July 2024: David’s Shield Project (IDF)

Preparing for challenges ahead

After the Iran-coordinated attack on Israel in April 2024, terrorist and military attacks are expected to continue. Therefore, the IDF is preparing for a major confrontation with the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. Israeli civilians stock again supplies, such as water, food and other essentials.

As the practical needs of hundreds of thousands of soldiers are monumental, our CFI-Jerusalem Headquarters is helping to provide their protective gear items, like helmets, vests, boots, and also power tools and drones. Many units around the country are actually lacking these items.

CFI is hosting also meal trucks, feeding units of 70 soldiers. We are offering you an opportunity to provide high quality meals to soldiers in areas that lack other meal options. The cost of a meal truck is about $2,500. Please pray about blessing the soldiers with your resources. We thank you in advance, and pray that “The blessings of the Lord be upon you” (Psalm 129:8)

CFI delivering soldiers’ protective gear items

Anti-Semitism’s many faces

The Shabbat morning on October 7, 2023, brought another Palestinian terrorist organization, called Hamas, to kill and injure Israelis living along the Gaza border in southern Israel as the terrorists destroyed a total of 28 Jewish communities. It soon turned out that this was not enough pain and sorrow as close to two hundred Israeli men, women and children were taken as hostages to Gaza. During the coming weeks, about 300,000 Israelis were internally displaced to escape the thousands of rockets launched from Gaza, hitting even areas of Jerusalem. When one of the misfired rockets hit their own hospital’s parking lot in Gaza, the Arab world and many Western capitals erupted with riots, blaming Israel for the attack. That was the day when the world turned against Israel with violent anti-Semitism only a week after the October Black Shabbat.

April 13, 2024, brought a new face to the Iran-led coalition’s war against the Jewish State. For the first time, Iran launched from their own soil over 300 drones, cruise and surface-to-surface missiles toward Israel. Israel, assisted by the U.S., the U.K. France and Jordan, intercepted 99% of them before the aerial projectiles before they entered Israel’s air space. It was Israel’s miraculous survival with little damage to civilian or military targets.

As the war between Hamas and Israel has lasted now for months, so is the world-wide hatred toward Jewish people in Israel and over the world. This hatred is flamed by the Hamas “medical authorities” who claim daily figures for the Gazan casualties of war to gain a world sympathy.

It is interesting to observe the news media taking terrorists’ words as factual information. In the meantime, Israel must find the 133 still living and already perished hostages and destroy the extensive tunnel network under Gaza along the Palestinian-elected leadership of Hamas.

The United Nations, which is generally known for its anti-Israel stand, has joined this new wave of anti-Semitism. The recent UN resolution was all about condemning Israel without even mentioning Hamas terrorism.

The International Criminal Court (ICJ) in The Hague exercised their political anti-Semitism by holding a hearing on January 26, 2024, in the case of South Africa vs. Israel as Israel was accused of committing a genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza in the on-going Hamas war. Why did South Africa come to accuse Israel? The reason lies with South Africa’s generous funding of the Palestinian Hamas government. It was reported on May 13, 2024 by i24News from Tel Aviv that not even one Arab country has cut diplomatic ties with Israel because of the war in Gaza.

Please include the Israeli government, military and all the population in your prayers. The anti-Semitism experienced by generations of Jewish people to this day is very real. It is an indefensible act and there is

no reason or excuse for it to exist. May Israel say, “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth” ─Psalm 124:8.

(Photo below from a rally for the Gaza captives)

From full-scale wars to deadly terrorism

In May 1967, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli vessels, ordered the immediate withdrawal of the UN personnel from Sinai, and mobilized the Egyptian military into defensive lines along the border with Israel. A few days later, Israel launched pre-emptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields and facilities, destroying most of their military’s aerial assets. The conflict developed into a war with a coalition of Arab states as Syria bombarded Israeli villages in the Golan Heights and Jordan joined Egypt for a mutual defense pact. Alongside the combatant casualties, civilians were killed in the Arab forces’ air strikes on Jerusalem.

On June 11, 1967, Egypt, Jordan and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement with Israel. Israel had seized Syria’s Golan Heights, the Jordanian-annexed West Bank with East Jerusalem, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. This time, the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip came under Israel’s control.

On the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur in October 1973, Israel was attacked by Egyptian forces crossing the Suez Canal, and by Syrian forces crossing into the Golan Heights, causing Israeli forces to suffer heavy casualties. During the weeks of fighting, Israel reversed many of its early losses and gained territory from Syria and by crossing the Suez Canal. When fighting ended, formal ceasefire and disengagement agreements were signed. A United Nations peacekeeping force was established between Egyptian and Israeli forces.

On March 26, 1979, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty formally ending the state of war that had existed between the two countries for 30 years. Under the terms of the treaty, which had resulted from the Camp David Accords signed in 1978, Israel returned the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and, in return, Egypt recognized Israel’s right to exist. The two countries subsequently established normal diplomatic relations.

In early 1980s, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had a number of strongholds in Lebanon from where they shelled Israel’s northern communities, forcing Israelis to live in bomb shelters. To take control of the situation, Israel entered Lebanon, and the PLO finally evacuated Beirut under the supervision of a UN multinational force. The second Lebanon War took place with the Hezbollah fighters in 2006 for the capture and killing of Israeli soldiers. The conflict caused about one thousand Lebanese casualties and displaced many more people.

IDF paratroopers at the
Western Wall: Zion Karasenti, Yitzhak Yifat, and Haim Oshri, (from left to right). Photo by David Rubinger.

Egyptian Anvar Sadat and Israeli Manachem Begin at the Joined Session of the U.S. Congress in 1978.

Below from left to right: General Uzi Narkiss, Defense Minister Moshe
Dayan and Chief of Staff Lt. General Yitzhak Rabin in the Old City of Jerusalem after its fall to Israeli forces.

Jerusalem Old City view

Had it not been the Lord who was on our side…

Seventy-six years of war against the Jewish State

On May 14, 2024, Israel’s seventy-sixth state anniversary took place with only limited celebrations due to the previous eight months which had been the most painful period in Israel’s history since the 1940s Holocaust.

A brief review of Israel’s history and survival brings into focus the above words from Psalm 124:1−3 where it is stated: “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side,” let Israel now say, “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their anger was kindled against us.”

After decades of confrontation between Arabs and Jews under the British, the United Nations proposed the Partition Plan for Palestine (resolution 181) in November 1947, which recommended dividing the Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish and a Arab state. Had the Arabs accepted the plan, the region may have been spared for years of bloodshed and loss of life

The events moved on to draw Israel into challenging years of conflicts and wars with various Arab forces.

As Israel declared independence in May 1948, Egypt launched immediately an aerial assault on Tel Aviv. In the next day, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Lebanon joined in the fighting. Israel─with a population mainly of the European concentration camps’ survivorshad no trained military, guns, artillery, armored vehicles, nor military aircraft or tanks. The attacking Arab nations were well prepared with a man and weapon power.

Israeli forces placing a flag in Sinai

At the end of the War of Independence (or the Arab-Israeli War), the Jewish nation survived with an agreed temporary frontier between Israel and each of the Arab states. In the Arab world, the war came to be known as the Nakba or “Catastrophe” for the large numbers of Arab refugees and other displaced persons it created.

In 1956, Gamal Nasser rose to power in Egypt with a hostile stance toward Israel, which led to the Suez Canal Crisis. President Nasser barred Israeli ships from using the canal and the southern port of Eilat.

Later that year, Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula, opening shipping through the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel withdrew from Sinai when the UN Emergency Force was stationed in the area. During the following months, Egypt dropped the Eilat blockade and a UN buffer force was deployed to the Sinai Peninsula.

Responding to the challenges

It is hard to imagine the weight that the attacks on October 7, 2023, and on April 13, 2024, have added to the struggle of these families. As the emotional stress and financial problems pile up, Israeli families appreciate help from ministries such as CFI. Practical assistance and time spent with them are much needed and always appreciated. We have delivered financial help for rent payments and food vouchers, especially to single-parent families.

When Israel is drawn into a conflict, the needs of the poorest population are only going to increase. It is a privilege to minister, and we are in Israel to help to meet their needs. Join us in blessing the Household of Faith in the Land!

Prayer in a church gathering

Project recipients (left) with CFI’s Sharon and Ruby

In addition to the Household of Faith congregations, CFI team members visit home gatherings. Participating in Holy Communions is a privilege. Special events, such as Women’s Conferences, often need books, so CFI is pleased to provide them. Over one million Russian-speaking immigrants live in Israel, so Russian book titles are very popular.

