Login to get started!
Username
Password
Forgot password?
Remember me
Not a member yet?  Sign up now!
Sign Up or log in
Username (3 to 12 characters, numbers & letters only)
Email
Privacy Policy
Login   |   Sign up

Practical Issues:
How to Pray for the Apple of His Eye

Monthly Report: December 2010
Kislev - Tevet 5771
Open in PDF

1210 - Top - Soldiers in Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers preparing for guard duty in the Old City of Jerusalem. Their job is to protect the rights of Jews, Christians and Muslims to worship in freedom in the Holy City.


 

By Shani Sorko-Ram Ferguson

You can watch Shani's Video Blogs on yeshuaisrael.com

If you watch a variety of Christian shows about Israel, you might honestly believe that the greatest prayer need in Israel lies somewhere between the 6th trumpet blast and the rebuilding of the third temple (no disrespect intended, since any attempt by Christians to bring Israel to God’s attention is greatly appreciated by both Him and us!) I can only assume that the reason these things become the focus of prayer is because although Christians worldwide get tremendous insight from the Bible, they often lack updated information to make their prayers for Israel more specific and relevant to the times. The quickest way to overcome this problem is simply to go to the best source for things going on in modern day Israel - Israeli believers.

Since every Christian does not have the luxury of sitting down for coffee with an Israeli believer to get the scoop, we’ve compiled some categories that we hope will help you direct your prayers when beseeching our Father on behalf of Israel.

LAND / MILITARY

I know this will come as a surprise to some of you, but I would personally care little for land disputes because I have no desire to live in the desert hills of Judea and Samaria or Gaza (even though Gaza has stunning beaches!), except for the minor detail that God’s honor is at stake so long as the land lies in the hands of those who curse His name.

Nonetheless, focusing solely on Israel’s land rights is attacking the problem in reverse. In his initial failed attempt to conquer Ai, Joshua was informed by God that the failure was not due to military error, but because there was sin in the camp. It should also be noted, that God did not tell Joshua it was wrong for them to send a military force. The military was and is the tool that God uses when establishing the children of Israel in their land. Once the sin was dealt with, the win over Ai came automatically. Before the sin was removed, even the most logical approaches failed. Still, in the beginning of God’s deliverance from Egypt, He did work miracles on Israel’s behalf regardless of their state.

Psalm 81:13-16 (The Message) “Oh, dear people, will you listen to me now? Israel, will you follow my map? I’ll make short work of your enemies, give your foes the back of my hand. I’ll send the GOD-haters cringing like dogs, never to be heard from again. You’ll feast on my freshbaked bread spread with butter and rock-pure honey.”

As Israeli believers receive more and more recognition as being reliable soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces with an excellent spirit of service, pray that God will give great favor and responsibility to believers in the army.

Pray that God will give these believing soldiers insight, boldness and courage that will assist operations and ultimately glorify their God.

ECONOMY

While the world economy has teetered, the Israeli economy has (so far) held its own. To be clear, the standard of living in Israel is far below American standards. Nevertheless, it continues to move forward.

Israeli minds and ingenuity have impacted the world (as can be seen in the next articles). And the world in turn has offered up many dollars in appreciation. However, not far down the line, Israel’s economy faces the crisis of a government practice that drains the economy - welfare.

In Israel welfare is used to temporarily help the unemployed or disabled. But there is a sect of society that has a permanent hand out from the government - the Orthodox Jewish community. Their children are born into it, and are not raised to ever leave it. And since this sect of society can boast of fulfilling God’s first commandment of being fruitful, in a couple of decades the population demanding subsidies will outweigh the scales of the working population’s treasure chest.

Pray that God would raise up responsible leaders who will rein in welfare pay outs. And pray that God would give the government wisdom in integrating that sect of society into the workforce.

1210 - Ramat Gan
Israel’s Diamond Center in greater Tel Aviv.
One of the largest and certainly the most advanced
in the world, it’s yearly exports top $7 billion.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

This is is a major issue in Israel. While our declaration of independence declares freedom of religion and expression, the ultra-Orthodox only want freedom of religion as long as it is their religion. And protecting especially Messianic Jews’ freedom of religion or expression often takes tens of thousands of dollars and years in court to defend. And even after all that, in the end, a ruling in the favor of the persecuted (Messianic Jews) is often ignored by the persecutors (Orthodox) - in the name of God.

