Prayer Letter — November 2020

Israel is gradually exiting the second lockdown that began in mid-September. Children in kindergarten through 4th grade are returning to school this month, and will study in capsule groups four days a week. Offices are also slowly reopening, but many continue to work from home as older children continue to distance learn. Israel's infection rate has dramatically decreased as a result of the lockdown, which is great news! We will need to continue to be vigilant in exiting the lockdown to ensure we do not see a spike in the infection rate again.


Lockdown in Israel
Israel's second lockdown has severely stressed the population, emotionally, mentally, and financially. An increasing number of elderly and youth have been exhibiting signs of severe anxiety and stress associated with loneliness and uncertainty. The economic situation is still quite dire and many families are still struggling to meet basic needs as their financial situation continues to deteriorate. The good news, however, is that the lockdown seemed to have worked in lowering the infection rate, and the health system has received a bit of a reprieve from the number of seriously ill patients who needed urgent care. Please pray for Israelis who are struggling to keep up with the many pressures put on them between being jobless or working from home, managing children's long distance learning, and keeping up with mounting bills. Please also pray for protection of the mental and emotional health of Israelis - adults and children alike. Lastly, please pray that we will find our hope in the Lord and not lose sight of His goodness!

Coronavirus in Israel
The infection rate has dropped to 2.9%, which is a significant accomplishment! When Israel entered the second lockdown, the rate was at a whopping 13%. Israel just began human trials for a vaccine, which could be available in summer of 2021, if all goes well. Just like in other countries around the world, there is fear that the upcoming flu & cold season will worsen the infection rate of coronavirus in Israel. Please continue to pray for a miracle as we enter this month, for healing for all infected, and for wisdom for Israel's public health leaders as they continually face tough decisions regarding slowing the spread of the virus. Please also pray for strong communication between the government and various sectors in Israeli society. Lastly, please pray for a miraculous and quick stop to the quick spread of the virus.

Iran, Syria, & Hezbollah
Iran is working overtime to increase its influence over its proxy, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, as well as the Syrian army. The Iranians are building a terror network in the Golan Heights, with which Israel shares a border with Syria. There have also been more attempted infiltrations from the northern border in the past months, and the IDF is constantly on high alert in this area of the country. Please pray for Israel's protection from enemies that constantly seek our total destruction. Please also pray for wisdom for our military leaders, that they would have the ability to stop attacks before they happen. Lastly, please pray that the plans of Israel's enemies will be absolutely frustrated and that all will see the mighty hand of God move to defend Israel, the apple of His eye!

Growing Civil Unrest
There is growing disappointment across all sectors of Israeli society with PM Netanyahu and his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition, many Israelis are unhappy that he is permitted to hold office while he is on trial for bribery, fraud, and other charges. There have been multiple protests against Netanyahu and the Likud party every week for the past few months, all across the country. The country is becoming increasingly divided among party lines. Please pray for unity in Israel and that, despite differences in opinions and worldviews, we can come together to help one another in this difficult time. Please also pray for a fair and unbiased trial for Netanyahu and that if he has committed any crimes, he would be brought to justice. Lastly, please pray for Israel's democracy to be protected from any group that would seek to harm it from within.

Israel is in its rainy season, but we have yet to receive our first big rain. Rain fell in Jerusalem briefly in October, but nothing has fallen since. We depend on rainfall to fill the Kinneret Lake (Sea of Galilee) every year, because it is our main source of fresh water. An abundant rainy season is crucial for Israel, so we ask that you join us in praying for bountiful rain!


Moran & Family
Moran reopened the office partly and employees are working partly from home and partly from the office, so that we stay within the Ministry of Health's guidelines. It is a challenge to operate the ministry this way, but Moran is seeking wisdom and strength from the Lord every step of the way. He continues to face challenging decisions regarding the ministry and the tour operations, so please keep praying for wisdom, discernment, peace, and patience for him! Please also pray for his wife and three children as they are all home, juggling many school & work obligations while trying not to go stir crazy!

HFI Board
The HFI Board will be meeting virtually for its yearly meeting this month. This is an important meeting, as many important decisions are made that affect the ministry for the coming year. Please pray for wisdom 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 has partially returned to working from the office. It is a tough transition, but we are happy to have more of a routine now that the lockdown is slowly easing up. Please pray for our staff as we are all juggling work and family responsibilities. 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 to bless the people of Israel, and really help those in need in this season.

NerYah Youth Group
It’s a tough time for the youth in general, and many are struggling with being isolated and not being able to see their peers. We hope to be able to resume in-person meetings soon, but until then, we'll continue to meet virtually and be in touch with each one to encourage him or her. Please pray for protection of the youth from feelings of loneliness and stress due to the lockdown.  Please also continue to pray for Hellen & Eliashiv, and for the other young adult volunteers that they will receive wisdom, encouragement, and clear direction in this time. Lastly, please continue to pray for health and protection from infection for the youth.

Believing Soldiers Groups
Please continue to pray for the believing soldiers with whom Efrat and Judi are working, that they would be strengthened by God's grace and peace in these tough times. Please also pray for the believing lone soldiers that are enlisting this month, for a tremendous blessing on them as they enter this new season of life. Lastly, please continue to pray that our outreach will be a constant encouragement and reminder that God is in control, and that He cares for them!

University Students
Students in Israel began the new academic year last month. However, all classes will be held online, which is really unfortunate for so many students and professors who struggle with this form of media. Please pray for the believing students who receive financial & moral support from us, that they would be able to focus on their studies and achieve excellence despite the challenges that they face. Please continue to pray for an abundant financial provision for us to continue to award scholarships that will impact Israel's believing students.

The cancellation of our tours for 2020 has significantly impacted the ministry's financial situation. 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. We are hopeful that we will be able to resume tour operations in 2021, but everything is very uncertain right now. Please join us in praying for wisdom for Moran as he continues to make tough decisions regarding the tour operations. 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. Lastly, please pray for the Lord's continuous provision for the ministry despite the lack of income from the tours!

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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