Understanding the Times

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We need keen awareness, revelation and discernment to fully understand the deeply troubling worldwide ‘times’ in which we are living. This can only come from a place of intercessory prayer, seeking the Lord for His wisdom and a spirit of revelation.

The word ‘understanding’ in Hebrew is binah (בינה), which means ‘to have insight’.

We read in Daniel 2:21-23 that God ‘changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.’ Daniel goes on to say, ‘I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you…’

Faithful supporters across the nations, this is why your prayers are so vitally important as the International Board and leadership of Ebenezer seek to chart the way ahead over the coming months.

The challenges we face are immense and Ebenezer has been called, first and foremost, to be an intercessory ministry. This means we pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading and timing before we act. But God has also asked us to undertake a prophetic task: to help the Jewish people worldwide to return to Israel in accordance with Scripture. By God’s Spirit, and with the support of your ongoing faithful commitment, we have been doing this for the past 25 years.

The sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do… – 1 Chronicles 12:32

During the first nine months of 2016 I travelled extensively, visiting our offices and teams in New York, Paris, Moscow, Jerusalem, Kiev and Europe. The prophetic word brought at Ebenezer’s 25th anniversary conference in January, that ‘time is short and there is much to be done’, has come alive to me as I have received reports and seen at first-hand events gathering pace across the nations.

This word was coupled with the sobering warning that ‘in 48 months the world will be a very different place’.
There will indeed be great challenges ahead for our teams, both in the East and the West. History tells us that the main waves of aliyah have happened during times of crisis and have been preceded by seasons of committed intercession.

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Graffiti in Paris.
Graffiti en París.

We maintain a large operational and humanitarian work across Russia. Our teams do an incredible work, often in hostile and very difficult circumstances, visiting Jewish communities across this vast region to bring aid and support to help families make aliyah. However, circumstances are changing rapidly and it is becoming increasingly difficult for our teams.

In July President Putin signed two new federal laws which jointly introduce changes into 21 laws officially designed to provide additional measures to counter terrorism and ensure public safety. Included within these changes are ‘Restrictions on Freedom of Conscience.’

This package of legislation defining and restricting ‘missionary’ activities by religious organisations and their members, and the activities of foreign religious organisations, could impact the ability of our teams to operate in freedom.

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PA fotos en colaboración con Sword Magazine
Photos in collaboration
with Sword Magazine

Tensions between the separatists in Crimea and Ukraine are once again rising, particularly in the Donetsk area. Vadim, our Director in Ukraine, reports that ‘every single day we have soldiers killed and wounded’. This is an area where our teams are working to reach Jewish families wishing to make aliyah, so please pray for their safety.

Moldova, where there is a Russian enclave (Transnistria), and the Baltics are likely to feature in any escalating regional conflict. Our teams are working hard and in September Ebenezer supported two group aliyah flights with Christians for Israel International (based in the Netherlands), with whom we have been working closely over many years.

In the first half of this year aliyah from the former Soviet Union represented 58.8 per
cent of the worldwide total.

In America our new office in Brooklyn, New York, is now operational, headed up by Shirley Lawrenson, who has moved from our Jerusalem office. An Israel and aliyah outreach event in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, organised in collaboration with the Jewish Agency, raised the profile of Ebenezer and our new office within the Jewish community.

In Latin America we are actively encouraging aliyah and Ebenezer’s base in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is fully operational. A current project, needing your prayers and financial support, is the opening of a new base office
in Chile. Again, we see an increase in anti-Semitic attacks, resulting in police protection being provided for the president of Chile’s Jewish community, Gabriel Zaliasnik. “I am 43 years old and I don’t recall something like
this,” he said. “We’ve had eight anti-Semitic events in different parts of the country.”

Ebenezer’s task is not only to help the worldwide return of the Jewish people to Israel but, equally, to bring revelation and understanding to the Church in the nations through the proclamation of God’s Word. Much of the Church has no revelation of this call of God upon them to help in the return of the Jewish people so we must pray for a Spirit of revelation and understanding.

Dear friends, we could not serve the aliyah without you! It is a great joy to see the growing numbers of Christians around the world gaining this understanding and being prepared by the Holy Spirit to support the work of aliyah practically, financially and most importantly, through prayer and intercession.

KEY WORDS
Aliyah is the word for the immigration of Jewish people from the Diaspora to the Land of Israel. The word in Hebrew means ascent and is defined as ‘going up’ – progressing towards Jerusalem.

Olim means Jewish immigrants to Israel – those making aliyah. In the singular, a male immigrant is
called an oleh and a female immigrant an olah. Potential olim are those our teams contact and encourage to make aliyah.