Cost of Gas, Electricity, and Food Rises
Food, gas, and electricity prices in Israel increased on February 1. These changes are a result of supply chain shortages, higher raw material costs, and smaller workforces. Rising cost of living is a common trend worldwide.
Israel’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.8 percent in 2021. This increase is not high compared to other countries. The Bank of Israel’s projected inflation rate is 1–3 per year. Since 2015, Israel has had virtually no inflation.
Though the price of coal tripled globally last year, Israel has been reducing coal usage. As a result, Israel’s electricity price increase is one of the lowest in the world (along with Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic). Still, during an especially cold winter, a higher price for electricity poses a challenge for many Israelis.
Please pray for those who are struggling as they are out of work, sick, or just do not make enough money to pay for price hikes.
Large Israeli Air Force Drill
Israel recently conducted an Air Force drill with dozens of fighter jets over the Mediterranean Sea. The jets practiced different scenarios, including mid-air refueling, long-range strikes, and responding to anti-aircraft missiles. The purpose of this drill was to simulate a massive attack on Iran’s nuclear program. An American Air Force officer observed the drill as well. Israel has always made it clear that it reserves the right to take military action to protect its citizens.
Since it seems that the nuclear deal negotiations in Vienna have faltered, Israel wants to be ready for potential conflict with Iran. Israel spent $2.4 billion for eight Boeing supertankers, but they will not be ready for delivery until 2024. Because of the distance to Iran and the need for multiple sorties, mid-air refueling is key for the fighter jets to have successful missions.
Please pray for Israel’s protection against Iran and their threats, especially their nuclear plans.
Israel Sends Team to the Beijing Olympics
Israel is sending a small team to compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Alexei Bychenko is a Ukrainian-born Israeli figure skater. He competed in men’s individual figure skating in 2014 and 2018. Evgeni Krasnopolski, who also contended for Israel in 2014 and 2018, will perform with Hailey Esther Kops in the figure skating pairs event.
In short track speed skating, Vladislav Bykanov will represent Israel. This athlete also competed for Israel in the last two Winter Olympics. Finally, Noa and Barnabas Szollos will compete in five alpine skiing events, including the super giant (Super-G) slalom. These siblings have Israeli citizenship and an Israeli father. However, they live in Hungary and do not speak Hebrew.
Please pray for the safety and health of all Olympics athletes.
Friends Talking over Dinner about Jesus
One of our Israeli staff recently wrote these heartwarming thoughts about her ministry.
Every other week, I host dinner events for seekers. We try to meet outside together, but sometimes we gather with our meals on Zoom. It is a group of three believers and three seekers. Each seeker was invited by their believing friend because they were asking questions about faith and Jesus. They were not, however, ready to come to something called a “Bible study.” The dinners allow them to explore their questions. One of the believers among us might also start a conversation related to knowing God.
Miri,* Sarit,* and Lia* never miss a “meetup.” Their interest is a great sign of how much they are seeking. At the last dinner, Miri shared that she has been really reading the Bible between our meetups. It never used to make sense to her, but suddenly it does. She was very excited. Miri came with several questions that sparked a great conversation about God’s plan of salvation. The others said they are going to try to read the Bible more, too. A very exciting step!
Perhaps you might consider similar dinner events with your Jewish friends, near and far!
Please pray these seekers come to know and accept Jesus as their Savior.