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.