As we say "good bye" to two fruitful and strategic years in the U.S. and return home to Israel this month, we wish to share a personal testimony.
God has given us a wonderful friend and administrator for our Dallas office. With her skills and proficiency, along with some expensive software donated by another ministry, our administrator-bookkeeper can do what took three to four employees in the past.
She is a sign from God that the Lord is giving us the very best team for our future work in Israel.
Yet, we knew that in order to accomplish what God has laid on our hearts to do, we needed two key staff people to work along side of us in Israel.
One was a tutor for our son Ayal. As we have mentioned in past newsletters. God has a very strong hand on our two children. Ayal, age twelve and a half, and Shani, eleven. We believe with all our hearts that they are called to minister to the Jewish people.
WEAPONS THAT DID NOT PROSPER
It seems that Satan is aware of it too. Our daughter was attacked with severe asthma for several years, which limited her physical activities and caused her to develop pneumonia two years in a row. We wrestled in the Spirit for her healing. Three years ago, she was healed completely. The asthma simply disappeared into thin air.
Our son, at age one and a half, climbed out of his playpen over a banister and fell a story and a half, hitting a steel square post and then landing on a cement floor. We prayed and the heavy bleeding stopped. We took him to the hospital for x-rays.
They could find no fracture or breakage of any kind.
A few months later, one night while Ari was leading the worship service in our congregation and Shira was playing the piano, Ayal left the building and wandered into the street where he was hit by a car. Again, no sign of fracture or break was found.
WHAT IS WRONG?
However, by the time he was in kindergarten, we realized he had some type of learning disability. He was intelligent, with an above normal I.Q., but could not advance in his studies. For the next five years in Israeli schools, we prayed continually for his complete healing. Although we saw real improvement, he was by this time years behind in his school work and no one in
Israel seemed to know what was wrong.
He was finally diagnosed by an American special education teacher as dyslexic-(having difficulties with reading, writing, comprehension, etc.).
Israel public schools have no special education helps for such children. An average schoolroom in Israel has 40 students with one teacher. Remedial education for dyslexia is unknown in the public school system. There were no Israeli private schools and home schooling was forbidden to Israeli citizens at that time.
In the summer of 1988, we felt directed of God to come to the States for a two year period of time to get some special education for Ayal, and to raise funds for a much needed and much prayed for Bible School in Israel.
We sent our son in the fall of '88 to a fine special education school dealing specifically with children with normal or above normal IQ's, but who have reading difficulties and/or attention deficit disorders. (Both of our children had learned to speak
English with a limited vocabulary in Israel from their parents, but they could neither read nor write English. Actually, we taught them the English alphabet in the spring of 1988.) In one year at this special school, Ayal went from 1st to 3rd grade level reading in English.
A CONTINENT IS OUR CLASSROOM
In June of 1989, we took both of our children and home schooled them on the road as we criss-crossed the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, itinerating as we preached and taught about God's plan for Israel, and her relationship with the Gentiles in these last days.
By January 1990, Ayal was doing so well, we put him in a normal A.C.E. school. In May, 1990, he was given the Stanford Achievement Test, and scored a 5th grade, 5th month level, only 3 months behind the average American child who has had five full years of English schooling.
In fact, he was given in June 1990 the Dallas School System reading comprehension test and scored 8th grade, 3rd month level.
We are exceeding grateful to God for this miracle and proud of our boy. Ayal himself is acquiring, through the grace of God, a confidence that he can do all things through our Messiah who strengthens him.
AYAL IS VISITED BY THE LORD
When Ayal was 7 years old, he saw an angel who was so tall - part of his body went through the ceiling.
And now, about a week ago, he had a dream of heaven. He saw the streets of gold and large houses and small houses. Ayal also saw the Messiah who was so bright that he could not distinguish his face. Two young messengers came to him telling him that he had to go through special testing before he would be allowed to come into heaven for his reward.
This month we are returning to Israel. The tremendous ground Ayal has gained in English, he must begin again and gain in Hebrew. Both of our children have spoken little Hebrew in these two years as we concentrated on their learning English - a chance of a lifetime for them.
