Our Mission Declaration
Operation Exodus is an instrument of the Lord, to encourage and help the Jewish people to return to the Land of Israel from the land of the north and all the nations and to proclaim God’s Kingdom purposes for their return.
Operación Éxodo Latin America & México
Operación Éxodo Latin America & México works in parallel with Ebenezer Emergency Fund, a ministry started in the United Kingdom in 1991 by Gustav Scheller. Started in 1991 with just three people, it now has representatives
in over 50 countries worldwide. Together, we have assisted over 140,000 Jewish people to return to the land of Israel from all over the world including from the former Soviet Union (fSU) and more recently, South America.
Many Jewish people will be left behind unless we help them. Many of them are very poor and cannot afford to pay for the documents that are required to return to Israel, neither do they have the funds for transportation to the airport for the flights to Tel Aviv. Ebenezer provides the necessary funds to allow these Jewish people to make aliyah.
We give humanitarian aid to many Jewish people that live in extreme poverty, who survive on paupers pensions or wages that they rarely receive. We give food, clothing, medicines and other necessities. This Christian love in action opens many doors for for these people to listen and respond to the call of God to return to Israel. Please click here for more details.
Ebenezer Emergency Fund is supported by Christians from all over the world. Will you be a partaker in helping the Jewish people to return to Israel, in fulfilment of the biblical prophecies?
Why Help the Jewish People Return to the land of Israel?
Many Scriptures express God’s promise that one day He will bring His people back to the land He gave them. For example:
I will bring your descendants from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth.
I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.’
History of Ebenezer Emergency Fund
In 1974 God showed a vision to Steve Lightle that it was His plan for the Jewish people to return from Russia to Israel, as prophesied in Jeremiah 16:14-16. When Gustav Scheller learned of this vision, in 1982, he went to Jerusalem to look for Steve. From then on they worked together to take this message to the Church, and to pray together with others for its fulfilment.
In 1982, God showed Gustav Scheller (a Swiss business man living with his wife, Elsa, in Bournemouth, United Kingdom) that it was His plan and purpose to bring the Jewish people back to Israel, and that He would use Gustav to help Him do so.
In 1991, during an Intercessors for Israel Conference in Jerusalem, Gustav heard the voice of God: “Now is the time to start helping my people to return from the land of the north”, which was confirmed by others. Gustav understood that the biblical “Land of the North” not only referred mainly to Russia, but included all the countries of the former Soviet Union (fSU). Responding to this word from the Lord, Scheller founded Ebenezer Operation Exodus, an international, interdenominational Christian organisation, with the purpose of helping Jewish people return to Israel.
Since its inception, God has enabled Ebenezer to help more than 140,000 Jewish people make aliyah by sea and on flights sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel. (Aliyah is the Hebrew word for “going up”, as in ascending to Jerusalem.)
Teams of dedicated Christians from all over the world are working together, to fulfill the call of biblical prophecies, for the nations to bring in their arms and on their shoulders the sons and daughters of Zion, back to their land.
With the renewed growth of anti-Semitism and the rapid deterioration of the economic situation in the former Soviet Union, we perceive that the time is short before the exit doors close again. God calls to the Church to get up and act – loving and helping His people, to bring forth the prophetic fulfillment of His plan of repatriation.
History of EEF in Mexico
In the year 1991, a group of fourteen Mexicans took the last Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Tel Aviv prior to the start of the Golf war and the commercial flights from Israel were suspended because of the danger. We knew we were going to an event of great importance and that our participation in the International Prayer Conference in Jerusalem was going to be a key event for the blessing and protection of Israel.
We united with one hundred and seven other committed Christians from twenty four other nations in the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem. We did not know that we were going to be witnesses of the birth of an extraordinary ministry that was going to have and will continue to have an impact on the restoration of Israel, (Ebenezer Emergency Fund, Operation Exodus).
I had the privilege of meeting Gustav Scheller in the year 1987 when I participated in a Intercessors for Israel Prayer tour that was coordinated under the direction of Steve Lightle. In this tour my eyes were opened to understanding the essential events that have to take place before the Second Coming of our Lord and the importance of Israel in the eternal purposes of God.
We became friends immediately; and and upon meeting his beautiful wife Elsa, our friendship and our admiration for both grew. Gustav truly was a man of God, whose faith and commitment with God and his purposes were and keep on being a continuous challenge for me and for many others.
Timeline of Ebenezer Emergency Fund2015
Ebenezer Operation Exodus provides financial aid for flights from Argentina, France, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, USA and Uzbekistan.2014
Offices open in Argentina and Guatemala.
Conferences in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
Ebenezer Operation Exodus provides financial aid for flights from Germany, USA, India, Kazakhstan, Moldova, UK, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.2013
Conferences in Argentina and Honduras.
