Prayer Letter — June 2018

Dear Prayer Partners,
     May has been a special time here in Israel as we welcome 3 embassies back to Jerusalem for the first time in 38 years (the embassies of the USA, Guatemala, and Paraguay). We’ve also had the joy of celebrating 51 years since the reunification of Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem. As we celebrate God’s goodness to Israel in the coming month, we are also praying into some pretty big issues facing Israel at this point in time.


Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

The Gazan Border
Things along Israel’s border have continued to be a discouraging sight for Israel. Hamas continues to stir up Gazans to hatred and violent rioting, which they are spinning in the anti-Israel media as “peaceful protesting”.  Countless “fire kites” sent by terrorists from Gaza have burned many acres of Israeli farmland.Additionally, Hamas shot over 130 rockets into southern Israel the last week of May, literally raining down terror on Israeli civilians. Many Gazans have cut through Israel’s national border fence and crossed into Israel, an act that would serve as a declaration of war in most other nations, but Israel has been patient and focused merely on responding to these border infiltrations by striking strategic Hamas targets and dispersing the rioting with as minimal a use of lethal force as is deemed wise by top IDF commanders. Nonetheless, Hamas continues to encourage the violent rioting, even putting women and children in harm’s way. Sources in Gaza report that they are receiving the IDF warnings to stay away from Israel’s national border as well as flyers that cast a vision for a better Gaza (that Israel would invest in economically) if only Hamas will cease to pursue the destruction of Israel. Israel has also provided humanitarian relief amidst the tensions but the conflict remains. Please pray that as Israel continues to address the threat along the Gaza border, the military will succeed in developing tactics that avoid loss of life while maximizing peacekeeping efforts.

Israel and Embassies
While this month has been historic in the welcoming of embassies back to Jerusalem, there are other embassies and consuls that have shut down, such as those of Turkey, and later South Africa. These drawbacks in diplomatic relations with countries such as Turkey and South Africa are themselves a response to the tensions along the border with Gaza. As the tensions along the border flow at least in part from a protest of the returning of embassies to Jerusalem, the deterioration of diplomatic relations with countries such as Turkey really has less to do with their condemnation of Israel’s response to terrorism and more to do with their opposition to the embassies returning to Jerusalem. In fact, there has been zero recognition from nations such as Turkey as to the unique challenges presented the violent rioting along the border. Please pray that God will give those Israeli leaders, who are men of discernment and truth, a way to make an appeal to these nations to work with Israel in this challenging time and not against her so that better solutions might be found to terrorism such as has been faced of late along the border.

The UNSC
Among the maneuvers being made in the UN this past month by Muslim nations is that of a proposal for a “Palestinian Protection Force”. This isn’t the first time such a “protection force” has been proposed. When it was first proposed in 2000, it had some traction even among Israel politicians desiring a peacekeeping solution that would not involve a loss of life; however, the plan did not and still does not offer such a solution. It’s still unclear exactly how the UN would be able to offer any effective peacekeeping in the region. Would they stop Gazans from throwing stones or sending burning kites into Israel or shooting across the border? Would they stop “peaceful protests” from turning into violent riots in which Gazans are infiltrating the border with Israel? At this point in time, it seems that the proposal for a “Palestinian Protection Force” is merely a political show, a way of suggesting that the Palestinians need protection from Israel even though the real problem is extremism and violence that goes unchecked (and is actually encouraged) by Hamas within Gaza. Please pray that such maneuvers in the UNSC will gain no ground until solutions will be presented that actually seek to diffuse violent riots before they get out of control as has been the case along the Gazan border as of late.

Farmers and Israelis in the South
In line with the above prayer points, please pray for those Israelis living in the south of Israel near the Gaza border who must live with the knowledge that Gazans are actively seeking to infiltrate Israel’s borders and sending burning kites into Israel that have already caused great damage in the south. No one should have to live in fear because of the hate of others. Please pray for God’s comfort and protection over everyone in the south as they face this ongoing terrorism.

