Helping Israelis During the Lockdown
With congregations forbidden to gather, suddenly social media has been flooded with online messages about Yeshua streaming from homes. Some Israelis will be exposed to this message for the first time during this season.
Shalom from Tel Aviv!
As our world has been hit with a violent virus, we are sensing, as so many of you are, a spiritual shift on a world scale. Prayer is the new necessity. Organizations who used to go out of their way to sue anyone who dared speak of our dependence on God have been silent as hospitals and public spaces have been flooded with songs of worship and people unashamedly on their knees.
As for Israel, people are also looking to God; many are fervently praying from their prayer books, but they have never been taught to pray as believers do. Israelis are accustomed to sudden changes in our way of life because of the almost constant state of war we live in. However, as a nation, we are not used to a threat that hides in the air we breathe and potentially in the ones we love.
There is simply nothing more important in Israeli culture than family. And with 25% of the workforce suddenly unemployed, many Israelis were suddenly without basic needs and without the emotional support they were used to leaning on.
As Passover neared, Israel forbade anyone from leaving their home—or physically joining other family and friends for the traditional Passover Seder. This was not only an emotional experience, but a financially difficult one as families who usually each brought a dish to a larger gathering, would now have to come up with the entire meal and traditional Seder items themselves.
With just over a week before Passover Seder, the government admitted they wouldn’t be able to provide the emergency promised funds to Israelis who had been laid off from work due to the national lockdown. That’s when the Maoz Israel team in Israel and in our UK, US, Canada, Germany and Ireland branches sprang into action! Our humanitarian branch, I Stand with Israel, regularly works with 70 congregations across the country, so we easily found hundreds of families in immediate need. The real question was, how quickly would Maoz partners respond to this need?
In a time where people around the world were suffering the same lockdowns, the same job losses, the same emotional stresses that sudden life changes bring—Maoz supporters from all over the world gave over $75,000* to help over 300 Israeli believing families get through Passover and the extended lockdown we’ve had.
If I may, allow us to take a moment to tell you how proud we are to be on your team. You came through when it mattered. You cared for others in the midst of your own storm. Thank you.
We don’t know how long we will remain sequestered. The Israeli government has indicated schools won’t be opening until September. But what we do believe is that during this time, Israelis are being confronted with who they are and what they believe.
With congregations forbidden to gather, suddenly social media has been flooded with online messages about Yeshua streaming from homes. Some Israelis will be exposed to this message for the first time during this season. And when the plague has passed, we will be working to have a healthy, operating Body of Israeli believers ready to help those who are searching and needy.
Your continued giving allows us to be there to strengthen the Body in Israel and reach Israelis who have never heard the Good News Yeshua came to share with them.
For He has promised, “All Israel shall be saved.”
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram,
Kobi and Shani Ferguson
* €45,600; £39,660; CAD69,525