Sunday, December 23, 2012

Greetings from Kiryat Shmona!

This is holiday greeting the Compassion Team received from their partners in Kiryat Shmona, Light for Israel:

Dear Michael and Judith,

As 2012 comes to a close I want to express my deep gratitude for your efforts on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people through our ministry in Kiryat Shmona, Israel. I ask that you consider the words of King David as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and celebrate the birth of Christ during this sacred season;

But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, LORD, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11-12

Our Christmas blessing for you is that the Lord bless you with His bountiful provision. May every desire of your heart be met and may you be afforded good health and long life to enjoy the many benefits of God. May the Almighty give you His peace and joy as you walk in obedience to His Word. May His grace and favor be upon you as you faithfully stand with Israel and the Jewish people. I ask that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob give you His daily strength and protection for the journey before you in 2013.

May you and those you love have a blessed Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year!

''Light for Israel''
 Kiryat Shmona, Israel

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rivers of Living Water

This is an excerpt from a newsletter we received from our partners, Rivers of Living Waters.  We work with them in Ma'alot and Karimel:

Dear brothers and sisters in Messiah, shalom from "Rivers of Living Water, Israel"

You all probably know about the war that our nation went through. In all these events that have happened for the last month we can testify of the supernatural protection and faithfulness of our God. He is still the Mighty God of Israel! More than 1000 rockets were sent to the central and southern cities and settlements in Israel: especially to Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beer-Sheva and even Tel-Aviv area. All this time as a congregation we were standing in prayer, holding special prayer meetings, people were led by the Holy Spirit to come to the church every day and intercede before the Lord in such a critical time. Many miracles happened. God literally protected His people.

Passover Outreach in Karmiel
As the war situation came to the end we held a special outreach (food project) where about 200 unbelievers came. We ministered to these people through songs, poems, testimonies, prayed for them, comforted them, shared God's love, care and peace that only God can give even in the midst of the storm. Many were touched and drown closer to God; some opened their hearts to receive Yeshua as their Messiah. How good is our God! We thank all our friends and partners for supporting the work of the Lord, especially “Tikvat Yakov” [Jacob's Hope] Organization for donating funds for this project.

In this time we feel such an urgency to intensify prayer and intercession for the salvation of people in Israel for them to realize that the only hope in this life is the Lord, for the eyes to be opened and the veil to be removed from the hearts that they may see their Messiah Yeshua. For that purpose November, 30th we had a 12-hour prayer marathon. It was like a chain of believers (each one praying for an hour)....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Agape Distribution Center

This is an excerpt from a letter we received from our partners in Tel Aviv:

Contents of a Hanukkah Gift Basket
November 28, 2012

Shalom Michael and Judith,

We would like to thank you again for the continued support of the Agape Distribution Center. We continue to help roughly 90 families per month with supplementary food and clothing. We are also very excited to report that our Gift Baskets for Hanukkah will be extremely full this year. We have raised nearly 13,000 NIS [$3,400 USD] for the project and are excited to help supply the families with toiletries, cleaning supplies, linens, diapers and toys. We were also blessed to bring food, toys, and clothing to families in the South a few weeks back during the war with Gaza. These parents and children were blessed, as were we. Without the amazing help from Tikvat Yaakov [Jacob's Hope] we would not be able to help in such an amazing way....

Avi Mizrachi

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Time is Now

Over the last year we have spent much of our time building foundations for the future.  The team in the States has been raising funds for the Hope Center while I have been busy raising commitments so that we can continue our work in Israel.  I spent five weeks in September and October in the States sharing with people about our work in Israel, sharing our needs and visiting supporters.  I apologize for not keeping up my blog during this time.  For all things there is a season, and this has been a season of preparation. 

One of the first things I did when I returned to Israel from the States was look at a potential location for the Hope Center.  It's exciting to see what was once a dream, slowly becoming a reality.  There are so many wonderful things we will be able to do with a building like this, but it is important we find the right location.  Please pray for God's wisdom and guidance.

