One of the ways God has kept us encouraged as we pioneered a Messianic Jewish work in Israel, is through the readers of our newsletter who faithfully give, pray, and who write us from time to time.
We have never shared any of these letters because we feel it is better to let others "toot our horn" than ourselves.
Yet so many of these letters, rather than show how "wonderful" the Maoz ministry is, actually reveal the spiritual depth and intensity of love for Israel the readers of the Maoz Newsletter have.
We believe you will agree when you read some of the letters that came to us over the last year. They express hope, anguish and above all, commitment to the Jewish people and to Israel.
To our great sorrow, and may I add frustration, we have not had the staff to answer all of the letters, especially those asking specific information on theological questions. But we do appreciate those letters with all our hearts! Today we share some of them with you.
Canada: Are We To Experience The Judgment Of God?
Dear Ari and Shira, "There is a heavy burden on my heart for my country, Canada. I feel that I am in mourning and all about me is a frantic spending spree. Even the Christians are caught up in the life-style of 'eat, drink and be merry.' I have great fear for them.
"Must I recount to you the shameful history of my government in regard to the Jews - or do you already know?
"Before World War II, I was a girl in my teens. None of us seemed to be aware of what was going on. My parents, farmers, raised us to respect the Jews as God's chosen people.
"The Jewish people who asked to come to Canada in the 1930's were denied permission. That fateful boat that cruised the Atlantic could not find entry in a Canadian port and returned to Holland. You know the rest. I wonder how many like stories there are.
"A book has been written entitled 'None Is Too Many' which tells how our Prime Minister (who was under satanic control) and his cabinet closed our doors to God's people.
"The fearful thing is that as far as I know, even though all of this has come to light, there has never been repentance of either the political or the church leaders of the country.
"Just this year a committee has been set up to find and to persecute Nazi war criminals, but why were they allowed to settle in our country years ago?
"Recently, while reading the book of Obadiah, I was shocked to feel that God could be speaking to Canada as well as to Edom for He says in verses 14 & 15.
'You should not have stood at the crossroads, to cut off those among them who escaped, nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained in the day of distress. For the day of the Lord upon all nations is near, as you have done, it shall be done to you'.
"With that word on my mind, suddenly I saw the truth; all are under a curse for we have cursed God's people when we could have blessed them.
"Today everyone talks of our nation being blessed. Yes, we have been blessed, because God in His mercy has given us fifty years to repent. But He is also a God of judgment.
"When I was in Israel last spring, for your Day of Independence, I cried for you. I cannot in any way imagine the sense of loss that is yours - loss of family. I grew up with four loving grandparents nearby; many aunts, uncles and cousins, and have memories of family picnics and spending a week here or there in homey farm houses - always with love.
"But God has not forgotten the Jew nor your terrible suffering (many times at the hands of Christians). It is almost an agony to write, but it is true. God has a wonderful future for you. You are back in the land and many are now coming to know Jesus as Messiah. Oh, how I praise God for His goodness.
"And what is the future for Canada, for my children and my beloved 'grandchildren? Are we to experience the judgment of God?
"Christians are just now coming into prayer and intercession, yet not many are that concerned. This burden has been so clear to me that I have written to a member of parliament who is a Christian and who works on behalf of the Jews. I have also written to the President of the Canadian Federation of Baptists, for I am a Baptist.
"No I do not fear, my God will be with my family whatever the circumstances. We are told in II Chron. 7:14,
'If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.'"
K. Berry, Woodstock, Onto
Israel At 40
"Happy birthday to you, Yeshua's beloved Israel. May you greatly prosper in the knowledge of your Messiah. And may Messiah return soon to establish His kingdom and government in you. The peace of the whole world rests on this hope. Abundant blessings on you, Maoz, for all you are doing in Israel.
"And I will also try to be a little more frequent with financial support. It is indeed a great honor to stand with you ancient people, who gave the world the knowledge of the one God, knowledge of His word, knowledge of His wondrous doings, and knowledge of His son, the Messiah Yeshua."
