Prayer Letter — October 2018

Dear Prayer Partners,

We just finished a month of High Holy Days. For the last 7 days of September, we celebrated the joy-filled Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles, also called the Feast of Booths and the Feast of Ingathering). Sukkot is a time when Jews throughout the world put a little extra effort into being joyful (and not negative) since God commands this in Deuteronomy 16. It’s nice to serve a God who commands us to rejoice especially in light of the ongoing challenges faced by Israel along her borders and in the media and such.

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

Back to Routine
Please pray for parents and their children in Israel as they return to the school year routine after a month full of holidays and time off school, all this after a two-month summer break! This can be especially challenging for children as their routine has been interrupted constantly the past few months. Pray with us that the parents will be effective in juggling job, home life, and helping their children as needed with school work or getting any necessary school supplies throughout the year. Pray that children will excel in school and that their teachers will be effective in equipping them for the unique challenges facing their generation.

UN Summit
The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73) has been in session since September 18th, and will continue until October 5th. Especially notable were the speeches of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, and Mahmoud Abbas the President of Fatah (a branch of the Palestinian Authority [PA], not a state but a political entity created by the Oslo accords in the 90’s with the aim of creating a state that has never before existed to accommodate the Arab people with some history in Israel who lost in the wars against Israel). The recent speeches in the UNGA reveal hope in that there is clearly a great deal of support from the current US administration and what seems to be a high level of cooperation and shared interests between a number of Arab nations and Israel. The speeches also revealed the continued complexities of finding an agreement with the PA that is realistic. The demands of the Fatah president were unrealistic in that he insisted that a Palestinian nation be created for the PA in Judea and Samaria (known as the West Bank) with Jerusalem as its capital. There are numerous issues with this demand: biblically, this territory belongs to Israel; militarily, Israel won the wars and so has the right to decide what happens in that territory; and Jerusalem will never be the capital of any nation other than Israel. Please pray that Abbas will come to his senses and come to the negotiating table with more realistic expectations. Also discussed in this summit was the issue of Iran. Netanyahu shared new information regarding the presence of Iranian nuclear facilities and the Iranian threat in light of this information. He also shared about the effectiveness of the current US administration’s approach to the Iranian threat. Please pray for continued success in the effort to stop Iran from developing any more nuclear weaponry than they already have.

Demilitarizing Hamas
Egypt has been assisting in efforts to lower tensions between Israel and Hamas. As part of this work, they have sought a “reconciliation plan” for Hamas & Fatah as the two are currently not on good terms. Abbas has been putting increasingly heavy sanctions on Hamas until they disarm and hand control of Gaza back to his Fatah party. The solution to this mess is very hard for anyone to agree on, but please join us in praying for effective communication, especially between Israel, Egypt and Fatah, since these three are currently key players in the discussion. If we can get Hamas to put down their guns as did Fatah years ago, we might see the humanitarian crisis in Gaza go away and quickly, as well as greater peace in southern Israel, which has suffered as a result of Hamas’ constant terrorism.

Confronting BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions)
BDS, a movement aimed at invalidating Israeli business and culture, has been especially active in the recent month in the music industry. A number of DJ’s have joined this past month in a boycott of Israel. Also, with the Eurovision contest (a singing contest) being planned to take place in Israel this next year, more than 100 artists are pursuing a boycott of this event as well. Please continue to join us in prayer for the end of the BDS movement and hurtful opposition to Israel. Pray that instead, equal effort will be invested in pursuing more productive discussions regarding Gaza and eliminating terrorism in the region, which is the real reason for the humanitarian issues.

Responding to Terrorism
Terrorism is a daily threat to civilians in Israel. On Yom Kippur this past month, a terrorist sought to stab a Jewish man who was praying in Jerusalem, but was stopped before injuring anyone. Also this past month, the kite and balloon terrorism reached a new low — a grenade was attached to one balloon that landed in a peanut field just before the peanut harvest began. The scary thing about this is that, had it gone unnoticed, the harvesters may have triggered the grenade unknowingly and lost not only the crops in the area surrounding the grenade but also their life. Some other incendiary balloons this past month ended up in a children’s playground in southern Israel. The border rioting and illegal entry into Israel and destruction of the border fence has also continued. There have been days where thousands of Gazans attempted to break through the border fence illegally. Please pray that Israel will continue to excel in finding effective responses to terrorism while avoiding loss of life, both for the would be terrorists and for those targeted by the terrorism.

Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran has a busy month this month! He will be hosting our second annual “Israel-Greece” Tour the first two weeks of October, and then will have a remaining busy two and a half weeks with other tours coming to the Land. He will also be needing to make some important decisions in a few areas of the ministry, so we ask for prayer for wisdom and clarity for him. Please pray for Melissa and the children as Moran will be away from home this coming month, for a covering of peace, safety, and health over them. Lastly, please pray for the children who will be returning to the regular school routine after having many days off in September due to the High Holy Days!

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 them as they all prepare for the annual board meeting in November, that they would already be seeking the Lord for wisdom and guidance in the many things that need to be decided! Lastly, please pray for protection over them and their families, that the Lord would shield them from illness and spiritual warfare.

HFI Staff
We are still looking for someone to hire in our media and tour department. Please pray for the Lord’s much-needed provision in this area! Please also especially keep the staff of NerYah (our citywide youth group in Jerusalem) in your prayers this month as they continue to get to know the new youth and to be intentional about discipling them. Pray also for those giving messages and leading worship in NerYah to teach and lead from a place of humility and the heart of God.

NerYah Youth Group
Please keep each and every one of the youth in your prayers as they continue to adjust to the school year following the High Holy Days and numerous days off school this past month. Pray that they will find NerYah to be a place of encouraging fellowship and guidance through the challenges they face as youth in Israeli society. Please also pray for more male volunteers to work with the youth.

Soldiers’ Group
We are in need of more volunteers to work with our soldiers' group, especially as a number of our youth graduated from high school this past year and entered the military for their mandatory service in the IDF. Please continue to pray for them both that they will excel and that they will be strengthened by God to continue strong in the faith in spite of 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.

College Students
College is in session and Hope for Israel is working with a number of college students who were once with us in NerYah and a part of our Soldier’s Group. One of the students is even studying abroad in China this semester. Please pray that all of the students with whom we’re working will develop successful learning strategies early on in the semester and that we will be successful in offering assistance as the need arises throughout the school year.

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 publish the book in Spanish will be blessed and bring forth a fruitful harvest among our Spanish-speaking brethren.

“Israel Beyond the Headlines” Video Project
We began this special project in January in honor of Israel’s 70th year of independence (click here to check it out). This is a video project where 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, & Melissa. Please pray for His protection over us all and for the truth about Israel to reach to the ends of the earth!

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! Our Israel-Greece Tour happens this month! Please join us in praying for this tour to be a blessing to every participant. Pray also for those organizing the tour those who will be working with the tour group that God will bless them with joy and excellence in whatever they have committed to doing in service of the tour. We host three tours per year: Experience Israel Tour, Israel-Greece Tour, & the Pastors’ Solidarity Tour (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.

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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