January 2019

/January 2019
January 2019 2019-01-02T10:43:30+00:00

SOMETHING GOOD IS COMING FROM NAZARETH

The Sakhnini Brothers at home in their music room

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The year 2007 changed everything for them.

The Sakhnini’s were the typical Christian Arab family living in Nazareth. Their ancestry in Nazareth goes back for generations.

They celebrated Christmas and Easter like all the other Christian Arabs in their town. The father, Bishara, was a barber and the mother, Sarah, a cosmetologist. They raised their three healthy, energetic sons in an apartment on the top of a hill—not far from where Joseph and Miriam raised Yeshua.

Life was good. And then 2007 happened. Bishara was betrayed by a close friend. Friendships in Arab culture are very tight, so the wound cut deep.

While Bishara was still reeling over the situation, he received news that his brother’s wife was given one month to live—she was dying of cancer. It was a dark time for Bishara. In the midst of it all, Bishara’s wife, Sarah, found out she was expecting their fourth child.

Bishara and Sarah Sakhnini and their four sons pose for a selfie on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem.

A local pastor from Haifa befriended Bishara and began to teach him about the Bible and Yeshua’s teachings of forgiveness. Since being a Christian Arab is purely a cultural identity one is born into, Bishara had never heard these teachings. Despite the pain, Bishara forgave his friend and received true forgiveness for his own sins.

Encouraged by the new freedom he had experienced from being born-again, Bishara told the pastor of the other situation weighing heavy on his heart—his sister-in-law was dying. Together, the pastor and Bishara’s whole family (including their three preteen sons) agreed to fast for three days. In an answer to prayer, his sister-in-law walked out of the hospital completely healed, and is healthy to this day.

Soon after, Sarah went into labor. When the baby boy was born, his umbilical cord had a knot in it—completely blocking the flow of oxygen and food. The nurses, not knowing how long the knot had been there, panicked and immediately sent the baby for tests. Their newest addition to the family was wholly and entirely healthy.

Bishara, Sarah and their three sons—Adeeb, Eliya and Yazid—dove into the Scriptures with an insatiable hunger and curiosity for the God who had such power and goodness. Then collectively as a family, they gave their lives entirely over to this God.

NO LONGER CONSIDERED CHRISTIANS?

These events sent shockwaves through the community. Being a Christian in Nazareth mostly means you’re not Muslim. Fasting, forgiveness, miracles—this was a whole different story. Their Christian Arab neighbors now considered the born-again Sakhnini’s to be members of an entirely different religion. In the city where Yeshua grew up, His new followers were now scorned. But the Sakhnini’s were undeterred. What they had experienced was real, and they would speak of it to whomever would listen.

If there’s anything the Sakhnini’s love, it’s music. Their spare moments would be entirely given over to improving on whatever instrument they were working on that month—and of course, playing together.

Wanting to become more involved in their congregation, Bishara offered to play the oud, a Middle Eastern stringed instrument, with the worship team. As his three older boys grew, their excellence in spirit and musical skills became evident to all, and they began to lead worship as well.

One day some Jewish believers, who were friends with this pastor, visited this Arab congregation, and the Sakhnini’s would once again have their world understanding rocked. That Yeshua is Jewish is not common knowledge among the nominal Christian Arabs, but the Sakhnini’s had learned this as they studied the Scriptures.

Still, since when did Jews believe in Yeshua?!

ARAB AND JEWISH BELIEVERS FIND EACH OTHER

I (Shani) grew up in Israel worshipping alongside the occasional Arab believer, and my parents supported an Arab congregation for as long as I can remember. But a little over a decade ago, believers in Israel began a concerted effort to find unity between born-again Jewish and Arab believers on a larger scale.

Slowly but surely, connections were made between small pockets of believers in various places across the land. When they met together in public meetings and conferences, the secular staff was always fascinated. Seeing us sing and dance together—and worship the same God—was mesmerizing to outsiders and always elicited questions.

As relationships developed, mixed gatherings were happening all over the country. The times of worship in Hebrew, English, and Arabic were sweet and encouraging, as there is no greater testimony to unbelieving Jews that Yeshua has power over all than when Arabs embrace them as the people of their Savior.

Still, we wanted more than only to worship together in a service. We founded the Israel Worship Initiative because we believe creating and exporting worship of the God of Israel is one of the most significant and powerful callings Israel has. Therefore, developing skilled musicians and songwriters is essential to this calling.

We wanted these blends of Arab and Jewish sounds of worship to reach people on the streets. But finding Arab musicians who had first-class musical skills to record in a studio wasn’t easy.

I FOUND THEM!

“I found them! They’re in Nazareth!” We still remember the day these words were spoken by a fellow Israeli musician. He had met three Arab brothers who were leading worship at their congregation in Haifa. They were young, in their late teens and early twenties, but their budding talent was evident and their commitment to excelling in music was unquestionable.

We asked them to join us for a recording project. The first time the Sakhnini brothers came to our ministry center in Jerusalem and walked into the Fellowship of Artists studio, they looked around wide-eyed. The room in their apartment dedicated to all their instruments was a whopping 80 square feet. In it, they crowded about 15 or 20 instruments, from various ethnic instruments to guitars to violins, a drum kit, and even a piano. Our studio center in Jerusalem has 2,000 square feet dedicated entirely to creating and recording music to glorify God.

Shani and the Sakhnini Brothers recording in the Fellowship of Artists Studio.

Since Nazareth was two hours away, we let them sleep in the studio. At the time, we didn’t know much about them, but you learn a lot about people when you spend several intensive days working together. They were nothing but gentlemen. They kept their area cleaner than I thought possible for three males in one room. They thanked us for every little thing we did for them like they couldn’t believe it was all happening. When I met their mom months later, I made a mental note to sit her down at the first opportunity and ask for parenting tips for my boys.

During the next year or two, I saw the brothers pop up at a variety of local conferences and worship events. Their playing style added a unique ethnic flavor to the more western sounds of the local Jewish congregations. They were also invited to play with an Israeli band that toured all over the U.S. and Canada called Miqedem. Miqedem explored all sorts of ethnic rhythms and sounds and sang the Hebrew Psalms to those sounds.

On location, Shani and the Sakhnini Brothers filming the “Sapphire Skies” music video in the desert.

The brothers also played on the first written-in-English song I ever released called, “Sapphire Skies.” We spoke at length as we went out to the desert to film the music video for the song. They shared their heart for reaching the Middle East with songs in Arabic. They wanted their music to reach Islamic countries like Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt with the Gospel—and of course our own several million Muslims living under Israel’s sovereignty.

A BRIGHT LIGHT HAS BEEN LIT IN GALILEE

Though Nazareth today is entirely Arab, Jews often frequent the businesses and restaurants there. When Hamas sympathizers tried to come and stir up passions against Israel, Nazareth’s mayor threw them out. Still, before the second intifada began in 2000, Nazareth consisted of 80% Christian Arabs. Today, Nazareth is 70% Muslim and only 30% Christian. Even in their nominal condition, Israeli Christian Arabs suffer from the overbearing nature of Islamic culture.

With Islam dominating Arab nations, there is very little music in Arabic that sings of the glories of the God of Israel. Last year we helped them record “O Holy Night” in Arabic because even Christmas music is hard to find in Arabic. We realized that though these brothers had gladly served their local Arab congregation and a variety of Jewish groups, they carried within them a sound and a burden all their own. It was now time for their voice to be heard.

The Sakhnini brothers have compiled a dozen songs—some original, some old Arab hymns and it will cost about $20,000 to complete this project for them. Music is a tool that has proven to make it into the most difficult-to-reach places, and the places they want to reach are often dangerous for those bearing the Gospel.

Yet here, from democratic Israel, this Israeli-Arab family can reach millions in the surrounding Islamic countries.

Would you join us in letting Nazareth once again be a light that reaches the Middle East with the message of forgiveness and freedom?

We can be a part of PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED!

In Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
Isaiah 9:1-2

Adeeb, Eliya and Yazid on a picturesque lane in Nazareth.

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FATHER OF THE MODERN HEBREW LANGUAGEPart 4: JERUSALEM’S ORTHODOX JEWS VS. ELIEZER BEN YEHUDA

Picture of seven ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi (European descent) men in Jerusalem, taken in 1876. Since Eliezer Ben Yehuda and his bride Devora arrived to live in Jerusalem in 1881, these men were most probably among those mobs of religious Jews who fought Ben Yehuda as he worked to revive the ancient Hebrew language for a future modern Israeli nation.

Down through the ages the Hebrew Bible has been preserved in its original beautiful lyrical language.

But as far as a 19th-century Jew trying to speak that same language of the prophets in a modern setting, it was a clumsy and awkward struggle. The Hebrew Bible has a total of 6259 unique words.  (To give some perspective, the English language today has over 170,000 words in current use; Hebrew, about 80,000.) That’s why no one tried to speak Hebrew as an everyday language. No one, that is, but Eliezer Ben Yehuda. Not only were he and his family speaking in “everyday Hebrew” at home, he was teaching Hebrew at a Jewish school in Jerusalem. It took no time at all for him to understand that thousands more new words were needed for a modern language version.

Despite his abject poverty, Ben Yehuda’s personal example and his passion and skill in teaching had already made a great impression on others, many of whom themselves became teachers.

Though young Jewish pioneers had struggled mightily to start learning to read, write and speak Hebrew, not a single Hebrew dictionary existed anywhere in the world. In the 1880’s, you still needed new words like post office, ice cream, jelly, omelet, towel, bicycle, camera, light bulb, jump rope and dolly.

With so few people pioneering the language, it was crucial they would all be on the same page—literally. The new words being added to the modern Hebrew language must all come from the same source. Ben Yehuda understood there was no one else of his generation who could tackle such a project. But even he didn’t envision a Hebrew dictionary would take 50 years.

And so he began by writing on little pieces of paper every new word he found in some ancient document, or from the mouth of his “first Hebrew child” Ben Zion, or simply from his own creative mind. He was determined that each word would have its root based on a Biblical source and he wanted no foreign words in his dictionary. Soon he had boxes of bits of paper—each with a word as priceless to Eliezer as gold. But there was no food on the table.

Eliezer Ben Yehuda at work on his weekly Hebrew language newspaper The Deer.

LOOKING FOR FINANCIAL HELP IN RUSSIA

At his wife’s encouragement, he left for Russia to the home of Devora’s parents who were well-to-do  entrepreneurs. Since his main source of income was from subscriptions to his weekly newspaper,  The Deer, he hoped to add subscribers at the meetings his father-in-law had arranged.  Solomon Jonas was ready to help his rather unusual son-in-law, although he was surprised to see Eliezer now dressed in Turkish apparel as an Orthodox Jew who ate only kosher food!

There was no doubt that Ben Yehuda was an inspiring speaker. He began with his mantra: “The day is short, and the task is great!” This was a motto he had put in his office, purposely in front of his eyes.

His message to Russian Jews was both urgent and electrifying: “We, the Jews, have for too long, put all our faith in a miraculous national recovery, in the ‘coming of the Messiah.’ The people who continue to follow that expectation will be lost forever. God will not help any who will not help themselves. He created Adam to toil in His garden. We must learn from Adam. The time has come to help ourselves. We must act, and act now.”

He then went to Paris and was surprised to see how enthusiastically he was received. A shift had taken place. Instead of a dreamer, they were accepting him as a voice of a nationalist movement.

CHAOS WITH HIS NEWSPAPER

He headed home, not knowing his friend, Michael Pines, who had been substituting for Eliezer as editor of his newspaper, had written a supercontroversial pro-religious article about letting the land rest from crops for a whole year every seven years, as in Bible days. This article had the settlers up in arms.

Because the settlements of farmers were just trying to get the first crops out of the infertile soil that  had lain barren for 2,000 years, Eliezer knew that letting the land lay barren again for a year would spell disaster for the new farmers.

He immediately wrote an article negating Pine’s article, telling the farmers to stay steady and keep farming through this initial step. At this time, Eliezer and his wife were both practicing ultra-Orthodox Jews, but he felt God would consider it more important for his people to stay alive than to observe the “Shmitah,” the seventh year of rest. And that was the end of his friendship with Pines, one of his very few good friends.

BLACK CANDLE CURSE FROM THE RELIGIOUS

For the Ashkenazi (European) Orthodox Jews, Eliezer’s article was the final straw. They called him a heretic of heretics, a great deceiver, and they proceeded to ban the building where his newspaper, The Deer, was printed. Again, they performed a ceremony of lighting black candles in their synagogue and a bill of excommunication was read. Rabbis spoke of the heresy of thinking that the land could be redeemed without the help of God.

A snapshot of his newspaper with its headline The Deer.

Ben Yehuda’s response was instant. He told Devora, “The Orthodox have broken with me—and I am going to break with them. They will never accept us. We will always be outsiders.” For seven years he and his wife had kept every detail of the rabbinical law, believing their observance would help unify the Holy Land’s Jews. But at that moment, he took off the robe, removed his red fez, threw them on the floor, stomped on them, and cut off his beard. (He trimmed it to a goatee.)

Because the Sephardic Jews of Jerusalem (those who came from Arab countries) were not nearly as  fanatical, he was still able to buy paper from them, use the same print shop and continue with his newspaper.

THE ORTHODOX SHOULD WORK

And with that newspaper, he tore into the Ashkenazi Jews. He blamed them for holding back the progress of Israel. He hit them where it hurt. He demanded that the large sums of donations the rabbis received be accounted for. He wanted the books opened to see how much the rabbis took for themselves, and how much their close friends were getting.

He recommended the rabbis buy land and give it to their yeshiva students to settle on, to build homes and establish small farms for their families—to work—instead of living off the dole.

The response of the Orthodox was yet another ban. Ben Yehuda’s home was now a no-go zone. No religious Jew could enter either his office or house on pain of severe punishment.

Those in the town of Jaffa and the settlements were completely on Ben Yehuda’s side. They knew if they didn’t plant that year, they would starve. But as far as personal friends from Jerusalem, only Nissim Behar, the Alliance school director, publicly came to his defense.

DEVORA TEACHES HEBREW UNTIL BANNED

Devora was now friendless, as all her acquaintances were afraid to defy the elders of Jerusalem. Then a unique opportunity was presented to Devora. Nissim Behar’s sister opened an Alliance school for girls under the patronage of Baron Edmond Rothschild. Devora was asked to teach Hebrew, which allowed Eliezer to give all his time to his newspaper and the dictionary. Even this reprieve, however, was short-lived, as the Orthodox threatened a ban on the Alliance school if Devora continued to teach there, so she was forced to leave.

The rage of the Orthodox didn’t stop there. Eliezer was warned by a young friendly Sephardic rabbi that there was a plot to kill him. But Eliezer refused to change his daily routine. The next day as he and his son Ben Zion entered the walls of the Old City riding a donkey, a mob of youths with sticks and rocks came at the two of them.

If it weren’t for some storekeepers, and then the police, they would have beaten them to death. Upon hearing of this, a “cavalry” of young settlers came up on horseback from the coastal plain to guard the Ben Yehudas—which temporarily put an end to the murderous attempts.

AN AMAZING FINANCIAL BREAKTHROUGH

Nissim Behar finally wrote Baron Rothschild, describing the incessant and endless persecution against Ben Yehuda and his family. And wonder of wonders! Who should come to his rescue but Rothschild himself! Though Rothschild did not believe Hebrew would ever become a widely-spoken language again, he admired Ben Yehuda’s work.

In a letter he wrote: “Have no fear, Ben Yehuda; I shall personally support you in your fight, both spiritually and with money. From now on you will receive a regular salary from my agent for your literary work.”

For a little while, life was kinder. The Deer prospered, increasing in size and importance. It was the first Hebrew newspaper to be published as a news journal in the style of the best European papers. Devora even had a maid to help with the kids, including a newborn. Her oldest was nine, and he was now helping teach his siblings beautiful Hebrew. The Alliance school had Hebrew teachers giving studies in geography, history and math—all in Hebrew.

And then she began to cough.

PREPARING FOR THE WORST

Eliezer was running full steam ahead with his newspaper, his dictionary and his family life when Devora’s tuberculosis intensified. Eliezer knew that her condition was now fatal. He had five children, and he needed to prepare them for their mother’s death.

In desperation he appealed to his own mother, Feyga, to come from Russia to help his family. He had her smuggled in as a sack of potatoes. However, he would not allow her to speak a single word to his five children because she couldn’t speak Hebrew!

Devora begged for her own mother to also come, and Eliezer managed to smuggle Mother Jonas in, too. But when she arrived, Devora was already in the hospital—and was almost unrecognizable to her mother.

Mrs. Jonas wanted her daughter out of the hospital. She quickly searched Jerusalem for a nice comfortable home with a lovely garden, rented it and moved the whole family in. Devora spent the summer basking in the garden with her children, mother and mother-in-law. In the evening, she would sit with her husband in his study and read until she went to bed. Though she seemed to be better, she knew her time was short, evidenced by her letter on September 10, 1891 to her sister Paula, whom she had not seen for ten years.

HER LAST LETTER

In it, she begged Paula to take her place and marry Eliezer! She wrote that she thanked God for every minute she had shared with her husband. But now her time was quickly coming to an end. It would not be easy, Devora wrote Paula, as “Eliezer is a man with a mission and there are five children” she would have to take on. But it would be worth it, and “you shall establish a place for yourself in history.”

Fifteen days later, Devora let out a shrill cry as she coughed up blood. Eliezer rushed to find more blankets to cover her shivering body. While he was gone, her last words were to her mother: “Promise me, mother! Promise me now, mother. Paula for a wife…Promise me—or I shall leave this world the most miserable of women.”

Mother Jonas answered, “Yes, my darling Devora. If she is willing, I will allow it. If that is what you want, I promise.”

And then she was gone.

Eliezer spoke to his two oldest children, “It is fitting that we cry. But don’t be sorry. She has done her task, she fulfilled her duty. We, too, must fulfill our duty…she was the first Hebrew mother in two thousand years. She was the Matriarch of all Hebrew children yet to be born.”

The Gravestone of Devora Ben Yehuda on top of the Mount of Olives. Insert:
one of very few pictures of Ben Yehuda’s first wife.

YOU MAY NOT BURY HER HERE!

The Ashkenazi undertakers placed the body of his wife on a stretcher and began to walk in the direction of the Mount of Olives. Following behind, Eliezer had only two people with him—his oldest son, Ben Zion, and his friend, Nissim Behar.

As they walked towards the cemetery, a stranger joined them. He was a tall, thin man wearing a black robe and a black, wide-brimmed hat. This stranger was singing from the book of Lamentations. To Eliezer and his son, his voice was so soft and deep that it seemed to come from another world.

Halfway up the Mount of Olives, a group of Orthodox awaited them. They blocked the carriers, waving their fists at Ben Yehuda. They shrieked that since Ben Yehuda was under a rabbinical ban, his wife could not be buried on the Mount of Olives.

NO RABBI INVITED

Furious, Ben Yehuda rushed alone back down to the Old City, and quickly returned with Sephardic undertakers. A fist fight broke out while the nine-year-old boy stood by his mother’s body, wondering where she could be buried. All the while, the stranger was chanting Lamentations.

Finally the Ashkenazi mob relented and allowed the body to be carried to the top of the Mount for burial. But Ben Yehuda did not bring a rabbi or a prayer book to the grave site. As the two men and one boy stood silently, the man in black sang Proverbs 31: An excellent wife, who can find?

As they walked back to Jerusalem, Eliezer turned to invite the stranger for a cup of tea in his home. The stranger was gone. His identity remains a mystery to this day to the Ben Yehuda family.

BEN YEHUDA’S TRIBUTE

Subscribers of The Deer waited impatiently to read what Ben Yehuda would write about his beloved Devora. But after the seven days of mourning (Shiva) the next issue of his newspaper made no reference to her passing, or the controversy with the Orthodox over her burial. Instead, Eliezer placed in a black border the verse in Jeremiah 2:2:

I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine betrothals, when thou
wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

After the mourning period, Mother Jonas packed her bags to return to Moscow. She could not bring herself to tell Eliezer about Devora’s last wish for him to marry her sister, and left for home.

Eliezer’s mother, Feyga, stayed on. But she was not allowed to speak to her grandchildren because of her lack of ability to speak Hebrew.

Within two months, a terrible epidemic of flu hit Jerusalem and three of his five children died. They were buried next to their mother on the Mount of Olives. Eliezer began to cough and bleed again. The Orthodox community heard the news of Eliezer’s failing health with joy and satisfaction. God had vindicated them of their enemy. “Soon,” they said, “we will be rid of this man and his heretical ideas forever!” Indeed, their struggle against him had just begun.