J. Griego, Jr., Houston, TX
She "Cast In More Than They All"
As always in God's kingdom there are those who you would think from the natural could never support our work, and yet are doing so. God will repay. Here are some samples:
"We have been called to preach the good news to the Navajo people and we love Israel, and teach our Navajo believers to love and pray for the Jewish people.
"We have made a faith promise to the Lord to send you $10 each month and hope to increase this amount as God provides. We have six children and support ourselves in this ministry of 14 years as the Navajo are very poor.
"We feel that your ministry to Israel is the most effective and God-anointed that we know of and love you and pray for you."
E. & B. Green, Big Water, UT
"I thank you for sending me Maoz. I always read it with great interest. I am 90 years old, a homebound widow who lives on a fixed income and alone. I think you are doing a great work in Israel. I remember your work in my prayer many times."
Mrs. A. Fiedler, Dallas, TX
Stating Needs Without The Hard Pull
We have made it a policy throughout the years, to state our need. But we cannot make high powered appeals when the financial way gets rough - which is often. Instead, we cry out to God.
Rather we see the preparation, research and work that goes into these newsletters as a gift to you who are working with us in Israel. It is the only way we can symbolically return something to you for the investment you are making. And you have responded without a hard pull!
"We are writing to tell you that we have been much enjoying your newsletters for the past several months. They are always greatly looked forward to and have never failed to be a much appreciated source of teaching, insight, information and news of what the Lord is doing in His -- land and among His people.
"We also find refreshing your 'The Lord Is First' position, with the ministry and appeals for its support, second. A position that is, sadly, all too rare these days. Really, when you think of it, if something is the Lord's work then it is His responsibility to provide for whatever is needed for it, and we are just the stewards of what He provides.
"For this is His hour and He will show that the God of Israel is alive and well, and blessed are those of His servants who are faithful and attentive to His voice and ready to be His instruments in carrying out His will to His glory."
J. Bowman, Nashua, NH
"In a world of many voices, your newsletter still stands out for its honesty and logic. Your interpretations of events from a spiritual standpoint fit somehow with what I perceive to be happening from a Biblical perspective. It's been my experience that those under pressure (i.e., spiritual warfare) tend to get to the basis of their faith rather quickly and I guess I hear that in your newsletters. Keep on in the good fight and may God's grace abound in your lives."
M. Beery, Fort Wayne, IN
Paul Was Writing To Us
"Praise God for your ministry in Israel - on the front lines! Romans 15:26-27 spoke to my heart years ago during my daily devotions causing me to seek a Bible-believing ministry such as yours to support financially. No Gentile can escape this verse!
'Yes they have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem...and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.'"
S. Wingate, Hampstead, MD
"What an honor to be part of the army of God to restore Israel."
D. Schultz, Woodland, WA
The Army At Work
There are prayer groups throughout the world, such as at the Bible School in Germany headed by Bob Humburg who pray for us continually. Their letter made our day.
"Greetings. Today some of the students of Glaubenszentrum have met for the love of Israel. We have come together in honor of the believers in Ramat Hasharon (suburb of Tel Aviv), to pray and to lift Yeshua up over your community. We believe the Lord's hand is about to move greatly in Israel that He Himself is about to perform the fulfillment of the prophecies uttered so many generations ago. We want to therefore encourage you to work wholeheartedly at whatever your hands find to do, for the Lord is with you and He will not rest until all things are accomplished. "
Signatures of 22 members of Israel prayer group Bad Gandersheim, Germany
"Your newsletters have been so informative and a joy to receive. We look forward to every bit of information and feel so very blessed to be able to agree in prayer with you regarding important issues you face daily. We are impressed with the importance of your mission and the significance of prophecy being fulfilled before your very eyes. May the coming of our Lord be soon."
The Reiders, Estes Park, CO
"Every night you two are held up before God for anointing of the Spirit and blessing for your work and whole family."
F. W. Lattin, Litchfield, IL
"Thank you for your newsletter, which has blessed us so much these last three months. We have been sharing it with a group of people, who every week come to our home to pray for Israel and God's ancient people."
N. & L. Bilton, Auckland, New Zealand
Meeting Our Readers In Person
It is always special when we have opportunity to meet in person our readers. This year as we spend more time in North America, we hope to meet many more of you.
"Around four years ago, I met brother Ari Sorko-Ram in a summer camp meeting. He spoke in two afternoon services on Israel. And those two messages were so inspirational that I regret to this day not having recorded them. In those two messages I absorbed such a profound love and concern for Israel and its people, God's chosen people. I began to understand how the Lord's heart must be broken because so few of His people know of their Messiah who loves them and gave Himself for them."
R. Ortiz, New York, NY
Our love for the Arab people and our desire to see them brought to their Lord runs deeply. When God gives us opportunity to touch their lives, we regard it an honor.
"I heard you very briefly on the Marlin Maddoux show and was very attracted by some of your statements. I am an Arab and I have come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and as my personal savior. I am so glad that we can be united as one in Jesus and would like to acknowledge you in your work with Jesus!"
G. Carmoha, Houston, TX
Beresford's Supreme Court Decision This Month
According to all the information that we have, the Beresford court case should be decided by the Supreme Court of Israel this month. The courts are to decide if Gary and Shirley Beresford who are Jews by birth can immigrate to Israel as Messianic Jews. The decision will have great significance for all born-again Jews wishing to follow the Scriptures by returning to Israel to live. We have asked for your prayers many times over the last two years for this court case. And we still have $7,000 on the $15,000 lawyers fees for the Beresford's case left to pay.
Also, the suit of Ari Sorko-Ram vs. Israeli Army for discrimination because of his belief in Yeshua is to be decided by the same court in September.
Well, this is it folks. These cases will soon be over. The forces of good and evil are battling. God is depending on His children to pray in order to defeat the powers of darkness. I believe the answer is within our reach through the power of the Holy One of Israel, if we will pray!
"Our prayers are with you and the Beresfords. Your December letter about the pending court case in February surely shows that God wants all of Israel to hear something. To think that the Supreme Court of Israel will hear about Yeshua the Messiah and the news coverage it will receive!
"We all will continue lifting you up in prayer and that the Supreme Court will allow Messianic Jews to make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel as Jewish people."
E. A. Beal, Plantation, FL
Now to go out with a blast: here is an example of the embarrassing letters! We'll have to toot our horn to let you read it!
"I want to compliment you on your monthly newsletter. There's no question that it is the very best one written today. I'm on everyone's mailing list and I see everything that is written by Christians and non-Christians - and most of it is quite sad indeed. Yet, you write with great intelligence, fairness, love, and objectivity. It's obvious that God is guiding your hand.
"Most newsletters are quite strident and hysterical but yours - as I've said - is fair and objective; even though a point of view is expressed. May it continue.
"My prayer for you is that your ministry would get more exposure here in the U.S. No one has heard of you. I think it would be most positive if you could get on Christian television like _________ for instance. If people know about you, they can help you financially and with prayers."
D. Boothby, Los Angeles, CA
We are appearing on the 700 Club on September 30. We ask you to pray for that interview that it will please the Messiah, and have meaning for the Kingdom of God.
We hope that you see from these letters how much a part of this work you really are. We are in it together.
God is meeting our needs through all the attempted works of Satan. The thief who robbed our mail at the Dallas Post Office has been stopped, and you are helping us cover the needs of this ministry. (See July letter) Art will be in Israel most of the month of September. The work is expanding, and we have opened up a savings account for the Israeli Yeshiva (Bible School) that we 'plan to build.
If you ever wondered if it makes a difference whether you write or not, it does!
Giving to the Lord will count for eternity.
Your Co-workers For the Salvation of Israel,
Art & Shira Sorko- Ram