For example, some Messianic Jewish paid for radio commercial spots and billboards simply stating “Yeshua = yeshuah” meaning Jesus = salvation. Within hours of the first radio spot, anti-religious freedom groups successfully pressured the radio stations and billboard companies to remove the ads.

Pray that there would be a flow of freedom of information in the land. Truth always triumphs, and the only way to keep truth from winning is to keep it from getting out.

A level of religious persecution is something that every individual who follows God wholeheartedly has experienced since before the time of Yeshua. It seems to be something that comes with the territory.

Nonetheless, pray that God would give strength and courage to those undergoing persecution in Israel, as well as wisdom as to how to avoid it if possible or react to it if not. Pray against the fear that persecution can cause among others in the community who hear about it so that they will not be shaken in their faith. Pray against lawlessness, and that the government would enforce Supreme court rulings against sects of society who reject its supreme authority over rabbinical authority.

GOVERNMENT

“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.”  (Proverbs 29:2)

Without a doubt, our government is a bit on the corrupt side. But not in the way the U.N. would have the world believe. Our military is the most honorable entity in our land, and indictments against their policy of conduct are of the most misguided accusations spinning the globe today. In other matters within the goverment, however, in regards to money favors and sexual harassment, the indictments pour in to the courts. And there is an overwhelming sense of lack of justice for all the clever ways lawyers can get serial criminals out of paying their dues to society, while people with lesser offenses or involuntary offenses get slapped with hard sentences.

Pray that justice and mercy would reign in the land. Pray that the illegal or unethical deals in the government would be exposed and quickly prosecuted serving as a deterrent in the hearts of government leaders. Pray that God would put a desire in the hearts of Israel’s government leaders to live pure, honest lives.

1210 - Tel Aviv beach
Tel Aviv, the party town. Her sins are great, but God’s power and grace are greater.

SAFETY

While Israel is a land with the uneasy threat of terror looming, her streets are statistically by far safer than the streets of many cities in the U.S. You could walk around at 2 a.m. almost anywhere in Israel’s cities (large or small) and feel safe.

Recently, however, there are a few neighborhoods that have been overrun by illegal immigrants and Sudanese refugees. Their only source of income is crime because they don’t register with the system. Israel’s illegal immigrant situation carries very different variables than the one in the U.S. since being born in Israel does not automatically qualify one for citizenship. And fixing the problem is very tricky.

Aside from that, while we don’t have much in the way of street crime, large scale mafia-like organized crime (a large percentage coming from the Former Soviet Union) is as serious a problem as Israel’s  human trafficking. In fact, the two are connected.

Pray against human trafficking and a spirit of violence in these neighborhoods. Women and children are particularly vulnerable since reporting a crime against them would mean reporting themselves. Pray that Israel will find creative ways to shut down the local mafia and deal justly yet compassionately with refugees who fled their homes in Africa for fear of death, as well as those who came here to make a few extra bucks.

CHARACTER

I remember someone explaining to me that some of the aggression in modern Israeli culture contains the residue of Holocaust trauma. In stories too sad and too long to tell, even after World War II when emaciated Holocaust survivors tried to make it on delapidated boats to the Holy Land, the British Navy would intercept the boats and put the Jews in internment camps in Cyprus (some 50,000) where the British purposely implemented procedures to dehumanize them. For example, they would throw over a fence which imprisoned a couple of hundred Jews only enough food or spoons, etc. for half of the people. It was the survival of the fittest. The paranoia of being a sucker or not having enough still hangs over large groups of the Israeli people.

Nevertheless, that fear which leads to selfishness and even aggression, will not lead to lasting prosperity. Israelis will prosper even more when they have the courage to look past the extra shekel they might get and see God who is waiting with outstretched arms full of blessings to shower on those who will regard their neighbor above themselves. (Thank God, there are many selfless,
kind and giving Israelis!)

Pray that God would give Israelis, especially new believers, the courage in their hearts to trust Him to honor their integrity. And pray that God would show His pleasure with even the smallest baby steps in that direction.

MORALITY

A friend of mine told me the other day that she had been attempting to work with schools to share with students the benefits of abstinence and options of dealing with an unexpected pregnancy other than abortion. The schools told her they couldn’t allow her to speak on such matters because they did not want to teach on morality issues. I’ve heard similar stories regarding army bases. Unfortunately, the stifling of such conversation has created a society that is not immoral - but amoral. Meaning the absence of moral standards, restraints, or principles. Then it should come as no surprise that prostitution is legal, abortion rates are through the roof and an estimated 50,000 Israeli men (and foreign workers) visit a brothel each day.

Pray that God would prick the conscience of Israelis to become aware of their proverbial “nakedness.”

PET PROJECT:

Pick a field, a subject or a sect of society that you find interesting or feel deeply about and make it your pet project. Praying for the “whole world” to be saved is vague, and hard to track its success rate. Specifics help your heart engage in your prayers and encourage you when you get word back that God is moving in that area.

Example: Since music and worship is something dear to our hearts, we pray that God will raise up Israeli believing musicians who know the culture, and that He will give them the means by which to excel in their craft. We pray that God will search out and save musicians who already excel in the music world. We pray for God to grant creativity to songwriters to write songs that would pierce the hardest hearts in this land. We pray that those who don’t know Him will experience His presence through it. There is nothing that gives God more glory than to witness what He can do out of a surrendered mortal man.

1210 - Western Wall prayer
“All Israel shall be saved!”

SALVATION

“All Israel Shall be saved.” (Rom. 11:26) It’s one of the clearest and most controversial verses in the Bible. Is it possible for God to save a whole people group? Before you go trying to explain why God can’t do it, remember He’s the one who created every speck of dust in the universe. And if He can save you, surely He can save a whole nation of individuals like you!

While it may feel over your head to “give God no rest,” (Isa. 62:7) realize that imploring God to “hold to His word” is a guaranteed way to assure an answered prayer. Praying through Romans 9-11 is a great place to start!

But the salvation of Jews is not just about Israel, it is about the salvation of your own non-Jewish friends and family members. Romans 11:15 promises that the salvation of the Jewish people will bring about world-wide revival among the Gentiles!

Pray that God would open the eyes of the Jewish people to their need for salvation and grant the Jewish people the spirit of repentance.

YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS

While the salvation of Israel is the culmination of the plan of God for Israel, the main tool God will use to represent Himself to them are the Jews who are already believers (and therefore members
of your family in God!). It seems reasonable then to say that prayers and resources of the saints around the world should be focused on Jewish believers who against all cultural backlash have embraced their destiny in the New Covenant.

As more and more native Israelis have the blinders taken off their eyes, the believing Body in Israel takes on more and more of a native expression.

Since the Messianic Jewish (and Christian Arab) community is only in its “first fruits” stage, pray that God would bring Israeli believers to full maturity and sanctification despite the hardships and isolation many of them face where they live, work or go to school. Pray that God would raise up congregations of every style, culture and size that will be most effective here in bringing Him glory.

Pray for those God has called to be leaders (especially native Israelis) in the Body to rise to the occasion and have opportunities to realize and utilize their giftings. Also, pray that those who are called to lead will experience God’s financial blessings so they will be able to “devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4)

It’s hard to explain if you’ve never been here, but one of the greatest hinderances in the lives of Israel’s believers here are the random everyday crises that occur and keep them from accomplishing important things.

Pray against distractions, losses of time and finances.

(Watch Shani's Video Blog on yeshuaisrael.com)

Back to Top


Why have Jews Received
More Nobel Prizes than Arabs?

By Shira Sorko-Ram

1210 - Nobel Prize Medal

Today the Jewish population worldwide is approximately 14,000,000. Before World War II , the population had grown to 18,000,000, until one third were destroyed by the Nazis.

This means today, Jews are 0.02% of the world’s population.

Contrast that with the Arab population* today which is approximately 358,000,000 souls living in 25 countries.

