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Called to Bless

 

From the beginning of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, God makes a strong declaration to Abraham and his descendants after him: “Whoever blesses you I will bless and whoever curses you, I will curse and in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”-Genesis 12:3.  What a statement! Yet have we not seen this played out through all of history how God has keep this promise to the nations who have chosen to either stand with Israel or reject them?

We know that God is watching over His word to perform it and every person who joins themselves to Israel and to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is blessed. We see this in stories such as Rahab the harlot and Ruth the Moabite. In each case, those who join themselves to God’s people receive His covenants, inheritance, promises and instruction.  And they are equally accountable to the laws and commands given by God to house of Israel. (See Exodus 12:49).

But what does God say to the Jew concerning their behavior to the foreigner dwelling among them? Let’s have a look. In Deuteronomy 10:18-19, it says, “He (God) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you (the house of Israel) are to love those who are foreigners for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”

To us here at CBN Israel, we view single mothers in the same category as the widow and their children in the same category as the orphan.  Both are without the covering of an earthly husband and father to provide, protect and love them. We do not judge the husbandless and fatherless. We see God as the Supreme Judge over all matters and we are His servants who are simply called to love.

That is why, in our work, we seek to serve single mothers and their children and strive to meet their needs with God’s love that He has placed in our hearts. We read that we were once strangers in a foreign land and now we have a homeland (Israel) in which we can welcome and bless those who are strangers and foreigners among us. We read that we (Israel) were once abused by Pharoph under his leadership and God delivered us. In turn, we can help deliver those who are being abused in their homes.

God’s instruction for us believers is this: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and fautless is: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by this world.” – James 1:27

So whether we are Jewish by blood or grafted in through the blood of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), we are called to love the orphan, the widow, the fatherless and the stranger because this is the heart of God. He is a “Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation”. – Psalm 86:5

If you have a heart for the orphan and widow and desire to join with us in extending His love to those who are in need, contact us! Also if you would like, you may donate here.

God bless you as you serve Him with all your heart. 

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Marketplace Believers Connect to Expand God’s Kingdom

For the past five years, CBN Israel has been partnering with Israelfirstfruits for the purpose of developing believing business entrepreneurs for the market place in Israel. God has given His people Israel a mandate to be a light and and a blessing to the nations (Genesis 12:3). One way that this is being accomplished is by expanding His influence through believers in the marketplace.

Each year, the two organizations work together to train believing entrepreneurs in both business and character through a six month course. Experienced, educated believers, both local and international,come to share their knowledge with the students.

In the course’s “grand finale”, the students are coached in creating a business plan which they can then present at the annual  Israel Business Forum. The Forum is a highlight event where investors, entrepreneurs and advisers come from around the globe to connect with Israeli believers for the purpose of expanding God’s kingdom through business relationships. First, second and third place winners of the business competition will receive an investment towards launching their business venture.

In September of 2015, Matthias and Tabea Oppliger were among the three winners of the business competition. With the money invested to them, they opened a social business in Tel-Aviv, Israel called A.I.R. an acronym meaning, Act. Inspire. Restore. A.I.R. employs victims of the sex trafficking industry, helping them to come off the streets and reintegrate into society with newly acquired skills such as wood working. Read more about the great work of A.I.R.

In September of 2016, Helen and Eldad Sagi received first place in the business competition and has since started Lily Pops, a business in producing organic popsicles. Lilly Pops is currently advancing towards a larger space and equipment for mass production. Anyone who has ever tasted one of these memorable treats knows it won’t be long before these pops are in high demand.

The students of this year’s business course are gearing up for the 2017 Israel Business Forum where three winners will be chosen for investment in their business venture. If you are an investor or an entrepreneur looking to connect with marketplace believers in Israel, come join us this year in Jerusalem!

 

We hope to see you here.

 

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Pearls of Wisdom

The staff of CBN Israel have had many years of experience in giving financial counsel to families and single mothers in crisis. In an interview with our social media staff, Arik and Veronica share the wisdom they have learned. Read what they have to say:

Bethany: “What would you say the greatest needs are in the body of Messiah today?”