Damage from rock thrown
While you are praying, please continue to pray for the safety and well-being of those who work with us in Israel.  Over this past weekend a rock was thrown at one of our centers (recently posters were put up in the town with pictures of a congregational leader we partner with and the manager of our center warning people to stay away).  We were able to identify the assailant, who threw the rock, through footage taken from a security camera.  Please pray for favor from the police.  While our work is appreciated in many communities, with local officials often reaching out to us for help, there are still locations where people believe any work done by Christians is based on ulterior motives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Article in Russian Israeli Paper

The following article was written in a Russian Israeli newspaper regarding the Backpack distribution we did in Ma'alot:

Article Title:  On August 9th @ “Tabernacle of David for all Nations” a Children’s Charitable Event Took Place

Especially in the beginning of a new school year, no small amount of expenses are needed for supplies.  This is especially no joking matter regarding basic essentials for those who have two or more children in their family. Therefore any assistance is in this matter makes a real difference in the family budget.

Thanks to an organization called “Jacob’s Hope”, children ages 6 to 13 received beautiful backpacks that included an assortment of school supplies.

The organizers of the event met with the parents and their children at 6:00 P.M.  With excitement of the event’s opening, the meeting hall quickly overflowed where they met together. Joyfully, approximately 80 children received their anticipated gifts.  Funds were provided by offerings from the USA by those who love and bless Israel.

In each bag we had actually included a card which read; "Funds were provided by Christians from the USA who love and want to bless Israel." The newspaper decided to leave out the word "Christian."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

School Supply Initiative

Our compassion center in K’far Saba recently reached out to the absorption center in Ashkelon where a number of Ethiopians have arrived in recent months. Absorption centers help new immigrants get on their feet in Israel, often providing temporary housing and Hebrew classes as well as other forms of assistance.

Our partners, “Love to the Needy,” was able to provide backpacks and school materials to the children of these new immigrant families in Ashkelon.  In the coming months, we are looking to contribute to this initiative, helping needy families in Ashdod, K’far Saba and Maalot, by providing school bags, notebooks and writing tools to ensure their financial needs do not hinder their children’s education. The compassion we are able to share with these needy people is not only making an impression on them, but also on those who work in agencies, like the absorption centers and municipalities, who work with those in need.

The following was compiled from two letters sent to our partners Love to the Needy, from the Ashkelon absorption center.

To those who give through Jacob’s Hope, love to the needy:

Immigrant families living in Ashkelon came to Israel from Ethiopia in recent months. Most of these families are large families living on assistance from the Ministry of Absorption. These families are facing many economic difficulties: buying medicines, compulsory education, rent and payments, electricity, water and gas, food and clothing while supporting their families that remain in Ethiopia...

...We thank you heartily and welcome this initiative and the substantial donation - school bags, notebooks and writing tools. Everything was distributed to children for the opening of academic year and you made these families very glad. It is very difficult dealing with immigration and adjusting to life in Israel.

Thank you for caring and for your involvement in the community.

Ashkelon Absorption Center

How Can You Help?

We still need to raise another $1,000 in monthly commitments in order to reach the modest budget that was set for our living expenses in Israel. Please pray about making a monthly financial commitment so we can continue to do this work in Israel.  