Here then is a stunning statistic: Out of a total of 802 Nobel Prize winners, Jewish winners number 168 and Arabs 9.

Why?

I do not believe for a moment that Jews are simply smarter than Arabs. Not for a moment. The world can witness Arab acumen in their ability to fight and terrorize the world with sometimes the simplest of weapons and successfully rain down destruction against countries possessing great resources. Arabs are not stupid.

Only in the Bible can we find the answer to this mystery. So here it goes:

God chose Israel through the father of the Jewish nation, Abraham. God told Abraham that in His divine plan for Abraham’s descendents, they would bless the entire world.

The first portions of that promise have been fulfilled. The Israeli people have given us the Bible, the prophets, the apostles and the Messiah Yeshua Himself.

When Israel finally fulfills the rest of the promise in receiving salvation through Yeshua King of the Jews, then great revival will burst forth throughout the world (according to Romans 11, Zechariah, Isaiah, etc.) and the Messiah will return to earth to reign in His Kingdom.

True, the majority of Jews in this world have not yet received their Messiah to be Savior and King of their lives. Yet that blessing – that promise – that Israel would bless the world is clearly being fulfilled in part.

Jewish scientists and doctors and whizkids in hi tech – Jews in every beneficial field known to  mankind – are blessing the world today. Israel’s creativity is simply astounding.

But there is more. The Bible also pointedly says that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. There is no people on earth that curses Israel more than the Arab peoples. For many Arab nations, there is nothing more central to their identity and activities than to seek the destruction of Israel. Therefore, they are poor, underdeveloped and locked into a religion that glorifies death and demands submission to a punitive and ruthless god.

In fact, the phenomenon of adversity and inability to rise up and take hold of their destiny in spite of their vast resources of oil applies to the Muslim peoples in general: the greater their hatred of Israel (and Christians), the more impoverished and pathetic the condition of their masses – with few exceptions such as the tiny minority of billionaire sheiks.

Of course they don’t see it. In fact the world doesn’t see it. But the followers of the God of Israel and His Son are privileged to see it so that they can pray for both the Jewish people and their Arab cousins.

*This number does not include non-Arab Muslims bringing the total to 1.57 billion Muslims. Total  number of people on earth is nearly 6,9 billion.

1210 - Nobel Prize Medal thumb

 Jewish Nobel Prizes

Economics:
1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1973 - Wassily Leontief
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel
1994 - John Harsanyi
1997 - Myron Scholes
2001 - Joseph Stiglitz
2001 - George A. Akerlof
2002 - Daniel Kahneman
2005 - Robert Aumann
2007 - Leonid Hurwicz
2007 - Eric Maskin
2007 - Roger Myerson
2008 - Paul Krugman

Medicine:
1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herb ert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1947 - Gerty Cori
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - David Baltimore
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1977 - Andrew V. Schally
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen
1986 - Rita Levi-Montalcini
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1994 - Martin Rodbell
1995 - Edward B. Lewis
1997 - Stanley B. Prusiner
1998 - Robert Furchgott
2000 - Paul Greengard
2000 - Eric Kandel
2002 - H. Robert Horvitz
2002 - Sydney Brenner

Peace:
1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin
1995 - Joseph Rotblat

Physics & Chemistry:
1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phil lips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Joseph son
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L. Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Sidney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1995 - Martin Perl
1995 - Frederick Reines
1996 - Douglas D. Osheroff
1996 - David M. Lee
1997 - Claude Cohen-Tannoudji 
1998 - Walter Kohn
2000 - Alan J. Heeger
2000 - Zhores I. Alferov
2003 - Vitaly Ginzburg
2003 - Alexei A. Abrikosov
2004 - H. David Politzer
2004 - David Gross
2004 - Avram Hershko
2004 - Aaron Ciechanover
2004 - Irwin Rose
2005 - Roy Glauber
2006 - Roger Kornberg
2009 - Ada Yonath

Literature:
1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World
2002 - Imre Kertész 
2004 - Elfriede Jelinek
2005 - Harold Pinter

TOTAL : 168 NOBEL PRIZES

1210 - Nobel Prize Medal thumb

 Arab Nobel Prizes

Literature:
1988 - Najuib Mahfooz

Physics & Chemistry:
1979 - Abdus Salam
1990 - Elias James Corey
1999 - Ahmed Zewail

Medicine:
1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad

Peace:
1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 - Yasser Arafat
2003 - Shirin Ebadi

TOTAL : 9 NOBEL PRIZES

Back to Top


Israel: God's Gift to the World

By Shira Sorko-Ram

Here is just a taste of the remarkable achievements from the world’s 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population – and which is only in its 62nd year since it’s rebirth.

