Prayer Letter — October 2021

With the Fall Feasts behind us, Israelis are returning to our routine. Children returned to school the last day of September, and offices reopened for employees. It was a busy yet fruitful holiday season! The weather is beginning to cool across the country, with some warmer days still forecast for the month. October also begins the rainy season in Israel, and we are seeking the LORD'S mercy on us for an abundant one. Outside of Israel, tensions are still especially high with Iran, particularly as they near enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. Iranian-backed proxies such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and other militant groups continue to provoke Israel, seeking to draw us into military confrontations. Israel is walking a very tight rope in this area, especially as more world leaders accuse Israel of war crimes in its dealings with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. While we know the voices against Israel will grow louder, as Scripture foretells, we also know that God is ultimately in control and His plan will come to fruition!


Talks with PA President
Numerous members of the current government are setting meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. While these meetings are not officially sanctioned by PM Bennett, they are a sign that official talks may be in the near future. Last month, Defense Minsiter Benny Gantz met with Abbas in Ramallah and offered him various goodwill gestures, such as a 500 million shekel loan, as well as 16,000 additional work permits for Palestinians to work in Israel. He also gave the green light for more Palestinian construction in Area C, which is under the IDF's control. Members of the far-left party, Meretz, plan to meet with Abbas in early October as well. The situation with the Palestinian Authority has been stalled for years, with no viable solution in site. PM Bennett is staunchly opposed to a two-state solution, although he does support real steps to improve the Palestinian economy and quality of life. Please pray for wisdom for Israeli officials in their meetings with Abbas. Please pray for progress in improving the quality of life for the almost 2 million Palestinians living in Judea & Samaria, as well as for those living in Gaza under Hamas' rule. Lastly, please pray for reconciliation between Jew and Arab in Messiah.

4th Wave of Coronavirus
Israel is seeing a decline in new Coronavirus cases since the peak of the outbreak in August. To date, an average of 3,500 new daily cases have been reported, whereas in August, nearly 11,000 people tested positive in a single day. Israeli officials accredit this drop to the booster shot, which 3.3 million Israelis have received. The drop in infections is encouraging, but Israel is not out of the woods yet. Israeli researchers continue to look for more promising ways to treat infections, especially as more breakthrough cases are being reported. Please continue to pray for Israel in this time of uncertainty. Please also pray for a full recovery for all infected by the virus. Lastly, please pray that Israel will discover more effective treatments for the virus so that we do not solely rely on vaccines.

Rise in Crime in Israeli-Arab Communities
This past year saw a sharp increase in crime in the Arab communities of Israel. While it is a deeply complex situation, the reality is that many Arab Israelis do not feel safe in their own neighborhoods due to the violence happening on their streets. Last month, numerous organizations protested the rise in violence and the inability of Israeli police to curb it. Other than the obvious problem of Israeli citizens, regardless of ethnicity, not feeling safe in their neighborhoods, there is the added concern that this violence will spill into other areas of the country. We published an article on this issue in late September, which can be found here. Please pray for viable solutions to end the rampant violence in Israeli Arab communities. Please also pray that Israeli officials will work together with leaders of these communities to make them more secure and better the quality of life of within the communities. Lastly, please pray that Arab citizens of Israel will feel recognized and appreciated for all that they contribute to the country.

Tensions Along Gaza-Israel Border
The situation between Israel and Hamas, who controls the Gaza Strip, is still tense. Recently, a Palestinian Arab man wielding a gun as he approached the border was shot dead by the IDF. While the incendiary devices are not as prevalent, there are still attempts by various Islamic militant groups in the enclave to provoke Israel into conflict. The United States recently sent national security adviser Jake Sullivan to Cairo for talks with the Egyptian government regarding the tensions between Israel and Hamas. Egypt continues to be a powerful player in negotiating deals between Israel and Hamas, and has been tasked with keeping the tensions at bay. Please pray for wisdom for Israel's military officials as they continue to face impossible decisions in this situation. Please also pray for Israelis living along the border with Gaza, for protection from attacks. Lastly, please continue to pray for a breakthrough in the situation with Hamas, for a miracle of peace in the near future, or that Hamas will be thrown out of power.


