Prayer Letter — January 2020

Shalom and greetings from Jerusalem! We are welcoming 2020 with joy as we celebrate 20 years as a ministry here at Hope for Israel. God has been good to us through the years and really blessed us to be a blessing to the people of Israel and an encouragement to believers in the Land. A few days before the new year, we finished celebrating Hanukkah, a time of remembering how a dark time in Israel’s history was turned into a rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, and ultimately, a feast of lights. God has blessed Israel so far this winter with an abundant rainfall, which carries with it some challenges in a nation where heavy rain means flash floods even though the water is very much needed in order to make it through the year! We are very grateful, however, for the replenishing of our precious water resources. Please join us in praying for a continued abundant rainy season!

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

Israel's Fresh Water Supply
The Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) is now fully 4 feet above the lower red line (below which the concentration of pollutants rises to undesirable levels and pumping water from the lake is prohibited). This is truly a miracle! For many years now, the Kinneret has consistently dipped below the lower red line and sometimes stayed below the lower red line for multiple years. Now another concern is how to clear the lake of bad algae and preserve the good algae in the lake. Although a lower level in the lake increases the level of pollutants that make it into the public’s drinking water, a rapidly replenished water supply in the lake increases the likelihood that bad algae will replace the good algae. Please join us in praying for the water quality of the Kinneret as fully a quarter of Israel’s population relies on it for drinking water.

The Border with Gaza
A wave of violent rioting along the Gaza border fence began in March 2018. One of the major concerns for Israel is that incendiary devices sent into Israel by the rioters have caused over 2,000 separate fires resulting in over 8,500 acres being burned. According to the IDF, this has included over 3,200 acres of nature reserves, and over 2,700 acres of forestry. Most recently, laser technology was developed that is expected to be able to destroy incendiary devices before they ever cause any damage. This is a huge step forward in the battle against terrorism in Israel. Please pray for all involved in combatting this form of terrorism. Please also join us in praying for all who have been affected by the incendiary device terrorism.

Population Growth and National Infrastructure
Israel’s population is growing at an astounding rate of about 2% annually versus 0.5% on average for other developed countries. At this rate, Israel is likely to become one of the most densely populated nations in the developed world in coming years. Israel is a country that embraces and welcomes population growth, and will likely see a rapid increase of immigration due to the growing reality of anti-Semitism in the world. However, there are some serious issues with the ways in which the population is growing. For instance, one of the fastest growing groups within Israel are the Ultra-Orthodox Jews who don’t typically receive an education that allows them to contribute much if anything to the economy. Education in Israel in general is lacking and so is the infrastructure to handle even the current population of Israel. One positive of the massive population growth in Israel is that Israel is an innovation powerhouse. With the high influx of Jews from the diaspora returning to Israel from all over the world and a high birthrate in Israel, outstanding research and innovation is the norm for Israel. On the other hand, the workforce tends to suffer from a lower than average productivity (which is expected to get worse in the coming years), which offsets any benefits gained by the creativity of Israel’s innovators. Please pray for Israel and its policy makers as they scramble to keep up with the blessing of a fruitful people and the return of the diaspora. Pray especially that Israel’s infrastructure would develop rapidly to accommodate the quickly changing circumstances that coming with such a quickly growing population.

Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran & Family
This year opens with a milestone very dear to Moran and his family - 20 years of serving in full-time ministry! January will be a busy month for Moran, both in the office and hosting a few tours in Israel. He welcomes the Pastors' Solidarity Tour January 9th - 17th and will be teaching at numerous biblical sites throughout each day of the tour. Please pray for health, wisdom, & endurance for him during this teaching-intensive tour! Please also pray for safety for him during his traveling within Israel, as well as for a covering over his family while he is away from home. Lastly, please pray for wisdom in leadership & management as he oversees a restructuring within the ministry, and as he seeks the Lord for guidance in the year 2020! Lastly, please pray for health for he and his family as the winter viruses have been making multiple rounds at home.

HFI Board
Please pray for wisdom for our board members as they are facing new direction for 2020 and have important decisions to make. 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
Joanna, one of our key founding staff members in Jerusalem, felt the Lord lead her to a new season and left HFI at the end of December to pursue a counseling career. While we sent her off with heavy hearts, we are truly grateful for the many years of service she 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 keep her covered in prayer as she makes this bittersweet transition. Please also keep all our staff and their families in your prayers, especially for strength & health in this winter season; the families of many of our staff have been particularly hard-hit with illness and we pray for quick and complete healing over them!

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 will be taking exams and submitting papers this month. 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 launched this special project exactly two years ago to celebrate the miracle of Israel’s 70th year of independence (click here to check it out). 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, & 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.

We are excited to welcome our Pastors' Solidarity Tour this month! We have over 30 pastors and their spouses joining us on this condensed tour of Israel. Our “Experience Israel 2020” tour is also filling up nicely! 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 enter 2020!

In His Service,
The Hope for Israel Prayer Team

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