Our Dark World Needs the Light of Life
President’s Letter – December 2015
Dear friend in the Messiah,
Shalom! I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful season of Thanksgiving with your family and that you are eagerly looking forward to the Christmas/Hanukkah season as well. What a great joy it is to celebrate God’s goodness and what I describe as the “miracles of December.”
As Jews, we think about the miracle of God preserving the Jewish people against Antiochus Epiphanes and the Syrian Greeks that tried to destroy us in the centuries immediately before the birth of Jesus. And of course, as Christians we are already “ramping up” to focus our attention on the greatest miracle of all—the birth of our Savior and Messiah.
These are good and wonderful things that warm our hearts and give us joy.
However, the reason why miracles mean so much to us is because we know we live in a dark and broken world that desperately needs the light of life that comes through the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and especially through Jesus, His Son.
Stop the Violence
The present rash of personal terrorism in Israel is just breaking my heart. This violence, which includes random stabbings, shootings, and all forms of vicious attacks against innocent individuals, is deplorable and simply needs to stop.
This is why we have initiated a Stop the Violence campaign and have included, with this letter, a petition for you to sign. We will send these to our Secretary of State, John Kerry, calling upon the United States to take action—especially during this holiday season when so many Jewish and Christian pilgrims would normally be traveling in the Holy Land.
I am afraid that Israel has become far more dangerous than in previous years for everyday citizens, and I want you to especially pray for our Chosen People Ministries staff members who are constantly out and about sharing the Gospel throughout Israel.
Average Israelis, most of whom have been soldiers at one time in their life, are taking up martial arts and sharpening their defensive skills. Even the mayor of Jerusalem has called upon the citizens of the holy city to begin carrying guns.
What choice do they really have? Average Israelis are now in personal danger because of this new method of personal terrorism which seems to randomly strike against individuals. It usually does not involve bombs or heavy armaments but is just as destructive.
An Unholy Coalition
Additionally, for the first time in many years we see a combination of Russian, Iranian, and Syrian troops perched on the northern borders of Israel. This is an unholy coalition that can only lead to further violence on Israel’s borders and ultimately spill over to Israel if it continues. After all, we know that Iran has been funding Hezbollah and arming them with short-range missiles and other weapons. Israel has deployed troops on its northern borders and though we hope the ISIS threat will be minimized, we also recognize that if they succeed, Israel will be in a precarious position, especially if Iranian and Russian troops decide to plant a more permanent protective force in southern Lebanon. Can you see how dangerous this would be for Israel?
This reminds me of what the great prophet Zechariah predicted about the last days when Israel would be surrounded by hostile neighbors.
And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zech. 12:9).
But, that’s not the end of the story! In that day when Israel’s neighbors initiate a full throttle attack against God’s chosen people, the Lord will turn the hearts of His chosen people to Himself and send Jesus to conquer the enemies of Israel and establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. This is the great hope we have, my brothers and sisters, because the Lord is still in control! As the prophet writes,
I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn (Zech. 12:10).
We not only have hope for the future, but we also have hope for today, as the Lord is working powerfully among Jewish people around the globe and Israel in particular.
God’s Work in the Holy Land
The “adage” is true! When people are disappointed with this world and have troubles they cannot easily solve, they begin looking for God! And this is exactly what is happening in Israel.
Allow me to share one recent story about our ministry in Israel to elderly Holocaust survivors. Maxim, our dedicated worker who ministers to these precious people, writes,
Join me in thanking God for all the events we were able to have for Holocaust survivors for the celebration of the feasts with them. Because most of them moved to Israel from the Former Soviet Union, they were Jews only by birth and almost never kept the traditions. Many were even brought up as atheists. Therefore, such events are a great opportunity for them to come back to their Jewish roots and, hopefully, to faith in the Messiah. It was such a blessing to meet with Holocaust survivors in Sderot to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the New Year. We had wonderful fellowship, singing and sharing a meal. Most wonderful were the words of love shared by our ministry friends from Poland and Australia.
We have also had almost 500 mostly younger Israelis request a free copy of our Isaiah 53 Explained book in Hebrew. Our partnership with a ministry in Israel to produce Hebrew-language video testimonies of Jewish people who have come to faith in Jesus as their Messiah is going very well. What is amazing about these videos is that they are touching the lives of many younger Israelis and the responses and comments have been wonderful.
May I ask you to sign the enclosed petition? As followers of the Lord Jesus, we want to raise our voices and be the instruments of His peace during this special season of the year. After all, He is the promised Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7). He has called us to be “peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). We understand the prophetic plan of God, yet still have the opportunity to create peace and stop the violence every day.
Would you help us by signing the petition and calling upon our elected authorities in the United States to help stop this growing movement of personal terrorism in Israel?
Of course, in addition to signing, will you also commit to praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and all of Israel—especially that these personal terrorist attacks would cease?
Digital Media Evangelism
I simply cannot describe how exciting it is to see the responses of Jewish people around the world to our online evangelistic ministries. We are seeing many Jewish people come to faith in Jesus through the Hebrew-language video testimonies I mentioned, Isaiah53.com, and the video testimonies in English on ifoundshalom.com. We need your support and prayers!
We are able to direct the attention of literally hundreds of thousands of people to our online ministries through the use of Facebook ads.
I am thinking of investing an additional $100,000 during this next year to create additional videos and place ads on Facebook to reach Jewish people in Israel.
But, in order to do this, I also need to support our Digital Media Department in the United States. So, your gifts will help us shine light into the darkness of the world that sometimes seems to be coming apart at the seams.
Would you help us—especially during this season of the year? What better way can we show our gratitude than by advancing His kingdom with our prayers, petitions and financial support?
Thank you so much for your partnership!