Situation with Iran
Following Iranian provocation along Israel’s border with Syria, and consequent Israeli strikes on Iranian military bases in Syria, tensions between Israel and Iran are higher than they’ve been in many years. While Israel does not anticipate an all-out war with Iran, we can never really know what that regime is planning against Israel. Israel seeks to prevent Iran from attacking via Syria, which is why Israel considers Iran’s meddling in Syria a very serious thing.  Please pray for God’s wisdom for Israel’s leaders, that they would seek peaceful ways to keep Iran out of Syria, and from becoming a more serious threat. Please also pray that the renewed round of American sanctions against Iran will have a positive effect, and not negatively affect either Israel or America.


Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran
Moran just returned from a quick trip to Ohio and Florida, and it was a wonderfully fruitful time of ministering! Thank you for covering him in prayer during that time. He and his family will travel to the USA for their summer ministry trip on June 21 and will be in the States until the first week of August. He has many things that require his attention in Israel before this trip, so we ask for prayer for focus, clarity in communication, health, renewed energy, and wisdom. Please also pray for Melissa and the children as June tends to be a very busy month with end-of-year school activities, and preparations for their trip. Melissa is also finishing up her first year of her Master’s program at a local university, so she would be grateful for prayers for her final projects and papers!

HFI Board
Please continue to pray for wisdom for our board members as they make important decisions in every area of the ministry. Please pray for protection over them and their families, that the Lord would shield them from illness and spiritual warfare.

HFI Staff
Many of the youth leaders who helped us this past year in NerYah (our citywide youth group) will not be available in the coming academic year. Please pray that God will lead others to partner with us this coming year to keep NerYah fun and engaging for the youth and a place for growth in the Lord. We would appreciate prayer for more volunteers for our work with the believing soldiers since many of our youth will be graduating this year and joining the military. We are still in need of someone to work with our tours. Please pray that God will bring the right person to take care of the work that goes into making the tours truly enriching. Please also pray as we consider bringing another person onto our media team.

NerYah Youth Group
We are in the final stretch of the academic year and so also the school year activities of NerYah. Please pray for a solid end to the year as we kick off the summer break with the youth this month. In the coming months many of our youth will be graduating from high school and joining the military. Please pray for peace and wisdom in this process as they join during a time of tension along Israel’s borders. Please also pray for God’s encouragement and that they will succeed in remaining in fellowship with us and other believers during this season of their life.

Believing Soldiers’ Outreach
Many of our soldiers are dealing with intense realities for which we are praying and invite you also to join us in praying for. Some are even in the process of becoming commanders and specialists at a time when such positions are severely needed to address the threats along Israel’s borders. Please pray for motivation and excellence for each and every one of the soldiers with whom we work. Please pray also for breakthrough in the lives of the soldiers in grasping the love of God for them during this time in their life when they must come face to face with people who hate them.

College Students Outreach
Please pray for our those working with the students to counsel and guide them with the wisdom of God, especially in our work with those who are just beginning their academic journey and deciding what to study and where. Pray that all of the students would put their trust in God and look to Him for all of their needs. Please pray also for those students with whom we’ve already been working this past year that as they continue their academic journey, they will press on toward the goal and be encouraged to excel in every way. One student specifically requested prayer for wisdom and time management. Another student requested prayer to be filled with life and the readiness to give. Another student requested prayer during a transitional time of moving into a new apartment. And finally, another student specifically requested prayer for health, strengthening and healing.

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. Please also continue to pray that the current project to translate the book to Spanish will be blessed and bring forth a fruitful harvest among our Spanish-speaking brethren.

Newsletter
We are writing our summer newsletter this month, and would appreciate prayer for the writing, editing, layout design, printing, and distribution! Please pray for protection from warfare that always surrounds this endeavor, and for all who are involved in the newsletter, that the Lord would be a covering over them and their families.

“Israel Beyond the Headlines” Video Project
We began this special project in January in honor of Israel’s 70th year of independence. This is a video project where we produce one short video per month 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 to 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, Yoel, Moran, & Melissa. Please pray for His protection over us all and for the truth about Israel to reach to the ends of the earth!

Tours
Please join us in praying for each and every one of our tours to be a blessing both to those who join and a blessing to the work of Hope for Israel! We host three tours per year: Experience Israel Tour, Israel-Greece Tour, & the Pastors’ Solidarity Tour (www.hope4israel.org/tours). 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 also pray that people will not be scared away by recent events in Israel, as Israel is very secure even in these times!

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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