Office opens in Paraguay.
Ebenezer Operation Exodus provides financial help for the first flight from Uruguay.2012
At the end of January more than 130,000 Jewish people have been helped to make aliyah by the ministry of Ebenezer Operation Exodus.
Ebenezer involves the next generation with its programs for young adults and trips to Israel.2010
Ebenezer Operation Exodus provides financial help for the first flight from Venezuela.2009
Ebenezer Operation Exodus provides financial help for the first group flight from the UK, bringing 107 olim from 3 to 90 years of age to Israel.2007
In South Africa we provide financial aid to olim for their return to Israel, resulting in more cooperation with the Jewish Agency.
Ebenezer sponsers a flight of Ethiopian Jews from Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv.2006
Regional advisory groups in Latin America and SE Asia/Oceania.2003
The Ebenezer sailings from Odessa to Haifa are suspended, but the ministry continues helping with flights.2002
Helpful contacts with local churches and the Jewish Agency made it possible for 2002 to reach even the most remote Jewish people.
Ebenezer celebrates helping 100,000 olim to return to Israel since 1991.Israel since 1991″ />2000
The office opens in Mexico.
A very fruitful period for EEF as we help 21,104 Jewish people to make aliyah in this year alone.1999
Ebenezer celebrates 100 boat trips to Israel.
More than 50,000 Jewish people have been helped to make aliyah.1995
Expansion into Kazakhstan with 600 Jewish people making aliyah by air during this year.
EEF helps almost 100 olim from Armenia.
10 sailings, carrying Jewish people to Israel from Odessa.1994
3 Aid flights direct to Israel from Armenia operating from Repetition.
Sailings begin from the Central Asian republics1993
25 chartered sailings between March and December, carrying 2,500 Jewish people from Odessa to Israel.1992
Ebenezer finances three Jewish Agency flights from Budapest, Hungry, carrying 720 Russian Jewish people to Tel Aviv.
Greek Ship Mediterranean Sky transports 1,400 Jewish people in threes sailings from Odessa to Haifa.1991
Ebenezer Operation Exodus is formed during the first Gulf war.
Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests?
Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth. – Isaiah 43:5-6
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips.”
But it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.
See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. 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, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. – Jeremiah 31:8-11
Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.’ – Ezekiel 36:22-28
Operation Exodus Argentina
Operation Exodus – Argentina in San Salvador, Entre Rios
We are seeing a new wave of olim leaving their countries and heading towards the Promised Land… In these historic times your help is more crucial than ever. I again thank you, all members of Ebenezer and the communities across the United States and all over the world, which support our aliyah initiatives.
Last year over 19,000 Jews made Israel their home. Your contribution is crucial in helping to provide these immigrants with excellent services such as Aliyah on a Red Carpet where within 24 hours of landing, the new immigrants attend a special Absorption Fair enabling them to receive many crucial services. Your recent aid to orphan children in our Absorption Centers is vital in assuring that these youngsters receive all the help they need to succeed in becoming part of Israeli society. In the name of the Jewish Agency, the Aliyah and Absorption Department and all the immigrants that you assist I want to extend my appreciation and gratitude to your extraordinary organisation of Christians standing with Israel and the Jewish people. Let us continue our cooperation assuring the ingathering of the exiles in the Holy Land of Israel! Thank you very much and GOD bless you!
On behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the hundreds of olim who have made aliyah in the last year from the UK, thank you for your help. Our partnership is remarkable, unique even. Ebenezer’s generous contribution has enabled us to run some of our vital aliyah projects, including one of our most successful,
the Aliyah on a Red Carpet group flights. We have many projects ahead of us. Registrations for our group
flights are at their highest and without your devoted support our mission cannot be considered complete.
I have no doubt about the birth of Ebenezer as a ministry. It came during the Gulf War in January 1991. The way it came into the heart of Gustav Scheller was clearly the Holy Spirit speaking. It was during the intercessors’ conference, most of which was in a bomb shelter with everyone wearing gas masks and matters for prayer written on a board. It was born in the midst of conflict and the Lord honoured it through the years in the thousands of Jews brought back to Israel from the Former Soviet Union. It has been a testimony to the absolute faithfulness of God to His Word and covenants.
When I first met Gustav and Elsa Scheller in 1982 in Jerusalem and Gustav stayed in our home, little did I know what the Lord was going to bring about. When we started Operation Exodus and chartered the first plane, then started the Exodus Shipping Line with three sailings to bring the Jewish people home, we had such a sense of awe as we were seeing the fulfilling of what the prophets of old had foretold. Then the Lord spoke to Gustav to start Ebenezer Emergency Fund and the rest is history.
It was the offer of a lifetime: to join the 100th sailing from Odessa to Haifa. Our three days in Odessa exposed us to the excited Jewish people who were overwhelmed with the love of the Ebenezer team. During the voyage a friend was asked, “Why do your eyes shine?” The olim packed into the lounge for the final meeting will always be etched in my memory: tears running down the cheeks of everyone in the obvious presence of the Lord. And then the climax: the excitement of the repatriates crowding the deck as they saw, for the first time, the Promised Land!
Christians for Israel (Christenen Voor Israel, CVI) has been working closely with Ebenezer Operation Exodus since 2004. This is a truly unique friendship. Each of our organisations has its own history, focus and mission. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses. But over the last few years we have discovered that we share the same values, hopes and vision. We have learned to bear each other’s burdens and are committed to helping each other. We thank God for all that He has done through you in the last 20 years. We wish you the full blessing of the Lord and hope that we will be able to work ever more closely throughout the world to strengthen the body of Christ and bless the Jewish people.
One of the great blessings Ebenezer has brought is the establishment of trust between Jewish people and Gentile believers. My wife, Angela and I were at Yunost Base in Odessa when a minibus arrived with olim. One man firmly rejected my offer of help. But two days later, at the dockside, he invited me to help him crate his possessions. His heart was softening. On sailing day, at the foot of the gangway, he gently placed his wife’s arm on Angela’s, allowing her to assist her take the first steps to the Land of Promise. His heart had opened.
Gustav Scheller consistently emphasised the advantages of aliyah sailings compared with flights to Israel. “They elongate the transition,” he said. I saw this when sailing on the Dmitry Shostakovich in 1996. The passengers were understandably apprehensive as we left chilly Odessa, but halfway to Haifa, as we approached the warmth of the Mediterranean, the mood palpably shifted. Fear gave way to a stunning reality: “We’re going home!” As my wife Wendy, our daughter Carolyn and I walked the decks wary glances became endearing smiles, hearty handshakes and teary hugs.
During the 123 sailings I was privileged to be part of in bringing Jewish people home, the words of Psalm 126:2-3 came to me many times as we entered Haifa and saw the olim step on to their new homeland: “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. God’s faithfulness to the olim as they journeyed home will always stay with me. I thank the Lord for helping and blessing me on those sailings as I accompanied the olim to Israel.
Nearly seven years have passed since the shipping line was suspended in 2004. Looking back at all the years I spent at Odessa I sometimes still ask myself how we, ordinary people, managed such a mighty operation. The answer is we have a mighty God! One time Gustav and Elsa came on the last sailing of what had been a difficult year. I asked Gustav whether he was satisfied with the sailing programme, but instead of saying something like, “Yes, it was a good year,” he replied, “God has been gracious to us.”
In January 1991, 14 people from Mexico were compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem to pray for the protection and blessing of Israel. We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany to find our connecting flight to Tel Aviv the following morning had been cancelled. We went to our hotel and prayed and worshipped the Lord. Then three of us returned to the airport – and found our flight had been reinstated! The time in Israel was amazing. God heard our
prayer, Israel was protected and we had the privilege of being there at Ebenezer’s birth.
Praying in my flat one day in autumn 1990, I felt God wanted me to go to Israel. It was the next day, I think, that a note about the intercessors’ conference in Jerusalem in January 1991 dropped through my letterbox. I went. It was a great time. Even though I saw nothing of Israel it was better than any tour! I felt the presence of God and the security of being in the right place at the right time. Twenty years on it’s a privilege to serve full-time for Ebenezer
The Lord spoke to me clearly on Tuesday 8 January 1991: “You must go to Israel!” That afternoon Western citizens were urged to leave Israel because of Saddam Hussein’s vow to destroy Israel if Iraq was attacked. The following Sunday in church I poured out my heart to Pier even though I hardly knew him. After praying, he said he was prepared to go with me and asked when I was going. “Tomorrow!” I said. I booked the flights leaving Tuesday morning. Gustav Scheller shouted: “Praise the Lord you are coming!” We arrived, the last of the 120 participants God had gathered for His purposes: especially the birthing of Ebenezer Operation Exodus
We need to continue to position ourselves to hear, wait and allow God to show us the way forward! Daily we are asking the Lord to shine His light on every aspect of our work. More than ever we remain committed to abiding in Him, living in obedience, moving in humility with Ebenezer around the world, proclaiming the Lord’s Word and gaining a place of intercession for the release of the Jewish people.
It is such a privilege to see what the Lord is doing with the next generation: As we tour Israel with young Christians from the nations we clearly witness how the Lord imparts His heart for Israel and aliyah. Through the teaching, seeing and experiencing the land and the people, they return home to their nation, equipped and ready to bless the Jewish people. ‘Engage Israel’ and our other programmes provide an opportunity for young Christians to engage with God’s Word and with the miracle of aliyah, as well as showing their love through practical service to the Jewish people.