Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Unofficial Opening

Last week, on February 21, Agape held one final work day in order to open their humanitarian aid center, a joint effort with Tikvat Yacov. Everything was cleaned, new shelves were built, old shelves were extended, clothes were unpacked, folded and neatly placed on shelves and food bags were prepared for distribution.

This week, on February 28, Agape, in partnership with Tikvat Yacov, unofficially opened their doors to the public. So what is an "unofficial opening?" That simply means that next month we will be having an official grand-opening event, but that we aren't going to wait that long to open our doors and help those in need. Tonight, we had a small gathering of those involved in opening the center to pray over the new manager and volunteers as well as say "thank you" to all those who put in their time and effort to make our work in Tel Aviv a reality.

With that being said, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the donors, workers and volunteers who are still Stateside that have helped to make Tikvat Yacov a success in Israel, now with two fully operational humanitarian centers. May the Lord bless you as you have blessed Israel!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The work continues in Ashdod with our distribution center now fully up and running. We even received a certificate of appreciation for the work we are doing from a local daycare for children of single parents. Serval large boxes of clothing have already been distributed to over 50 local families.

As work continues in Ashdod, we are preparing to open the center in Tel Aviv. I will post details about the Tel Aviv Grand Opening as they become available.

Check out the pictures from my latest visit to Ashdod:

And also of the progress in Tel Aviv:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ethiopian Jews

On January 22, 2010, Rivers of Living Water, with funds provided by Tikvat Yacov, held a special food distribution targeting Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Although many of these Jews came to Israel almost two decades ago, they are still having trouble integrating into Israeli society. As I learned, moving to Israel in July of last year, moving from your native country, your home, to a completely different culture, especially without knowing the language upon arrival, is very difficult and frustrating. Adding to that difficulty is the fact that many of these Jews were separated from family members, many are sick or elderly and many have little education. Many of these Jews were farmers in Ethiopia, but lack the knowledge or resources for modern farming.
Centuries of anti-Semitism and war almost completely wiped out the Ethiopian Jews, who were estimated to have once numbered around 500,000. However, upon arriving in Israel, their persecution did not end, with many orthodox Jews questioning their Jewry and even calling for them to be “re-circumcised.”
Because of their History, many of these Ethiopian Jews are very skeptical of any help that is offered to them and the turn out was relatively low compared with previous efforts, with only 30, or so, families receiving food bags. Many even refused to have their picture taken by me while receiving their bags of food. However, Zechariah teaches us not to despise small beginnings, and we will continue to reach out to this community.
For more information about Ethiopian Jews, click on the links below.
A BBC News article on Ethiopian Jews:
A brief history of Ethiopian Jews:
Wikipedia article on Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel):