Prayer Letter — December 2019

Dear Prayer Partners,
Shalom and greetings from Jerusalem! We are coming to the end of 2019. The year was a bit rough within Israel as the political scene has been anything but serene. We have plenty to celebrate, however. The Lord has been working powerfully in and through Hope for Israel; it really is special to see what God is doing here! Prayer is where it all starts though, so we hope you’ll join us in this journey this month and we press in for the Lord’s guidance and breakthrough in this land.

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

This month, we’ll be celebrating Hanukkah from the evening of Sunday, December 22nd to the evening of Monday, December 30th. Hanukkah is at its simplest, a retelling of the deliverance of Israel from the oppression of a cruel Greek king who defiled the Jewish temple with pagan offerings so that the temple had to be rededicated after Israel’s successful revolution and subsequent freedom to self-govern. We as believers have the privilege of knowing that there is coming a day when Messiah himself will lead a revolution throughout the earth in which the whole earth will be rededicated to God and cleansed of unrighteousness. Pray with us that many this Hanukkah will come to the saving knowledge of Messiah so that they might be dedicated or rededicated to the Father. Please also pray for protection over Israel from attacks during this special season.

Warming Ties with Arab Nations
This past year has seen surprising strides forward in Israel’s relationship with Arab nations. In the most recent of signs that Israel is not quite as hated in the Arab world, a resolution led by Israel in the UN was not voted against by Arab nations in the Arab League. Although none of the Arab nations voted in favor of the resolution, this change of behavior in the UN is only the latest in what seems to be an improving relationship between Israel and her Arab neighbors. These warming ties also come as somewhat of a surprise since many were predicting that U.S. policies in the region regarding Israel would lead to a meltdown in the Middle East. It seems the opposite is true. Rather than Arab nations pursuing anti-Israel propaganda, they are beginning to pursue diplomatic relations. Pray with us that Israel’s relationship with her Arab neighbors would continue to improve in the coming weeks, months, and years. Please also pray that Israel's immediate neighbors — Gaza, Lebanon, & Syria — will put down their weapons of war and pursue peace with Israel as Jordan & Egypt have done.

Rockets from Gaza & Syria
Although Israel is growing ever friendlier with many of her Arab neighbors, the terrorist organizations surrounding Israel continue to test the God of Israel by attacking Israel. Last month, hundreds of rockets were fired by yet another Iranian linked terror organization operating out of Gaza. One rocket even sent glass shards flying in an elderly care facility causing moderate wounds to a 70-year-old woman in the facility. Thanks to the Iron Dome and the grace of God, very few rockets landed anywhere near people, but the threat of terror from Gaza continues to be a very painful reality for the residents of southern & central Israel. In addition, another Iranian-backed group fired missiles into the Golan Heights from Syria, sending Israeli citizens scrambling for protective shelter. Pray for those living in areas of Israel that are particularly vulnerable to these attacks, for protection from the rockets and for peace of mind. Please also pray for a solution to be implemented and soon. Lastly, please pray that those who suffer from post-traumatic stress from these attacks will find healing and peace, especially in the Lord.

Forming a Coalition
With two failed elections in one year and 3 failed attempts to form a coalition, Israel’s members of its Knesset now have until December 11th to find a suitable candidate to make the fourth and hopefully final attempt to form a coalition this year. It seems that neither the current prime minister nor the leader of the party with the most seats in the Knesset will be able to form a coalition. Pray with us that Israel will not have to endure yet another futile election. Pray that a leader will stand up among the other Knesset members and lead them into a coalition that will see godly legislation in the Knesset in the coming four years in which the coalition could function before another election would be required.

Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran & Family
Moran & his wife had a fruitful and meaningful ministry trip last month - thank you for praying! Although there were many challenges at home while they were away (namely, the barrage of rockets that were fired into Israel in November), they were grateful for God's protection, provision, and faithfulness over their family through it all. This month, Moran will be focusing his time in the Jerusalem office, working closely with the staff on various projects before a busy season begins in January. He will also be filming the next few episodes of our Israel Beyond the Headlines project this month. Please pray for wisdom and peace for Moran as he is constantly confronted with challenging decisions. Please pray that he will work from a place of rest in the Lord, without any stress or worrying! Please pray for a successful filming process, as well. Please also pray for health for his wife and children, as strep throat and other viral infections have recently made the rounds at home.

