank you for your willingness to give. May the God of our forefathers richly bless you for your love and generosity."
Back to Top
IN ISRAEL, BEING A SOLDIER IS PART OF OUR DESTINY
PROTECTING OUR NATION IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY
IstandwithIsrael is proud to stand with the soldiers who bravely serve our country and support them as their journey continues to higher education and their professional pursuits through the organization "Yachad L'Maan haHayal".
Thanks to your donation to "Yachad L'Maan HaHayal" ("Together for the Soldiers"), we continue our activities for the well-being of the IDF and Border Police soldiers—education and welfare projects, care for thousands of lone soldiers [whose parents do not live in Israel], support of soldiers from poor families, etc. Together with you we'll continue to give them a warm and loving hug.
This year we are establishing a new project initiated by the Chief of Staff—a Scholarship Fund for discharged IDF soldiers. With your gifts, this fund will grant academic/professional training scholarships to each released soldier.
In other words, in addition to the care for the welfare of our soldiers during their army service, we will also contribute to their future and a successful integration into the society after their discharge as a token of appreciation for their faithful service.
The Ministry of Defense finances all costs of recruiting donations and expenses of their actualization, therefore 100% of each donation reaches its destination.
Lt. Col. (Res.) Javier Rosenfeld
CEO Yahad, United for Israel's Soldiers
Israel and Latin America
Back to Top
WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES,
GOD'S PEOPLE CARE
As part of our mission to meet the needs of the hurting believers in Israel we are so grateful for your donations which made it possible for us to distribute funds to widows, orphans, special needs children and needy Israeli believers. As the body of Messiah grows in Israel many are leaving their past lifestyles of drugs, gambling and addiction and are blessed by help from IstandwithIsrael as they leave the past behind them. We offer help when their pastors verify their complete commitment to Yeshua as Savior and Lord
"My name is Marina and I'm a mother of two wonderful boys, Eric and Adam.
Unfortunately, I found myself in a very tough situation. My husband abandoned us and returned to Russia, leaving me here with our children. The youngest was then only four months old, and the oldest almost two.
I was recovering from surgery, had two small children at home and was not able to work. My husband took all the money we had and left me with nothing.
I asked for help from my congregation, and received a gift from I Stand With Israel.
I am truly grateful to all those, who are not indifferent to other people’s tragedies and who answered the call to financially help my children and me.
A huge thank you to everyone, and many blessings."
Back to Top
EQUIPPING AND ADVANCING
HIS CHILDREN IN ISRAEL
Maoz and IstandwithIsrael have always considered it a great opportunity to help Israeli believers fulfill their destiny. We desire to further and expand His kingdom by equipping and advancing His children in Israel. Here are two of the testimonies of Israeli believers who received scholarships to pursue a career while glorifying Him!
"I think the help IstandwithIsrael provides is very important. It makes it possible for families like ours
to get settled in Israel, get education and become a valued part of this society."
"My name is Alla Reichshtadt. I'm married to Aleksey and we have three children—Moriel, Roni and Tali.
I came to faith in early 1993. I was always searching for God in my heart, and when I was twelve, I first met believers in Yeshua, who invited me to a service. Since then faith in Messiah has become the main part of my life. My mother began attending services together with me and she, too, gave her heart to Messiah. Six months later, my father became a believer. This was a great testimony for us, that God hears our prayers.
In 1998, I married Aleksey, and we made aliya to Israel, where our children were born. Great difficulties began when our son Roni was born. During my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with CMV [a type of a viral infection]. The doctors gave us an awful prognoses, strongly recommending I abort the baby. Of course, we declined the offer. Today our son is 10; he cannot walk or speak and needs around-the-clock care. This is why I can only work part time.
A year ago, God put it on my heart to study Interior Design. This was after a lengthy search and many prayers regarding the sphere where I can utilize my gifts, serve God and also make a living. IstandwithIsrael helped me pay for my studies.
I am grateful for your investment in the life of my family. With your help, I can realize my dream, and be a blessing to my family and many others.
Thank you for your open hearts."
SUPPORTING ARAB CHRISTIANS
IN FINDING THEIR DESTINY
"My name is Jeries Zibani, and I am from Kfar Yasif. I grew up in a home of Israeli Arab believers and accepted Yeshua as my Savior in 2012 at the Nahariya congregation.
After finishing high school, I enrolled in the Biotechnology studies at ORT Braude College of Engineering in Carmiel.
My father was in a serious accident last April and suffered multiple breaks in his leg. He has many pins and braces in his leg, but it has not yet healed, so he is unable to work. I am working in a cafe all week long, plus helping our assistant in my father's aluminum workshop for no salary, just to keep the business going which supports my family. This is my first year of college, so I am working hard to keep up my studies.
I turned to IstandwithIsrael for help to cover my tuition which was beyond what I could pay.
I am grateful for your help, which allows me to continue my university studies and fulfill God's calling on my life. I want to emphasize that without IstandwithIsrael, I would not have been able to continue my studies. Again, thank you for your generous donation, I will have a better future.
I thank the IstandwithIsrael donors. You are a great blessing to the body of Messiah in Israel—Jews and Arabs alike. May your reward be great."
Back to Top
4 OF THE 17 MINISTRIES
WE PARTNER WITH AND SUPPORT IN ISRAEL
We support Makor HaTikva school in Jerusalem because we believe that the greatest privilege possible for believing parents is to be able to train up their children in a school that will not tear down their faith.
We pray that one day Makor HaTikva will be the first of a string of believing schools throughout the Land where kids will be grounded alongside other believing children in the ways of the God of Israel.
We support Katzir because of its dynamic ministry to teenagers every year in the form of Messianic youth camps and conferences during Israeli holidays.
Many children of believing parents testify that their children made a deep commitment to follow Yeshua at these conferences. And when the going gets hard for kids, the several times they come together at a Katzir event keeps them going forward in their faith.
YESHUA ISRAEL MINISTRIES
We support the music ministry and recording studio of Kobi and Shani Ferguson (our daughter and son-in-law) because we believe in their vision to help raise up a new generation of musicians and singers in the "Levite" concept as it was in the days when Levites led worship in the Temple of God.
Both Kobi and Shani are musicians with a passion to see praise and worship ring out throughout the Land of Israel.
We support Beit HaYeshua because we see this ministry has a very strong evangelistic goal.
On their days off of work, these believers walk the streets of Tel Aviv, sharing with alcoholics, addicts and the homeless. They pray with a stream of people who want deliverance from sin, bondage and sickness—and are ready to go with them to their Jerusalem rehab center. Some turn back, but others accept their Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and have wonderful testimonies.
The ministry now has several homes for these believers who work during the day to pay their own rent and board, and pray and study their Bibles daily.
Back to Top
A PASTOR PARTNER SPEAKS OUT
Andy and Jane Robb
It's been almost thirty years since God opened our eyes and our hearts to his ongoing plans and purposes for the Jewish people and the intrinsic connection of this understanding to our Christian faith.
As founding leaders of a church we were therefore keen to root it in God's love of his covenant people.
Partnering with Maoz Israel presented a very practical way to achieve this goal, through channeling financial support to Israel, giving us direction in what to pray for and keeping us informed about current events.
We have appreciated the visits Maoz Israel has made to the church and the strengthening of our relationship through this.
With our partnership with Maoz Israel as the backbone to our engagement with Israel and the Jewish people, we also run the Kesher Course (produced by Christian Friends of Israel, UK) and have shared a Seder meal as a church. The fruit of this is that many of our people have also come into their own personal revelation of God's love for the Jewish people.
As a relatively new church we wanted to find a way in which we could engage in work that was actually happening on the ground in Israel. The weekend that our first direct debit went out to support Maoz, was one in which we had a significant spiritual breakthrough in the church.
Andy and Jane Robb
Senior Pastors, Revival Church
Back to Top
Dear Maoz Partner,
This time of year we are especially aware of the needs of our people. And, as you have just read, we LOVE helping to meet those needs!
Of course, our greatest desire is that ALL will be drawn to our Messiah—to fulfill their God-given destiny here on earth and receive a priceless reward in heaven.
But we also know that God cares that those who are His disciples have enough clothes to wear and food to eat. He cares that they have opportunity to receive education to improve their lives, and fulfill the dreams He has put in their hearts.
He cares for the widows, the abandoned parent and the fatherless children.
We have always worked alongside the leaders of Israel's Messianic Congregations and also Arab church pastors who recommend to us those who are in good standing and who are truly in need. When we see the joy, the gratitude and the results of your giving to the believers in Israel, we are always amazed at what God has done in the lives of those who have received this aid. In many cases, their daily lives have been transformed!
And although our aid is mostly for believers, we are approached by mayors and other civic leaders who plead with us to help them with their ever-present challenges. As Yeshua said, "For you have the poor with you always."
Twenty percent of Israelis live under the poverty line, more than in Turkey or Mexico. Israel as a new nation, only 70 years old, is doing its best to support its citizens. But the absolute need for the highest level possible of readiness for Israel's military defense is indeed a very heavy burden on our entire population.
God's word commands us to help the poor and the needy. But seeing the results of the gifts our partners have released through Maoz is absolutely inspiring.
Young people who having received scholarships from IstandwithIsrael.com are now entering the marketplace with skills that will make them incredibly productive members of the Body of Messiah. Musicians are now worship leaders in their congregations.
New immigrants have learned the Hebrew language, enabling them to graduate from cleaning floors for a living to successful careers.
Today, we have Messianic Jews working throughout the spectrum of commercial, governmental and civic positions. They are able to tithe to their congregations and lead lives that give glory to God. And they are making an impact on Israeli society!
For this, we thank YOU, our Maoz partner, because you have made all this possible.
May this season of Hanukkah bring to our Jewish people "light and gladness, joy and honor" as in the days of Queen Esther.
And may God's revelation of His Word made Flesh fill all of His children with joy and worship in this Happy Season!
Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
From the City of the King,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. This month is a great time to again bless the poor and needy Israelis through IstandwithIsrael.com!
Back to Top