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Full Circle

*Reuben is a Jewish, Ukrainian immigrant who made Aliyah to Israel seventeen years ago. Growing up in a secular environment, Reuben was negatively influenced and fell heavily into drugs. Five years ago, he came to know Yeshua as his Savior and was set free from his addiction. Reuben went through a believing rehabilitation program in central Israel, met and married his wife and began working in a carpentry job. Although he has left his old lifestyle behind, the effects of his past still loomed over him in the form of an exorbitant amount of debt.

Reuben became aware of the work of CBN Israel and reached out for financial help and guidance. Through a series of meetings with the staff, Reuben has become more financially stable. CBN Israel petitioned the help of various organizations who in turn gave donations that entirely cleared his debts! Today, Reuben is the head of the rehabilitation center that lifted him out of his struggles, was trained by CBN Israel in helping others become financially free, and is looking to start an independent business in the carpentry industry.

The staff of CBN Israel have seen great progress in Reuben’s life both in his finances and in his walk with the Lord and believe the Lord will use him to help others walk in freedom.

*Name altered for privacy.

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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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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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Israeli Believers Break Through in Business

Gassan grew up in Nazareth, Israel from the time he was twelve. He tried his hand at a variety of  jobs including engineering, but always felt that business ownership and management was the place for him. After studying a short time in Israel, Gassan moved to France where he studied business before returning to Israel to put his education to work.

In short time, his diligence paid off and his restaurant, Rosemary, soared to the top of the charts, becoming Trip Advisor’s #1 restaurant in Nazareth. Yet, as in all things, there are two sides to every coin. With success comes a lot of responsibility and Gassan found that maintaining a high standard in business required a great deal of his time and efforts. Perhaps it was time to explore other possibilities.

Gassan knew what he needed to do. He began building a new business plan and sought for a way to connect with believing business entrepreneurs both locally in Israel as well as abroad. He learned that both of these desires could be fulfilled through the business course held by Israel Firstfruits and CBN Israel. Gassan signed up to attend. To his surprise, Gassan learned through the course, not only about business, but about doing business God’s way.

“I was not expecting to gain such spiritual growth,” Gassan stated in an interview with the staff of CBN Israel. “The course has made me think more about what God wants me to do and not just what I want to do. And if God wants me to do something, I know He will bless it.” Gassan says that he trusts that the leadings in his heart come from God.

One of the many benefits of studying in the business course is the connections made between believers. Still with a few weeks left to the completion of the course, Gassan is already making progress towards his new business ventures through connections he has made. God knows how to bring people together to expand His kingdom and the business course is just one of the ways this is accomplished.

Every September, for the past four years, Israel Firstfruits and CBN Israel host a business forum where entrepreneurs, investors and business advisers come from around the world to connect with local, market place believers in Israel. Watch CBN Israel’s facebook or Twitter page for updates and consider attending the 2017 business forum in Jerusalem! 

We hope to see you here!

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Immigrants to Israel “Come Home” to the Arms of Perfect Strangers

The following in quotations was written by our partner Ludmilla with Beit Hallel Congregation

“Over the last year we have seen a significant increase in the flow of immigration to our city of Ashdod.

Consequently there have been many more requests of assistance and help, so we have increased the frequency of our humanitarian projects, as well as significantly raised the resources dedicated to helping the poor.Immigrants to Ashdod

We run a distribution center that works daily to provide people with clothes and food packets. We also conduct special projects 6 times a year giving out essential products to help many immigrants in their first months in Israel. Blankets, heaters, fans, kitchen supplies, school backpacks for kids, as well as gift cards for school supplies are all an enormous help to many families.

Every Jewish holiday we also organize special concerts and celebrations with gifts and dinners for new immigrants that get to celebrate true Jewish festivals for the first time.

Our humanitarian work has grown by 50% in the past year.  Currently we assist in feeding 1,200 families on a monthly basis.”

Food prep in Ashdod

We at CBN Israel are providing Beit Hallel Congregation with food vouchers to help bless these new immigrants as well as the Holocaust Survivors they serve in Ashdod. Here is one new immigrant’s story.

“Sofa, a single mother from Ukraine, came to Israel only a few weeks ago. She shared a little about her life back in her home city of Gorlovka where war is unceasing. The windows in her home were without glass, so she covered them up with plywood and blankets. She and her daughter were freezing in the icy, winter temperatures and they were starving from the lack of food and work due to the war. When Sofa and her daughter first arrived in Israel to the city of Ashdod, they came with almost nothing. They were so grateful to have such a reception from the staff of Beit Hillel. When she was told that she would be able to receive food once a month, she sobbed and could not believe what she had left and the help she was getting free of charge.”