  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
  • The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
  • Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
  • Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel, and the Pentium MMX Chip at Intel-Israel.
  • The Pentium microprocessor in YOUR computer was most likely made in Israel.
  • Israel has the highest percentage of home computers per capita in the world.

1210 - Israelis help in Haiti

  • In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies of any other country in the world, except the U.S. (3500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
  • Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds, right behind the U.S. Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
  • Israel designed the airline industry’s most impenetrable flight security. U.S. officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.
  • Twenty-four per cent of Israel’s work force holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and twelve per cent hold advanced degrees.
  • Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the work force, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions, Israel places first in this category as well.
  • Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people - as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
  • The Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the most important research centers in the world for brain studies, was voted the best university in the world for life scientists to conduct research.
  • Israel’s Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, it helps diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.
  • An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California’s Mojave desert.
  • Israel’s $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
  • Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita for its own protection than any other county on earth.

Just think what will happen when Israel produces a new generation of onfire, committed, passionate ambassadors bringing the Good News of their God and their King to the world!

Back to Top


I Will Bless Those Who Bless You

1210 - Pastor Luke Crain

Dear Friends at Maoz,

At the beginning of 2010 Jenifer and I sensed the Lord directing our church, Faith Fellowship, to begin to support an organization whose primary focus was to help reach and minister to Israel and the Jewish community. Another church recommended Maoz Israel. We prayed and sensed the Holy Spirit’s peace that this ministry was fulfilling God’s purpose to reach Israel.

In June 2010 we invited Ray and Christy Wilkerson to share about Maoz Israel to our church family. I had shared with the Wilkersons earlier that morning about my passion and vision to challenge our church to begin to give above the Lord’s tithe with offerings to overseas ministries. The Wilkersons prayed for me and our church that God would expand our outreach and giving. That day we received a love offering of close to $1,500 for Maoz Israel. What a miracle this was!

In July and August we had two more ministries come and share with our church body and we also received a love offering for each of them. We placed the opportunity and challenged our body to pray and be obedient to the Holy Spirit as to what they personally should invest into international missions; we received offerings of $3,100 and $3,300 for each of these missions organizations.

I firmly believe that as a church we became obedient to God and the Holy Scriptures when we began to invest in Maoz. After we became obedient we have seen a multiplication of awareness and personal giving to missions. To top it all off, our finances for the overall church never dipped this summer as trends would project, but God provided more than enough and we had one of the best summers of giving our church has ever experienced. Even one week our missions’ giving was greater than the general tithes and offerings.

What a privilege and joy it is to be able to invest in Kingdom ministry!

In His Grip,

Pastor Luke Crain
Faith Fellowship
Lucas, TX

Back to Top


My Present:  A Letter of Thanks

By Avner Valer

1210 - Avner

Two years ago I started to work at a local printing establishment. The days were not at all easy for me, and the nights were even worse.

Every morning while traveling to work I would listen to rhythmical worship songs, songs of victory, in order to attempt to feel a little bit better.

I was disappointed in myself, in the important people in my life and in believers in general.

“That’s it,” I thought. “Today I’ll inform my boss that I’ll quit this monotonous job; there’s too much time to think here.

"I need to go to a place where I can talk with someone, to have someone to advise me, comfort me... perhaps I’ll join a Bible school abroad?

"Perhaps I’ll settle in some monastery and live in prayer and fasting, separated from people?"

I felt like a big, dark cloud was hovering over my head at all hours of the day. Only a tiny little grain of faith was left in me that some day the sky would brighten and that I would see the light of the sun glowing over this blackness.

