Inside Israel

Former Israeli Hostage Leaves Hospital

Elma Avraham was freed from Hamas on November 26, 2023. (Source: The Times of Israel/Courtesy)

Soroka Hospital in Beersheva celebrated as they discharged Elma Avraham, age eighty-four, in good health. She had spent fifty days as a hostage in Gaza after Hamas kidnapped her on October 7. Upon her release as part of a hostage deal in November, she was taken by helicopter in a serious, life-threatening condition. She arrived at the hospital unconscious with a heart rate of forty beats per minute and a body temperature of eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. Hamas neglected to give her the daily life-saving medicines she required. She has spent the last six months recovering. A farewell ceremony was held to celebrate her life and the hard work of the doctors and nurses who brought her back to health.

Please pray for Elma, and other hostages’ recuperation and return to their lives and routines.

Read more at The Times of Israel . . .

Israeli Singer at Eurovision Scores Fifth Place

Eden Golan (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Okras)

The grand finale of the Eurovision song contest took place in Malmo, Sweden over the weekend. Israel’s delegation made it to the finals. Singer Eden Golan sang her song “Hurricane,” which had a graceful, somber tone to it, making a veiled reference to the events of October 7. Golan entered the contest in an estimated eighth place but quickly rose to second place in televoting after her performance in the semi-finals. She placed fifth overall but received 323 votes from audience televoting, which was second after Croatia, who received 337 televotes. The final decision considers both international jury votes and the audience televoting.

Many in the audience constantly booed her during her performances and rehearsals. Outside, thousands protested against Israel, screamed antisemitic slogans, and carried anti-Israel posters. The police presence outside the stadium was massive. Golan personally had 100 Swedish police assigned to protect her delegation. The head of Israel’s Shin Bet (Secret Service) flew to Sweden to protect her and be mindful of other Israeli travelers. Malmo has a large Muslim population very hostile to Israel.

Please pray for her delegation to return safely to Israel.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Israel Marks Population Growth this Independence Day

Old City of Jerusalem (Source: Unsplash/Damir Kalić)

From Monday night to Tuesday night, Israel marks its seventy-sixth Independence Day (Yom Ha’Atzmaut). This year’s celebrations will be more muted, without the annual Israeli Air Force flyover and fireworks. There will still be many BBQs and picnics with families and friends. When Israel was established in 1948,  806,000 people lived in Israel. Now there is a twelve-fold increase with 9.9 million people. Jewish people make up 73 percent of the population, 21 percent are Arab, and the remaining 6 percent are classified as “others” (Bedouin, Christian, Druze, etc.). The country grew by about 189,000 since last year. By next year’s Independence Day, Israel’s population is projected to surpass 10 million.

Praise God for the Land and people of Israel!

Read more at YNet News . . .

Chosen People Ministries Serves Holocaust Survivors in Israel

For twenty-one years, Chosen People Ministries has been serving Holocaust survivors in Israel. Through the years, we have helped thousands of them in many ways. However, our ministry differs from regular humanitarian projects, cultural celebrations, or friendship. While taking care of practical needs is highly important, adding the most important element of spiritual care brings unbelievable fruit and eternal changes.

Since October 7, our work among these precious souls is more vital than ever. In general, most Holocaust survivors consider themselves atheists at first. The significant trauma they have experienced prevents them from accepting and believing in God. However, with time, Jesus and the Holy Spirit change them, open their hearts to His salvation, and fill them with faith! What an opportunity! After all, nobody knows—especially since October 7—when their last moment will be.

Our ministry mattered to these survivors:

  • In the city of Ofakim, six Holocaust survivors from our group were killed by Hamas terrorists on the streets of the town on October 7.
  • One Holocaust survivor we ministered to personally was killed along with other people at the bus station in Sderot when the bus stopped to pick up more passengers on the way to the Dead Sea. Everyone on the bus was murdered by terrorists.
  • We knew one man, M., for more than thirteen years. We first met him and his wife—both Holocaust survivors—when he was seventy-five years old when they moved to Israel from Ukraine. After coming to faith in Jesus, M. became a happy man and always volunteered to help. He loved to pray and always asked for prayer. He and his wife participated in all our meetings and events and even went on our trips to Poland and Denmark. On October 7, early in the morning, he went out to help someone—not knowing terrorists had entered the city at the same time.

    People saw how terrorists executed him with a shot to the head, but his body was not found until two weeks later. Meanwhile, his wife was beside herself, did not talk to anyone, and did not want to live. She kept asking how he survived the Holocaust yet was killed on the street on a seemingly peaceful day. For us, it has taken a long time and many prayers to bring her “back to life.” The Lord Jesus is healing her. Two weeks ago, she finally left her house for the first time since October, when she came to our Passover Seder. Her smile made our hearts rejoice.

There are more such stories. We continue this significant ministry among Holocaust survivors, knowing the urgency and eternal value.

  • Our ministry spends a lot of time visiting survivors in their homes, listening to them, praying with them, and trying to answer questions.
  • We also have survivors group meetings weekly in six cities with organized programming, Bible study, lunch, and fellowship.
  • We also help survivors by practically responding to their needs. New needs have appeared., For instance, a few days ago, we bought a computer and set it up for a ninety-one-year-old Holocaust survivor who needed to be able to attend meetings on Zoom with a counselor to help her post-October 7 trauma.
  • Last week, on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), we organized a special meeting at the Jerusalem Messianic Center and invited the famous documentary director Galina Yevtushenka, who was repatriated to Israel from Russia a year ago. She showed one of her films—Dodik, which tells about the fate of Jewish Holocaust survivors from the former Soviet Union. Yevtushenka told us the story of its creation, and then we discussed it. Many of the Holocaust survivors present saw their life stories in this film.

    They worried and asked questions about the present time. Will the Holocaust happen again? Why has the whole world turned its back on us? Where are the Christians who love Israel? How perfectly the Lord set up the gospel time! Our staff said the Holocaust is part of a spiritual war and only the Lord can protect us and solve this problem. We reminded them of the Scriptures, which say we must align ourselves with the Lord before it is too late! We talked together for longer than an hour, then ended the meeting with prayer and dinner.

  • These past seven months, we also organized four retreats for Holocaust survivors, with a focus on spiritual healing. Each retreat is three nights and four days for forty people. We watch how these trips bring hurting people back to life and give them joy and hope. When they come home, they tell others about these trips, and today, we have more than 400 Holocaust survivors wanting and waiting to participate in such a program. Additionally, at the last retreat, two women came to faith in Jesus Christ!
  • As you read this, we are finishing a three-day trip with fifty Holocaust survivors who have been displaced since October 7, so please pray for their hearts to open to the Messiah!

According to statistics, more than forty Holocaust survivors die in Israel every day. We are doing our best to reach as many as possible and continue working with them while there is still a chance. Thank you for your participation in our ministry!

Please continue to pray these people will hear and accept the message of eternal life in the Messiah. They have little time left, and the message of their salvation is in our hands!