Prayer Letter — April 2020

Shalom from Jerusalem. We prayerfully enter the month of April in Israel, trusting that God has a way through the challenging times in which we now find ourselves. This past month was a month of great ups and downs as we faced both a pandemic and major political shifting. Many in Israel are either out of work or having to work from home. Children are also required to either do their schoolwork from home or miss out on the remainder of this school semester altogether.

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

One especially exciting thing this month is Passover. Who knows? Perhaps by the grace of God, we will be having a kind of “exodus from Egypt” this month as we finally get over the hump of combatting the Coronavirus. The only hard thing this month is that it seems we will all be celebrating Passover without traveling anywhere or being with anyone other than the immediate members of our own household. Thanks to the internet, many are planning to connect digitally for Passover, but this is no replacement for being physically together. Pray with us for those who will be celebrating Passover alone this year. Pray also for those who are not in a financial position this year to purchase what they will need for the Passover. If you’d like to help families celebrate Passover this year, click here.

The Healthcare System in Israel
Although Israel has done an outstanding job of caring for those who have been infected with the Coronavirus, numerous people have now died. Thousands have been infected and only a handful have recovered or are now recovering. The quick spread of the virus in Israel led to intense government restrictions on freedom of movement in the nation. Please pray that Israel’s healthcare professionals will be successful in combatting the Coronavirus outbreak in Israel. Please also pray for protection over the doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and all others working in hospitals, from contracting the virus.

Israel has been progressively shutting everything down. Now there are fines for anyone, anywhere in Israel, who violates the government restrictions on movement. Children everywhere in Israel are having to stay home and many parents are either out of work or attempting to work from home while the children are also there. This is difficult to say the least. Please pray for both parents and children in Israel as they isolate together and seek to stay healthy and productive to the best of their abilities. Please also pray that people will understand the benefit of staying home as much as possible for this period of time!

The Economy
The unemployment rate is soaring in Israel. Right now, about one in five people in Israel are requesting unemployment pay. Most people are required to work from home and those who are still permitted to go to their place of work typically have far fewer customers than usual. After a year in which Israel spent millions on 3 elections, the government budget is hurting to say the least. Pray for the many in Israel who are either out of work or losing business as a result of the Corona crisis.

Democracy in Israel
Democracy was put to the test this past month in Israel as the elections coupled with the Coronavirus led to a number of power plays between Israel’s legislative branch and judicial branch. In many ways, Israel passed the test and the checks and balances of democracy allowed for the government to do its job, but the results of this past month’s political shifts have left the situation among government leaders especially complicated. Immediately following the elections, Israel became the only parliamentary government in the world to call for a special “emergency coalition” in light of the Coronavirus. Israel also became the only democracy to shut down the legislative branch of the government with the Coronavirus as the excuse. In the time that Israel's governing body, the Knesset, was shut down, the Shin Bet (Israeli Secret Service) was given permission to track people’s locations in Israel using their cell phones, making Israel the only democracy to violate privacy to such an extent without the oversight of the legislative branch. Thanks to the Supreme Court, the breaches of privacy were put to an end and the legislative branch of the government, the Knesset, was reopened for voting. To everyone’s surprise, however, the head of the Blue-White party committed a kind of “political suicide” as some are calling it by violating the trust of his voters and the members of his own party to enter into an emergency government and avoid fourth elections at a time when Israel’s economy is being shaken intensely by the Coronavirus. Please pray with us for God’s will to be done in the midst of what appears to be continued chaos in the government. We are also thanking God that we do live in a democracy and that the people of Israel have the freedom to express opposition to decisions made by our representatives in the government. Pray with us for those who are boldly calling out for righteousness and justice in Israel. Pray that their voices would be heard and that we will see breakthrough in the government.

Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran & Family
After the "Experience Israel" tour left mid-March, Moran has been very busy managing the crisis's impact on both the ministry and the tour operations. It has been an intense time, but also a season of much prayer and seeking the Lord's wisdom in many areas. He had to cancel a teaching trip to the USA for April, and is trusting that God will provide for the ministry's needs despite the current situation. Moran's family is at home, working and studying online, and even though it has been a challenging time of being on lockdown, they are grateful for the time together! Please pray for Moran during this time, for health, wisdom, clear guidance, patience, and also that he will have a season of rest in the storm. Please also pray for his family as they are also navigating a "new normal", especially as the children are home from school indefinitely.

HFI Board
Please pray for the Lord's wisdom for our board members as they are facing new direction for 2020 and have important decisions to make in this difficult season. Please pray for protection over all of HFI’s board members and their families, that the Lord would shield them from illness and spiritual warfare. Please also pray for healing for several of the board members’ spouses from various diseases and for strength during these difficult health challenges.

HFI Staff
Our entire staff is working from home during this season, and we are continuing as much of our ministry activities as possible while adhering to the government's restrictions. It has been a tough season, but we are actively looking for opportunities to bless those around us in need, and virtually continue our outreaches. Please pray for our staff as we continue through our season of change and restructuring within the ministry. Please pray for grace and patience for us all as we navigate this new season! Please also keep our staff and their families covered in prayer, especially as we face the unique challenges presented by the Corona Virus outbreak in Israel.

Ministry Finances
We ask for prayer that God will continue to bless the ministry's finances so that we can continue to pay our staff salaries, our bills, and most importantly, to bless as many people as possible, especially in this season where so many people in Israel have lost their jobs and businesses. Please pray that, as much as possible, we will have a financial blessing to continue with our current projects that have such an impact on the people of Israel!

NerYah Youth Group
Due to restrictions on group meetings, the youth group is not able to meet in person, but they are meeting every Thursday evening virtually! They have a time of worship, teaching, and time for everyone to share how they're coping with the challenges. Zechariah and Efrat, our youth staff, are in touch with the youth individually as well to see how they're holding up and to offer encouragement where needed. Please pray for Zechariah, Efrat, and the adult volunteers as they reach out to the youth in the Jerusalem area, and that they will receive wisdom, encouragement, and clear direction in this time.

Soldiers’ & Lone Soldiers' Groups
Most soldiers are stuck on base right now, both with the hopes of keeping them healthy and also to aid in the lockdown of the country. Israel still has the usual protection of the country to maintain, as well, so the soldiers are continuing with their usual jobs as well as additional duties required in this situation. Efrat & Judi continue to maintain virtual contact with the believing soldiers, encouraging them via text messages, online platforms, and providing practical tips to pass this lockdown spiritually & mentally! Please continue to pray for them, for wisdom, encouragement, and guidance from the Lord in this season.

University Students
The universities are operating on a strictly online basis currently. The students are receiving constant encouragement and practical tips in how to manage all their various responsibilities from Tigist & Sapir, who coordinate this outreach. They are in constant touch with the students, online and via the phone, sending encouraging words, praying with them, and providing tools to sustain this challenging time. Please also prayfor the students, for their successful studies this last semester of the academic year, and for Tigist & Sapir, for wisdom, strength, guidance, and encouragement!

Foundations of the Faith Book
Please continue to pray that every copy of this discipleship resource will have a personal impact on those who read it and draw many into an increasingly deeper relationship with God! Please pray for a wider distribution of the book, that it will reach many people and that they will be strengthened and challenged. We currently have the book printed in Hebrew, English, Russian, & Spanish.

“Israel Beyond the Headlines” Video Project
This project highlights the incredible ways Israel blesses the world (click here to check it out). We produce short videos highlighting Israeli organizations & innovations that make a positive difference in our lives every single day. This project also advocates for Israel, which is an important part of our call as the Body of Messiah throughout the world. But of course, this is also a threat to the enemy and we have experienced some warfare in this area. Please pray for us as we continue to produce powerful & effective videos, and for all involved in this project: Lior, Moran, Nate, Elad, Melissa, & Sapir. Please pray for His protection over us all and that He will bless our efforts to advocate for Israel, the apple of His eye. Please also pray that the Lord will provide the necessary funding to continue with this important project.

Please join us in praying for all our tours, many of which are either on hold or have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Hope for Israel’s tours generate income for the ministry, which goes to cover our overhead, thus allowing a higher percentage of donations to go to our projects (click here to learn more). Pray for Moran and those leading the tours with him for peace and wisdom, and for unity among the leadership team of the toursas they face tough challenges and a need for major problem-solving in light of the pandemic.

Thank you for joining us in prayer for these things! May the Lord bless you!

In His Service,
The Hope for Israel Prayer Team

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