Click here to make a financial commitment to our work in Israel.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sukkat David is our seventh center in Israel

 A few months ago we agreed to help Congregation Sukkat David in Ma'alot.  This congregation has outgrown the home of its leaders Dima and Yana, and Jacob's Hope has agreed to give this congregation monthly support which will cover their rent for one year so they can use their own funds to cover the costs associated with upgrading from a home group to having their own building (construction, remodeling, chairs, equipment, etc.).  Dima and Yana have asked that we share the following testimony with our supporters so you know the type of work you are supporting here in Israel.  It is the testimony of the first of many people in Ma'alot they were able to bring to faith in Yeshua: 
Shalom dear ones,

Two years ago, in July of 2010, we moved here to Ma'alot with God's call for us to start up a congregation. The first week we moved our eleven-year-old daughter met a girl in our neighborhood.  She visited their home, told them of our faith in Yeshua and how we came to start a congregation. That evening the Mother of the girl came over and asked us lots of questions about our faith and our congregation.  After two weeks she accepted Yeshua and we started having home meetings with her.  God started to use us here in Ma'alot.  A year later in the spring of 2011 she was baptized!  She remains faithful to Yeshua despite the hard times she has encountered with her husband because of her faith. Today her husband is more open to having conversations about faith. She wants to be able to serve the Lord by working with children. Currently, she is a teacher at a kindergarten. Her name is Tanya and she is married with two children.

Dima and Yana
Congregation Sukkat David to all the Nations

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Testimony From a Single Mother in Ashdod

Shalom.  I want to thank all the workers who have been behind the humanitarian help offered to many in Israel, through the distribution of various products to the people who need it most. I am one of these people. I’ve lead a difficult life as a single mother of three children; I’ve got a daughter who has just turned 2, a son who is eight years old and another who is eleven. When I first started receiving assistance my children were even younger, and I was in the midst of a lot of financial difficulties to the extent that I could not afford food. Fortunately, you would provide us with the food packages just as my children would start asking for more food. The people who can empathize with this situation most are those who have been in similar situations, and thankfully my disposition has bettered since, but your help remains a blessing. I would also like to thank the organization responsible for this work, Jacob's Hope.  They provided me with all the necessities that my newborn daughter needed -even diapers. I know how many people benefit from the distribution of foodstuffs and clothing, and are able to solve their problems thanks to you.
A huge thank you to you all,
The Family of Maria S.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Passover Lamb

This year, Tikvat Yacov sponsored 5 Passover outreaches in the cities of Akko, Karmiel, Kiryat Shmona, Maalot and Tel Aviv.  We were very excited to hold these events this year as we could see God preparing the hearts of many of these individuals to hear about their Messiah in the story of Passover.
In Kiryat Shmona our partners, Rivers of Living Water had 80 people, half of which had never been to one of their outreaches before, came to see a musical drama of the story of "Exodus."  Many of these people were so touched by the drama that they came to the leadership to inquire about attending services or to learn more about the God of Israel and His plan for salvation.

We also sponsored a Passover Seder with our partners, Rivers of Living Water, in Karmiel.  More than 100 people came to the Seder.  When we were finished, we asked those interested in receiving salvation through the Passover Lamb to stand up.  Immediately two people jumped up and in all over 30 people stood to pray for salvation.

We are not only touching the needy in Israel, but many people are being touched when they see what we are doing to help their communities.  In one of the cities where we held an outreach, a government official thanked us for the work we were doing and wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed from them in order to continue our work in that city.  This official knows what we believe, and was still interested in helping us.  This is not always the case in Israel where we have been denied the opportunity to rent various locations because of our beliefs.

You can see more information about our outreach in Tel Aviv, with our partner Agape, from Avi Mizrachi in our previous post.

If you would like to support our work in Israel, please click here to make a financial donation.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Celebrating Passover at the Distribution Center

By Avi Mizrachi | May 2, 2012 |

Passover, also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, commemorates the Exodus, a time when God delivered the Jewish people from their enslavement in Egypt before bringing them to the Promised Land. As Messianic Jews, we are also reminded that it was during Passover that Yeshua ate his last supper, bore our sins, died, was buried, and resurrected. He is the Lamb of God whose blood has redeemed all mankind from our sin and iniquity and has brought us salvation and freedom. Praise the Lord!