BACK TO HEBREW
We know that what God started, He will finish. We knew the very best, the ideal situation, would be to have a tutor go back to Israel- a professional teacher skilled in special education to supervise his day-to-day learning-to work in extremely close contact with the harried Israeli 6th grade teacher who will probably have 39 other students to concern herself with.
We actually advertised for such a person in our March newsletter. However, after going over our average monthly donations in comparison with our very basic budget, we saw that at this time, there was no possibility of bringing on two more staff members, or-for that matter-even one.
So we gave the whole thing over to the Lord. There was no point worrying over it. We just said to ourselves, we will tutor our son in whatever way we must, and God will see us through.
In a story too long to retell, the Lord himself placed our need in the heart of a deep intercessor and servant of God, Betty Lowe. She in turn met a Messianic Jewish woman who is a highly skilled special education teacher with years of experience. Betty told her of our need, and she volunteered to go to Israel for a year by raising her own support. We would give room and board only!
We were utterly amazed. God loved our boy so much that he brought this servant of God to us, literally out of the sky. And she is going with us.
LORD, SINCE YOU ANSWERED THAT PRAYER…
When this miracle happened to us, somehow faith rose in our hearts for the other staff member we needed. We reminded the Lord in a conversation that we often had with Him:
Lord, you know we receive much mail, besides the mail that comes from our donors. We don't have anyone to answer this additional mail, and to administrate the many details of our ministry in Israel.
No matter how hard we work, we are always behind in our correspondence, which comes from around the world. And we know it is pleasing to you that the people, who write us, get an answer.
Moreover, even if we do answer all our mail, and oversee the details of this ministry, it takes away so much of the time we could be doing what you called us to do, that we don't believe going back to Israel without someone to administrate our Israeli office is really your perfect will.
Lord, if you brought us such a wonderful person for our child, could it be that you might also have an administrator for us that would volunteer to help us?
AND THERE SHE WAS!
After much prayer, we studied all the applications that had come to us.
There was one that stood out-word processing, shorthand, been to Israel many times, attends a Messianic Jewish congregation (revealing that she has a real burden for the Jewish people), highly skilled, and most of all, it appeared from the way she wrote that she had a servant's heart and a humble spirit. Can you really imagine how a person like this would enhance our ability to function in Israel?
We prayed for two more weeks, and then contacted her. And now, she is going with us, too! She is raising her own support by faith. We will give her room and board in Israel.
That God should be so concerned as to give us an incredibly qualified team leaves us without words. He loves us, and He is giving us the privilege to serve Him in Israel with these mighty co-workers. Both of these women, we might add, are strong intercessors.
We must not close this letter without mentioning our eleven-year-old daughter. We believe that God has called her to be a singer, musician and worship leader in Israel. God has given her an exceptional mind, and most of all a spirit that loves to worship God. How we praise the Lord!
Even though this letter is of a more personal nature than most of our Maoz newsletters, we just had to share with you how God is faithful to give us all these things as we determine to seek the Kingdom of God.
OPPORTUNITY STRIKES AGAIN!
Because of the sovereign working of the Holy Spirit to bring to us these two women, we believe that the comparatively small economic obligation we have covenanted to be responsible for will be met.
As you look at the expenses below, remember that if we paid these two ladies a salary in Israel of $900.00 a month, the total cost of salary and Israeli employer's taxes would be well over $50,000.00 annually.
If you find that your heart wants to share in this opportunity to enable these two women to work in Israel with us, we invite you to.
Here, then, are the added budget needs which will enable us to join our two new staff members to the ministry in Israel for one year:
2 tickets to Israel (one way) $1,780.00
Apartment for two ($400 per month) $4,800.00*
Food for two ($200 per month) $2,400.00
*It is normal in Israel for apartment owners to ask for 6 months or 12 months rent in advance.
We thank all of you who are praying for us and all the believers in Israel. Your prayers are the most important gift you can give to our Jewish people. Why? Because GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!
In our Messiah's Service,
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram