This article was first published here on Febrnuary 1st 2018.
Shalom dear Friends,
With the arrival of the New Year, we have been reviewing our New Immigrant Welcome Project activities from the past year and a half. The past 2-3 years have been marked by a renewed wave of aliyah (immigration of Jews) from the former Soviet Union. In that time, Israel received more than 100 thousand new immigrants! And in response, our congregation provided aid (with your participation) to more than 5,000 people. We are not able to keep in touch with all of them since we do not have the needed human resources. But we continue to reach out to hundreds of new immigrants and to serve them.
Over the past year and a half we organized numerous events geared to these newcomers, and now we are starting a discipleship training course for new immigrants. Of course, this is a spiritual work, requiring more than just the effort of mind and logic. This letter is first a request for your prayer. This is a request to intercede especially for them: for people that are burdened with the fear of not being able to adapt to life in a new country, a new homeland. They are frightened by the reality of the needed adjustments and by their lack of knowledge and wellbeing. The prophet wrote about these moments:
"They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father" (Jeremiah 31:9).
These new immigrants are going through a process of purification. We all know that purification is painful. In the years since I came to Israel as part of the Aliyah wave of 25 years ago, many immigrant families throughout Israel have fallen apart. There has been much suffering and tears. We ourselves as immigrants who returned to Israel many years ago, are able fully understand and empathize with those who have come recently. It is not humanly possible to prevent these sufferings and tensions. And, actually, this transitional time is a key stage of open hearts and an opportunity to ask for God's help. It was for these "days" and "for such a time as this" that He equipped those of us who have already returned.
However, this outreach is impossible without a spiritual covering, and we need your intercessory prayer more than ever!
Recently we have organized different events specifically geared towards new immigrants:
☆ Biblical feast celebrations
☆ Educational trips throughout Israel
☆ Friday evening Shabbat celebrations
☆ And starting in early March, a discipleship training course.
Additionally, Shavei Tzion (Return to Zion) is arranging new aid packages including food baskets, winter necessities (bedding sets, heaters and kitchen accessories). Therefore this letter is also a request for you to please prayerfully consider helping with this financial need. We estimate that the approximate cost of the next phase in this project will be $42-45,000.
Our goals are to prepare:
1. 300 food baskets, together costing $17,000
2. 100 bedding sets, together costing $10,000
3. 100 heaters, together costing $7,000
4. 100 sets of kitchen accessories, together costing $7,000
A famous proverb says: "A stitch in time saves nine." In our case, a timely outreach effort can prevent bigger problems down the road. Also, together we will warm many hearts by providing warm clothes for the winter ... If the Lord speaks to you please give using one of the donating options.
We are praying for you, for your wellbeing, and for Shalom of the Lord for you and your families.
Donate to support the vision of Shavei Tzion.