Shalom, dear friend!
We are celebrating our 129th year of proclaiming the gospel among the Jewish people worldwide! For me, it is a great honor to lead this historic mission to the Jewish people started by Rabbi Leopold Cohn in 1894.
Chosen People Ministries means so much to me and Zhava. My wife came to faith through young adults trained to witness to Jewish people by a Chosen People Ministries missionary at the very Jewish high school in Los Angeles she attended. I will be forever grateful for this Chosen People missionary and the young evangelists he trained!
In so many wonderful ways, I am a debtor to the Lord and to Chosen People Ministries! Paul understood this great biblical truth so well when he wrote,
“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise” (Romans 1:14, nkjv).
As a young man, barely 19 years old and as a brand-new believer, Chosen People Ministries paid my way through Bible College. The missionaries who were part of the New York area work at that time helped disciple me in the Word of God, and I am thankful for their personal and devoted care for me and my walk with God. Especially as at the time my family did not understand my newfound faith and I desperately needed the support of more mature believers . . . Chosen People Ministries provided all this for me at a crucial time in my life.
It is a privilege to do the same for so many others in more than twenty-five cities in the United States and Canada and in twenty-one countries around the globe. I am so glad we can continue the Rabbi’s vision of bringing the gospel to the Jewish people—my people—in so many new and relevant ways without changing the eternal message of the gospel. I cannot tell you how many thousands of people, even millions, have watched the Messianic Jewish testimonies found on www.ifoundshalom.com. If you have not seen them, please watch and make sure you view my testimony on the site. It will help you appreciate what I write when you see the power of God’s deliverance in my life!
Helping Suffering Ukrainians
I am excited about all God is doing through Your Mission to the Jewish People today. Yet, at the same time, it grieves me when I remember the plight of war-torn Ukrainian families—especially in the midst of a dramatically cold and severe winter.
During January, we like to remember the words of the great Jewish apostle who wrote,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
We believe the gospel is “to the Jew first” and also to the Gentiles. This ministry strategy is of great practical importance to our mission, especially during these terrible and tragic days of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. We are doing all we can, especially during this deadly winter, to bring food, warmth, and spiritual hope to thousands who are suffering.
This crisis has been ongoing for about a year, with no clear end in sight. Your generosity enables us to invest thousands of dollars in relief work each month in Ukraine and other places refugees have fled, like Poland, Germany, and Israel.
Let me summarize what we have been able to do because of your prayers and generosity.
Every month since the war began, we have sent aid to a network of Messianic Jewish congregations in Ukraine. We have served these congregations for more than thirty years! They are dependable, hardworking people whose lives are war shattered. Without our help, some of these dear brothers and sisters and their children would barely be making it. Knowing how winter, with freezing temperatures and shorter days, greatly exacerbates the hardship of life in Ukraine, we organized a winter relief fund some months ago to prepare for these harder times.
These resources help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters receive everyday necessities like flashlights, winter clothing, heaters, generators, and sleeping bags. Due to Russian attacks, electricity is unreliable throughout the country. Heating and water are also scarce, especially in eastern Ukraine. In addition to winter supplies, we continue to provide funds for basics like rent, food, and medicine.
One of our Russian-speaking Israeli staff members visits Ukraine and Poland several times a year to aid the relief efforts. He recently helped a church in western Ukraine organize a three-day retreat for refugees from Mariupol, a city hit hard by the fighting. The program includes walking in the mountains, playing games with the kids, relaxing, and studying the Bible. One man who attended went four days without drinking alcohol and just told us he has decided to quit drinking! He needs to take the next step and receive Jesus as His Savior, which will bring unimaginable healing to his heart, soul, and family.
Project Promised Land
More than 30,000 Ukrainians immigrated to Israel since the war began. Israel also received tens of thousands of immigrants from Russia, who oppose the war and Putin’s increasingly restrictive regime. Many of these newcomers arrive with little more than the clothing on their backs.
Through Project Promised Land, our staff in Israel are hard at work helping the new arrivals settle into Israeli life. We distributed gift cards totaling thousands of dollars for groceries and other essentials. We also serve these refugees by assisting with government paperwork and organizing free tours of biblical sites. Hundreds of people participated in these tours. A few have come to faith and have since connected with local Israeli churches.
Our staff hosted a three-day conference for families who recently arrived from Ukraine and Russia. The time together greatly encouraged these children and families who endured so much. We also regularly welcome these immigrants to Sabbath meetings and other events at our Jerusalem and Tel Aviv centers. Through these programs, our team embodies the love and compassion of Jesus, which leads to opportunities to proclaim the gospel.
The Difference You Made
I want you to know how much your support means to the thousands of Ukrainian lives we touched over this difficult year. There are so many stories I could tell, but here are two brief testimonies from the leaders of Ukrainian Messianic congregations we are helping:
We are a Jewish Messianic Community in the city of Zhytomyr [near Kyiv]. We are grateful to God and Chosen People Ministries, as well as to our brothers and sisters who have raised finances to buy warm clothes and everything we need to get through winter. We are grateful to the ministry for having been able to send the funds necessary to help in this difficult time. May God bless and cover the needs of your hearts for the riches of His glory. Amen.
Another congregational leader in Kharkiv writes:
We want to thank Chosen People Ministries for monthly financial support during this difficult moment of life in Ukraine. We thank God for your work, prayers, special attention, and understanding of the whole situation!
Unfortunately, the crisis is not over. No resolution is yet in sight, and we are still in the early days of winter. The coming months will be difficult with scarce heating and unreliable electricity throughout Ukraine.
Your gift of any amount enables us to aid those suffering the consequences of war. We also request your prayers as we seek to tell Ukrainians about the healing work of Yeshua. Thank you, again, so much for your partnership. We could not do our work without you!
And now some late breaking news!
We are also purchasing a building in Tel Aviv. This property will provide more than twice the space as our current rental for our gospel events designed for both young and old. Since the new building was bare, we are now in the thick of renovating the property so it will be ready for our ministry programs. In the coming weeks, we will tell you much more about our exciting plans for our new Tel Aviv Messianic Center and how you can support the creation of a Messianic Center in Tel Aviv.
Thanks for investing in the salvation of Jewish people in Israel, Ukraine and around the globe!