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DECEMBER UPDATE FOR DONORS TO THE JOSHUA FUND

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support. Here are some of the projects The Joshua Fund has been working on in recent weeks:

  • Helping 100 Jews in Europe immigrate to Israel — One of the most important opportunities in the life of a Jewish person who lives outside of Israel is the chance to “make Aliyah,” or immigrate to the land of Israel. The Joshua Fund has partnered with a ministry to assist 100 Jewish people in making Aliyah. Those we are helping are from the former Soviet Union and Europe. We consider each person’s need when funding their request for assistance to make Aliyah. For some, money is used to assemble all of the information needed to prove that a person is Jewish and has the “right of return” to Israel. This may involve tracing a family history, doing research, and having all of the paperwork filled out correctly. For others, money is used to transport people to the Israeli Consulate to secure permission to make Aliyah, or to help families get to an airport (to get them on a plane to Israel). It also can cover temporary accommodations immediately prior to their flight; can help with support visits or calls to families who are in the process; procure suitcases and other basic items needed to travel; and to help them transition to a new culture once they’ve arrived in Israel. The Lord said through the Hebrew prophets that He would call His people back to the Land from where they had been dispersed throughout the earth. The Joshua Fund is blessing the people of Israel and helping fulfill that promise by providing funds to those who cannot afford to return to Israel on their own.
  • Renovating a bomb shelter in Galilee — The Joshua Fund recently approved the funding to renovate a large bomb shelter in the Galilee Region (northern Israel). When the changes are complete, the shelter will serve the village as a command center for local officials, and will be able to accommodate 100 people (families and children) from the next round of missile attacks.
  • Providing food for the needy – The Joshua Fund’s warehouse in Israel continued to supply seven distribution centers throughout the land of Israel. In 2011, we hope to double the number of “storefronts” that we support. Last month, TJF purchased about 20 tons of food for distribution through these centers. We also provided funds to one of our partners to about 10 tons of food for distribution to the poor and needy.
  • Chanukah Gifts for pregnant women and new mothers –  The Joshua Fund was able to supply 99 Israeli women with supermarket vouchers (gift cards), through one of our wonderful allies in the Land. Many women were grateful that they were able to buy something extra for their family for Chanukah. The vouchers were a tangible expression of how much these women are cared for.

www.joshuafund.net

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NEW POLL FINDS 71 PERCENT OF IRANIANS WANT NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Only 1 in 6 believe Israel or the U.S. will attack

A new poll released today and reported on jpost.com shows that a clear majority of Iranians—71 percent—”want the country to have atomic weapons, a number that stood on only 52 percent in 2007.” In addition, the poll found that:

  • Only 1 in 6 believe that Israel or the U.S. will attack their nuclear facilities
  • Most Iranians want closer ties to the West by a margin of 3-to-1
  • However, 9 out of 10 are hostile to the U.S., a 40 percent increase over 2008
  • Three-fifths would accept a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians

That Iranians support their government’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and don’t fear an attack on their nuclear facilities from the U.S. or the Israeli military is concerning. Even with crippling sanctions in place, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has threatened to “wipe Israel off the face of the map”, seems to have the support of his people.

Please continue to pray for the Iranian president, for Israel’s leaders, and for peace to prevail in the region.

If you’d like to make a year-end donation to The Joshua Fund to help us complete the projects we are involved in, please click here for our online donation page.

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OPEN LETTER TO FRIENDS OF THE JOSHUA FUND: TOP PRIORITIES FOR 2011 & UPDATE ON 2010 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

December 2010

“I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For [the believers in] Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” (The Apostle Paul in Romans 15:25-27)

Dear faithful friend of The Joshua Fund:

First, we have great news to celebrate: the fires in northern Israel are finally extinguished, and for this let us thank the God of Israel.  “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations chapter 3:22-23).

Now the recovery efforts begin. The Joshua Fund believes it is vitally important the followers of Jesus Christ be part of these aid efforts, to bless Israel with unconditional love and unwavering support. Last Friday, we begun funding initial relief efforts to care for those Israelis who are suffering as a result of the fires, and we will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead. Please be praying for our team as they go about this important work, and please consider investing in this work financially. We’ll keep you posted on what we’re doing.

Second, I want to thank you so much for your generous support of The Joshua Fund already this year! While many of you are doing okay, or even well, through these difficult economic times, I know some of you have lost your jobs, or are struggling in other ways to make ends meet. I want you to know how grateful I am to all of you. The lives of thousands of Jews and Arabs in the epicenter have been touched with the love of Jesus Christ, and many saints in the epicenter have been blessed and encouraged. 

Third, we have compiled a summary of the ways in which your prayer and financial investments have blessed Israel and her neighbors in 2010 — please click here to see that summary.

The enormous challenge we face now is getting ready for what is coming. As you know, the stakes are very high. Will Israel launch a military strike against Iran in 2011? Will Iran launch first? What will Hezbollah and Hamas do? None of us knows what the future holds. We may eventually be headed for a major regional war, but I continue to pray for peace, and I urge you to join me. In the meantime, I believe the Lord is telling The Joshua Fund team to continue caring for the poor and to accelerate our preparations for a possible war. 

I am so glad to report that since 2006, The Joshua Fund has consistently and significantly invested in blessing Holocaust survivors, the elderly, single mothers, homeless people, widows, orphans, and other needy Jews, Muslims and Christians in the epicenter; in training and encouraging pastors and ministry leaders in the epicenter; and in educating and mobilizing Christians around the world to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We couldn’t have done this without you, and we are deeply grateful.

Fourth, that said, there is so much more to do. Here are our top priorities in 2011: 

  • DOUBLING THE SIZE OF THE WAREHOUSE – We are prayerfully considering buying a 20,000 sq. foot warehouse in Israel. Currently we’re renting a 10,000 sq. ft. facility. Please pray. I’ll keep you posted.
     
  • OPENING MORE FOOD DISTRIBUTION CENTERS – Lord willing, we hope to double the number of food distribution centers in Israel from 7 to 14. We are also preparing to purchase more vehicles and equipment to distribute aid, and to hire more staff to help us with relief distribution. Please pray for the Lord’s wisdom and clear direction.
     
  • PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S LOVE – Lord willing, we will invest in a wide range of other important projects “to bring the good news to the poor…bind up the brokenhearted…and proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners,” as the Lord commanded through the Hebrew prophet in Isaiah 61:1-3. This includes supporting Christian radio ministries in Iraq and the West Bank, Bible training conferences for pastors in the region, a “Prayer & Vision Trip” to Israel in May 2011, and the 2011 Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem on May 15-16 to teach more people about God’s everlasting love for Israel and all the people of the Middle East. (www.epicenterconference.com.) 

Would you stand with us in prayer? We need this most of all. And, if you are able, would you also make a generous, tax-deductible, year-end gift to The Joshua Fund of $100, $250, $500, or more? Would some of you who are able be willing to make a $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000 investment to help us advance this urgent work? You can do so by clicking here.

In Matthew 24-25, our Lord Jesus tells us some of the ways He wants us to serve Him in the last days – feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, care for the suffering, teach the Word of God, proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, and help the Church be ready for His return. He calls us to do this with unconditional love and unwavering support, and with gentleness and respect. (See our year-end report here.)

This is the mission of The Joshua Fund. Thank you so much for standing with us. May the Lord bless you and your family!

Yours to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus,

Joel C. Rosenberg

Founder and President
The Joshua Fund

www.joshuafund.net

As always, we will do our best to keep you up-to-date on the kinds of projects we are doing, and brief you on how those projects are proceeding. In no way do we want to pressure anyone to give financially. We fully believe the Lord will provide for the needs of the people we seek to serve. But if you or others wish to help, we gratefully welcome your support. All financial gifts are tax-deductible in the U.S.A, and TJF is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). If you would like to make a contribution to the on-going work of The Joshua Fund, please make your check payable to “The Joshua Fund” and send to: 

The Joshua Fund
18940 Base Camp Road
Monument, Colorado 80132-8009

Or you can give securely on-line at:
 www.joshuafund.net

DESIGNATED GIVING: If The Joshua Fund is successful in raising our financial goal for a specific project for which you have designated your donations, all excess funds for that project will be applied to related projects or to the general fund of TJF.

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MONDAY UPDATE: THE FIRES ARE NOW OUT, AND THE JOSHUA FUND IS ASSISTING ISRAELIS IMPACTED BY “THE BIGGEST INFERNO IN THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY”

By the grace of the God of Israel, the raging fires in northern Israel are now fully extinguished. This is a huge and wonderful development as of late Sunday night. Now the difficult work begins of helping families affected by the fires. More than 17,000 were evacuated from their homes during the fires. Many are returning home now. A total of 42 were killed in the fires, including, so sadly, the police chief of Haifa. Some three dozen more Israelis were wounded — some severely — in the fires. There is enormous property damage and many other challenges.

With the gratitude of the Israeli government and the Israeli people, aid is coming in from all over the world, from Jews and Christians (as well as from the Turkish government). The Joshua Fund is part of these aid efforts. Last Friday, we begun funding relief efforts to care for those Israelis who are suffering as a result of the fires, and we will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead. Please be praying for our team as they go about this important work. If you would be willing to make a generous year-end, tax-deductible contribution to help The Joshua Fund at this critical time, we would be very grateful — please click here.

“Dear Joel [and Joshua Fund team] — Thank you so much for your prayers,” writes one of our dear Israeli friends and allies in northern Israel. “Didn’t sleep much last night. I went to help the police evacuate people from their homes just next to Haifa. It was mainly poor and elderly people who don’t have cars. One couple’s home was really close to the fire. It affected my breathing and I could really feel the heat. It is very windy and the wind keeps on changing the direction it’s blowing too often. Please keep on praying for the 41 families that are mourning after losing their loved ones. Many of them will be buried today. There 2 police officers that are MIA and probably dead. Pray also for the Haifa Chief of Police Ahuva Tomer. She was very seriously injured yesterday and is in the IC unit with slim chances of surviving. We appreciate your heart to serve and help.”

Israel has faced “the biggest inferno in the country’s history.”  Arrests have been made and a major investigation continues. Firefighter had a very difficult time containing the blaze, and the smoke was visible from space. Here is video of Israelis battling the fires.

“Mass evacuations continued across northern Israel Friday morning as dry easterly winds fanned a massive brushfire towards the city of Haifa,” reports Haaretz. “Over 17,000 residents, including 600 prison inmates, were evacuated as the blaze raged out of control, devastating hundreds of acres of pine forest before sweeping down the slopes of the Carmel plateau towards Israel’s third largest city.”

NEW PRAYER REQUESTS — please pray….

Thanks so much, and may the Lord bless you as you pray faithfully for Israel, help The Joshua Fund care for Israelis affected by the fires, and mobilize others to get involved to help, as well.

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URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: MASSIVE FIRES IN NORTHERN ISRAEL LEAVES 40 DEAD, 12,000 EVACUATED

Orthodox Jews watching raging fires in northern Israel. (Getty Images)

As Jews began celebrating Hanukah this week, a serious national crisis is unfolding in northern Israel.

 

“More than 12,000 northern Israel residens were being evacuated from their homes as a massive fire that claimed the lives of at least 40 people continued to rage Thursday night,” reports Ynet News.

“Rescue forces have yet to contain the fire, which in addition to the northern town of Tirat Carmel also threatens the communities of Nir Etzion, Ein Hod, and Beit Oren, all evacuated by now. Meanwhile, the IDF is gearing up to evacuate its transport base in Tirat Carmel. The evacuation of Damon Prison ended in tragedy, after 40 cadets in a Prison Service officers course were burned to death in a flaming bus sent to help in the prison’s evacuation. Apart from the 40 victims, several firemen and three police officers who drove a police car behind the bus were also injured.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu is calling the massive fires a “disaster on an international scale.” He added that, “We do not have what it takes to put out the fire, but help is on the way. As a result of calls I have made, there are currently ten aircraft on their way to Israel from Greece, France and Cyprus.”

The Joshua Fund is alerting Christians all over the world to the gravity of the situation, and we are asking people to pray:

* For the Lord to comfort the families and friends of those Israelis who have died in these fires

* For the Lord to heal and comfort those wounded in the fires

* For the Lord to give strength, courage and wisdom to those fighting the fires

*For the fires to be contained and put out quickly

*For the Israelis who have been evacuated from their homes to be comforted and to have adequate housing and all the supplies they need

*For no further evacuations to be necessary

*For other countries to provide Israel needed assistance in firefighting

*For believers in Israel to be able to love their neighbors in real and practical ways during this crisis

*For The Joshua Fund to be able to assist in real and practical ways, as needed — we’ve been in touch in the past few hours with a number of our key allies in northern Israel to assess their needs, and we’ll let you know more as we learn more.

Thanks so much for praying for the people of Israel at this critical time.

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REPORT FROM BRUSSELS: ROSENBERG WARNS OF “NEW HITLER RISING” IN IRAN AT CONFERENCE IN THE E.U. PARLIAMENT BUILDING: Challenges E.U. leaders to defend Israel and the Jewish people today as they did not in the 1930s and 1940s

UPDATED: “Anti-Semitism in Europe is as toxic and dangerous today as it was in the 1930s. Israel and the Jewish people face enormous, existential threats from Radical Islam and Replacement Theology.  The world is increasingly turning against Israel and the Jews. And Europeans have a choice to make — will you bless Israel by defending her against a range of real and serious threats, or will you curse her by doing little or nothing?”

This was the challenge posed by Joel C. Rosenberg, President of The Joshua Fund, and Dave Olsson, TJF’s Director of Communications, when they traveled to Brussels last week. Joel was invited by the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) to participate in their “The Legitimacy of Israel” conference at the European Union Parliament building. The conference was by invitation-only, with participants made up of pro-Israel supporters, key multipliers, representatives from some of the largest churches across Europe, and various pastors and ministry leaders from Hungary, Sweden, Britain, Finland, the U.K., Italy, France, Switzerland, and Nigeria.

Joel joined Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), a leading European Rabbi, other ECI leaders, and our host, Tomas Sandell — founder and managing director of ECI — on two panel discussions. The first was a discussion on whether the European Union is an even handed partner in the peace process.  The other panellists were the Deputy Israeli Ambassador to the EU and various Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including MEP Bas Belder, who is the Chairman of the E.U.’s delegation to the Israeli Knesset. Each member of the panel took several minutes to deliver remarks, followed by a short time of Q&A from the audience.

Joel emphasized to the MEPs that there is a God in Israel who is watching what Europe and other nations are doing and will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel, as explained in Genesis 12:1-3. Noting the pattern of aggression by Hamas and Hezbollah, Joel stressed that the greatest threat in the region is not the conflict with the Palestinians but the nuclear weapons program being pursued by leaders in Iran who hold an End Times theology that causes them to believe that the way to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam is to annihilate Israel and the U.S.

This was followed by an exchange between two MEPs: a parliamentarian from Denmark who was a strong supporter of Israel and agreed with Joel, and the other who was a sharp critic of Israel and cautioned the E.U. to not be “distracted” by the Iranian threat and by American voices like Joel’s. This MEP urged the E.U. to instead focus on working out a just peace between the Palestinians and Israelis as the most pressing concern. Joel calmly but firmly countered that such E.U. leaders are “hyper-focused on the Palestinian issue” when “we are actually living in a time very similar to 1937 and 1938.” The top priority, Joel said, is that “a new Hitler is rising and he speaks Farsi.” Joel said that he did not want to see another war in the Middle East if at all possible, but he challenged the E.U. leader to explain what Europe will do if the world waits too long and Iran’s apocalyptic leaders actually acquire nuclear weapons. The MEP hemmed and hawed but had no solid answer. Nor did he seem to really understand the magnitude of the threats facing Israel and the Jewish people. To the contrary, he seemed obsessed with forcing Israel to keep making more and more concessions to the Palestinians, even those recent land grants of Gaza and southern Lebanon to the Arabs in the last decade led to more war, not to peace.

It was difficult to try to comprehend how such an intelligent, well educated senior political leader could be so blind to the gathering storms all around him.  Joel responded firmly but politely, saying that the central issue is the existence of Israel:

“We’re out of time … if the EU leadership doesn’t completely cut off all economic interaction with Iran or take covert intelligence means to stop them, you are leaving it up to Iran—or Israel—to take military action.”

The second session was just as instructive, featuring Joel, a professor and former legal consultant to the Israeli government, a local pastor, the Rabbi of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, and a video address from former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Dore Gold (now president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs), along with Tomas Sandell. Two notable commentaries were the professor, who spoke about the legitimacy of Israel and their rights under international law, and the second was Joel, who spoke in more depth about two threats to Israel: the threat of radical Islam, and the threat of Replacement Theology.

The response during our time in Brussels was very encouraging. We met several key European political and church leaders, and many of them were interested in learning more about The Joshua Fund and could be interested in coming with us to Israel next year for the 2011 Epicenter Conference. Several inquired about Joel’s availability to come and speak in Europe, particularly in Hungary and in the U.K.

This is an answer to prayer for The Joshua Fund staff. The question of beginning to engage with European leaders has been on our minds at for some time, and has been the subject of prayer, conversation, and some preliminary planning. Now the Lord seems to be opening the door to speak to some key church leaders across Europe. Please continue to pray for The Joshua Fund staff as we follow the Lord’s leading on this newly opened door.

Please consider making a year-end financial contribution to the work The Joshua Fund to help us educate and mobilize Christians around the world to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, and to be able to provide food, clothing, medical supplies and other aid to the poor and needy in the epicenter.

To register for the May 2011 Epicenter Conference Jerusalem and Prayer and Vision Tour, please click here.

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REPORT: 123,000 FALL BELOW POVERTY LINE IN ISRAEL IN 2009

The Jerusalem Post reports: “Poverty is the biggest danger facing Israel today, Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog warned Monday as he unveiled disturbing data from the National Insurance Institute’s Annual Poverty Report for 2009. The report pointed to a sharp increase in the number of Israeli families joining the poverty cycle, with more than 15,000 families – or 123,500 individuals – joining the growing ranks of poor people in this country in 2009, following the global economic crisis that set in at the tail-end of 2008.”

“The report further noted that most of the families experiencing a drop in their standard of living actually had one working family member, with many having been forced to take severe pay cuts and others losing their jobs, and consequently their incomes, entirely.

“This report comes out after the start of the global economic crisis and makes clear that there was a dramatic increase in poverty in 2009,” Herzog said at a press conference in Jerusalem. “I’ve said this time and time again: Poverty is Israel’s biggest danger. We love talking about poverty, but not about the actual poor…”

* Please pray for the poor and needy in Israel today, both Jews and Arabs, that the Lord would comfort, encourage and assist them.

* Please pray for The Joshua Fund as we seek to bless the poor and needy in Israelwith unconditional love and assistance, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

* Please consider making a financial contribution to the work The Joshua Fund to help us provide food, clothing, medical supplies and other aid to the needy in Israel. Thank you so much.

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