Prayer Letter — July 2020

As we enter the month of July, we thank God for his faithfulness to the land of Israel despite the ongoing challenges presented by the Coronavirus and the political situation. It is encouraging to see fruit - both literal and figurative - throughout the Land. Israel’s greatest water reserve, the Sea of Galilee (known to Israelis as “the Kineret” lake), is fairly full still (barely a foot below the upper “red line). God is good to His people and to the land of Israel and we are truly thankful to Him for this. As always, there is a great deal to pray for as well both for Hope for Israel and for the nation of Israel.

PLEASE JOIN US IN INTERCEDING ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL FOR:

Post-Virus Aliyah
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus worldwide, applications for Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) have skyrocketed. The virus has also given opportunity to anti-Semitism to rise sharply in many parts of the world, strangely enough. Israel is expecting that the global health crisis will bring in its wake a wave of “post-coronavirus” immigration once Israel really opens back up. By the end of next year, Israel could see as many as 90,000 Jewish people immigrate to Israel, nearly three times as many as came in the previous year before the virus put a stop to travel worldwide. We thank God for the thousands of Jewish people who are returning to the promised land every year and pray for all taking this incredible journey. One issue facing those seeking to return to Israel at this point in time is that many organizations that normally assist in this transition are lacking in funding. There is also already a housing shortage in Israel, which will only grow worse in the wake of increased immigration. Pray with us that all Jews seeking to return to Israel in the coming year will make it safe and sound and with the ability to integrate effectively into Israeli society. Please also pray for housing solutions for all seeking to make a new life in Israel.

Annexation of the Jordan Valley
We are kicking off the month of July with the deadline for starting the annexation process for Judea and Samaria. Please continue to pray with us as this process unfolds. The Palestinian Authority has already threatened a third intifada (violent uprising) if this goes forward, but despite that, there is strong support for it in the Israeli governing body. Israelis are mixed about this, and many fear there hasn’t been enough time to adequately prepare for the possible fallout from such a move. The international body — except for the Trump administration — has strongly condemned the proposed annexation, and moving forward with it will likely jeopardize Israel’s relationship with many foreign countries including neighboring Jordan and Egypt. Please pray for wisdom for Israel’s leaders and military as they prepare for this potential historical move. Please also pray for protection over Israeli soldiers and civilians from terror attacks that will inevitably result from such a move. For more information, please see our recent article.

The International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been used again and again by anti-Israel organizations to promote efforts to delegitimize Israel. Currently, the ICC is once again looking into ways it might be able to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes. The sad thing is that Israel is being singled out when there are many other nations that actually should be tried for war crimes. Furthermore, Israel has one of the most ethical militaries on earth considering the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis in the war on terror. Please pray for those involved in defending the nation of Israel, both legally and militarily. Pray for Israel’s military to continue to be honed to become increasingly ethical and an example to nations throughout the world.

Tourism in Israel
The tourist sector in Israel has been devastated by the country's closure since mid-March. This is a big hit to an economy in which around 6% of the GDP typically comes from tourism. Although this is an industry that always ultimately bounces back, the current restrictions on travel are causing some major waves that will make a lasting impact in Israel. Many ministries rely on tourism to fund, at least in part, the ministry. Without tourism, many of these ministries are struggling financially. We thank God at Hope for Israel that he is helping us to navigate these trying times, but we are praying both for ourselves and for others relying wholly or partly on tourism to fund the work that they do. It was recently announced that Israel would be reopening tourism to Israelis and between Greece and Cyprus by August 1st. Pray with us that this will happen as expected despite spikes in cases of the Coronavirus in Israel recently. Pray that God will give wise solutions to all affected by the current blow to the tourism industry. Lastly, please pray for miraculous provision for those employed in the tourism industry, as savings are running out and it's becoming increasingly hard to put food on the table.

FOLLOWING ARE SOME MINISTRY REQUESTS FOR HOPE FOR ISRAEL:

Moran & Family
Moran and his family are spending the summer in Israel for the first time in many years! They are looking forward to this change, but at the same time, are sad to miss the opportunity to see family, friends, and ministry partners. Moran continues to enjoy more time in the office with the staff, especially the newer employees he will be able to get to know better now that he won't be traveling. He continues to face challenging decisions regarding the ministry and the tour operations, so please pray for wisdom, discernment, peace, and patience for him!

HFI Board
Please pray for the board as they continue to make important decisions that affect the future of the ministry. 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 staff continues to work from the office in Jerusalem. Please pray for their health and protection from infection. Please pray for our staff as we continue to adjust to “normal” and also during restructuring within the ministry. Please also keep our staff and their families covered in prayer, especially as we continue to face the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 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
We are hopeful that the group will soon meet in person to celebrate the end of the school year! Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to continue the weekly meetings virtually until now. It has been tough, especially since the kids really miss the in-person fellowship, but they still enjoy worship, teaching, and time for everyone to share how they're coping with the challenges. Helen & Eliashiv are our new coordinators and they're jumping right in implementing a summer program for the youth! Please continue to pray for Helen & Eliashiv, and for the other young 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. Please also pray that the rise in Coronavirus in Israel will not prevent the youth from meeting during the summer activities.

Soldiers’ & Lone Soldiers' Groups
Efrat & Judi continue to encourage the soldiers via text messages, hosting zoom meetings, and providing practical tips to pass this time spiritually & mentally! The soldiers' group will continue to meet virtually for now. Please continue to pray especially for the believing soldiers with whom Efrat and Judi are working, to encourage them and pray with them from a distance at this time. Please also pray that our outreach to them will be a constant encouragement and reminder that God is in control, and that He cares for them!

University Students
Classes have finished but the exam period begins this month. Students are still learning virtually, which has its challenges, but also its benefits. The students are receiving constant encouragement and practical tips in how to manage all their various responsibilities from Tigist, the coordinator of this aspect of our Threefold Vision. She is 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 pray for the students, for a successful exam period and to finish the academic year strong! Please also pray for Tigist, for wisdom, strength, guidance, and encouragement! Lastly, please pray for significant financial provision for scholarship funds that we can award in the coming academic year; we are already beginning to raise funds for this specific project.

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 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. 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.

Tours
Our tours have all either been cancelled or rescheduled for later this year because of the pandemic. Please join us in praying for wisdom for Moran as he faces some tough decisions regarding the tour operations. 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 peace, wisdom, and unity among the leadership team of the tours as they continue to face tough challenges 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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