Veronica: “We are living in a world that the finances are being controlled by the enemy in a large way. People are controlled by all the advertisements that say, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” When we give in to all the lusts and desires of the flesh, all the pressures to purchase things in order to be happy, we find ourselves enslaved and in bondage to loans and debt.”

Arik: “The influence of the west is that we need better things like better cars, better homes, better clothing, simply more and more material things. And the lie of the enemy is that having these better things is what will make us happy. We need to be aware that this is a lie! Contentment comes from God. From our relationship with Him. From doing His will. Even as believers, we give in to the lies of this world. We are human beings; we struggle with the same temptations as anyone else. We must have our eyes open to the truth. The truth is, having more does not mean we will be happy. It only makes us enslaved. The happiness with our new possessions fades away in time and then the lie returns that we need more of something or something new to make us happy. We need to not think, “How can I get more?” But to think “How can I give?” “What are my actual needs?” So many are thinking, ‘If I pray, or if I give, what will I get back from God?’ We are often more focused on what we want in this life than what God wants to do through our lives.

Many believers have their finances out of order. The problem comes down to a lack of self-control. Another problem is believing that we think that only ten percent of our money belongs to the Lord. Truthfully, all that we have belongs to the Lord. We honor Him by asking Him, “Lord, what do you want us to do with the resources You have given us?”

Bethany: “Are believers operating in the fullness of what God has for them?”

Arik: “No, many are trapped in their daily challenges and in their debts.”

Bethany: “How can we pray for the body of Messiah?”

Veronica: “We can pray that believers will operate in self-control, especially concerning their finances. That people will be more aware of the traps of the enemy to buy everything in order to be happy and to guard against it with contentment and prayer.”

Bethany: “How can people pray for Israel?”

Arik: “Pray that God’s people will be the unique people they are called to be: A light to the nations. That they will not yearn to be like all the other nations, to seek prosperity like other nations or to be happy in material possessions like other nations. To go with the Lord does not mean that we will be happy all the time. It’s something much deeper.”

Buying more than we need, or lacking the things that we need, both are outside of God’s will for the believer. God does not promise us riches, but He does instruct us in what to do with the riches that we have. God does not want us to lack our daily needs, for He promises that He will supply all our needs according to His riches and glories. He is our Provider and our God. All that we have belongs to Him.”

Being made aware of the needs of the body of Messiah, let’s take these things to the Lord in prayer:

Father, we thank You that You have given believers the gift of Your Holy Spirit. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control. We ask that You would forgive us for lusting after the things of this world and not acknowledging You first with our needs and desires. We pray that You would extend Your mercy to Your people and grace each one with contentment with what You provide. Help Your people to use their resources for Your glory instead of using them to spend beyond their means leading to debt. We trust in Your word that states, “If we confess our sins, You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And also, “If we acknowledge You in all our ways, You will direct our steps.” Direct your people to lives of freedom including freedom from the lusts of this world, financial slavery and debt. Amen.

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The Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries

“Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers come together in unity.” – Psalm 133:1

With the Body of Messiah being a very small percentage of the population in Israel, (about 0.0019% of society), it is of dire importance that believers connect and care for one another in love and unity. For believers who come to Israel without the support of their family and friends, connecting with other believers is a vital part in successfully adjusting to life in Israel. Believers who have left other religions in order to follow Yeshua, often suffer rejection by their families leading them to look to the body of Messiah as the only family they have. Whatever the case for each individual, unity between believers is not only glorifying to the Lord, but also of great important to the health and strengthening of the Body.  

CBN Israel is grateful to one of our partner organizations, FIRM (the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries) for hosting their annual conference, Jerusalem Encounter, where believers from around the world can connect with representatives from dozens of believing, Israeli organizations to learn what God is doing through His people.

 

Though there are many booths lining the halls, with the names of each organization in bold, the people behind the booths are more focused on one name being exalted: YESHUA.

Rachel, a member of “Chosen People Ministries” shared with the staff of CBN Israel;

 “It doesn’t really matter what organization we represent. We are all part of one body and we are all here to support each other in doing the Lord’s work.”

We share our resources, our facilities and our services in order to accomplish the goal of building up the Body and advancing the Lord’s kingdom. During the conference, CBN Israel shared a booth with partner organization- Israel Firstfruits

While Jerusalem Encounter participants were enjoying worship sessions and listening to guest speakers, members from the various organizations mingled by their booths, sharing testimonies, getting to know each other’s ministries and praying for one another. 