Moran & Family
Moran continues to seek wisdom from the LORD about the ever-changing nature of the ministry in these times. He will be traveling to the States this month after a long period of being in Israel. He still faces challenging decisions regarding the tour operations, so please keep praying for wisdom, discernment, peace, and patience for him! Please also pray for his family, for health, patience, flexibility, and grace while he travels.

HFI Board
The board will meet in November for its yearly meeting. Please pray for wisdom for the board as they continue to make important decisions that affect the future of the ministry. Please already pray for the upcoming meeting, as there will be many crucial items on the agenda that need to be decided. Please also 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
Please keep our staff in prayer this month, especially for health as some have been infected with the Coronavirus. We also ask for prayer for Bill Katz, our U.S. representative who continues to travel to new congregations throughout the States. Please cover his family in prayer while he travels, as well as guidance from the Holy Spirit as he teaches, and open hearts to receive his messages. Please pray for new doors with congregations to partner with HFI, as well as a strengthening of current partnerships. Please pray for all our staff who have small children, for a healthy and peaceful return to school after the High Holy Day season in Israel.

NerYah Youth Group
The believing youth group will begin its regular meetings this month! We are all very excited to welcome back the youth as well as new youth who are joining this year. The staff faces challenges with the government's cap on in-person meetings, but are really excited to implement the plans they've been working so diligently on. Please pray for a strong start to the program and that the youth will be hungry for God's word, participate in meetings, and ask questions. Please also continue to pray for Tigist, Emunah, & Ro'i, that they will receive wisdom, encouragement, and clear direction, and for unity among the team. Please pray for more young adult volunteers to join the youth group leadership. Lastly, please continue to pray for health for the youth and protection from infection from the surging coronavirus.

Believing Soldiers Groups
Please pray for our new young soldiers to enter this phase of their lives with confidence in the LORD and strength to withstand the challenges they will inevitably face. Please continue to pray for the believing soldiers with whom our team is working, for emotional and physical health, especially as numerous soldiers have been ill or struggled with chronic medical conditions. Please also pray for our believing lone soldiers, for strength, encouragement, and protection from loneliness as they navigate this difficult time. Pray that they will seek excellence in their service and be a strong witness of Yeshua to their peers, not just in word, but also in deed. Please also pray for more young adult volunteers to join in the coming year. Lastly, please continue to pray that the soldiers will be reminded that God is in control, and that He cares for them!

 University Students
The university academic year begins this month! The students are excited to return to campus for frontal studies. We are hosting our first in-person meeting with the students in our mentorship program this month, which we are really looking forward to. Please continue to pray for the believing students who receive financial & mentorship support from us, that they would start this academic year strong. Please pray for Tigist as she leads this specific program and mentors the students in various areas. Please also pray for wisdom, patience, peace, and clear guidance as she also works with Sapir in planning the upcoming year's activities. Lastly, please continue to pray for an abundant financial provision for us to continue to award scholarships that will impact Israel's believing students for years to come.

Beyond the Headlines Project
Israel is under daily attack in the foreign press. A few years ago, we initiated a project advocating for Israel, its importance in the Middle East, and to show how Israel blesses the world through innovation. We also realized how crucial it is for people to know the facts of Israel's history, the complexity of the situation, and to help others answer those who spread lies about Israel. We are working on new videos and articles that advocate for Israel, while accurately portraying Israel's complex history, and declaring that God is NOT DONE WITH ISRAEL. This project is incredibly important in these times! Please pray for the entire process of writing, filming, editing, and distributing the videos. Please pray for our team who has to constantly sift through disturbing and hateful anti-Israel hatred on a regular basis on our various social media sites. Please also pray for a fruitful distribution of the videos and a wide reception of them. Lastly, please pray for the necessary funds in order to keep this project going strong! You can find all our videos on our YouTube channel, or follow the Facebook page for this specific project.

 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 of economic recovery from the pandemic. 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.

Israel has slowly reopened to tour groups! We are hopeful to resume group travel this month, but there are still so many unknowns surrounding group travel. Please join us in praying for wisdom for Moran as he continues to make tough decisions regarding the tour operations. Please pray for BJ for wisdom and flexibility in working with all those involved in rescheduling tours from 2020. There are still many details "up in the air" due to ever-changing local rules and global regulations, not only specific to sites in Israel, but also individual to the airlines, hotels and other players.

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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