Monday, March 31, 2008


"An organization of American evangelicals is planning to hold a major conference in Jerusalem next week ahead of Israel's 60th anniversary," reports The Jerusalem Post. "The April 10 event, which is being organized by the Washington DC-based The Joshua Fund....The conference comes amid burgeoning relations between Israel and the largely supportive evangelical Christian community around the world."

Saturday, March 29, 2008


PROJECT UPDATE: In February, we reported that The Joshua Fund had helped finance the purchase of a van for the Sderot municipality’s director of volunteers so that he and his could move relief supplies and volunteer rapid responders far more quickly and efficiently. For years, the city had promised to buy these volunteers a van but there had never been enough money in the budget. The director, a young Ethiopian immigrant, had tears in eyes when he realized that we really were serious about helping him when no one else would. Good news: the van has been purchased and delivered to Sderot. It is pictured above. Thanks so much to all who helped make this happen!


PROJECT UPDATE: In Matthew 25:36, Jesus tells His followers to visit those in prison. In obediance, The Joshua Fund helped finance a project in February of Christians visiting Sudanese prisoners in an Israeli prison. The goal was to bless these forgotten people with unconditional love in a real and practical way. The project included a time of singing with the prisoners, puppet shows and games for the children, and the distribution of blankets and clothing, along with 850 snacks (purchased inside the prison).

Here is a note that was sent to us by those who ran the project: "It was a bright Sunday morning, 9:30 on Feb. 17th, when, surrounded by the prayers of many prayer warriors from all over the world, twelve of us arrived at [the] prison gate....We did not know what to expect. All the rules said no to this and no to that, yet we were prepared. We had CD players and CDs with Sudanese songs, musical instruments, a sound system, puppets, toys and children’s games with us [along with] new blankets & clothing, we prayerfully listened to the information, where these people came from, why, and how they arrived here. Then came the instructions[from the prison officials]: don’t hug, don’t come close…..Oh Lord!! Teach us we how to show your love that flows through us to these hurting people!! The Lord opened the gates and we could take in all the things we brought with us, except for the sound system, which we could understand! The manager, the education officer, and all those in responsibility, were of great help....People started coming in groups of 50. Soon songs were heard all over the camp. The Lord sent a spirit of joy and many of them sang with us. Some danced too. A couple played our musical instruments and led the group with their own songs. Some had tears in their eyes."


PROJECT UPDATE: We're glad to report that working with local Christian leaders in Iraq, The Joshua Fund has helped provide a new desktop computer and printer for an impoverished Iraqi school near Mosul (see picture). This is the same school TJF and our allies assisted in February with some 800 backpacks. It is your generous investment that makes such projects -- small and large -- possible in Israel, Iraq and elsewhere in the epicenter. Thank you so much and may God bless you more than you can hope for, dream of, or imagine.


Thursday, March 27, 2008


PROJECT UPDATE: As part of our "Operation Epicenter" humanitarian relief strategy, The Joshua Fund is helping feed the poor in northern Israel. Over the next three years, we will help Bridges For Peace, a highly-respected Christian Zionist organization based in Jerusalem, purchase 400 tons of food to be distributed to Jews in severe need in towns along the border with Lebanon, as well pre-position food supplies ahead of the next war. TJF has already financed more than 70 tons of food, and with your generous help, we will do more -- approximately 10 tons a month. Pictured here is Jim Solberg, a senior BFP leader, in a new warehouse and food distribution center in the Israeli city of Carmiel.
Other news to track in Israel:

Monday, March 24, 2008


Evangelical leader Chuck Colson today cited Joshua Fund founder Joel Rosenberg and his non-fiction book Epicenter on his nationally syndicated radio commentary known as "BreakPoint." He was discussing the spiritual awakening that is underway in the Muslim world and how exciting it is. To read the commentary -- or to listen to it on-line -- please click here.

Islam Watch, a website run by ex-Muslims tracking trends within the Muslim world, also cites the research found in the book Epicenter. To read more, please click here.