Every month, the Dugit: Agape Distribution Center, in collaboration with Tikvat Yakov, serves 80 families with food and clothing. During the holidays we give additional gift baskets of love. This month’s basket for Passover included special items to clean and tend to the home, along with matzoth (unleavened bread) and grape juice, both for the traditional Passover meal known as a Seder. It was a wonderful opportunity to bless the least of these in our community and spread joy for the Gospel of Messiah. The families were very happy and thankful for all that they received.

Several months ago, an Israeli man named Joseph came to receive food and told us that he was suffering from cancer. He was very sick and even had difficulty seeing.  I, Avi, prayed for him to be healed in the mighty name of Yeshua. Joseph returned recently to the Distribution Center to receive his Passover gift basket and was happy to report that the Lord has healed him. He is now completely free of cancer – Hallelujah!

Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry on a monthly basis.  You can express the love of Yeshua by assisting these families with their physical and spiritual needs.

Click here to support this ministry!

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Why Our Family Is Not Participating In Lag B'omer

"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day who you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV)

While we are living in Israel, we often participate in many of the community events, but this year, we will not be participating in the school's celebration of Lag B'omer.  

What is Lag B'omer?

Lag B'omer is the 33rd day in the counting of the Omer.  The counting of the Omer is the biblical mandate given in Leviticus 23:15-16, which is the 50 day count to the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot in Hebrew.  The Feast of Weeks is also called Pentecost, meaning fifty, by Christians in the New Covenant.  According to Rabbinical tradition, this 50 day count from Passover to Shavuot also corresponds to the number of days it took the Israelites to reach Mount Sinai to receive the Torah after they departed from Egypt.

The word "Lag" comes from the Hebrew letters for the number 33.  The Hebrew letter ל or lamed (corresponds the letter "L") which represents "30" and ג or gimel (corresponds to the letter "G") which represents "3".  According to tradition, one of Rabbi Akiva's students, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the purported author of the Zohar, a book of Jewish mysticism, died on Lag B'omer after he revealed the deepest secrets of the Kabbalah. This day is seen as a celebration of the giving of the hidden, mystical Torah through Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, as a parallel to Shavuot, which, according to Rabbinical tradition, celebrates the giving of the true Torah through Moses.

The lighting of bonfires on Lag B'omer are seen as a tribute to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, representing the "light" he gave to the world through his revelations in the Zohar.  I say, the lighting of fires on Lag B'omer is akin to worship of an idol and has no place among believers in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.

Click here to support this ministry!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ianna - a single mother in K'far Saba

I am a single mother to two children.  I came from Ukraine about 10 years ago.  Since I was a little girl I heard from my parents how they yearn for Israel, the land of the Jews. My Grandmother is a Holocaust survivor and she went through hell in the concentration camps.   With God's help she survived.
My other Grandmother suffered persecution for being Jewish.  Her family name was recognizably Jewish, so she had to change it.  She would tell me about her hard life; poverty, lack of warm clothing, lack of basic needs and desperate needs. She taught me about values, to be an independent person, to be mature and to deal with life no matter how hard it gets.

The connection I have with Israel is a very special one.  My whole time growing up I waited for the moment I would move to Israel.  I am now here, but my parents are still in Ukraine because they are too sick and too old to move here.  I am happy that I am here in Israel, raising my children, even though it is very hard for me financially.

I work, but my salary is very low, minimum wage.  The cost of living in Israel is very high and I am having a hard time keeping up with the cost of living.   This is why I have a debt in the bank.  Cost of living, rent, school and other things make it very hard for me to function on a daily basis.

I receive help from the non-profit Love for the Needy [supported by Jacob’s Hope], many years now.  Mostly it is food, clothing, shoes, school supplies and grocery store vouchers.  I have no doubt in my mind that the help that I receive is a blessing for me and my children.

I want to thank Love for the Needy, Jacob’s Hope, Chaim [the manager in K'far Saba] and his staff. They help with ALL their hearts.  They care and want to help.  They impress me very much and I thank them for that and for the food I receive every month.  I bless them for all they do for my family and others.

Thank you,


Monday, April 9, 2012

Chag Sameach!

That's Hebrew for happy holidays! As Jewish people around the world celebrate their redemption from slavery and bondage in the land of Egypt and Christians celebrate their redemption from the bondage of sin in the resurrection of the Messiah, I would like to remind everyone of the unique work we are doing in the Land of Israel.
We are opening compassion centers where the needy people of Israel can come for food and clothing, donated by Christians around the world, without the pressure of religious persecution. Although we believe the way to eternal salvation is through the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus), and desire that all people would take part of that salvation, we do not believe in coercing others or forcing our beliefs on them.
We believe in sharing the love Yeshua demonstrated while on Earth to all people, planting the seeds of love if you will, and allowing God's Holy Spirit to work within the hearts we touch. We have a special desire to show this love to the Jewish people from which the Messiah and salvation came to all people. We target areas with many needy Jewish people, but we do not close our doors to other cultures or faiths, such as Sudanese refuges, Christians or Muslims.
We currently have six compassion centers in Israel with a desire to open more, but we need your help to continue the work we started. Please consider supporting our work in Israel by donating at this link:

Friday, March 16, 2012

K'far Saba and our Partners "Love for the Needy"

Over the next few months I want to share testimonies from our compassion centers here in Israel so you can see how your dollars and our work is affecting the people in Israel:

"We hope more and more people abroad will support the ministry of Love to the Needy [through Jacob's Hope]!

"Why? In the first place, this is a very good organization who does very good work for a lot of people here in Israel. In the second place, Chaim B., the director [of the center in K'far Saba] knows exactly where the needs are! So when you give money to [these organizations], Chaim knows at that moment which people really need help. He knows people personally and has good contact with them. That's why he knows WHAT the needs are of several people and also we experienced that [these organizations are] very open for the Holy Spirit. They ask God to show them which people are in need. Your money can make a big difference, it can make that immigrants can stay in Israel instead of going back [to their countries of origin]. Some people are very poor here, especially immigrants and we need a lot of help here in Israel!

"It is a good opportunity for Christians to serve Israel by giving money to organizations like this, for you, [the gentiles,] received the gospel through us (Israel), see Romans 15:27 [Complete Jewish Bible]: 'For if the Gentiles have shared with the Jews in spiritual matters, then the Gentiles clearly have a duty to help the Jews in material matters.'

"So, [we would] like you [to] understand we think that it is the best that Christians support an organization who knows the needy personally!

"Love to the Needy provides for; clothes, food, [diapers], reduction-coupons for supermarket, reduction on products, and much more...

"Andries and Irma V."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Purim Outreaches

Last month we had three outreaches to children and their families as Israel celebrated Purim, from the book of Esther. These outreaches were in the Northern Israel cities of Akko, Maalot and Karmiel, in partnership with Rivers of Living Water. We were very encouraged by the considerable turnout as we were able to touch the lives of many needy children and adults.

Youth from the local congregations performed and mishloach manot, gifts of sweets, were given to 200 children. Most of the people who attend these outreaches are not believers in Yeshua, Jesus, but they were all touched by the performances and kindness shown by their hosts from Rivers of Living Waters. They are asking questions and receiving salvation through Yeshua because of your prayers and financial support. Please continue to pray for the people here in Israel, and for those who are sharing God's love throughout the Land of Israel.

Next month we will have more outreaches for Passover in Akko, Mallot, Karmiel and Kiryat-Shmona, as well our normal monthly distributions and a special Passover food distribution in Tel Aviv. You can support these ministries by clicking here to donate.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Newsletter From Our Partners in Northern Israel

The following text has been copied from River's of Living Waters' January 2012 newsletter:

We'd like to thank you for encouraging, praying, and supporting us in such a time like this. We truly had a glorious time with the Lord in December, 2011. First we had a prayer marathon in Akko, Maalot and Karmiel cities together with local believers. We all have experienced such a powerful presence of God when we were crying out for the souls to be saved, for Messiah Yeshua to be revealed to His people. In preparation for outreaches we also distributed a lot of invitations to unbelievers. The next step was having outreaches in these cities. This whole project was done in partnership with "Tikvat Yakov" humanitarian aid organization.