TELEPHONE

On that very day that I already planned leaving my current work place, I suddenly received a phone call from an unknown number.

On the other side of the line was Omer (the head of Maoz’s Media Department), and he told me about a vacant position for a graphic artist at Maoz Israel offices. He’d heard about me from a number of people who had recommended me for this job.

Passion for media, graphics and art in general had always burned in my bones, and that is why I was so delighted to hear of this offer.

Until then I had taken only one graphic course, but it became clear that God had directed some of my old friends to speak with Omer about me and recommend me to join the ranks of Maoz.

MEETING AT MAOZ OFFICES

I met with those in charge at the Maoz offices.

After being interviewed, I was told, “You should know there are two conditions if you decide to start working here. First, we will send you to take a course on video editing.”

“Wow!” I thought to myself, “I’ve always wanted to learn video editing but couldn’t do it because of lack of budget and time.”

“The second condition,” they told me, “is that the Maoz staff is taking their annual three-day retreat in a few days’ time and it will be an excellent time for you to get acquainted with the staff. We are going to Eilat and we want you to go with us.”

“Wow!” Three days’ holiday; it sounds fantastic! “OK,” I said, “I accept the job.”

TRIP TO EILAT

During the retreat I began to know my new friends and I came into a completely new period in my life. I can say with confidence that a number of the Maoz staff are in the list of my closest friends.

ARI

I met Ari during the trip to Eilat. He was not aware of the fragile mental state that I was in. He accepted me with open arms and a warm smile, which he gives to me until now every time I meet him. We discussed a little bit about media and other cool things like this.

Slowly I opened up to Ari and shared my hurts with him. From the moment that he knew about my situation he offered me an open door to his office any time that I’d like to discuss issues with him. I accepted his invitation seriously, and I must say that he was there to hear me out and help me heal and grow.

Our meetings were not scheduled; whatever time was needed, Ari made it available. It is written about the Messiah that “a bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench,” (Isaiah 42:3) and this is the way that I feel that Ari dealt with me.

He spoke with me gently and with endless patience. Ari knew also to be firm and authoritative and let me know when in his opinion I was wrong.

Even my parents (who are not yet believers), after seeing my fragility and pains, already started to doubt the integrity of the Messianic Jewish movement and even called it a “sect.”

Today my father appreciates Ari very much and permanently asks how he is. There’s no doubt that my parents changed their opinion in regards to Jewish believers during the period of time that I was part of Tiferet Yeshua congregation.

TODAY

Today I believe that God gave me a personal call to be sent to another location. I have moved to the north of Israel, where I am working with an evangelism team.

Not everyone can understand why I have left such a wonderful job at Maoz which is so good to me, but it is as in one of the lessons that Ari taught me on a one to one basis: sometimes it happens that God gives a personal call, and then the person should obey. In any case, I will always know, as also Ari and Shira emphasized to me – that I’ll always have a home to come back to – Tiferet Yeshua.

TIFERET YESHUA

Tiferet Yeshua is a congregation filled with life and joy.

Ari and Shira take care to bring in the best teachers from around the Land every Shabbat, teachers whose calling and passion is to impart faith and truth so that the lost can be saved and the saved can continually grow.

Unlike most of the congregations in the Land, the dominant language at Tiferet Yeshua is Hebrew – which creates a very comfortable atmosphere to bring in Israeli guests who have not yet opened their hearts to Yeshua. I found there friends of all age groups.

The young adults are a very close knitted group and spend time together also during the week. Families invited me for visits on an ongoing basis, and once in a while the congregation organizes events like meals, going out to parks and other fun-time places, so that our fellowship will bring us – and newcomers – new godly friends to encourage us as we meet the challenges that will come our way.

THANK YOU

It is important to say “Thank You,” and I couldn’t think of a gift worthy enough to bring to you. This is why I thought to write this letter of thanksgiving.

