(Because They Are Still Coming)
She was attending a party one evening when time froze, and she saw a figure in white walk through the crowd toward her. He told her, “The way you are going leads unto death, but follow me, and I will make you holy.”
Chaim Malespin’s parents were the hippest of hippies.
At 16 years old, his mother, Tehila, ran away from her abusive home in Canada and decided to try her luck in the bright lights of Hollywood. The hippie movement was in full bloom, and she was right there in the midst of it, protesting Vietnam and embracing the “virtues” of free love and world peace. She did well for herself and was attending a party one evening when time froze, and she saw a figure in white walk through the crowd toward her. He told her, “The way you are going leads unto death, but follow me, and I will make you holy.” Stunned, she immediately left the party and that lifestyle. She continued, however, in her gift of songwriting, and would often take to the streets with her guitar and sing her worship songs.
Chaim’s father, Reuven, grew up in a religious Jewish home and spent much of his childhood studying in a Yeshiva (religious school for Jews). Finding the rabbinical explanations of the scriptures meaningful but not entirely satisfying, he hit the streets in search of truth. Reuven found comaraderie there as it was a time when many were on the streets in search of answers and the meaning of life.
One day Reuven was strolling the streets and saw a girl singing on a street corner. Her songs intrigued him, and they became friends. Soon after, as the Jesus movement exploded on the scene, Reuven realized the “Jesus” all these people were talking about was the Jewish Yeshua who had come to reunite the Jews with their God. Reuven would go on to marry that girl. He gave her a bent coke bottle cap as a wedding ring. But due to his new-found faith, his Jewish family disowned him.
The times were radical, and so as radically as Reuven and Tehila had embraced the hippie life, they now embraced the idea of living for God—entirely separate from the world. For years the couple was nomadic, living entirely off the grid with other like-minded believers. Each time they settled in a new place, Reuven would search for Jews in the area to tell them about their Messiah Yeshua. A second child, Chaim, was born to their growing family. When their third child was born they decided it was time to find a more permanent place to raise their children. A friend recommended they settle in an Amish community.
“I Will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” (Jeremiah 3:14)
The Amish were kind to them, but the absolute disconnect from society became a struggle as the years went on. They eventually branched off with other families and formed a community that was quite conservative but still allowed such things as cars and electricity. As they began to have more contact with the outside world, Reuven’s passion for the lost sheep of the house of Israel burned brighter than ever.
However, his burden wasn’t just a passion for Jews. It was also a passion for his Jewish homeland. A realization kept pushing itself to the forefront of Reuven and Tehila’s hearts and the restoration of the Jewish people to God and to their homeland was connected. They had returned to God in heaven—now they themselves needed to return to the land of their forefathers.
Still, moving to a foreign land with now six kids in tow would be no small feat. So they asked God for a sign to confirm that He, in fact, wanted them to return to the Land of Israel. While they waited, they filled their spirits with more than 700 scriptures where God spoke of His promise to restore the Jews to their land.
One night, while attending a local community center, a man with a long white beard and hair walked into the service. He said, “My name is Zebulun. I’m just passing through this town, and I understand there’s a family here who has asked God for a sign to make Aliyah [the Hebrew word for immigrating to Israel] to the land of your inheritance. I have brought you a sign.”
He proceeded to hand Reuven a satchel of solid gold coins.
It was then that the Malespins understood one of the verses they had been reading and praying in Isaiah 49:22: Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.”
The sign not only confirmed they should return, it was a fulfillment of scripture that the Gentiles would send them.
Immediately, the Malespins sold everything and purchased eight one-way tickets to Israel.
THE BUMPY ROAD TO PARADISE
Sometimes God does a miracle, and that is the breakthrough, and sometimes He does a miracle so you will have the confidence to hold on for the long ride until you get to the breakthrough.
The Malespins had a hard time when they arrived. The coins kept them clothed and fed, but the bureaucracy, the culture, the language—that was a whole different story. They had no close family in the land, and there was no absorption program available to them. They knew, however, that God had called them back to Israel and so to them, every closed door simply meant they needed to search for the next one to open.
It was Chaim, his older brother Ephraim and younger brother Moshe who would bring the breakthrough as they realized all three were of army age—and they were ready to serve.
With his strong work ethic, enthusi- asm for his homeland and never fading smile, Chaim was immediately recruited to Israel’s elite forces division called, “Yahalom” (Diamond). The brothers served for three years and still continue in the reserves to this day.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHERS?
After the army, Chaim became a suc- cessful carpenter in Tel Aviv with an en- tire team of construction workers under him. Surrounded by Israelis, he assumed he would never need to speak English again. However, Chaim began hearing stories and realizing just how many oth- er people were struggling like his own family had upon arriving in Israel.
