Word from Jerusalem - April 2022 - USA Edition

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The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was established in1980 in recognition of the biblical significance of all of Jerusalem and its unique connection to the Jewish people. Today the ICEJ represents millions of Christians, churches, and denominations to the nation and people of Israel. We recognize in the restoration of Israel the faithfulness of God to keep His ancient covenant with the Jewish people. Our main objectives are: • To stand with Israel in support and friendship; • To equip and teach the worldwide church regarding God’s purposes with Israel and the nations of the Middle East; • To be an active voice of reconciliation between Jews, Christians, and Arabs, and to support the churches and congregations in the Holy Land. From its head offices in Jerusalem, the ICEJ reaches out into more than 170 countries worldwide, with branch offices in over 90 nations. Our vision is: • To reach every segment of Israel’s society with a Christian testimony of comfort and love, and • To reach and actively represent to Israel the support of denominations, churches, and believers from every nation on earth. The Christian Embassy is a non-denominational faith-based ministry supported by the voluntary contributions of our partners and friends across the globe. We invite you to join with us as we minister to Israel and the Jewish people worldwide by donating to the ongoing work and witness of the ICEJ.


As the Ukrainian crisis continues to unfold, the Christian Embassy is working with Israel and the Jewish Agency to help bring thousands of endangered Ukrainian Jews safely to Israel. We have so far committed to assisting 3,000 Jewish immigrants but the State of Israel is expecting at least 10,000 if not more and our continued assistance is greatly needed (pp. 10–12). This miraculous and timely response is only possible because of the generous support of Christians around the United States and the world. In these uncertain times, it is important for churches everywhere to get involved—and increase their involvement— with Israel and stand in the gap for the Jewish people. I urge you to read the timely teaching of ICEJ Board Chairman Rev. Ingolf Ellßel on page 4. I know many of you are excited that Israel is finally opening its borders again! After two years of lockdowns and travel bans, Israel recently removed restrictions on incoming tourists, and we quickly saw the first groups arriving again in the Land of Israel. This means we are now preparing for our first physical Feast of Tabernacles celebration in Jerusalem since 2019, and we are inviting you to join us! This year’s Feast theme is “The Land of Promise,” and we have exciting plans for all our pilgrims to experience what God is doing today in Eretz Israel personally! Many will be surprised to see how much Israel has developed. See page 19 for details, and make plans now to join us from October 9–16 in Jerusalem to celebrate this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. Also, please prayerfully consider standing with us in the various AID projects outlined in this magazine. Finally, I strongly encourage you to support our unique partnership with Yad Vashem as we prepare for Israel’s upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) on April 27–28. I assure you it will have a great impact on Israel! Many blessings from Jerusalem, and I hope to see you at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem this fall!


CREDITS ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler USA Director Susan Michael VP International Affairs Dr. Mojmir Kallus VP Finance David van der Walt VP Operations Barry R. Denison VP International Spokesman David Parsons VP AID & Aliyah Nicole Yoder Managing Editor/Publications Director Laurina Driesse USA Managing Editor Julaine Stark Copy Editor Karen Engle Staff Writer Anastasiya Gooding Graphic Design/Illustrators Ryan Tsuen, Peter Ecenroad, Nancy Schimp Photography Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, JAFI, AP, Reuters,

Joshua Bartholamew, ICEJ Staff and Branches, Getty Images, Dreamstime, Patrick Perkins, Joshua Skukoff, Robert Bye, and Ehimeta Unuabona on Unsplash The New King James Bible is used for all Bible references unless otherwise noted. Word From Jerusalem is published by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Word From Jerusalem has no subscription price and is supported through contributions worldwide. The ICEJ USA Branch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with offices in Tennessee, Florida, and Washington, DC. All gifts to this ministry are tax-deductible according to United States law. INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN EMBASSY JERUSALEM - USA

Support our ministry online at: www.icejusa.org

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Jürgen Bühler President International Christian Embassy Jerusalem




COVER PHOTO: Jews who have fled Ukraine receive a warm welcome to Israel. FOR MAGAZINE ARCHIVES visit www.icejusa.org/wfj

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Photo by: Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash



Photo by: Ehimetalor akhere Unuabona on Unsplash







This teaching excerpt is adapted from a seminar message delivered during the Envision 2022 Pastors and Leaders Conference by Rev. Ingolf Ellßel, Chairman of the ICEJ’s International Board of Trustees.


am writing from the perspective of a denominational leader, an overseer of the German Pentecostal movement, to share eight reasons I encourage pastors to stand on the side of Israel. 1. WE MUST PREACH THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD For me personally, when you are a leader of pastors, you have a responsibility to lead the church into the whole gospel and all the promises the Bible gives us. Every promise is important. We read about this in 2 Corinthians

1:20, where Paul says that “every promise of God is made “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ. We can also look at promises from the Old Testament . . . they are “Amen” through Jesus. 2. ISRAEL IS A REVELATION The second reason pastors should stand on the side of Israel is because it is a revelation. When you have the grace of revelation that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, you are obliged to preach it. And when you have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and you know this is the way to build up faith in your heart, you must share it. Revelation about the promises of God is grace, too, but you are obliged to preach it and teach it. The same is true when we have a revelation to stand on the side of Israel. Theology alone does not provide this revelation to others, nor does simply listening to us talk about it—we need the help of the Holy Spirit to reveal truth about