HFI Board
Please pray for protection over all of HFI’s board members and their families. Pray 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
One of our key founding staff members in Jerusalem has felt the Lord lead her to a new season in her life and will be leaving HFI at the end of December. While we send her off with heavy hearts, we are so grateful for the many years of service she has poured into Hope for Israel and are excited to see what God will open for her in this new season! We are also grateful that she will continue to serve on two committees in the ministry, and will still be a part of our family! Please pray for "J" as she prepares to close this season with HFI and seeks the Lord for direction. Please also pray for the Lord's provision for a new staff member and for wisdom as we seek to hire someone in her place. Lastly, please keep all our staff and their families in your prayers, especially for strength & health in this winter season!

NerYah Youth Group
We are grateful for the provision of more female volunteers to work with the youth! We are also thankful to report this this year's program has gotten off to a strong start and the youth are really receiving the challenges of discipleship. Please pray with us that each and every NerYah message and time of worship will be impactful for the youth. Please pray that each one of the youth will find NerYah to be a place of encouraging fellowship and guidance through the challenges they face as young believers in Israeli society. Please continue to pray for Zechariah and Efrat as they continue to grow in their position as youth leaders. Please also continue to pray for more male volunteers to join the group.

Soldiers’ Group
Join us in praying for our soldiers group and for the gatherings to be a time of strengthening for the soldiers. Pray also for those soldiers who can’t make it to the gatherings due to their obligations to the military. Please pray that they will excel and that they will be strengthened by God to remain strong in the faith despite the many challenges they face. Pray that God will use them powerfully also to encourage those around them as they experience a level of discipline that they have never before encountered. Please also pray for God’s protection over them as they serve in a place where the possibility of war is always on the horizon. Lastly, please pray for a new project we are launching to minister to lone soldiers (soldiers from other countries who voluntarily come to serve in the IDF, away from their families & any support system); please pray for the initial launch of the project, and for the Lord to bring us lone soldiers in need of fellowship & support.

University Student Scholarship & Mentoring
As part of the third phase of the threefold vision for the next generation in Israel, we have been granting significant scholarships to young Israeli believers studying in colleges & universities. This project has grown tremendously over the past few years, and we are now granting scholarships to over 27 students! Not only do we provide financial help to these young believers, but we also mentor them, and conduct numerous workshops throughout the year to help them with improving study habits, taking care of themselves during exam period, and stress management techniques, among other things. We are opening up the possibility for people to “adopt” a student and contribute to these talented young people’s future in Israel. Please pray for our students as they are now in the throes of the academic year, for wisdom, diligence, focus, and excellence. Please also pray for those who choose to come alongside them to contribute to their academic and personal success, as we desire to see the next generation of Israeli believers truly making a difference in Israel!

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
We began this special project almost two years ago to celebrate the miracle of Israel’s 70th year of independence (click here to check it out). This is a video project where we produce short videos highlighting a different aspect of Israeli innovation that is making a difference in the world. This project is a means of Israel advocacy, 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. Please pray for His protection over us all and that He will extend our reach in this area!

Please continue to pray that our “Experience Israel 2020” tour will fill up! We will be celebrating HFI’s 20th Anniversary on this tour, so there will be many special treats along the way! Please continue to join us in praying for all our tours to be a blessing both to those who join and a blessing to the work of Hope for Israel (click here to learn more). These tours generate income for the ministry, which goes to cover our overhead, thus allowing a higher percentage of donations to go to our projects. Please pray for those joining us on these tours to be blessed and to grow in their walk with the Lord. Pray also for Moran and those leading the tours with him for peace and wisdom, and for unity among the leadership team of the tours.

Thank you for joining us in prayer for these things! May the Lord bless you as we near the end of 2019!

In His Service,
The Hope for Israel Prayer Team

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