Principle Sources:
Fulfillment of Prophecy, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, by Eliezer Ben Yehuda (grandson) 2008; Tongue of the Prophets, The Life Story of Eliezer Ben Yehuda by Robert St. John 1952; https://goo.gl/MVmMUK;  https://goo.gl/8r29uN
Correction: in Part 3, Moshe Sertok (Sharett) was Israel’s second Prime Minister, not President.

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BRAZILTHE SLEEPING GIANT HAS FINALLY AWAKENED!

Brazil begins 2019 with a new president, overwhelmingly elected by Brazilians who were fed up with the old politics of corruption that plagued one of the most promising nations on earth. Much fake news about our new president, Jair Bolsonaro, is broadcast daily in national and international media in an attempt to embarrass his government here at home and before the international community. I could say many things about what the Brazilian people really think about our new president, but I would rather let three renowned and important pastors on the Brazilian scene express their own opinions.

Pr. Anderson Santos
Director of Maoz Israel in Brazil

 

Renê Terra Nova and his wife Marita. Renê is a great evangelical leader in Brazil, founder of MIR, International.

APOSTLE RENÊ TERRA NOVA
International Ministry of Restoration, in Manaus, northern Brazil.

Brazil was saturated with so much hypocrisy and oppression from the left that reigned for 13 consecutive years and defrauded the nation in such a way that we were exposed and defenseless on the national and international scene. The left fueled the addiction of poverty and social calamity, enslaving 54 million miserable people with monthly basic food baskets and false life improvement proposals.

Crime in Brazil was devastating and one of the causes was corruption and poverty. Corruption is a cancer, a principality, but it can be defeated. A team of jurists who followed the exemplary performance of Judge Sergio Moro (now Minister of Justice) has restored the moral compass of the nation. Today, powerful people who have stolen from our country have been arrested and are in jail. The nation’s morals are being cleansed.

Our economy was devastated and Bolsonaro has begun building the new government with specialists in each ministry. This is a big difference, because the positions are not being occupied by political alliances, but by skilled competence. We are still at the beginning of his mandate, but even in the period of transition, we have seen signs of hope such as the rise of the Stock Exchange, the rise of our currency rate and the promise of investors. We believe it will be an exceptional government.

Bolsonaro came with the proposal of change the nation asked for, but could not translate into words and feelings; we were anesthetized and we did not react. With the new proposals, the sleeping giant has finally awakened!

Brazil is a Christian country, 86% between Catholics and evangelicals. We are conservative; we do not accept abortion, homosexual marriage, gender ideology, degradation of the traditional family, or mutilation of our values. This helped to elect Bolsonaro and demolish the leftist parties and the ideology that opposes these principles.

It has already been confirmed that the Brazilian embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. For the sake of security the timing has not been revealed. This was one of the issues that rallied the Zionist Christians to elect him. According to the last conversation with his team, everything is ready for this unusual moment. His wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, is a born-again believer who attends Igreja Batista Atitude in Rio de Janeiro. She is active in social projects, including bringing Israeli technology and kibbutz experts to irrigate the northeast of our country.

THE MAN BOLSONARO

The liberal news says Bolsonaro will probably kill many people in his desire to wipe out crime. But as always, it’s a lie. Thugs will be punished at the level they threaten the nation, but the human rights protocol followed by the UN will be respected, as long as it does not interfere with national sovereignty. Bolsonaro campaigned  with a hard discourse against corruption and marginality. His Civilian Security and Corruption Cleanup Campaign led the nation to join him. And he won!

Bolsonaro is a Catholic, but aligns closely to the evangelicals because of his wife’s faith. He is our first president to surround himself with men of God to seek counsel. He is very focused on faith and will surround himself with men of values. He values wise counsel. This is the greatest secret of his leadership.

Pastor Jabes Alencar is one of the senior leaders of the Assemblies of God churches throughout Brazil. In this photo, along with Pastor Silas Malafaia, another important evangelical leader in Brazil, he prays with the newly elected president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, shortly after confirming his victory.

PR. JABES ALENCAR
Assembly of God Leader in Brazil

I believe the election of Jair Bolsonaro is a true miracle, and it happened through the unity of the Brazilian people who represented a true cry of liberation—and above all, with the blessing of God.

After years of left-wing governments, with an ideology totally contrary to the Jewish-Christian principles that have always guided our nation, we see hope being reborn.