December, 25 we had a special Chanukah celebration in Akko. This year it fell on Christmas time. And the very next day, December, 26 in the city of Maalot we also had a big Chanukah celebration. We had to rent a hall (it's a governmental place where God gave us a favor with its director who gladly again rented it to us). People filled these places in spite of the windy and rainy weather outside. Children and adults from Karmiel participated in the program. We even had to hire transportation to bring them all from Karmiel. As an answer to all our prayers the Lord brought totally about 100 unbelievers to these meetings .Some of them shared afterwards that it was their first time when they heard about God's love and experienced His touch. They asked us to come again. Praise the Lord for all He has done!

16 years ago "Rivers of Living Water, Israel" was actually born in Karmiel as a small (3 members only) home group. Together with our spiritual parents Daniel and Delia Hale we had our first meeting. Last Saturday December, 31 we celebrated our 16th birthday anniversary of God's goodness, His mercy and great faithfulness that He has been showing us all these years. Our children blessed us with songs, dancing and with drama "Bartimaeus." It truly touched our hearts and encouraged our faith. The best part of it was when 8 people came forward to receive Yeshua as their Lord and Savior. God is so good and faithful!

We thank Him for each of you - our faithful friends, who are standing with us in good times as well as in hard times. Your prayers, support and just friendship are very dear to our hearts and encourage us to go forward in reaching our people with the love of God. As you play such a big part in God's move here in Israel we believe you are opening the door to His blessings and favor for your lives, your families and your nation. "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father." 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Year

There is rarely either fun or glory in administrative work, nor is there much that one is able to share about it, but this has been the bulk of our work here in Israel as we prepare for bigger things. Much of our time in 2011 has been used preparing for 2012; getting the financial and legal papers needed, looking for a location for the Hope Center, raising the funds still needed so that we can remain in Israel, looking for partners for self-sustaining projects and continuing the work we have already started here.

Let's start by catching up on the events of 2011. We opened up two new centers, in Kiryat Shmona (Northern Israel) and Kefar Saba (Central Israel) to bring us to a total of 6 centers. We had several additional holiday events including Passover meals in Karmiel, Maalot and Akko. We made a trip to the States to raise funds and visit close friends and family. While there I attended funeral services for my Grandfather. We gave out blankets to 300 needy families during the High Holy days with Agape Ministries in Tel Aviv. Our children's Bible Club grew from 10 children to 21, and moved from our home to the facilities of a Russian-Speaking congregation in Hadera. We moved the location of our store front in Maalot, much to pleasure of our manager, since the old location had a leaky roof that was destroying the clothing. We hosted a tour group from the Assmblies of God which included the Director of International Ministries and Leadership from the Penn-Del District. We also had a special Chanukah outreach in Karmiel where many elderly Russians are coming to faith.

Although I lost my secular job here in Israel during the summer, the timing seems to have been heaven sent. It allowed me to pack our house before joining the rest of my family in the States as our previous landlords had raised our rent by close to 10%. It has also allowed my wife and I to dedicate ourselves full-time to Tikvat Yacov as the ministry is gearing up for future growth. Unfortunately, this means there is an increased urgency to raise the funds needed to support our family as this is now our only income. Please note that funds donated directly to Jacob's Hope go to support ministries around the world. To support our family in Israel, donations must be made directly to our account at Assemblies of God (click link here).

We are already on the look out to open a seventh compassion center in 2012 as well as laying the ground work for the Hope center and starting a self-sustaining ministry. As always, we will share more information as we work out the details.