The members of FIRM are a people of excellence and did an excellent job in putting the conference together. From the quality of the spiritual aspects such as the worship leaders and guest speakers that were chosen, to the quality in  practical matters such as food and available assistance during break-out sessions, all their hard work and attention to detail is greatly appreciated.

 

To learn more about how you can be a part of building the Body of Messiah in Israel, contact us. To learn more about how you can participate in the next Jerusalem Encounter, contact FIRM

God bless you.

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Surprise Appearance at Film Premiere, “In Our Hands”

It was a night to remember. An evening premier for the CBN docudrama, “In Our Hands”. Hundreds of guests, many of which were associated with the making of the film itself, came to the Cinematheque Jerusalem Theater to honor and enjoy the completion of this long awaited production.

At the start of the evening, CBN Israel staff members welcomed the hundreds of honored guests with their reserved tickets and brochures. After a time of mingling and refreshments, the guests were escorted to their seats for the showing of the film. The audience was captivated by the true stories told by the very men who recaptured Jerusalem and the many challenges that they faced. Intermingled with the documentary and original footage from the 67’ war, were re-enactments by professional Israeli actors. The blending of the two together truly brought the entirety of the story to life

When the film had ended and there was endless applause during the final credits, the theater lights were turned on and to the surprise of the audience, several of the men from the 55th brigade, the very men who fought to recapture Jerusalem and were present at the western wall that day, stood on the stage before them. The audience responded with a standing ovation, a roar of applause and some wiped tears away from their eyes. Emotions of awe, respect and appreciation swept the room.

           

The men of the brigade were honored with flowers and were each given an opportunity to address the audience. One paratrooper shared what an honor it was to work with Erin Zimmerman, the CBN writer and producer of the film. Another paratrooper said, “My favorite part was seeing the recapturing of the western wall.” The actress, who played “Grandmother Cohen” whose role was to give the paratroopers an Israeli flag that once flew proudly in the Old City before the invasion, shared her experience with us. She said, “When I played that part, I felt it deep inside of me that what I was re-enacting, really took place here.” She has lived in Israel since the time she was seven years old and remembers the war of 67’ very well.

After many thanks and accolades to every person involved in the making of the film including Gordon Robertson who funded and greatly encouraged the making of “In Our Hands”, the guests were then invited to indulge in a sumptuous buffet provided by CBN

For those of us who have experienced the film for ourselves, we highly recommend, “In Our Hands”, in order to gain understanding of the significance of this historic event and what it means both to God and to the Jewish people. The film closes with this incredibly appropriate scripture from the prophet Zechariah:

Then the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ “Thus says the LORD, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’ “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. ‘And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’ “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the LORD of hosts. “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’- Zechariah 8:1-8

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Called to Bless

From the beginning of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, God makes a strong declaration to Abraham and his descendants after him: “Whoever blesses you I will bless and whoever curses you, I will curse and in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”-Genesis 12:3.  What a statement! Yet have we not seen this played out through all of history how God has keep this promise to the nations who have chosen to either stand with Israel or reject them?

We know that God is watching over His word to perform it and every person who joins themselves to Israel and to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is blessed. We see this in stories such as Rahab the harlot and Ruth the Moabite. In each case, those who join themselves to God’s people receive His covenants, inheritance, promises and instruction.  And they are equally accountable to the laws and commands given by God to house of Israel. (See Exodus 12:49).

But what does God say to the Jew concerning their behavior to the foreigner dwelling among them? Let’s have a look. In Deuteronomy 10:18-19, it says, “He (God) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you (the house of Israel) are to love those who are foreigners for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”

 

To us here at CBN Israel, we view single mothers in the same category as the widow and their children in the same category as the orphan.  Both are without the covering of an earthly husband and father to provide, protect and love them. We do not judge the husbandless and fatherless. We see God as the Supreme Judge over all matters and we are His servants who are simply called to love.

That is why, in our work, we seek to serve single mothers and their children and strive to meet their needs with God’s love that He has placed in our hearts. We read that we were once strangers in a foreign land and now we have a homeland (Israel) in which we can welcome and bless those who are strangers and foreigners among us. We read that we (Israel) were once abused by Pharoph under his leadership and God delivered us. In turn, we can help deliver those who are being abused in their homes.

God’s instruction for us believers is this: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and fautless is: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by this world.” – James 1:27

So whether we are Jewish by blood or grafted in through the blood of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), we are called to love the orphan, the widow, the fatherless and the stranger because this is the heart of God. He is a “Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation”. – Psalm 86:5

If you have a heart for the orphan and widow and desire to join with us in extending His love to those who are in need, contact us! Also if you would like, you may donate here.

God bless you as you serve Him with all your heart. 

Read more

Holocaust Survivors Celebrate a “Day of Victory” in Israel

In this year of 2017, the month of May is full of significant celebrations for the nation of Israel and especially for survivors of the Holocaust. May 1st, Israel commemorated their fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. May 2nd, Israel celebrated 69 years of Independence as a declared state. May 24th, Israel celebrated 50 years of the Reunification of Jerusalem. And an additional day of celebration, lesser known to the west, is the “Day of Victory” which took place on May 9th. As many of those who survived the Holocaust have immigrated to Israel from Europe and the former Soviet Union, May 9th ranks high on the charts of importance when it comes to celebrating victories over oppressors.

This year, several of the congregations whom CBN Israel has partnered with in serving Holocaust Survivors throughout Israel, hosted local events in honor of this “Day of Victory.” As in every celebration, an event would not be complete without singing, dancing and food!

In Holon, our partners were presented with a certificate of appreciation, honoring their dedication and service to the local community of Holocaust Survivors. In the Kriot, a group of women joined the celebration hosted by our partners and gave the gift of dance. It was a sort of re-enactment of war and victory.  Many of the survivors cried and expressed their gratitude to our partners for all their love and care.

For the past four years, our believing partners have committed to serving Survivors in many ways including home visits, hosting special events, providing tours to various parts of the country, and delivering food vouchers or packages each month. Both through words and works, the message of God’s love and faithfulness has been clearly conveyed and received.

The way that CBN Israel has contributed to expressing God’s love to Holocaust Survivors is through giving over 1,300 food vouchers to be distributed through the hands of our partners. In addition, CBN Israel responds and funds special needs a Survivor may have such as a need for a walker, an oven or something of the like.

Meeting these needs and contributing to God’s work of love being shown to hundreds of survivors could not be possible without the help of those who give. Would you consider giving a gift today? We and all those we serve are ever so grateful.

God bless you!

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The Sabboth And Rest

When the Lord delivered the Children of Israel from Egypt, His desire was to bring them to a place of rest. The condition of their hearts prevented them from entering into that place of rest, and even God’s commands turned into a burden. So without giving God access to change the condition of your heart, you too will find God’s ways of righteousness to be burdensome commandments instead of finding His path to peace and rest.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:2-3)

If you don’t understand that God’s design is to bring you out of the “house of bondage” you run the risk of making your “labor” a god “before” Him. Is it any wonder that we find the Israelites in the wilderness constantly wanting to return to Egypt, and the “house of bondage?”

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11)

The religious emphasis is how do we “keep” the commandment of “rest.” But in Hebrews we see that the people who were delivered from the toil and bondage of Egypt, never changed their hearts, and so God says: “So I swore in My wrath,
“They shall not enter My rest,” (Heb.4:3)

But the Sabbath was given to us for “rest,” and the promise of God is that: it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience” (Heb. 4:6) Joshua did not bring the fulfillment of the promise for rest when he led Israel into the land of God’s promise. “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:8-10)

The promise of entering into God’s rest is not by the observance of religious duty. You won’t find rest in just not working or laboring. The place of God’s rest comes when you allow Him to complete His work in your heart. The restoration of intimacy with Him is where you will find your rest. That is the true Sabbath of God’s promise. It is found in Him. That is why He calls Himself “The Lord of the Sabbath.”

God bless you.

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God’s Provision to the Widow Crosses Cultural Boundaries

“You will never need to ask for money, for I will take care of you.” This was the Lord’s promise to *Amira, a believing, Arab, widow from east Jerusalem. Her husband, who was an Israeli citizen, passed away before Amira could obtain her citizenship through their marriage. Their only child, however, was able to obtain citizenship at birth through the father.

Because Amira was left without status, no source of income, and no permit to work, she turned to the Lord and cried for help. He directed her to go to Israel’s National Insurance Institute, though she was without rights, and plead to enter and settle her husband’s debts he left behind. After persisting for many days, she was granted entry and explained her situation. She was heard, the debts were greatly reduced, and soon, she was receiving a monthly paycheck from the Israeli government to care for her needs as a widow.

Receiving monthly care from the Israeli government as an Arab without Israeli status was already the hand of God. But the Lord had much more in store for Amira. The residence she was living in was in her husband’s name and was only to be permitted to those who shared her husband’s beliefs which were different from her own. Never-the-less, the Lord made a way for Amira to remain in her home free of charge and even to have her name on the contract.

Amira continued to see God’s provision time and time again, having all areas of her needs being met by Him without needing to request help from anyone. Recently, a law was passed that every non Israeli citizen living within the west bank must have medical coverage. This is a good situation for all the non-citizens, however, a large, one-time payment needed to be made up front followed by a very minimal payment each month. Amira did not have the means to pay the large sum, nor did she have medical coverage. Through casual conversation in our regular meetings, the staff of CBN Israel learned of Amira’s need and sought out donations on her behalf to cover the payment.

More than what was needed to pay the bill in full was donated. When our staff phoned Amira to tell of what had been given for her, Amira began shaking and gasped, “I have no words to say!” She could hardly believe what she was hearing.

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We met privately with Amira and gave her the check of the full donation that came in. Amira will now be able to receive medical coverage along with her daughter and be able to work towards caring for her physical health after waiting patiently for many years.

Getting Amira started on receiving medical coverage debt free would not have been possible if it weren’t for those who gave. Every donation CBN Israel receives goes directly towards the people we are serving here in Israel. Would you consider giving a gift today?

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Our partners are invaluable to us!

God bless you.

*Name altered for privacy

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A House for the Suffering

A Home For Rehabilitation & Strengthening

We recently started to work with an organization that has rehabilitation houses spread all across the country. In some of the houses, there are families including families of single mothers. In each rehabilitation house, a congregation is formed. When the congregation reaches 50 people, the organizers open a new house. In these houses there are many needs and people with financial problems. Some because of their past and others because of the cultural difference due to most of them being new immigrants. In our opinion, there is a great need for help, and this will take time and effort.

We have already begun to work with a man living in one of these houses. He was a drug addict in the past, but has now been sober for a few years. He is still trying to get out of debt that he has accumulated. We helped him monetarily with some of his debts, and have been giving him financial counseling. He will be joining our seminar on how to help others with finances.

Another young man we are working with comes from an African background. He grew up in a believing family but slipped between the cracks, and became homeless and a drug addict. In the past year, he has changed his life around and has been sober since. He doesn’t have any support system, and isn’t taking advantage of his rights. We will accompany him through this process of change.

We are in constant need of prayer because we are being exposed to these kinds of stories on a daily basis. We don’t have “formulas” for these people. We try to meet each person that has fallen between the cracks, listen to them, build them up and consider how to best help them in their specific situation.

Our main priority is to be able to listen, empathize, and love. To see these people eye to eye. To renew the hope and trust in people again, and help them rebuild their trust in God, that He truly cares and loves.

All of this requires sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and the ability to let the fruits of the Spirit work through us in this world, where we mainly focus on ourselves, on our wisdom, knowledge and experience. It is not always an easy effort to listen to the Holy Spirit and not lean on our experience and knowledge, or to what we see with our own eyes.

Therefore, we ask that you would stand with us in prayer. That although we are being exposed, we would still be sensitive and creative.

Finally, we ask for your prayers for our upcoming volunteer seminar focusing on family finances. There will be volunteers from all over, and we are hoping this will help the body across the country.

It is not always easy to push and encourage people to volunteer, but we see it as a great need. We are trying to organize a seminar of four meetings in the month of June, and we still don’t have enough people who are interested.

We are praying for at least 10-15 people who are willing to take part in this volunteer program. If it’s on your heart, please get in touch with us here.

Thank you for standing with us! We are grateful for each and every one.

God bless you.

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