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Israel whenever we preach from the Word. Let me share a personal testimony. I had studied theology and knew a lot about Israel through this study, but I realized that it was a dead letter in my life. I knew about it, but it was not in my heart. I knew what I should do, but there was no power inside me to live it out. Then I preached the gospel in a tent meeting in a neighboring village. During the meeting, a businesswoman found Christ. One year later, to say “thank you,” she gave me and my wife tickets to visit Israel. It was 1983, and we were just beginning to pastor a small church and did not have much money. We were very excited! We visited Israel for eight days. It is a wonderful country with so many places to see. But there was a special moment when we were in



love for Israel in your heart too. 3. ISRAEL IS LOVED The Bible tells us Israel is loved by God. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Only God can love this way! The very next verse says, “I will build you up again. And you, Virgin Israel will be rebuilt.” God’s love for Israel is why He does great things for the Jewish people. The prophet Isaiah says about Israel: “Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life” (43:4, NKJV). God is willing to do the best for Israel. We should have the same goal. . . .

The Western Wall (in Hebrew, “Kotel”) in the Old City of Jerusalem

"STANDING IN FRONT OF THE WESTERN WALL, I REALIZED THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. IT WAS LIKE A PENTECOST EXPERIENCE." Jerusalem, standing in front of the Western Wall. I realized the power of the Holy Spirit—it was like a Pentecost experience. After that, I felt a love for Israel deep down in my heart. The grace I received obligated me to preach and teach others to do something for Israel. If you have not been inspired yourself, how can you inspire others? If you need such a revelation about Israel, pray! God can put this

The apostle Paul tells us why God loves the Jewish people in Romans 11:28 (WEB): “But concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.” [This is referring to] Abraham, who believed God . . . and walked with God in the new country the Lord wanted to give him. Abraham was obedient, even to sacrifice his own son, and God loved him. Shouldn’t we also love what God loves? This is a strong argument. Churches need help finding this secret, and no pastor can oppose this argument. So as a leader of a denomination, when I teach pastors about God’s love for Israel, and I ask them this question: Should we also love what God loves? The answer must be very clear. Yes! 4. GOD MOTIVATES US We should also stand on the side of Israel because God motivates us to do this. Many promises in the Bible reflect the different and wonderful ways God blesses, and we should not omit even one of them. The New Testament tells of many of these promises—Jesus Christ is the foundation of all that God promises to those who believe in Him. In Genesis 12:3, God speaks to Abraham, saying: “I will bless those who bless you . . . and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”


God blesses us when we bless Israel. I am motivated knowing that when I stand with and speak for Israel, God will bless me. I am sure every person who comes into this secret would [want to] get involved with Israel. 5. GOD TESTS US Another reason is that relating to Israel is a test—and it’s not easy. Consider the Old Testament story about Naomi and Ruth. Naomi was an old lady who went out from the Land of Israel with her husband and two sons because Israel had been dry for many years, and there was nothing to eat. They went to the country of Moab, where both sons married Moabite women. . . . Sadly, Naomi’s husband and both sons died. Noami was left alone with her two daughters-in-law. Naomi felt in her spirit that she should return to her home country. There was a ceremony to say goodbye, and one of the daughters-in-law, Orpah, kissed Naomi. But Ruth clung to her. Ruth 1:14 is a prophetic dimension. Naomi represents the people of Israel. There was a cloud over Israel for centuries; so many Jewish people died through different circumstances. They were hated by so many nations, and the people of Israel were poor with no home country, like Naomi. In this story, Orpah and Ruth stand prophetically for two types of Christians: the “Orpah Christians” and the Ruth and Naomi “Ruth Christians.” I. Orpah Christians say “thank you” to Israel because their salvation came from the Jewish people . . . and that is all: “Thank you, Israel, for Jesus Christ—now go your way.” The other type of Christian, the Ruth Christian, clings to Israel and stands by Israel’s side . . . God is testing us—even pastors and denominational leaders—and asking us: “Do you love what I love”?


Ruth Christians respond to God’s question with a resounding “Yes.” Some say: “Yes, there was a time when Israel was poor, was homeless. But now they are returning home. And of course, the State of Israel is now rich, and the property, very expensive.” Because of this, some think proper Christians do not need to help Israel. But I know the real poverty

CHRISTIANS WHO LOVE ISRAEL LIKE RUTH WILL CLING TO ISRAEL. of Israel . . . They need people to visit them, and when they feel [Christians’] love for them, they can open their heart, and we can serve them. And we need such Christians and such pastors. For this reason, I teach superintendents from our movement to live this lifestyle, which pleases God. Satan’s persecution of the Jews still exists. Millions want Israel to perish. And I know it is not easy to stand with a despised people or on the side of the weak who have no honor in society. But this is what God does: He stands on the side of Israel, even in the difficult times. It is up to pastors to do the same.