The time his family had spent cling- ing to God’s promises and reading through the many verses on Israel’s restoration solidified in Chaim the im- portance of Aliyah. However, when he looked around, he only saw organizations who were helping Jewish people get to Israel to make Aliyah. A staggering percentage of these people would leave within the first year or two because no one was helping them once they got here.
One day in Tel Aviv, Chaim met a lovely girl at a worship service who told him of her dad in Canada who had been helping Jews return to Israel for 30 years. When Chaim shared his heart of wanting to help Jews after they ar- rived as well, her dad was all in. Chaim moved to the Galilee area to begin building this dream and even got to keep the girl. They were married and now have two children.
Chaim found an abandoned board- ing school campus near the shores of the sea of Galilee and with permission took on the ambitious project of restoring and turning each building into a tempo- rary home for new Jewish immigrants. It would be called the Aliyah Return Center. Volunteers would come from all over the world and help Chaim restore each building at a fraction of the cost and with ten times the heart.
“And I will rejoice over them to do them good,
and I will faithfully plant them in this land
with all My heart and with all My soul.” (Jeremiah 32:41)
IT’S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO GET THEM HERE
One of the first endeavors my parents, Ari & Shira, ever took on at Maoz Israel when they founded it in 1976 was helping people get established in the land. We built a home big enough to plant a congregation and house Jews who were in the process of immigrating. There was always someone staying in our house for a week, a month and even a year until they could stand on their own two feet.
However, everything is now moving faster, and the numbers are greater. Hundreds of immigrants have been helped through Chaim’s work, and many more are on the way. Immigration laws are difficult to navigate; the language and culture are complex, and the cost of liv- ing is staggeringly high. It is not uncom- mon to see engineers or business own- ers who were highly paid in their home country working as school guards or cashiers. Skilled workers must be properly absorbed into the culture in order to transfer their wealth of knowledge into their new environment.
God is drawing His people back to the land, and Chaim is standing at the gate ready to walk with them and help them with everything from finding a home, to opening a business, to learning Hebrew, etc.
It’s not enough just to send Jews to Israel. If families are not able to get established here in Israel, they often return to their land of exile. The dream is lost, and another generation could pass before the family will attempt to fulfill the call to return.
God is calling us in Israel to prepare the way for the return of His people—and He is calling the nations to get involved.
God says, ‟Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so My people can return from captivity.”
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
And declare it in the isles afar off and say,
‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’”
Dear Maoz Partner,
This new generation of young Messianic Jews is succeeding in so many areas of influence in Israel. Our community now has Messianic believers serving as lawyers, dentists, licensed counselors, teachers, entrepreneurs, and many who work in the hi-tech industry.
Furthermore, an amazing circle of young leaders who are in full-time ministry are doing astonishing things—not for believers only, but impacting Israelis of all walks of life.
Chaim Malespin is one of these extraordinary servants of the Lord to the nation of Israel. He and his wife Deanna, themselves immigrants, know exactly how difficult it is to come to a new country with a new language, new customs and no friends.
The government of Israel and other private organizations work endlessly to help Jewish people immigrate to Israel. But there are almost no organizations assisting these brand new immigrants once their feet touch the ground. They are “lost souls” in the truest sense of the word. They don’t know the language. They don’t know how to get the basics like their utilities working. They don’t know the school system. They need HELP!
And, that’s where the Malespins come in!
One of the most important acts of kindness to new immigrants is to show them friendship. Someone who cares about them in this, their most fragile and vulnerable time, can make all the difference in the world in their lives—and can be the difference between staying in the Land, or giving up and going back to where they came from.
The love of Yeshua shines through Chaim, Deanna and their wonderful team of volunteers who help these immigrants assimilate into their new life. They house and feed immigrants as they come off the plane—sometimes for weeks, or even some months—making sure they get a solid start.
They take them by the hand and walk them through the processes of getting their citizenship in order, and knowing what special benefits are available to them.
They personally go with them to sign up for language school, open a bank account, find a permanent place to live and even help them start their own business.
Chaim and Deanna’s goal is to get each individual or immigrant family planted in a community. And for those who just aren’t sure where to start, Chaim also has a six-month agriculture program to train them in farming.
We know you have a heart to see God’s promises fulfilled in our day, before our very eyes. Just as Ben Yehuda and his family dedicated their lives to seeing the land and the language of the Jewish people come to life, we have an opportunity to participate in fulfilling prophecy—restoring the scattered Jewish people to their homeland—Israel! Lord, let it be!
For Zion’s sake!
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. These are exciting times! We know from the Scriptures that when the children of Israel return home, God will reveal Himself to them. Be a part of God’s restoration with your gifts and prayers today!