Brazil, since its founding in 1500, has always been a Christian majority country, with moral, ethical, and religious principles based on the Holy Bible. But the last two presidents of Brazil, with socialist and even Communist bias, misrepresented and attempted to destroy such principles, generating widespread dissatisfaction.

In addition, our country has reached a very serious level of crisis—with violence and deep economic mismanagement, resulting in millions of unemployed people, and about 30% of the population living below the poverty line. We have experienced an unprecedented crisis with the closure and bankruptcy of thousands of industries and commercial establishments.

It was within this context that the Brazilian people decided to react and elect a leader who could change the course for the future. It is necessary to emphasize the important participation of the evangelical community, who practically defined the elections by voting Bolsonaro.

We also emphasize that Bolsonaro is a politician with almost 30 years of public life, a military man with an unblemished conduct, and without any involvement in corruption. His wife, Michele Bolsonaro, is an evangelical and works on many social projects.

Bolsonaro was able to convey to the Brazilian people a message of hope with a sincere proposal of a government of austerity, to fight against violence, and also with the promise of a government without back-scratching politics, totally based on the truth.

It is worth observing the prospect of change in Brazilian foreign policy, which President Bolsonaro proposes, and is already putting into practice: a closer relationship with several countries, such as the United States and Israel, including the proposed relocation of the Brazilian embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

I conclude with the words used by Bolsonaro himself throughout his campaign:

“Brazil above all else and God above all.”

APOSTLE EFRAIN QUINTANILLA
Comunidade Apostólica Vitória Rio de Janeiro

Bolsonaro is, above all, a symbol of change. Brazilians voted for what this president represents and defends—values and morals of the family. He, like Donald Trump in the U.S.A., will transfer the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem, returning to the great moment our nation experienced after we supported the formation of the State of Israel in 1947 at the UN. We will be recognized for being a nation that loves the God of Israel and expects the return of His great Anointed King, Yeshua.

Brazil is living in a moment of great expectation with the election of a new president. After years of government centered on policies contrary to those aspired by Brazilian society, which is Jewish-Christian in its foundations, the new president represents a shift to the most valuable principles of morals and family. We believe Israel will star in a new era with the government of Jair Bolsonaro in this alliance, and we will prosper and live in a time of restoration of the greatness of our beloved Brazil.

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January 2019

Dear Maoz Partner,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We begin this year with expectancy for what God will do with and through us this year as we and our daughter and son-in-law, Shani and Kobi Ferguson, band together to create worship music. Reaching the lost—that’s what it’s all about!

When Maoz started recording music in Hebrew some years ago and serving other artists in Israel and abroad, we couldn’t have dreamed of what God was planning to do in using His Israeli Body to spread Jewish worship music to believers around the world.  But He had a plan!

And now, as you read in our lead article, we have been given the fabulous honor of having a part in fulfilling prophecy—bringing anointed and beautiful sounds of worship from Galilee to Israel, the Middle East, and beyond!

Isaiah prophesied that Israel would be a light to the nations.  Now here, in modern democratic Israel, the Sakhanini Brothers from an Israeli Arab family from Nazareth, are ready to be a light shining out of the darkness.

In Galilee of the Gentiles
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
Isaiah 9:1-2

Israel was called to be a light—a spiritual resource to the Body worldwide, and we want to help shine this light for the world to see. Israel has so much more to offer in the area of worship, and that is why we founded the Israel Worship Initiative:

  • To offer training and spiritual discipleship for young Israeli musicians, singers and songwriters
  • To make accessible to the whole Body a professional recording experience
  • To help Israel fulfill her calling to be a catalyst for worship all over the world

The Sakhnini’s have sown their talents generously into the Kingdom of God here in Israel. It is our turn to help them fulfill their calling to be a voice to the Arab population of Israel and the Middle East. Imagine the impact on the world stage that is possible through their magnificent musical talent!

They have compiled a dozen songs—some original, some old Arab hymns—for their album and it will cost about $20,000 to help them complete this project.

Thank you for helping us begin 2019 with beautiful sounds of worship coming forth out of Israel!

Happy New Year!

Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram

P.S.  A great way to start our year off right—by blessing Israel and the Middle East with sounds of worship and praise!

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