Scripture also says Jerusalem will become a test for the nations. In Zechariah 12, Jerusalem becomes a “burdensome stone” for the nations. Some will say “we support Israel,” and some will say “no, we don’t.” Even Christians are in this test: Will I stand as a Christian on the side of Israel? Yes or no? I have led the Pentecostal movement in Germany for 12 years. I once asked our Board: “Do we have a statement on Israel? Is there something on this in our movement?” And they were all quiet—there was no statement. I then told them that we as Germans have a bad history—really, a trauma—about the Holocaust and what our former generation did to Israel. They still stepped away and said Israel is complicated—there would be no statement. But I taught them that you cannot be neutral in this. God is not neutral about Israel; He takes a strong position on the side of Israel. He loves them, and He cares for them. And when His Son, Jesus Christ, lives in our heart, godly things will grow up in our mind, in our heart, and in our actions. It took three years to bring them out of their neutral, quiet position and make a clear statement. With the board’s decision, we started to teach at our national conference about Israel. We invited Dr. Jürgen Bühler to speak to our pastors and others—and it changed.

Now I help pastors and Christians have a better understanding of Israel. All my trips to Israel were a study. An understanding for Israel grew in my heart, and a relationship started. With this foundation I could now teach because I had lived something. . . . 6. THE CHURCH HAS QUESTIONS As a denominational leader, you must deal with why Christians are silent or neutral about the Israel issue. I discovered that we must help our fellow Christians find answers because they have many honest questions. Here are some examples: 1. As a follower of Jesus, do I have to be a friend of Israel? This question exists in the hearts of many Christians in our churches. 2. To what extent must I affirm everything that the State of Israel and the Jewish people do, including their personal and political mistakes? 3. Why did God choose Israel? This is basic, but they do not know it. They think the gentile Christian is chosen but Israel is lost and God does not want to take care of them. But read the Bible! God will take care of them [the Jewish people], but He looks for people like you and me to do it.

And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. - Zechariah 12:3 -

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4. What happens to the Arabs? Can we be their friend if we also want to be friends of Israel? 5. How do we move from the New Testament position of faith and piety to Jewish customs and tradition? How do we counter the danger that with openness to Jewish tradition, customs, and Judaism, an Old Testamentoriented “legalism” will reach us? Gentile believers often fear coming back under the law. 6. W hich Jewish festivals are practically important for us and ones we should also celebrate—and is there theological justification for this? These are questions in the hearts of people. 7. WE HAVE SIMILAR CHALLENGES Another reason we should stand on the side of Israel is because we have a common fate. By “common fate,” I mean that Israel and Christians have the same end-times challenges. Let us read carefully from Revelation 12:13: “When the dragon [Satan] saw that he had been hurled down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.” When I teach, I make it clear that the woman is Israel, that salvation comes from the

Jews (John 4:22), and the child is Jesus. But God protected the woman (Israel), and Satan was angry. Then the dragon (Revelation 12:17) was enraged at the woman and went to make war against the rest of her offspring, those who obey God’s commandments and hold the testimony of Jesus. This is happening worldwide now. I remember an experience from one of our Feast of Tabernacles, perhaps in 2016. Our leadership invited President Reuven Rivlin to deliver a word of greetings. And I remember an important sentence from his speech: “We have noticed very well that Christianity is the most persecuted religion. We know what persecution is, and we will speak out for you.” What an important statement from the president of Israel! Jews know about persecution from their own history, and he recognized that Christians were being persecuted in many countries. We understand from Revelation 12 that the devil is behind this; he uses nations and peoples to oppress Christians around the world. Israel is stepping up to confront this. I ask all my pastors: Where are the Christians taking this step for Israel? 8. IT BRINGS PEOPLE INTO GOD’S WILL We should also stand with Israel to bring pastors and churches into the will of God. This is the last good reason that motivates me as superintendent of our movement. I see that God cares for Israel. When we serve Israel, we are pursuing His will—and this gives us a sure knowledge of being used by Him. We are used in different ways, of course. We see how God wants to bring back all the people of Israel to their home country—the land He gave them. Just as Ruth took care of Naomi, we are helping

Israel come back to the land of their fathers. I have encouraged our pastors to teach their churches that every Christian should be able to say at the end of their life: “I supported at least one Jewish person to fly home to Israel and live there.” Scripture encourages us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Isaiah says, “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her” (Isaiah 66:10). When you love Israel, you will rejoice with her in all the successes she has. So pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Be the guardians on her walls, praying day and night (Isaiah 62:1). This is happening, but we need to do more. I’m very thankful for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem . . . I know they have the best contacts, even with the Israeli government, and they are influencing people worldwide. It is a privilege for me to serve with the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem.


I. R uth, Naomi and Obed. Pen and brown ink over pencil on paper. 1860, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery Simeon Solomon. Source: commons.wikimedia.org II. Besmeurde Joodse winkel binnenstad Den Haag (1940), November 27, 1940. Source: commons.wikimedia.org


November 28, 1940: Facade smeared with swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans in the city center of The Hague 7 |WORD FROM JERUSALEM




n the slopes of Mount Herzl, a massive concrete wedge divides the mountain. The wedge hosts the most significant Holocaust memorial and museum in the world—Yad Vashem. The unique architecture powerfully depicts how the Holocaust is perceived by most Jews today: as a dark wedge driven by Nazi Germany into Jewish and even world history. Its name is taken from the prophet Isaiah: “I will give within My house and within My walls a monument (Yad) and name (Shem)” (Isaiah 56:5). Its purpose is to ensure the names and memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust will never be forgotten. The idea to establish such a memorial dates back to pre-state Israel. In 1942 Jewish leaders started hearing of Germany’s horrendous atrocities against the Jews. Consequently, the concept that became Yad Vashem was first proposed at a meeting of the Jewish National Fund. Just after the war, a Zionist meeting in London in August 1945 considered more detailed plans, and in 1946, Yad Vashem was established with offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. But it wasn’t until 1953 when the Knesset passed the “Yad Vashem Law” that it became the national institution it is today, mandated and supported by the Israeli government. That Knesset law was clear why Yad Vashem needed to be established: “To commemorate the six million members of the Jewish people who died a martyr’s death at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. To commemorate the Jewish families, which were wiped out with their communities, synagogues, movements,

and their public, cultural, educational, religious, and benevolent institutions.” Yet the Knesset also mandated that Yad Vashem commemorate “the high-minded gentiles who risked their lives to save the Jews”—what became known as the “Righteous among the Nations.” Today, Yad Vashem is the leading address worldwide for Holocaust research and commemoration. Every head-of-state visiting Israel starts their official visit by laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem. Its international signif icance was powerfully displayed in early 2020, as more than 50 kings, presidents, and prime ministers arrived in Jerusalem to remember the Holocaust and jointly pledge, “Never again!” Since the Holocaust was perpetrated by “Christian nations”—particularly Germany, the nation of Martin Luther and the Reformation—Yad Vashem’s relations with Christians were essentially non-existent for decades. It was, therefore, surprising when the museum’s international relations director, Shaya Ben Yehuda, approached the Christian Embassy’s former executive director Malcolm Hedding in 2004 with a request to help establish closer ties between Yad Vashem and the growing Evangelical community worldwide. Due to governmental oversight of Yad Vashem, this historic move needed the government’s support, and both the president and prime minister of Israel embraced the idea of setting up the “Christian Desk at Yad Vashem” in partnership with ICEJ.

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Since then, countless Christian pastors and leaders from around the world have gone through the educational programs offered by Christian Friends of Yad Vashem (CFYV). CFYV has held many other initiatives, ceremonies, and events during these years. Today, a new page is being turned in the relationship between Yad Vashem and the ICEJ, as Yad Vashem’s newly appointed chairman, Dani Dayan, is ready to build upon our unique partnership. Dayan embodies modern Israel like few others. Through his software company, he has been part of the success of the “Start-Up Nation.” He also has served in a key diplomatic role as Consul General in New York and chairman of the YESHA council representing the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. In this latter function, he often attended the ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. Thus, Chairman Dayan knows and appreciates the importance of Evangelical support, and we look forward to working closely with him. Additionally, the International Desk at Yad Vashem has a new director, Chaim Gerstner, who is replacing our friend Shaya Ben Yehuda, founder of the Christian Desk. We recently had productive meetings with Yad Vashem’s new leaders, and both sides are wholeheartedly determined to undergird our mutual partnership with new and exciting initiatives. For our part, the Christian Embassy is greatly encouraged by the fresh enthusiasm and vision of Yad Vashem’s new leadership. It is a tremendous privilege to serve as the Christian partner of this amazing institution tasked with keeping the memory of the Shoah alive. We are working together for a better future to ensure “Never again!” Please join us in this solemn yet exciting mission by supporting the initiatives presented below. May God bless you as you do so!


HONORING THE ‘RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS’ Yad Vashem is the only institution that gives official recognition to the “Righteous among the Nations,” a special designation honoring non-Jews who took great personal risks to save, hide, and rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem has planted some 2,000 trees at its Mount Herzl campus to honor the Righteous among the Nations. These trees serve as a reminder of the light that these gentiles showed non-Jews in the darkest of times, but the trees need yearly maintenance and tending. Christian Friends of Yad Vashem is seeking partners to help with the upkeep of the 2,000 trees for righteous gentiles that line the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. You are invited to identify with their legacy by becoming a Guardian of a Tree. For your donation of $365 per year, you will receive: • A certificate with the name of a “righteous gentile” and your name as the one adopting the tree • T he story of the righteous gentile • A picture of the tree itself

COLLECTING SURVIVOR TESTIMONIES The need to preserve first-hand testimonies of what the Jewish people suffered in the Nazi genocide became clear after many people started denying the Holocaust in the years immediately following World War II. Unfortunately, the number of Holocaust Survivors still with us is dwindling every year, and many Survivors have yet to tell their stories. There are now less than 170,000 Holocaust Survivors in Israel, and around 15,000 are passing away each year. Thus, we are in a race against time to collect, record, and preserve their testimonies. Yad Vashem has launched a special project to accomplish this mission, which became even more urgent with the outbreak of COVID-19. They use trained interviewers to help draw the stories out of Survivors, many of whom remain reluctant to talk about what happened to them as youths in Nazi-occupied Europe. Recording and preserving a Survivor testimony for posterity in the Yad Vashem archives costs approximately $1,400. Your generous support will be recognized by Yad Vashem.



MARKING YOM HASHOAH WITH ISRAEL Beginning on the evening of April 27 this year, Yad Vashem will host Israel’s official state ceremonies marking Yom HaShoah, the nation’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, to honor the six million Jews murdered in the Nazi genocide. As a special partner of Yad Vashem, ICEJ will be on hand to enable Christians to take part in these solemn ceremonies. In addition, plans are underway for the ICEJ to host a live-streamed event on April 28, including reports from the official wreath-laying ceremony in Warsaw Ghetto Square. Churches and even cities worldwide will also observe two minutes of silence in solidarity with Israel’s nationwide siren on Yom HaShoah. More information on how you can participate will be made available through our website and social media in the coming weeks.

Donate at: www.icejusa.org/yadvashem 9 |WORD FROM JERUSALEM


Samuel Chiporniak (94)

Mila Chiporniak (93)

Help ICEJ Rescue Holocaust Survivors from Ukraine! BY DAV I D PA R S O N S , I C E J V P & S E N I O R I N T E R N AT I O N A L S P O K E S M A N


ussia’s invasion of Ukraine has set off the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. The intense fighting has already forced nearly three million people to flee the country.

vans and ambulances and brought to safer areas. Some family members are also coming out with the Survivors and will join them in moving to Israel.

Amid this immense tragedy, the Christian Embassy is working with Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) to bring out thousands of endangered Ukrainian Jews and bring them safely to Israel. We have so far committed to assisting 3,000 Jewish immigrants but the State of Israel is expecting at least 10,000 if not more and our continued assistance is greatly needed.

Each rescue mission from Lviv in the west takes around four days of driving round trip and involves navigating numerous checkpoints, roadside wreckage, and rockets raining from above. Once the Holocaust Survivors reach the western border with Poland, JAFI is expediting their Aliyah process, and the ICEJ is sponsoring their transport, temporary housing in transit, any needed medical care, and their Aliyah flights to Israel. We expect some to start arriving at Ben Gurion Airport by early next week.

We are especially concerned for Holocaust Survivors in Ukraine, who have already seen enough horrors and wars in their lives. The ICEJ is putting a special emphasis on extracting Holocaust Survivors from all across Ukraine and bringing them to safety in Israel. We are currently sponsoring an evacuation team of Israeli and local volunteers on the ground in Ukraine, who are making long and dangerous runs across the country to find and evacuate Holocaust Survivors. Many are elderly and disabled and have been hunkered down in their homes for weeks, fearing for their lives. The team is currently working its way through a list of some 75 Holocaust Survivors located all over the embattled country, including in far eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces are constantly shelling major cities. One by one, they are being picked up in

This week, the Russian army’s escalating attacks on Kyiv forced Lilya Vladirovna, now 78, to finally leave the home where she was born during World War II. She had been locked up in her house alone for over two weeks as the Russians slowly besieged the capital city. Lilya was almost out of food, and because she has difficulty walking, had trouble reaching a safer place in her apartment building every time the sirens wail—which was many times a day. “From the moment the fighting started, I did not leave the house because that is what we were ordered to do,” Lilya told the Israeli news site Ynet. “Every time I heard the alarms, I ran to the stairwell and heard the sound of explosions.”

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Her son was looking for a way to get her out to safety and learned of the ICEJ-sponsored team rescuing Holocaust Survivors from around the country. This week they picked her up and took her on the two-day journey to Lviv, where she was grateful to be safe, and then left for Israel. “I was born in Kyiv when the city was constantly bombed,” she added. “My father was killed in battles toward the end of World War II in fighting alongside the Soviet Union. In my life I never thought the Russian people would attack Ukraine. Now I feel like history repeats itself and even worse.” Meanwhile, the team managed to extricate Holocaust Survivors Samuel (94) and Mila Chiporniak (93) this week from Mariupol, where an estimated 2,400 civilians have died in the incessant Russian bombardment of the city. A maternity hospital and now a theater are among the sites destroyed in the battered coastal town all the way over on the Sea of Azov. Humanitarian convoys trying to bring civilians out of the surrounded city also have come under repeated attack. Once safe in Lviv, Mila choked back tears while speaking to an Israeli reporter with Maariv about her ordeal. “I have no words to express my gratitude. I do not know how these angels from heaven suddenly came to us, I do not know them at all. It is obvious how they risked themselves under heavy fire,” she said. “I thank God for sending me these rescuers.” Mila and Samuel have now been taken by ambulance across the Polish border on their way to Warsaw, where they will be quickly processed by JAFI and sent on to Israel. Several younger family members will join them, but those men who are fighting age must stay to help defend the country. Other rescued Holocaust Survivors are expressing their deep gratitude for this special evacuation effort, as are Israeli officials. “I want to thank all our friends at the Christian Embassy for your support, your prayers and donations, which are helping us bring more Jews from Ukraine to Israel,” said Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s representative at the United Nations, in a special video message to the ICEJ. These evacuation efforts will be difficult and even dangerous for those involved. Please pray for divine protection over the Israeli and JAFI representatives, the local Jewish and Christian volunteer workers on the ground in Ukraine, and the Jewish families making their way to Israel.

Please join us in rescuing more Holocaust Survivors and other Ukrainian Jews from the clutches of this brutal conflict. These Survivors lived through some of the most shocking Nazi atrocities of World War II, such as the Babyn Yar massacre of over 33,000 Jews in Kyiv in 1941. They are now facing the horrors of war again and urgently need our help to reach the safety of Israel!

The areas of immediate need right now are threefold: 1) Evacuation and Shelter: An initial 3,000 potential Jewish immigrants need to be rescued and provided refuge for up to 2–3 weeks, likely in a third country, until they can be airlifted to Israel. The expected costs will be $850 per person. 2) Rescue Flights: The costs to fly some 3,000 Jewish immigrants to Israel will be $805 per person on average. This includes airline tickets and bus transport to the airports. 3) Emergency Housing and Care in Israel: Once they arrive in Israel, it will cost about $1,250 per person to house and feed these refugee immigrants for up to three months at absorption centers and other emergency accommodations. Please give generously to this urgent need to rescue Jewish families caught up in the fighting across Ukraine and help them reach safety in Israel. You can make a real, timely difference in rescuing Jewish lives from danger.

Donate at: www.icejusa.org/ukraine





e all watched the Ukrainian people bravely battling to stave off invading Russian forces. The intense fighting had already forced at least one million people to flee the country as of early March. Amid this raging conflict, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem quickly sprang to work with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) to help evacuate thousands of Ukrainian Jews and bring them safely to Israel. Thanks to the generosity of many caring Christians worldwide, we continue to make a real difference for scores of Jewish families seeking to escape the encircling threat of war and make it to safety in Israel. By mid-March, some 3,500 Ukrainian Jews had applied for urgent immigration to Israel since the war began, and the numbers were expected to rise to over 10,000 quickly. Within weeks, 540 of these applicants were evacuated, processed, and approved for immigration to Israel. Buses packed with more Ukrainian Jews continued across the border every day, where they were sent to temporary housing centers in neighboring Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova until their flight to Israel. On Sunday, March 6, the first Aliyah flight landed midday with some 90 Jewish children from a Chabad-run orphanage in the central Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr. The youngsters, ages 2 to 12, had walked through freezing cold and snow to cross the border into Romania several days prior. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was waiting on the tarmac to greet them, having just returned from a surprise weekend meeting in Moscow with Russian ruler Vladimir Putin in a bid to secure safe passage routes for refugees in Ukraine and help mediate an end to the conflict. Later in the afternoon, two more flights with another 200 Ukrainian Jewish immigrants landed at Ben Gurion Airport, where they were warmly received by a welcoming party, which included Israeli officials, as well as Nicole Yoder, the ICEJ’s VP for AID & Aliyah.

Nicole noted that most of the arriving passengers were women and children and the elderly, as Ukrainian men between 18 and 60 were required to stay behind and join the battle to defend their country. Israeli authorities and the Jewish Agency for Israel are organizing the urgent evacuation and Aliyah operation to rescue endangered Ukrainian Jews, with financial support from many Jewish and Christian donor organizations, including the ICEJ. The ICEJ is providing funds to help the Jewish Agency with the entire evacuation and Aliyah process, including the expenses of bus transport out of Ukraine, temporary shelter in neighboring countries, any necessary medical attention, flights to Israel, and the new immigrants’ urgent integration needs. The Jewish Agency has representatives on the ground arranging all these steps under very difficult circumstances. Due to the raging conflict and its attendant risks, the costs of hiring buses have jumped significantly in the past week, and fuel is expensive and in short supply. The journey to the border can take several days, with numerous checkpoints along the way and the ever-present threat of Russian attacks. And once at the border, there are agonizingly long waits due to the massive human logjams; many have gone without food or water for days. But JAFI has teams on both sides of the border and a network of Jewish and Christian volunteers inside Ukraine helping to evacuate the Jewish families, feed and care for them, and then send them on their way to Israel. It’s a desperate moment for everyone in Ukraine—but also an opportunity for Christians to arise and show mercy to Ukrainian Jewish communities that have suffered enough in exile and now want to reach the safety of the Land of Israel. Their lives and futures are in our hands, so please respond with your best gift today!

Please give to: www.icejusa.org/ukraine 1 2 AP RI L 2022


Enduring Love


ICEJ Homecare assists a heroic family BY M A X I N E C A R L I L L


hen the German army invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, young Anna’s father was convinced that Moscow would be occupied, and the safest place for his wife and four children would be with their grandfather nearly 200 miles away. However, as happens in the tide of war, not only was his village captured, but his house was seized as a residence for high-ranking German officers, forcing the family to live in the cellar. Still innocent at three years old, little blond-haired, blue-eyed Anna was not afraid of the soldiers and knew nothing of war. But she did know about hunger and would sneak into the house to stand near the table, her head just showing above it. Her charm softened her enemies’ hardened hearts, so they would give her food, which she promptly shared with her mother and siblings in their underground shelter. It supplemented the potatoes and onions that Anna’s mother pulled from the frozen ground during the bitterly cold winters. Anna’s mother must have been pregnant when she and her children were sent to the grandfather’s village because while living in these harsh conditions, a fifth baby was born. Her mother rejected the advice of well-meaning neighbors who suggested she leave in the -40F weather. A mother’s love is strong. She washed diapers in cold water, putting them around her body to dry. Anna’s father had been sent to work at an arms factory at the beginning of the war and did not know another child had been born. He even assumed that when their grandfather’s village had been taken over by the Germans, his family was likely murdered. In his despair he joined the Red Army, only to be killed at the front.

After the German army left the family home, local Fascists were afraid it had been booby-trapped and burned it to the ground. Anna’s mother, in her early thirties, fled to Kazakhstan to look for work. She worked hard, even undertaking men’s jobs to feed her children. Sometimes with a smile but often with tears, Anna recalls her mother’s overflowing heart, full of love for her children as she tried to lift them above their poverty. Anna was instilled with her mother’s love and strength. She met and married Holocaust Survivor Evgeni, who had spent the war hiding with his family. Together, they delighted in the achievements of their only child, Julia, who—despite the ever-present antisemitism in Russia— became a professional journalist with a promising career ahead. But Julia’s life took a drastic turn one day when serious health issues arose. Doctors made a quick decision to operate, which did not go well. From then on, her condition deteriorated, and no other treatments helped. She lost her health, work, hopes, and dreams and became fully dependent on her parents, now in their eighties. After Aliyah, Israeli doctors tried to reverse the damage to her health done back in Russia, but to no avail. Out of this challenging and heartbreaking situation, Anna has been caring for her daughter Julia with the same strength and love she received from her own mother. For the past 20 years, ICEJ Homecare has been privileged to support this heroic family with weekly visits, nursing assistance, and supplemental support toward expenses. Anna says of their situation, “We couldn’t do it without your help. You are part of us; you have a place in our heart.”

Please support the ICEJ Homecare program at: www.icejusa.org/homecare

ICEJ Homecare nurse Corrie Van Maanen with Anna, Evgeni, and Julia




any of us have suffered from grief, isolation, or some level of loss due to the COVID pandemic. We’ve also suffered fear, not knowing who to believe or what to do. As a result, anxiety is becoming an epidemic in our nation. A recent survey of adults in the United States revealed that over 30 percent have suffered from some level of anxiety due to COVID—and those are just the ones who admitted it. Another study showed that younger generations are suffering higher levels of anxiety than the older ones, so the millennials have more anxiety than the boomers. But those in Generation Z have the highest rates of all—almost 40 percent of Generation Z suffer from anxiety. WHAT IS ANXIETY? Anxiety is a powerful emotion, a mix of worry, fear, and doubt. Ultimately, it is a lack of faith, and to eliminate it, we need to build up our faith and perhaps even exercise it to make it stronger. It may take a fair amount of discipline and commitment but can be so beneficial to our spiritual health. One simple thing you can do is to begin a weekly cycle of taking time to rest and reflect on God. Watch your anxiety lessen as you take a little time to pray, read the Bible, and learn more about the Lord and His wonderful promises for you. You can start with Psalm 34:4, which says, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

The more you learn about Him, the greater your faith will become, and you will find those fears just melting away. RESTING IN FAITH This weekly routine of rest and reflection is particularly important because it is how God designed us to function. Just as we were designed to need nightly sleep, we need a weekly break. If we do not get the sleep we need, our bodies will begin to break down. If we do not take time weekly to rest and fellowship with God, we will also begin to see signs of depletion in our lives—whether physical, mental, or spiritual. Everyone is unique. Our weekly schedules are different, and our type of work is different, so how we rest will look different too. But we were created in the image of God, and if He rested on the seventh day and commanded His people to do the same, then maybe He understands something that we don’t. Perhaps we were designed to need that weekly rest. Rest strengthens us—spirit, mind, and body. It is good for us! It also gives us time for Bible study and to fellowship with Him, which deepens our faith and gives us greater understanding of His ways—and our purpose. This alone will encourage us and help us to face our challenges. Every week you can take a break from your troubles and experience the healing power in His presence. Don’t miss out!


ISRAEL ANSWERS SERIES Join Susan for her insightful new series that will connect Israel, the Bible, and you. The Israel Answers series will cover timely issues and their biblical foundations to equip the Christian world.

SHABBAT SHALOM DEVOTIONALS Join Susan every Friday for a short devotion that will inspire, strengthen your faith, and bring a peaceful close to a busy week.


15 | APRIL 2022


The Isaacs at the Israel Breakfast at the NRB Johnnie Moore Susan Michael

ICEJ Brings the Fight against Antisemitism to the NRB BY D A RY L H E D D I N G , I C E J - U S A D E PU T Y D I R E C T O R


f the turnout for the annual Israel breakfast at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) convention is an indicator of support for the Jewish state among Evangelical broadcasters, then we have good reason to be encouraged. And encouraged we all were at this year’s event that focused on combatting antisemitism—not to simply bemoan the incomprehensible global increase in the hatred of Jews but to provoke real action in response among the Evangelical community. The crowd gave a thunderous round of applause when it was announced that the NRB board of directors had adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism and called for all of its members to fight antisemitism front and center. “Fighting antisemitism is a key issue for believers, and it’s very important that our understanding of the issue reflects cultural realities,” said NRB CEO Troy A. Miller. “An accurate and contemporary definition of antisemitism helps us to recognize and combat this form of hatred wherever it emerges.” A joint statement to combat antisemitism was also issued at the Israel breakfast by NRB TV, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and the Combat Antisemitism Movement, all of which co-sponsored the event. The statement called on all Christians in the United States to urge their local, state and federal officials to adopt the IHRA definition,

and “let your voice be heard in support of Israel and against the growing hatred of antisemitism.” The statement also called on those in Christian media to educate their audiences about contemporary forms of antisemitism and the need to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. Keynote speaker Johnnie Moore stirred the early risers to awaken in stern defense of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. He implored them to draw strength and pride from the remarkable history of Christian Zionism that he identified as crucial to pass on to our children if we want to ensure the next generation continues to light the flame of righteousness among the gentiles. Held in Nashville, TN, the morning would not have been complete without some bluegrass Southern gospel music courtesy of The Isaacs. From the singing of the US national anthem opening the breakfast to Hava Nagila at its close—and harmonies from heaven in worshipful songs in between—The Isaacs let their love for Jesus, America, and Israel flow through their music with the purest of joy. The ICEJ is proud to partner with the NRB and to have sponsored the annual Israel breakfast along with NRB TV and Combat Antisemitism Movement.

1 6 AP RI L 2022

Your Israel Answer The Miracles of Israel

By Dr. Susan Michael, ICEJ USA Director


ne of Israel’s primary founders and first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, said: “In Israel, to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” He had witnessed the state’s founding after almost 2,000 years of exile. He had also witnessed five Arab armies attack the newborn state— armies equipped with artillery, tanks, armored cars, and some with air forces. Yet they were defeated by the ill-trained and inadequately equipped Jewish forces. Israel’s story is indeed filled with miracles. The story of the founding of Israel is really a fascinating one. God had been at work for hundreds of years in the Christian world, in the Jewish people, and in the political arena to bring about the founding of the modern State of Israel. It could be described as the making of a perfect storm of global movements only God could have planned and orchestrated.

The Zionist Movement A similar shaking occurred in the Jewish world when a secular, assimilated Jewish journalist in Austria named Theodor Herzl was assigned to cover an antisemitic court case in France. As he listened to the trumped-up charges against Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, he concluded that there was no escaping antisemitism. The only hope for the Jewish people was to have their own state. He returned to his home in Vienna, Austria, and wrote The Jewish State. His book helped to birth the Zionist movement. When Christian Restorationist Rev. William Hechler read Herzl’s book, he knew this was the man who would be like a modern-day Moses to lead his people home. Because Rev. Hechler was a British foreign service chaplain, he was able to help Herzl circulate this idea among political leaders.

Christian Restorationism

The Breakup of the Ottoman Empire

The translation of the Bible into the vernacular and its mass production via the printing press shook Christendom. For the first time in many centuries, everyday Christians could read their Bible. They began to discover that Jesus was not only Jewish, but Christianity was as well—and their Bible was full of promises that God had made to the Jewish people.

While these developments were taking place amongst Jews and Christians, a rumbling began of a conflict that would change the entire political landscape of the world. World War I would result in the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. After some 1,300 years of successive Islamic empires ruling lands from India to Spain, it was unbelievable to think these territories would be set free for self-rule—yet that is exactly what happened.

Their preachers began to teach from the Bible that the Jews would return to the land of Canaan one day. Evangelical Christians in Great Britain began to be called “Restorationists” because they believed in the restoration of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. This birthed centuries of Christians who not only preached about the return but prayed for it to happen, and some even got involved in the story.

Thanks to the foresight of another Christian Restorationist, Lord Balfour, plans were put into place to establish a Jewish state in the area known as Palestine. Every other country in the Middle East has been created out of this same political process set in motion by the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. Israel’s founding is as legal as any other country’s founding in the region.

Only the Creator of the universe—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—could have orchestrated this coming together of major Christian, Jewish, and political movements. Truly He is the One who holds the heart of kings in His hand and turns them however He wants (Proverbs 21:1).

The Miracle of Israel’s Achievements While Israel’s birth was against all odds, and her military victories astounding, an even greater miracle is found in Israel’s achievements. The Jewish state did not just survive—she thrived! Israel is a vibrant democracy made up of citizens from over 120 countries. The multiethnic makeup of the society, religious diversity of the people, and geographic contrasts in the landscape make it one of the most fascinating and inspiring places to visit. Because of the adversity they had to overcome, the Israeli people have learned how to be innovative and cutting-edge. This is reflected in their reputation as the “StartUp Nation” and their advances in medicine, science, technology, agriculture, and water conservation. Found deep in Jewish DNA, as expressed in their prayers, is a commitment to Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world”). This helps to explain why Israel is also leading the world in volunteerism. They have shared their resources and innovations with hurting people in over 140 countries and are often the first on the scene after any disaster. Israel’s story is made up of many miracles. But the fact that this tiny country the size of the state of New Jersey is leading and blessing the world with innovation and volunteerism is the greatest of them all.

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