Would you consider joining us in blessing these new Israeli immigrants with food vouchers by giving a donation to CBN Israel today? Thank you for your support and prayers.

God bless you!

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One Lie at the Root of the Problem

In Great Need of God’s Help

A precious believing family we are working with to help get out of financial crisis shared with us about their struggle with one of their children. Their son, *Avi, understood God to only love him if he did what He wanted him to do. But if he stepped outside the lines or didn’t attend congregation, God would be angry, disapprove of him and would not love him anymore. This belief played out in behaviors of hurt and rebellion and in turn, brought on a slew of troubles for Avi and his parents. 

Arik, our financial advisor who was working with the couple offered to take the boy under his wing to give him counsel and better understanding of the Biblical truths about the nature of God. Both Avi and his parents agreed to Arik’s offer. During these sessions together, Avi began to realize that God is love and there is nothing we can do to change His nature. But our actions do have consequences and we are in charge of our choices that lead us down either a path of destruction or a path of life. 

Like the sun coming out after the storm, God’s love and truth is brightening up Avi’s heart, life and countenance. Today, he is learning to walk in balance and to enjoy life within God’s healthy boundaries. We are witnesses of God’s work of healing and restoration in Avi’s life and in his family relationships. 

Would you pray with us for Avi and his family? Please pray:

    • That God would continue the work that He has begun in bringing order to their finances.
    • That the family would relate with one another in a healthy, godly way. 
    • And that God’s word of truth would continue to set their minds free from all lies of the enemy. 

God bless you! 

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They Tried to Kill Us, They Failed, Let’s Eat!

A Purim Celebration with Holocaust Survivors

By Bethany

After interviewing Israel Roytman and hearing about his work with Holocaust Survivors, he invited me to come to a Purim celebration with the Survivors that he cares for in Jerusalem. I was thrilled! I have had very few experiences with this group of people but my heart leaps at the opportunity to be with them and hear their stories. 

On the day of the celebration, I was late due to difficulties in finding parking in downtown Jerusalem. I figured it shouldn’t be a problem; perhaps I would just slip in the back door (if there was a back door) and joyfully observe from a hidden spot in the back of the room. I followed directions to the location, climbed the stairs to the entrance, and carefully opened the door. The moment I was in view, the whole room lit up as if it was my surprise birthday party. An elderly man came straight away to take my arm and escort me to my seat while Israel introduced me on the microphone to those present in the room.

CBN Israel PurimI was seated and handed a gift basket they had put together of wine and chocolates not for Purim, but for International Women’s Day. I was still in shock by the grand welcome when Israel invited me to greet everyone on the mic. Still in a daze, I shared greetings from CBN Israel and spoke of our love and prayers for them. I returned to my seat and exchanged greetings with those at my table. I was surprised to see several people that I knew and loved in the room. I felt so welcomed by the Survivors and by everyone present. It was really something to see the life and joy on each person’s face. 

The formalities were over, it was time to celebrate! Israel and a few of the Holocaust Survivors gathered around the mic and began to sing songs together to their hearts content in Hebrew or Russian. We danced the Hora (a Jewish folk dance step), we sang and sang and sang some more. We ate, we drank and we laughed. It was truly a memorable experience.One of the sayings that sums up nearly every Jewish holiday is this:

“They (Israel’s enemies) tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat!”

CBN Israel PurimTo see Holocaust Survivors singing and dancing, eating and drinking and living to a good old age gives us a very strong message. No matter what Israel’s enemies have tried to do to destroy this people and their God, His word of truth still stands. There will always be a remnant. The people of Israel and their God lives! 

If you wish to contribute towards giving food vouchers to Holocaust Survivors in Israel, please do so here. 

God bless you! 

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Debt and Disease Are No Match for God

*Marcos and *Paula Katz made Aliyah from South America ten years ago. They were living a good life; enjoying the land and their work. They had established solid friendships and were blessed by the children that were born to them in Israel. Suddenly, life took a turn. Levi came down with a debilitating disease that completely halted his ability to work. Government welfare and Paula’s single income were not enough to cover the family’s expenses and soon, exorbitant debts loomed over their heads. 

Marcos and Paula knew of the work of CBN Israel and contacted us for help. We sat together in their home and heard their difficult story. We prayed for God’s wisdom and intervention and began to work on a budget. Together, we went to rearrange their debts at the bank and asked for donations from partner organizations in order to help lighten their financial burden. 

Not only did the banks agree to work with us in helping this family, but the donations that came in cleared over half of their debts! Today, the family is staying within their budget, and the financial situation has become stable. 

Marcos and Paula were full of joy and gratitude. They expressed, “All this help is like giving us a chance to start over. And now, we are more equipped to make wiser decisions.”

Do you want to make an impact on the lives of Israelis? Partner with us! Every donation we receive goes towards helping people like the Katz family in their times of need. Consider giving a gift today! 

God bless you! 

*Names altered for privacy

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From Debt in His Bank to Tears in His Eyes

The Love of God is Canceling Debts

A Surprise Gift for Aaron

*Aaron lost his parents when he and his siblings were still young. Being the oldest child, he took on the responsibility and financial weight of caring for his family. He found work, but it wasn’t enough to cover all the expenses that were now on his shoulders, nor did he have time or money to study for a profession which would earn a higher paying job. Debt began to accrue. 

Aaron heard of the wonderful works being done at CBN Israel and came to us for help. We met with him and gave him food vouchers. We worked together on a budget for his everyday living and we requested donations from partner organizations to help clear his debt.

Just days after our initial meeting with Aaron, we were scheduled to give a financial seminar for all the members of a congregation in central Israel. We asked Aaron to come be a part of that seminar and to meet with us afterwards in order to give him a gift we had received for him. Aaron came. After the seminar, Aaron met up with us and remarked,

“I have never heard anything like what you shared here tonight. This message will change my life.”

We then handed him his gift as promised. Aaron took the envelope, opened it up and looked inside. In his hand was the full amount of donations we had received for him which was more than what was needed to cover his debt.

With tears streaming down his face he said, “Never had I thought that this could happen so quickly!” 

With his debt paid, we are prayerfully considering how we can help Aaron gain a better education and a better paying job to prevent debts from accruing again. 

Here at CBN Israel, we see God doing a work of restoration in the lives of His people every day. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us through a donation to help more people like Aaron.

God bless you! 

*Name altered for privacy

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TV Musician Spends Free Time Serving Survivors

Israel Roytman is a Ukrainian Jew and a musician who made Aliyah twenty-three years ago. Though he was reared in a Jewish home and attended the neighborhood synagogue, he was an atheist until the Lord called him. From that moment, his life was changed.

After attending Bible College in Estonia, he came to Israel to visit his family who lived in Tiberias, a northern city in Israel. The moment Israel came off the plane and his feet touched the ground, his heart was griped with love for this land. He was home. Shortly after that visit, Israel made Aliyah and took residence in Jerusalem where he still resides today. 

As a musician, Israel held concerts all throughout the country as well as in countries around the world. But on one particular occasion while performing in Jerusalem, he saw the Holocaust Survivors that came for the music and Israel was moved with love a strong desire to serve them. His own grandparents had died in the Holocaust and here before him were Survivors who are living in Israel alone. 

Israel began to work towards gaining permission from the Israel Holocaust Survivor Association to learn who lived in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas that he could bless. After several visits to the Association, they granted him the opportunity to work with Survivors, four years ago. 

The first few visits with the Survivors were challenging. They were skeptical of Israel and of his motives. Israel decided to break the ice by asking if he could serve them in painting their homes, or providing a new appliance. He took them on trips to spas and served them catered food. Today, together with CBN Israel, the Survivors are provided with food vouchers and enjoy all the holiday festivities together. 

“These people have become my family and I am theirs”, Israel expressed. “They are like the grandparents that I lost in the Holocaust and I am like the family they don’t have in Israel. When they have a need, I am their ambulance. I stop what I am doing, change direction and go to help them.” At times, the Survivors are in tears for joy because of the blessing that Israel brings and is to them. They ask, “Why do you do this for us? We know you are on TV as a musician and travel the world? Why make time for us?” Israel responds plainly, “I am just a simple man like everyone else.” 

Through the work that Israel is doing, God has used him to bring reconciliation between those that survived the Holocaust and those that are considered war refugees. He brings them together for various events and occasions so they can see that no matter what they each lived through, they must now come together in love.  

One of the prayer requests that Israel shared is the need for additional volunteers and organization. “We are only a few people serving Survivors in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Please pray that God would send us people who have a heart for these survivors and are joyfully willing to serve.” 

If you would like to give a gift toward the work we are doing together with our partners in serving Holocaust Survivors, please do so here. 

God bless you!

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