Children of Israeli Muslims Experience Superbook for the First Time

W.G. and his team have been working on building relationships with children in Muslim communities for over twenty years in Israel and the surrounding nations. Many of these children live in poverty- fifty of which are living in an orphanage for abandoned babies. W.G. and his team have invested their lives into sharing the good news with these youth that they are loved by the Messiah and their identity is in Him. The team shows God’s love through medical programs and afternoon children’s clubs. Recently, W.G. partnered with CBN Israel to share God’s love through the means of Superbook! One of the first episodes the children were shown was the story of Easter. 

“We always start our afternoon programs with worship and then a story”, said W.G. “So Superbook is a real help. The children can visualize what really took place here”. The children are also encouraged to re-enact the story through theater, helping them to memorize it in a fun and easy way. Afterwards, there is a time for more worship, food and play. 

While the children are enjoying the afternoon program, the mothers receive love and care as well. A team of single women serve the mothers drinks and provide them with an opportunity for fellowship. 

“We see that these programs have been very fruitful over the years”, W.G. shared with the staff of CBN Israel. “The children who were a part of our program twenty years ago are now adults who are sending their children to learn from us”. W.G. and his team are excited to share God’s good news through Superbook through all of their school age programs in the Middle East. 


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Fruit In It’s Season

Towards the end of Jesus’ ministry, His rejection by the spiritual leadership of the nation was evident. To illustrate what was happening, Jesus spoke a parable of the “Wicked Vinedressers” (Matt 21:33; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19). The parable was about an owner of a vineyard who leased it to some vine-dressers. Their job was to work and tend the vineyard and give a portion of the fruit to the owner. When the fruitful season arrived, the owner sent representatives to receive his portion. However, the vine-dressers beat and mistreated the messengers. Then when the owner sent his own son, they killed him.

It may be easy to look at this parable and see how true it was for the time when it was given. It is a little more difficult to apply it to ourselves, or the season we live in. We do not usually think of ourselves as responsible for a vineyard or the need to be producing fruit. However, God also requires us to tend to our own vineyard, one that He has placed in our care, and that we are just as responsible for being fruitful as they were back then.

This is true on a personal level, but also true on a broader level. What is the season we are living in? What is God expecting us to understand about what He is doing in our day?

For almost 2,000 years, the Jewish people were living as a minority among the nations of the earth. However, it is no small event to have just celebrated seventy years of independence as a Jewish state in the land of Israel. During the long years of exile, it was difficult to see or believe how God could restore this small and often persecuted minority back to their land. Theologians felt a need to explain that God did not really mean all those promises He had made to the Jews. But God is indeed faithful, and what seemed impossible has become a reality in our days.

The fulfillment of the promises of restoration are part of a season of fruitfulness that God is showing us that we are to be a part of. We want to be faithful to the call to work in His vineyard and be able to bring him the fruits of His vineyard. We do not want to be like the wicked vine-dressers, but ones who are faithful to understand our responsibilities.

We thank you for standing with us during this season of restoration and being a part of what God is doing. May God continue to show us all how to join Him in what is on His heart.

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Out of the Ashes, She Will Rise

She is only seventy years old, but she has been through a lot in her lifetime. She was born in the dark, out of the horrors of the Holocaust, and the moment she took her first breath, she was beaten on every side. Though by miracle she survived, her neighbors rejected her existence and sought to destroy her life. She was cast down, hated, rejected, attacked, but through it all, she stood firm.  Like a plant, she grew up, though her soil was dry ground. Despite her conditions, she prospered and she called to her family, “Come home”! She bid to her relatives, to her cousins alike, to come reside with her in her house. But once again, she was beaten- this time from within.

She fought for her security, giving her all for the sake of her children, yet she was left with only rations to feed her family. But she rose up, learning to be resourceful and to work skillfully with her hands. In the marketplace, she was banned from selling her goods, but again, she didn’t give up. Though she is hated, she holds out her hands to make peace, to forgive and even to save the lives of her enemies. But those she extends her hands to, despise the very mention of her name. Yet in all these things, she has learned to overcome, for there was One who was fighting for her. In the midst of her rejection, she was given a promise, “You will live, for I am with you”. 

Today she stands in a strong house, a house that her God has built for her. Her gifts of talents and wisdom go out to the nations, even to those who seek to destroy her life. Today, she celebrates her seventieth birthday, as a woman who is stronger now than ever before. But lest we forget where her strength comes from, let Israel now say;

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side”, let Israel now say; “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul: Then the proud waters would have gone over our soul. Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 124

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Comfort My People

This week in Israel, we are commemorating the Holocaust. We think back at just 73 years ago, what the world looked like after the destruction of World War II. The scale of the devastation was so extensive, that the scars are still impacting those who experienced the suffering and the nation as a whole.

The place of “comforter” is not always an easy place to be. There is suffering all around us, and we all experience suffering by living in a broken world. But there are times where the suffering is so great and is so detached from any sense of ‘justice’ that the grief is not relieved by any amount of attempts to comfort.

In Genesis, Jacob is told that a wild animal killed his beloved son, Joseph. We read that when Jacob saw his blood stained tunic:

“he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.” Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.” (Gen 37:33-35)

Those of us who have been born and raised in Israel since the events of the Holocaust, have lived in the shadow of its tragedy. There is such a sense of historical injustice that there is little that can be said to bring genuine comfort. It has become a mantle of grief that seems to cover the people, like Jacob they cover themselves in the sackcloth of sadness and are resigned to carry this grief with them to their own grave.

But rather than leaving us in a state of grief, God’s prophets call for seasons of comfort. The Spirit of God calls out to us:

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned;” (Isa 40:1-2)

But notice that this word of comfort is not directly to those who need the comfort, but it is a call to us. We are the ones God is calling to bring His “comfort.” It tells us to come alongside and to offer comfort to those who need it. The verses that follow describe the power that God releases through this calling:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isa 40:3-5)

By answering the call to bring God’s comfort to His people we become part of the work of preparing a highway for the Lord Himself to come, and His glory to be revealed.

We hope that you will also join us in fulfilling this calling, to extend a hand of comfort with us, and be a part of building the highway of our God.

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A Full House

*Subira’s world suffered an earthquake the day her husband left her for another woman. All at once, she was forced to face giants she never imagined ever needing to fight. How would she provide for her and her son’s needs without him? How could she be asked to fill all the holes he left behind when her own heart needing refilling? 

In the midst of adjusting to life as a single mother, Subira suffered kidney disease and needed to undergo surgery for a transplant. This meant many weeks of recovery and the inability to work. But the bills still arrived on time though there was no one who could pay them. While Subira recovered from surgery, her debt began to grow. 

It was in the midst of her distress that Subira learned of the work of CBN Israel. She reached out for help and began to meet with the financial adviser. During their meetings, the staff learned that the needs were great. Subira was not only in need of financial support, she needed emotional support as well. And it wasn’t only Subira who suffered. Her son lacked a bed to sleep in and a dresser to store his clothing. His bedroom was a constant reminder of his home without his father.  Empty. 

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”- James 1:27

The staff of CBN Israel began helping the family by meeting one need at a time. Subira was given food vouchers and a donation towards reducing her debt. She was invited to be a part of the group of single mothers in her local community where she could regularly receive prayer and encouragement. And furniture was bought to fill the little boy’s bedroom. *Daniel now has a bed, a dresser, a desk and even a laptop for aiding him in his homework.

“I am so blessed to have met you”, Subira shared with the staff. “I feel so filled up and I now have a family with CBN Israel”. 

It is because of those who give generously to CBN Israel that enables us to give generously to others. If you desire to make a real difference in real peoples lives here in Israel, partner with us today! 

*Names were altered for privacy.

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The Picture of the Firstfruits

This week, as we have celebrated the Passover, and remembered the deliverance that God brought about for His people in Egypt; we also remember how we ourselves have experienced God’s deliverance from slavery to sin. The beauty of the picture of God’s work of salvation no longer is a ‘theological construct’ to be studied, but a hope inspiring recognition of the restoration of new life in Him. It was the traditions that God made part of Jewish custom which showed the pattern that God was going to use in the future fulfillment of His plan of salvation for all of us.

