Prayer Letter – June 2016

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Dear Prayer Partners,

Shalom and Greetings from Jerusalem! We are grateful to have passed a relatively quiet season of remembering victims and survivors of the Holocaust, as well as Israel’s fallen heroes during Israel’s Yom Ha Zikaron. Celebrations of Israel’s independence day, Yom Ha Atzma’ut, were also very joyful and went off without incident. We are grateful that the terror attacks have lessened, especially in Jerusalem, but Hamas in Gaza is now starting to taunt Israel by shooting rockets into southern Israel. Please pray that this summer will not be yet another opportunity for Hamas to attack Israel, as they have tended to do in recent years. They have been rearming and rebuilding tunnels since the last war two summers ago, and Israel is actively defending her borders from such terrorists. 

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

Shavuot: The feast of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) begins on sundown, Saturday, June 11. This feast is very significant for the people of Israel as it is the time when God gave His Torah to the Children of Israel in the wilderness. It is also significant for believers in Yeshua, as this is when the disciples of Yeshua received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is a beloved holiday in Israel, where we gather together with family and friends to also remember the abundance of the previous year! Please pray that Israel will receive a divine revelation of Yeshua during this Shavuot, and for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the nation of Israel once again! Please also pray for security in the Land during this time, especially for those communities in southern Israel who often get attacked by Hamas’ rockets from Gaza.

Israeli Government Shakeup: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently fired Secretary of Defense Moshe Ya’alon, and instead named Avigdor Lieberman who is the head of a secular-nationalist party in Israel’s parliament. This has sent shockwaves through the entire country, and is looked upon as a destabilizing move on Netanyahu’s part. The governing body of Israel has approved Lieberman as the new secretary of defense, as of this writing. It is a good reminder that we must not put our trust or faith in man, but in the LORD alone! Please continue to pray for Israel’s government and stability within. Please pray that the LORD will appoint leaders who know Him, love Him, and fear Him, especially as Israel faces even more uncertainty in these days.

Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation: The Swiss Foreign Ministry is brokering a “reconciliation” conference between the heads of Hamas and Fatah, both of which are considered terrorist organizations. While Fatah has severed much of its ties to terror, it is not a peace-seeking organization by any means. Hamas is openly committed to an armed “struggle” against Israel, with the goal to wipe Israel “off the map” and in its place, establish Palestine where not a single Jew will live. These two groups have long been rivals, fighting each other for power. While their reconciliations have been fruitless in the past, members of the world’s leading countries (the USA included) will send representatives to Geneva on June 30 to help broker a lasting reconciliation deal between these two terrorist groups. The open support for reconciling terrorist groups on the world stage is obviously concerning, especially for Israel. Please pray that these groups will not be legitimized, but instead will be held accountable for their acts of war and terror against citizens of Israel. Please also pray for great wisdom for Israel in how to deal with this issue.

Poverty in Israel: A new UNICEF report reveals that Israeli children are not only the poorest children in Western countries, but their parents also suffer from the greatest income inequality. The daily struggle to put food on the table for families in Israel is becoming increasingly harder. Certain sectors of Israeli society are growing, while leaving others behind. The gap between rich and poor continue to grow. Please keep struggling families, individuals and the elderly in your prayers. Pray for open eyes and hearts for places that we can serve our surrounding community in need and wisdom on how best to meet those needs.

Tunnels from Gaza: More attention has been drawn recently to the tunnel activity taking place in Gaza. Hamas has recruited over 1,000 operatives to work on developing the vast underground tunnel system. There are several purposes for the tunnels; one is smuggling in major goods and people in and out of Egypt, but another is to penetrate into Israeli territory. We remember well that these tunnels were used in the war with Gaza in 2014 to sneak Hamas fighters into southern Israel to attack, kill and/or kidnap soldiers and residents of nearby Israeli homes. Since that time, Hamas has continued to build and develop this underground system, causing concern for a future war. Please pray for wisdom and insight for the Israeli and Egyptian intelligence that are both working to prevent any terrorist activity from coming from the Gaza Strip through these tunnels. Please pray for protection and God’s watchful covering over Israel, especially residents living nearby in southern Israel.

Protection Against Attacks: Please continuously pray for the protection of our soldiers and security forces. They are actively protecting Israel’s borders from those who seek to destroy her, and are in great danger every day. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran – Please keep Moran in your prayers as June is a very busy month. He will host friends of the ministry during a conference in Jerusalem, as well as three tours. It is also the month before his big summer trip to the States with his family, so there is always much preparation required. Please also pray for his physical health and stamina to be able to carry out all of the tasks and responsibilities in front of him. Pray for him for guidance to walk in the direction that the Lord would want for him in all areas of the ministry. Please also pray for the LORD’s covering over his family during this busy time.

HFI Board – Please continue to pray for God’s hand to cover each and every important decision that the Board faces. Please ask for provisions and protection from any attacks that the Enemy would try to make on the health and well being of the members of the Board and their families.        

HFI Staff – We are happy to announce the arrival of Tara’s (our media manager) baby girl! Please keep Tara and her husband in your prayers as they adjust to this wonderful new phase in their lives. Melissa and Rachel are filling in while Tara is on maternity leave, so they would also appreciate prayers. Please keep the rest of our staff in your prayers continuously for both their work and personal lives. Please pray for guidance, vision and unity in the work place. Pray that God would divinely work in the tasks that each one carries out on a daily basis. Also cover their families in your prayers for health, strength, and wisdom in every area of their lives.

NerYah Youth Group – NerYah would appreciate prayers for new activities in this last month before the summer break, and for new gatherings for boys, girls and those preparing to enter into the army. Pray that these small groups will bear much fruit and the youth will desire an even more intimate relationship with the LORD. Please pray for the youth who are graduating and will be entering their military service in the Fall, that they will be strong in the LORD and not be swayed to run towards the temptations of the world.

NerYah LeadersPlease continue to pray for the leaders of NerYah who are still searching and waiting on the Lord to bring a new male and female leader on staff to be a coordinator in the youth group and also for the soldiers. Pray that God would open up doors of communication between the leaders and the youth, allowing them to open up their hearts and lives towards one another in order to receive the help and guidance they may need. We ask for renewed motivation and that God would strengthen the staff and volunteers of NerYah in wisdom, unity, patience, love, faith and perseverance.  

Believing Soldiers’ Outreach –Please intercede with us on behalf of all of the believing soldiers across the country for grace, strength and wisdom. Pray there will be good, soft soil in their hearts ready to receive God, even if it is only for few minutes a day. We also pray for the current and new volunteers who give of themselves to love and serve the soldiers throughout their 2-3 years in the army. We would appreciate prayer for wisdom, patience and love in the relationship between the soldiers and the volunteers working with them. Please pray for soft hearts for the leaders and the ability to speak and to answer the many questions that the soldiers are dealing with them. Please pray that God would place it on the hearts of more people to become volunteers in this coming season.

Newsletter – We are working on our next quarterly newsletter! These publications are always a helpful tool in equipping our readers on various topics regarding Israel, and with that comes some intense spiritual warfare. Please cover our process of writing, editing, designing, printing, and shipping of our upcoming newsletter in prayer. Please also pray for Moran, Melissa, and Mike as we work together on the newsletter from beginning to end, and that many lives will be reached for the Kingdom as a result of the publication!

Website – We are also at work on redesigning our website! This has been quite a challenging process but it looks like we are about ready to approve the final design and go live. Please pray for God’s leading in the final stages of this project, and for unity in heart and mind for all the team so that we may finalize the new website and get it live as soon as possible. Please also pray for a fruitful harvest as a result of this new site!

Experience Israel Tour –We ask for your prayers as we have begun preparing for next year’s Experience Israel Tour (February 25-March 12, 2017). Please pray for wisdom as our team builds next year’s itinerary in hopes of creating a unique and special experience for all of those the Lord will lead to come be a part.

Tour Department – One of the ways that Hope for Israel is able to supplement the ministry’s income is by organizing and leading tours to Israel.  The tours also carry a strong ministry component, as tour participants often have opportunities to bless Israel via tangible acts of service.  As the situation in Israel continues to heat up, it is more important than ever for followers of Messiah to show their support by physically coming to Israel.  Please continue to pray that the LORD will bless this aspect of the ministry and that He would bring more and more people to witness His love on these tours. 

Lastly, please continue to pray for the salvation of Israel & the Jewish people throughout the world; we long for the day when all Israel will recognize her Messiah and receive Him… “For if their rejection [of Yeshua] is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” Romans 11:15

In His Service,

The Hope for Israel Prayer Team

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