The Replacement Theology is well-known in the Arab churches in Israel. Their Pro-Palestinian message

has merged with this theology as these churches do not teach enough about the Biblical view of Israel. CFI is supporting and encouraging the Arab pastors as they face the consequences of the Hamas war in Gaza and the attacks from Lebanon

“A Principle and A Promise” book by Sharon Sanders

Project First Fruits Supervisor Sharon (left) working in the Netanya Women’s Conference

CFI provides conference book titles in Russian, Hebrew and English languages

Ever increasing prayer needs

Remains of an Iran’s missile, launched from Yemen and intercepted by IDF, landed in the Dead Sea area

Iran’s long-time campaign against the Jewish State came to a shocking new face on April 13, 2024, when Iran launched over 300 drones, cruise and surface-to-surface missiles toward Israel. Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah joined the attack. Israel, assisted by the U.S., the U.K., France and Jordan, intercepted 99% of the aerial projectiles in the night sky, most of them before they entered Israel’s air space. It was Israel’s miraculous survival, with little damage to civilian or military targets. Regrettably, a seven-year-old Bedouin girl in southern Israel was injured by falling shrapnel.

Please join all CFI offices to pray for:

Protection for all of Israel’s borders with troops stationed on the southern and northern border.

Israel’s leadership and IDF Defense Forces—air,  land, and sea; for wisdom, discernment, strength and resolve to end this existential threat.

Comfort and courage for civilians as many may experience fear and uncertainty.

Unity and a spirit of prayer for all in the Land at this time.

Pray also for Jewish people in the nations that may be targeted with anti-Semitic incidents as a result of Israel defending itself against all enemies.

Complete support and cooperation from all  Israel’s allies as Iran’s proxies may join in for Iran’s “defense.”

An Australian-born author and historian, Kelvin Crombie, has been working on a very special research project. For the first time, someone is systematically surveying the fate of Jewish believers in Jesus (Hebrew Christians/Messianic Jews) who suffered during World War II. It is estimated that there were 250,000 Hebrew Christians at the start of WW2.

Up until now, it has not been widely known that thousands of such Jews died at the hands of Nazi Germany and their allies. Very little hard evidence, figures, and stories have ever been assembled about these victims, and their tragedy largely remains an untold chapter in the history of the Holocaust. Kelvin is in the process of collecting testimonies, compiling names of victims, and analyzing how Jewish Christians were rounded up and murdered across Europe. This is a giant and difficult task that will take years to complete.

Bazyli and Anna Jocz were two of the Jewish Christian victims of the Holocaust in Poland. In January 27, on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, their suffering at the hands of the Nazis is remembered. Bazyli was killed by the Gestapo, and Anna was paralyzed after being beaten by a Nazi.

What happened to the Jocz family was typical of what happened to many of the Jewish or Hebrew Christians of Poland and other European countries in the1940s. As believers in Jesus, Bazyli and Anna had sowed the seeds of what later became known as the Messianic Jewish movement that has since spread to North America, Israel and throughout the globe

A wagon from the European Holocaust years on display in
the Yad VaShem Memorial Museum in Jerusalem

When modern Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust in fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37), the Messianic movement of Jewish followers of Jesus emerged triumphant from the blood-stained soil of Poland. The book about the Jocz family’s fate is available at Amazon.com, authored by Kelvin Crombie.

Entrance to the Armenian Convent in the Old City

The Armenian people’s history in Israel dates back to the 1st century B.C. when the Armenian king Tigranes the Great made much of Judea a vassal of the Kingdom of Armenian. The first recorded Armenian pilgrimage to the Holy Land was an Armenian delegation of priests in the early 4th century AD. The visit is alluded to in an Armenian translation of a Greek letter written by Patriarch Macarius of Jerusalem to his contemporary, St. Vrtanes (ruled 333–341 A.D.).

The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem was founded in 638 A.D. It is located in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. An estimated 5,000–6,000 Armenians live across Israel. The majority are Armenian Orthodox Christians, and a number are Hebrew believers.

Hayr mer – “Our Father” in Aramaic:

Հայր մեր որ յերկինս ես, Hayr mer, vor ergeens yes, Our Father, who art in heaven…

Inside view of the Old City walls

Told on the pages of history

The very first church was founded nearly two thousand years ago in Jerusalem. It happened when Peter took his “stand with the eleven, raised his voice” and gave a sermon (Acts 2:14-41). That church was one hundred percent a Jewish church. Peter and all of the apostles were Jewish. All the people who first responded were Jewish. After Jesus, His own brother James emerged as the leader of the Jerusalem church, congregation.