Many Christians think of the Sunday morning after Passover as ‘Easter Sunday.’ But it is so important to take notice what was happening in Jewish tradition on that very same day, because of the way the patterns of tradition continue to show us their fulfillment in Jesus.

“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Lev 23:10-11)

The same Sunday that Jesus rose from the dead was the time when the very first part of the harvest was being brought to the Priest to “wave” before the Lord. Jesus often used imagery of a harvest to compare the salvation process of mankind. Not only this, but Paul also speaks about Jesus Himself becoming the “Firstfruits” of the harvest of salvation:

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Cor 15:20-24)

We can conclude that Jesus’ resurrection was the opening of the season of the harvest, and that God has called us all to understand how we are to take part in this season. Each of us has been sent out into a different part of His harvest, and are called to be faithful to Him in the field that He has placed us. Later this year we will talk about the end of the season which happens at the Feast of Tabernacles, and how it is a symbol of the completion of “bringing in the harvest.” No wonder the prophet Zechariah prophesied about the end times saying:

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16)


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Salvation and Passover

Every year, during Passover, we remember that God stepped into the history of an obscure family of slaves, and performed mighty acts in order to deliver them from their bondage. It is amazing to read how after 400 years of silence, God, who with no army and no help, used one man to free a powerless group of slaves from a powerful empire in Egypt. 

As a memorial to the deliverance that God brought about for His people, He commands the observance of the Passover every year. The children of Israel were to pass down the story of God’s salvation to every generation. As wonderful as the story is, once the deliverance was complete, why would God command such a penalty for those who do not observe this feast?

“But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people.” (Num 9:13)

In other words, if you do not have a legitimate excuse, and you do not commemorate God’s deliverance every year, you will be cut off from being included among God’s people. That sounds harsh!

The reason God was so insistent on His people remembering and commemorating His mighty act of deliverance is because the story was not complete. This was ACT I of God’s plan and was a taste of the complete deliverance that was going to come later. Throughout the scriptures, we see how the Israelites were indeed delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, but they were still “slaves to sin”, (as Jesus describes in John 8:34). The Passover was a signpost along a path, but the path would lead us to a fulfillment that would be completed by a Savior who would set us free from the real bondage we all have and that is to sin.

As Jesus sits down to have His final Passover dinner with His disciples:

“He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:15-20)

In the Body of the Messiah in Israel, we celebrate our Passover because by doing so we remember the mighty act of how He delivered us from our slavery to sin. This act of memorial is more than the ceremony of communion that Jesus was talking about; He was telling His disciples (and us) that He is looking forward to celebrating this same feast one day with us in His kingdom. We hope that you, who have experienced the same deliverance of God through the Messiah, will also commemorate His wonderful salvation with us until we all can celebrate this feast with Him in His Kingdom.

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A Change of Attitude Brings Change in Income

Several months ago, the financial counselor of CBN Israel, Arik, met a young man who was drowning in a pool of debt so big that no one knew exactly how to begin draining it. From where Arik stood, conquering a debt that size felt equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. But as he began requesting help from the Lord and from financial partners, donations slowly trickled in and the debt was reduced by one-fifth of the size. 

It was not enough, however, to only deal with the debt through the means of donations. A plan of action was created to chisel it away through hard work and a good income. Arik encouraged the young man, *Gilad, to pursue work that interested him as well as to have a secondary job to help pay off the debt. But as Gilad started working his profession, a root cause of his financial struggle was revealed. 

Gilad was a man with strong opinions and was bold in stating his thoughts and beliefs. People found him difficult to work with and his sharp tongue and judgmental attitude towards others was hindering him. He had a reputation for being unkind and no one could trust him as a representative of the company. But it wasn’t only those in the work place that suffered. It was his wife and family too. 

When Arik learned of the situation in the workplace, he requested a follow-up meeting with Gilad in order to discuss these issues at hand. “Your income is suffering because of your attitude”, said Arik. “If you will focus on improving yourself, being more kind to others instead of judging them, you will gain trust and you will do well in your work”. 

