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.