Then, 1,700 years later, one of the oldest and continuously active churches in Jerusalem is the Anglican Christ Church, which was consecrated on January 21, 1849. This year, they celebrate 175 years of ministry in the walled Old City. The church’s history records that in January 1842, Bishop Michael Solomon Alexander of London, England, arrived in Jerusalem.

He was the first Jewish leader of a Jerusalem church since 135 A.D.

His daughter Deborah was 10 years of age when the Alexanders arrived in Jerusalem. She recalled at her father’s farewell sermon in London that “the Hebrew boys and girls of your Society’s schools were there singing in their tuneful voices, Jerusalem, my happy home and Hosanna to the Prince of Peace.” She also remembered her father’s consecration in the Lambeth Palace in Jerusalem.

The trip to Jerusalem started on December 3, 1841, from Gosport, England, and proceeded to Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Beirut, and finished in Jaffa, Ottoman Palestine.

Deborah described how they reached Jerusalem: “At that time there were no roads in the Holy Land, only camel tracks; no trains, no carriages of any kind; riding was our only method of locomotion, and we had to travel either on camels, horses, mules or donkeys.”

“If you rode a camel, you would be seasick, if a mule or a donkey, the chances were you would be kicked off; and horses were rare. Nevertheless, on we went, variously mounted, and crossed the fertile flowery Plain of Sharon, sparkling in the early dew. They all stopped to eat at midday at the edge of the Judean hills.”

“After our meal, we climbed up the rough road to the top, where, lo and behold at our feet, surrounded by hills, calmly lay the shining City of the Great King. Then my parents were so moved that they knelt upon the ground and wept tears of joy.” ─Deborah Alexander

The Church of Mary Magdalene on Mt. of Olives

For such a time as this

The past six months have been unprecedented times of sorrow and pain in the Lord’s land. While various forms of assistance are critically important these days, the need for practical help, healing, and recovery will continue for years to come.

Our Jerusalem Distribution Center is well prepared to welcome all those needing help, like this mother with a child. She shopped at our Start-Up Store for necessities for her home.

Our teams deliver food boxes for displaced families in temporary housing.

With your support, Christian Friends of Israel is there in the Land, fulfilling God’s calling for us as a ministry. Because of your faithful support, Israeli families are cared for and helped to believe in their future amid war and personal struggles. As we pray for Israel, we also pray for you the promises from the Word: “The Lord will protect you from all evil, He will keep your soul… from this time forth and forever” (Psalm 121:7−8).

Boots, Boots and More Boots Assistance and Prayer in Uncertain Times

Many soldiers up in northern Israel have worn out their boots due to the rain and snow. They are much in need of good quality boots. As over 300,000 Israelis were called to serve during the Hamas war, the need for boots and other necessities is overwhelming. A soldier from an artillery unit near the border came to Jerusalem to receive a new pair of boots from the CFI’s Distribution Center (photo below).

Memorial in Kibbutz Re’im

The field of the Nova Music Festival at Kibbutz Re’im, close to the Gaza border, is now a memorial site for the over 300 youth who were murdered by the Gazan terrorists on October 7. The young lives were cut short, and their families lives turned upside down.

Assistance and prayer in uncertain times

There are a countless number of traumatized people in Israel today. So many have suffered in terrible ways and will continue to suffer. Many want to keep hoping that their loved ones held in Gaza will be rescued. Others hope that─one day─they can return to their own homes and end this chapter of being evacuees in their own country. It is our privilege to help the people in these sad circumstances. For those who had suffered a terror attack years ago, the October 7 attack has re-opened traumatic memories, making them worse.

Please join us in praying for Israel:

  • Release of the hostages from Gaza.
  • Strength and peace for their families in Israel.
  • Victory for Israel in the Hamas war.
  • Wisdom for PM Netanyahu and the government

after the United Nations Security Council votes for demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza for the Islamic Ramadan holiday, bringing Israel near total isolation in the world stage.

  • Mercy to the United States for abstaining and letting the 14 other council members to vote in favor of the resolution.
  • PM Netanyahu said that “the U.S. has abandoned its policy in the UN, and has given hope to Hamas terrorists of a truce without giving up its hostages.”

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever” (Psalm 125:2).