My prayer is that the Lord would give you, Ari and Shira, your reward for all your work, that when you will come before Him He’ll say to you: “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”

Note from Ari and Shira: Avner is an extremely talented young man who is passionate about the Lord and his faith. After meeting him, we saw a charismatic, sensitive and artistic person who had baggage from past drug addiction, but who wanted to give Himself to God completely. We saw the potential in him, and are thankful for the time God gave us for discipleship while he worked at Maoz and attended Congregation Tiferet Yeshua. Although we were sorry to lose him in our graphics department, we sent him out with joy, as we have sent many others from our congregation. We are thrilled to see the light he has become. He is now working with an international ministry in outreach on the streets in northern Israel, and on the Internet. Internet is a tool the Lord has given the Messianic believers in Israel to get the message of Salvation out to the Israeli people unhindered. With Avner’s writing abilities (in Hebrew) and his technical knowledge and artistic skills on the web, he is developing into an awesome messenger of the King.

Back to Top


1210 - Be a Faithful Steward

You can reap a harvest for years to come, so why wait?

A last will and testament is one of the most important documents an individual will ever prepare. Yet in many cases, estates have not been distributed according to the wishes of the individual simply because the estate plan was out of date.

  • Have you moved to another state?
  • Have tax laws changed?
  • Have your charitable interests changed?
  • Has the size of your estate increased markedly?
  • Has anything changed in regard to your children's needs or marital status?

Maoz Israel Ministries has a program in place to help you get a will in place or update your existing will. For more information, please call or email Christy Wilkerson at info@maozisrael.com.

Did you know?
7 out of 10 persons die without a will?

  • Too busy with everyday life
  • Own too little property
  • Too Expensive
  • Don't like legal documents
  • Unable to know future
  • Don't plan to die

Why Have a Will?

  • To nominate an executor (personal representative)
  • To nominate a guardian
  • To remember persons who would not benefit otherwise
  • To remember Maoz Israel Ministries
  • To name beneficiaries who would not receive benefits without a will


December 2010

Dear Maoz Partner,

Happy Hanukkah!

Again, we celebrate the cleansing and sanctification of the House of the Lord some 2200 years ago.

It is a foreshadowing of the cleansing that is about to come to the House of Israel as our people let their risen King wash away their sins.

As you have read in both articles this month, Jewish people are brilliant, creative, intuitive, artistic, honored, enlightened, talented, gifted, and... LOST!

And that is exactly why we won’t give up. We won’t give in. The salvation of Israel has been our assignment for over 30 years, and it continues to be – bringing the truth of Yeshua the Messiah to every Jewish person, especially those here in Israel.

And we have tremendous doors open to us to reach out to our Israeli people – especially on the web and in social networking. The possibilities are unlimited and almost more than we can imagine.

Our congregation is growing. The children’s needs are growing. The opportunities to reach out to a growing young adults and families community are there in front of us – ripe for harvest.

We are using every means at our disposal – more books on more subjects to help Israelis put their roots down in the faith... funds to help the poor among the believers get on their feet... the opportunities are everywhere.

We have carefully managed our ministry and in fact our administration has become increasingly efficient.

So we continue to stretch our Dollars, Sterling and Euros as far as we possibly can. But we know that we can grow only with your partnership. You are the key to our growth!

The global economic situation has been and continues to be challenging for many people.

That means all of us are going to have to walk in greater faith and confidence that God is our provider, and that He will meet our needs as we take steps of faith to build his Kingdom here on earth.

The Bible is still true. The Lord promised us concerning Israel, “I will bless those who bless you and those who lightly esteem you I will bitterly curse.”

We come to you as our partners – our fellow laborers. It is together that we will accomplish the Lord’s commission to bring the Gospel to our Israeli people. (Isa. 49:22-23)

The opportunities are in front of us. The harvest is ripe. It is great. The Lord Himself said the laborers are few.

That is why you are so important to reaching our people.

Laborers are needed both on the front lines here in Israel and the supply line which enables the front line to function.

In this most wonderful season of Lights (Hanukkah) and of remembering our Savior who gave us Life More Abundantly, we ask you to give a special offering to the Lord – to bring the Gospel to the people of Israel.

Your gift to Israel will last for eternity!

          For the salvation of Israel,
Ari & Shira Signature
          Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram

Back to Top

 

All active news articles
]]