Weeks later, Arik received a phone call from a manager in Gilad’s office. “I thought you might like to know what has been happening with Gilad”, he said. “He has changed his mind. He is acting more kind and people here like to work with him. He works so hard now and it’s really paying off! I know you played a part in it”. 

God is always after the restoration of our souls. He allows the deep issues of the heart to surface, not for our shame and embarrassment, but for our healing. If we are willing to let God surgically remove those deep issues of the heart through his word and by His Spirit, we will experience freedom and more of His blessings in our lives. 

“It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.”- Proverbs 10:22

*Name altered for privacy


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Single Mother Clearly Sees God as Her Provider

*Aviva felt panic as she fumbled through her purse searching for her new pair of expensive multi-focal glasses. She checked and re-checked the same pockets over and over again. “Where can they be? I must find them”, she thought to herself. She began retracing her steps in her mind of every office she had cleaned that day. Being unable to see either near nor far without these specialized glasses, her world in that moment was a blur. 

As Aviva was looking rather puzzled, she encountered a woman she recognized as a staff member of CBN Israel. “Do you need some help?” the woman asked.  “Yes”, Aviva replied. “I’ve seemed to have lost my glasses, and I don’t know where they could be.” “Let me notify the rest of the staff and see what we can do to help you”, the woman stated with a smile. 

Aviva sat down and began thinking of what would happen if she was unable to locate her glasses. She remembered how much the last pair had cost her, and as a single mother, she didn’t earn enough to afford a replacement. But how could she work or live without them? Even in that moment she could barely see well enough to carry on in her work of cleaning. There was only one thing she knew to do and that was to pray. 

When the staff of CBN Israel received the message that Aviva was in need of glasses, the decision was made to request help from partners to replace the ones that were lost. Within just a few days, donations began to come in. Aviva was notified to visit the office of a believing optometrist who would help her with a new pair of glasses- all expenses paid for. What Aviva didn’t see coming were the multiple blessings God had in store for her. 

The optometrist not only gave her one pair of new eye glasses, but two! And in addition, she was given a pair of multi-focal sunglasses. She received three for the price of one! What once had appeared to be an impossible situation, God used as an opportunity to abundantly bless His child. 

The next time Aviva visited the office of CBN Israel, she was beaming with joy in her beautiful, new pair of glasses. “I am so grateful for what God has done for me”, she said, “and for all the help of CBN Israel.” 

*Name altered for privacy. 

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The God of Restoration

Religion can be so detrimental to attaining an understanding of God’s ways. The essential elements of most religion recognizes the brokenness of the human condition because of sin and that the solution to this brokenness is erecting barriers to keep people from sinful action. The true revelation of our Scriptures is that what separates us from fellowship with God is not just what we ‘DO,’ but what we ‘ARE.’
The brokenness of our human condition is exactly the reason we need the promise of God’s restoration to be so clear. On an individual level, when Jesus was here, He extended a healing hand of restoration to people who had no hope of being whole or holy. On a national level, the story of Israel is so significant because it is the example of God’s continued faithfulness to us in spite of our faithlessness.
One of the lowest moral points of Israel’s history is during the time of Jeremiah. The people had turned away from God to such an extent that destruction and judgement were on their way, and there was no stopping it. However, even Jeremiah, during a time where doom is imminent, and he seems to have nothing but bad news for God’s rebellious people, there is a thread of hope in his message. The promise that even after coming to total destruction, and the rightful judgement of God against His people, He is already thinking about their restoration. Before they have even repented He is already working out their salvation.
“At the same time,” says the Lord,” I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.” Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword Found grace in the wilderness —Israel, when I went to give him rest.” The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.”…..
“Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.” (Jer 31:1-4; 8-9)
Today, when we see the Jews returning to the Land of their ancestors, we are the witnesses of the miracle of God’s faithfulness both to His chosen people and by extension to us. We have the amazing opportunity to wonder at how faithful our God is in that He would keep His promises to a people who had seemed to have lost all hope, and if He deals so faithfully with them, will He not also deal faithfully with us?
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