Oraciones mas allá de Ucrania

Shani Ferguson
Por Shani Ferguson
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Israel has already approved some 5,000 Ukrainian Jews to make Aliyah. They will now begin the slow and tedious process of learning the language and culture of their new home.

This week Maoz will be sending three of our Israel team members to the Ukraine border to help with the rescue efforts. For the past few weeks we’ve been busy helping refugees get settled in Israel as well as Ukrainians who were stuck in Ukraine (Thursday’s Maoz Israel Report email will highlight one of the families). We originally focused on supplying our contacts on the ground with resources they need, but upon learning there was a demand for people who could speak Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew and English we realized our team members are just what they need right now. Since we’re working with local believers on the Hungarian border our guys will be free to minister to the people they help! Please pray with us for their safety, divine connections and overall success in their mission.

Prayer Beyond Ukraine

When the Soviet Union collapsed several decades ago, some 15 independent nations emerged from the ashes. One of those nations was Estonia. There have been fears that should Russia be successful in Ukraine, nations like Estonia would be next in line. In light of that, Birgitta Veksler Lundvall, a local worship leader (among many other things) and part of the Maoz team in Israel, shares a bit of her thoughts and prayer burden for the situation as it also hits close to home:

“I made ‘Aliyah’ from Estonia in 2003 at the age of twelve (read the full story here). I remember as a kid in Israel, if one came from any of the post-Soviet countries they were called “Russian”. I remember insisting that I was not Russian. But just like Ukrainians, it was hard to explain why, as on the surface we had little to distinguish one from the other. This war has changed that. Today Ukrainians in Israel are recognized as Ukrainians. And they take pride in their identity.

“This identity of a small national group, freed from Soviet control, can be a very strong force in-front of great enemies. Estonia—very much like Ukraine—is a newly-freed country, with its own culture, its own language, its own history and mostly the urge and need for freedom, especially from Russian control.

“I believe this is the reason why we see the Russian army progressing very slowly, with many losses and big surprises from the feisty Ukrainian army. Many of my friends that are today in Ukraine, refuse to leave. They are willing to look into the eye of the danger rather than give up on their country and their last possibility for freedom.

“Ever since this war started, I’ve been asking God for a direction for my prayer—what prayer would benefit this small country to prevail against their enemy? I was reminded of the people of Israel in the Book of Judges. Throughout this whole story we can see God’s faithfulness towards His people time after time. The people of Israel disobey, fall into sin, are attacked by big enemies and suffer from foreign oppression, cry out to God – and God is faithful to redeem and deliver.

“When these countries were freed from Soviet control, an awakening washed through the land. People were desperate and turned to God. Churches emerged all over the post-Soviet region. However, 30 years later, many of these countries have grown complacent and are seeking self-fulfilment in modernization, development, or even other religions like the blooming Islam in the eastern part of Europe.

“The effects of the revival that rose with the Soviet collapse is barely present today and I can’t ignore the rising threat of these countries that has taken place simultaneously. By no means do I claim to understand the reasons why Ukraine is under Russian attack, however, I believe God can and wants to use this momentum to change the course of this country and bring a new wave of revival to the people that have been brought to despair. This place of brokenness is exactly what God can use to bring the Ukrainian people back to seeking Him.”

  • God, Your kingdom is forever and ever. You are high above all powers and yet are close to the weak and broken in their time of need.
  • “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1) We know that You rule over everything we see happening today. You are sovereign over the hearts of kings—guide them to do Your perfect will.
  • The freedom of worship is a gift not every nation enjoys – especially under communism – grant post-Soviet nations this gift and help them choose well.
  • Use this political emergency for the believers in Ukraine to arise and stand fast for their country. Give them the strength to stand in the gap for their people.
  • May the post-Soviet countries see this as a wake-up call for their nations. May the fear of God re-emerge and change the future of these countries.
  • Several of the freed post-Soviet countries were overrun by Islam. In the midst of the chaos, would You open the doors for those nations to hear of You?

Concerning Aliyah (immigration to Israel):

As part of «Operation Immigrants Come Home,” Israel is absorbing 5,000 new immigrants from Ukraine. Though, according to estimates, 200,000 people in Ukraine are eligible for Aliyah under Israel’s Law of Return. Also, hundreds of additional applications have been received from Russia, where many Jews fear the repercussions of the war on their freedom.

The war in Ukraine is a horrendous attack against innocent people, but even in this dire situation, the Lord is using it to say to the North, «give them up» once again (Isaiah 43:6). For many Israelis, what is happening in Ukraine is reminiscent of the late 1980s when then-prime minister Yitzchak Shamir predicted the opportunity the fall of the Soviet Union presented for Israel to absorb 1 million new Olim (new immigrants) in the years to come. The Russian immigration wave changed Israel for the better. It reinforced the value of Israel’s existence as the only Jewish homeland. It also brought skilled workers to the country, which helped grow the local hi-tech industry and bolstered the Jewish majority in the country.

But the benefits didn’t come overnight. The process was messy, difficult and a massive investment of time, money, and human resources to absorb this many people in a crisis. (We lived through this period in Israel – you can read about it here.) But Jews inherently look to the future, and in the long run, allowing more Jews to come home is always a wise investment. When Joshua began the process of taking the promised land, it wasn’t an easy transition out of the wilderness. He had to rely on the Onewho commissioned Him to be courageous in every step.

«Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.» (Joshua 1:7)

  • Father, thank you for being true to Your Word. We are seeing the pages of the Bible lived out before us. You said the YOU would«assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth.» (Isaiah 11:12). We can see you doing this in our day, and we praise you because You are a promise-keeping God.
  • For those on the journey home to Israel, keep them safe from harm and give them success. Cover them in the shadow of Your wings. Conceal them from those who would seek to endanger their lives.
  • There are many logistical, financial, and timing questions concerning Aliyah. Lord, take away fear or intimidation that would hold people back from making Aliyah. Push aside barriers, whether natural or supernatural that would stand in the way. Let Your truth ring in the ears of everyone considering or currently in the process of Aliyah – «Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord Your God is with You wherever You go.» (Joshua 1:9)
  • Give Israeli leadership, especially Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, grace, wisdom, and strength in this critical time as she and her team are working night and day on the logistics of the Ukrainian Aliyah and integration.
  • Your will and plan are perfect. When Jews returned in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah some who wanted to move to Israel were not meant to and were turned away. Help those from the nations who are not supposed to be in Israel discover where You have called them to be and be satisfied there.
  • Just as You were with Moses as he led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and You guided Joshua as he led the people into their promised land, You are with Your people today as You are bringing them back to Your land.
  • Lord, help others who are in a position to hinder or help those making Aliyah chose to help. Just like Rahab had the revelation concerning Joshua and his men – «I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us…for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. (Joshua 2:8-11). Give others this same revelation that these are people who are marked by the God of heaven and earth.
  • May those still in the diaspora take Your encouragement to Joshua as a promise for them to arise and go into the land You have given them. (Joshua 1:2-3) Some are pulled to Israel, and others are pushed. May Your leadership and guidance to be the loudest voice in the process.
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