* Sign up for free Flash Traffic emails with the latest geopolitical updates from the Middle East, Joshua Fund reports, and urgent prayer requests.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

THE BIG (UNTOLD) STORY IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Muslims converting to faith in Jesus Christ in record numbers -- 2008 Update

"I will build my church," Jesus said, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

The lead story on Drudge over the weekend was the Pope baptizing a prominent Egyptian author who converted from Islam to Catholicism, and for good reason. It's a huge story in Italy and the Muslim world, especially coming as it did the week that Osama bin Laden accused the Pope of waging a "crusade" against Islam. But this particular baptism is just the tip of the iceberg.

Despite unprecedented press coverage of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East since September 11, 2001, one big story is generally not being told by the mainstream media. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are converting to evangelical Christianity and will be celebrating their first Easter this year, even amidst widespread persecution and the very real threat of death.

I first began reporting this story in 2005 after interviewing some three dozen Arab and Iranian pastors and evangelical Christian leaders in the U.S. and the Middle East. Over the last three years, however, I have had the privilege of traveling to Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, the West Bank, Turkey, and Morocco. What's more, I have had the honor of meeting with and interviewing more than 200 Arab, Iranian, Kurdish, Sudanese and other pastors and Christian leaders. With more data, the trend lines are becoming even more clear and the story is even more exciting.

The God of the Bible is moving powerfully in the Middle East to draw men, women and children to His heart and adopt them into His family in record numbers. More Muslims have come to faith in Jesus Christ over the last thirty years -- and specifically over the last seven to ten years -- than at any other time in human history. There is a revival going on among the ancient Catholic, Coptic, and Chaldean churches. Today, the Church is being truly resurrected in the lands of its birth.

Consider the latest evidence:

* AFGHANISTAN -- In Afghanistan, for example, there were only 17 known evangelical Christians in the country before al-Qaeda attacked the United States. Today, there are well over 10,000 Afghan followers of Christ and the number is growing steadily. Church leaders say Afghan Muslims are open to hearing the gospel message like never before. Dozens of baptisms occur every week. People are snatching up Bibles and other Christian books as fast as they can be printed or brought into the country. The Jesus film, a two hour docudrama on the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke, was even shown on television in one city before police shut down the entire TV station."God is moving so fast in Afghanistan, we're just trying to keep up," one Afghan Christian worker told me, requesting anonymity. "The greatest need now is leadership development. We need to train pastors to care for all these new believers."

* UZBEKISTAN -- There were no known Muslim converts to Christ there in 1990. Now there are more than 30,000.

* IRAQ -- As I shared during an interview on Fox & Friends on Easter morning, in Iraq, there were only a handful of Muslim converts to Christianity back in 1979 when Saddam Hussein took full control of that country. Yet today, there are more than 70,000 Iraqi Muslim background believers in Jesus (MBBs), approximately 50,000 who came to Christ as refugees in Jordan after the first Gulf War in 1990-91, and another 20,000 who have come to Christ since the fall of Saddam Hussein. John Moser, the executive director of The Joshua Fund, and I just returned from nine days traveling through five provinces in Iraq. We met with 19 Iraqi evangelical Christian leaders. I had the privilege of preaching in a church of more than 100 MBBs from Baghdad -- a church that didn't even exist in 2002 before liberation. We also had the privilege of meeting and interviewing numerous former Islamic jihadist terrorist who have come to Christ and are now pastors and church planters.

* KAZAKHSTAN -- In Kazakhstan, there were only three known evangelical Christian believers before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Today there are more than 15,000 Kazakh Christians, and more than 100,000 Christians of all ethnicities.

* EGYPT -- "Egyptians are increasingly hungry for God's Word," an Egyptian Christian leader told me. Several years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the largest Christian congregation in the Middle East, which meets in an enormous cave on the outskirts of Cairo. Some 10,000 believers worship there every weekend. A prayer conference the church held in May 2005 drew some 20,000 believers.

* IRAN -- In 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini led the Islamic Revolution, there were only about 500 known Muslim converts to Christianity. Today, interviews with two dozen Iranian pastors and church leaders reveals that there are well over 1 million Shia Muslim converts to Christianity.

* SUDAN -- Despite a ferocious civil war, genocide and widespread religious persecution, particularly in the Darfur region -- or perhaps because of such tragedies -- church leaders there tell me that more than 1 million Sudanese have made decisions to follow Jesus Christ just since 2001. Since the early 1990s, more than 5 million Sudanese have become followers of Jesus. Seminary classes to train desperately-needed new pastors are held mountain caves. Hundreds of churches have been planted, and thousands of small group Bible studies are being held in secret throughout the country.

In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Aljazeera satellite television to confirm that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers. "In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity," Al Qataani warned. "Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity." Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. "Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?" Al Qataani repeated his assertion. "Every year," the cleric confirmed, adding, "a tragedy has happened."

One of the most dramatic developments is that many Muslims throughout the Middle East and even in the United States are seeing dreams and visions of Jesus. They are coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a Bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus. This is in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The Hebrew Prophet Joel told us that "in the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days....And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." (Joel 2:28-32)

In Epicenter: Why The Current Rumblings In the Middle East Will Change Your Future, I devote an entire chapter to these dramatic trend lines and why Muslims are converting in record numbers. I am currently working on a new non-fiction book and documentary film called Inside The Revolution, to be release during Easter 2009, with much more detail on this subject, including first person accounts of former Muslim terrorists who have become the new Apostle Pauls of our time -- murderous religious zealots who had visions of Jesus Christ and are now pastors, evangelists, church planters and powerful Christian leaders. Other books I would highly recommend on this subject are Light Force: A Stirring Account of the Church Caught in the Middle East Crossfire by Brother Andrew and Al Janssen; and Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe In Christ.

Is life easy for these Muslim converts? By no means. They face ostracism from their families. They face persecution from their communities. They face being fired from their jobs. They face imprisonment by their governments. They face torture and even death at the hands of Muslim extremists. But they are coming to Christ anyway. They are becoming convinced that Jesus is, in fact, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father in heaven except through faith in Jesus' death on the cross and powerful resurrection from the dead.

One of the reasons my wife and I began The Joshua Fund was to educate the Church around the world at what God of the Bible is doing in the epicenter. We want to mobilize a global movement of Christians praying for these dear brothers and sisters. We want to find ways to encourage and strengthen them. We want to provide them with Bibles and Christian literature, and with humanitarian relief supplies so they can love their neighbors and their enemies, as Jesus tells us to do. Their stories are typically being told by the mainstream media, but they are important stories nonetheless. Theirs are testimonies of the greatness of our great God.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

* AP: Pope Baptizes Prominent Italian Muslim Convert
* The Big (Untold) Story (2005)

* RECORD NUMBER OF EX-MUSLIMS CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR: A spiritual revolution underway in Mideast (2006)
* Sign up for free Flash Traffic emails with geopolitical updates from the Middle East, Joshua Fund reports, and prayer requests

Friday, March 21, 2008


How can you be praying for Israel and her neighbors this Easter season? Here are a few urgent prayer requests....

* Please be praying for the family and friends of the Catholic bishop that was just murdered in Iraq. Father Paulos Faraj Rahho was kidnapped after Mass in the city of Mosul several weeks ago. Pray for comfort, for courage, and for the Catholics in Iraq to be able to love their neighbors and their enemies as Christ gives them strength after this horrendous tragedy.

* Please pray that those responsible for this murder will be brought to earthly justice, and that they will seek and find eternal forgiveness from our Risen Savior.

* Please pray for all Iraqi Christians this Easter weekend, that the Lord would give them great courage and boldness to stand strong and to be seen a positive force for peace and reconciliation throughout all of their country.

* Please also pray for the family of Israeli pastor David Ortiz and his wife Leah in the town of Ariel. Their 15-year old son, Ami, was injured when a bomb was sent to their home yesterday, disguised as a Purim present. Please pray for complete healing and a speedy recovery. Pray for courage and strength for the family at this difficult time. Please also pray for the Lord to give strength and courage and His gentle favor on all of the pastors and believers in Israel this Easter weekend.

* Please continue to pray for those Israeli yeshiva students, their families and friends who were affected by the recent terrorist shooting in Jerusalem.

* Please pray for the 500,000 Israelis who live near the border of Gaza that continue to be hit with dozens of rockets and missiles every single day with no end in sight.

* Please also pray for the Palestinian Christians living in the West Bank and Gaza who will celebrate Easter this weekend at the risk of their lives. Pray for their courage and strength in the face of the radical Islamic jihadists who seek destroy Christians, Jews, as well as fellow Muslims who are not as radical as they.

* Please continue to pray for the poor and needy and the victims of war and terrorism in Israel and the Muslim world. For Jesus told us in Matthew 25:31-40, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'"

Monday, March 17, 2008



April 10, 2008 event will gather 2,000 Christian leaders
to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary

(Washington, D.C., March 24, 2008) – Joel C. Rosenberg, the New York Times best-selling author and founder of The Joshua Fund, today announced a major conference in Jerusalem in 2008 to help Christians celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary, educate Christians as to the serious threats facing the Jewish State and her neighbors, and mobilize Christians around the world to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and provide humanitarian relief to the poor and needy and those suffering from war and terrorism.

Invited speakers include:
* Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli Prime Minister
* Natan Sharansky, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister
* Porter Goss, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
* Lt.-General (ret.) Jerry Boykin, former Delta Force commander
* Amb. Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and author of The Fight For Jerusalem
* Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa
* Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Chapel Albuquerque, a member of the board of Samaritan’s Purse, and co-host of the Epicenter documentary film
* Joel C. Rosenberg, founder of The Joshua Fund, author of Epicenter: Why The Current Rumblings In The Middle East Will Change Your Future, and co-host of the Epicenter documentary film
* Note: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was invited by letter and through his conversations with his staff to the speak at the conference. However, we have received word that that he will not be able to attend.

Conference details:
* The Epicenter Conference will be held on Thursday, April 10, 2008 from 9:30am to 6:00pm local time.
* The event will be held in Congress Hall at the international convention center in Jerusalem.
* Some 2,000 Christian leaders from around the world are expected to attend
* The event will be webcast worldwide, gavel to gavel.
* For more information – and to register for the conference – go to: or
כאשר עיניי כל העולם נשואות אל עבר המזרח התיכון, מוקד האירועים הדרמטיים שמעצבים את עולמינו ואת גורל עתידנו, אנו מזמינים אתכם -

- לחגיגות יום העצמאות ה-60 של מדינת ישראל.
- לקבל תדרוכים עדכניים ממומחים ראשיים למצב במזרח התיכון.
- ללמוד את נבואות התנ"ך עם מורים ומנהיגים מכובדים.

מתי: יום חמישי, ה-10 לאפריל 2008, 09:30– 18:00 (דלתות יפתחו ב 8:00)
איפה: בנייני האומה, שד' שזר 1, ירושלים.
כרטיסים: 75$ לתושב חוץ, 35$ לתושבי ישראל. קבלת כרטיסים כניסה.
הרשמה בטוחה באינטרנט:
אימייל לפרטים ומידע:

תרגום לעברית באוזניות

אורחים שאישרו הגעתם:
ג'ואל רוזנברג – סופר רבי המכר של מותחנים בהוצאת הניו-יורק טיימס.
סקיפ הייציג – מנהיג קהילת קאלוארי צ'אפל במדינת ניו-מקסיקו.
צ'אק סמית' – מנהיג בקהילת קאלוארי צ'אפל בקוסטה מסה, קליפורניה.
גנרל וויליאם "ג'רי" בויקין – לאחרונה פרש מתפקידו כסגן שר הביטחון לענייני מודיעין ומבצעים מיוחדים בפנטאגון.

אורחים מוזמנים:
פורטר גוס – ראש ה-CIA לשעבר.
אהוד אולמרט – ראש ממשלת ישראל.
בנימין נתניהו – ראש ממשלת ישראל לשעבר.
נתן שרנסקי – סגן ראש ממשלת ישראל לשעבר.
דור גולד – שגריר ישראל לשעבר.

Friday, March 14, 2008


UPDATE: Iraq Christians mourn kidnapped cleric's death


Thank you so much to all of our prayer and financial partners!

Because of your tremendous love and generosity, we are having the honor of blessing many poor and needy Israeli, Palestinian, Iraqi, and Sudanese families, as well as many victims of war and terrorism. May the Lord bless you for all you're doing. My team and I couldn't be more grateful, and will keep you updated regularly through this weblog on the relief projects we are doing.

In March and April -- in celebration Passover and Easter and in response to recent troubles in the Holy City -- The Joshua Fund is doing projects specifically to bless those in need in Jerusalem. Among them:

* Funding 20 tons of food to be distributed to the poor and needy in Jerusalem through Bridges For Peace

* Funding a Passover food distribution project through the Jerusalem Institute of Justice

* Funding and providing nearly 200 American evangelical Christian volunteers for a food distribution project in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel as part of our upcoming "Prayer & Vision Tour" and Epicenter conference

* Through our Israeli counsel, we have inquired with the yeshiva about contributing to a fund for the victims of the recent terrorist shooting. We have been informed that such a fund is being created. When it is, we will contribute.

At the same time, we continue to pray for and seek to bless Israeli victims of war and terrorism in towns and cities like Sderot and Ashkelon that are being pounded day after day, week after week, with Palestinian rockets, mortars and missiles from Gaza. As readers of this weblog know, The Joshua Fund has in recent months have funded the provision of heaters, blankets, clothing, and medical equipment to those in severe need in the missile zones. We are in direct contact with our key allies in the region and are assessing how best to help next. Please pray that we have the wisdom to truly care for those in severe need.

After our recent trip into Iraq, we are also preparing to step up our relief activities there. Working closely with Iraqi evangelical leaders and our allies in the U.S. and Europe, The Joshua Fund has financed several truckloads of humanitarian relief supplies into Iraq in recent months. Projects we are currently working on include:

* Providing thousands of backpacks for Iraqi school children (each of which includes school supplies, the JESUS film for children on DVD in the appropriate local language, and an illustrated children's Bible in the local language).

* Financing the building of a studio for a newly-approved evangelical Christian radio station inside Iraq that will reach an estimated 1.7 million people a day with gospel programming, Bible teaching, and music in Arabic and Kurdish. Lord willing, the station will go on the air this summer.

The Joshua Fund will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date on the kinds of projects we are doing, brief you on how those projects are proceeding, and let you know about the kinds of projects we are developing for the future. 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 welcome your support, and all financial gifts are tax-deductible. For more information, please click here.

It should be noted that The Joshua Fund, when fundraising for humanitarian relief efforts, often describes in general terms the types of needs and projects it supports that bless Israel and her neighbors. But we usually do not raise funds that are tied to a particular project. Those who contribute to TJF should do so because they believe in our principles, share our goals, and see based on what we have done so far that we are investing in worthwhile projects. Because of the number of projects we are involved with, the amount of funds necessitated for a particular project at a particular moment varies over time. For the organization to be a good steward, we need to be able to maintain the final discretion of how the contributions will best be used to bless Israel and her neighbors, and we will keep you posted regularly on what we are doing through this weblog.

Finally, let us clarify the issue of The Joshua Fund and ECFA. First, per ECFA's policies, an organization cannot apply until a year after receiving their IRS exemption determination letter, which The Joshua Fund received June 27, 2007. Second, ECFA requests that if an organization applies for membership, it not publicize its intended or pending application. "If your organization is not a member of ECFA, please do not share your desire to join ECFA or your perceived adherence to ECFA Standards," notes their guidelines. "Any such comments may falsely give the impression to supporters of your ministry that ECFA has approved or endorses your ministry. Because of this possibility for misinterpretation, please do not make any reference to ECFA until membership has actually been attained." Please accept our apologies for any confusion earlier communications may have caused.

If you have any further questions on these or other issues, please email The Joshua Fund's Executive Director, John Moser, at

Thanks so much, and may the Lord richly bless you as you bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.

Joel C. Rosenberg

The Joshua Fund

Friday, March 07, 2008

JOSHUA FUND CALLS ON PASTORS, CHURCHES TO PRAY FOR PEACE OF JERUSALEM: Epicenter conference "more important than ever" to stand with Israel

UPDATED: The Joshua Fund staff last night held an emergency conference call to pray for the wounded and families of all the victims after a horrifying terror attack at a religious Jewish school left 8 dead and 10 wounded. During that call, we agreed that we are even more committed than ever to encouraging thousands of Christians to go to Israel next month and participate in the Epicenter conference. We believe now is the time to show the people of Israel that evangelical Christians love them, pray for them and will stand with them no matter what happens.
We are calling on pastors, evangelical leaders and churches around the world to mobilize your email and phone prayer chains to pray for the people of Jerusalem and Israel at this critical time. Please also pray for the largely forgotten Israeli citizens who live in Sderot, Ashkelon and other towns along the border with Gaza who are being hit with a seeming never-ending barrage of rockets, missiles and mortars. Please consider having a special time of prayer during your weekend church services for the peace of Jerusalem and for peace along the Gaza border.
Please also pray that God would miraculously change the hearts of the Palestinians who are responsibile such evil attacks. And pray that the Lord would have mercy on the vast majority of Palestinians who hate such attacks and feel trapped by the actions of the Radical Islamic jihadists around them.
A few other specific prayer requests you might consider:
* Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as we are commanded in Psalm 122:6.
* Please pray that the Lord would comfort those wounded in the attack, and the families of those killed, and that the Lord would show His people how to comfort all those who are suffering so greatly. "'Comfort, O comfort My people,' says your God. 'Speak kindly to Jerusalem; and call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD'S hand, double for all her sins.'" (Isaiah 40:1-2)
* Please pray for wisdom for the leaders of Israel to know how best to respond to this attack. May they be like "men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do." (I Chronicles 12:32)
* Please pray for wisdom and discernment for the Christians in Jerusalem and throughout Israel to know how best to comfort their neighbors and be a force for prayer and peace. "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15)
* Please pray for the upcoming Joshua Fund tour in Israel and Epicenter conference in Jerusalem. As I noted above, we believe it is more important than ever to bless Israel and stand with her. We trust that the Israeli authorities are going to keep the city and country safe. And we intend to be on our knees, beseeching the God of Israel to be our hope, our protection, and our shield. Now is not the time to abandon Israel. Now is the time to stand with her in prayer, and in person. "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet....You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves, and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 60:1, 6-7)
* Finally, please pray that the Lord would show you and your congregation how to bless Israel in tangible and practical ways in the days and weeks ahead. "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me." (Matthew 25:35-36)
Next week, my Joshua Fund colleagues and I fly to Tucson, Arizona where I will address 1,000 evangelical Christian pastors on what is happening in the epicenter and how they and their congregations can bless Israel and her neighbors at this critical hour. By God's grace, we will be able to enlist allies for OPERATION EPICENTER, our drive to provide $120 million worth of humanitarian relief aid to the poor and needy and victims of war and terrorism in the region over the next few years.
If there is any way we can serve you; answer your questions about OPERATION EPICENTER; or help you mobilize your congregations to LEARN, PRAY, GIVE and GO; please don't hesitate to contact Jeremy Grafman, TJF's Director of Special Projects. His email is Or visit our website,
Thank you so much for loving Israel and standing with her people. They need you more than ever. God bless you.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Excerpt from AP story: "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Tuesday ordered security officials to work for the release of a kidnapped Chaldean Catholic archbishop, calling Christians 'an essential component of the Iraqi society.' Paulos Faraj Rahho was kidnapped and three of his companions were killed Friday when gunmen attacked them soon after he left Mass in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the latest in what church members called a series of attacks against Iraq's small Christian community. Al-Maliki 'has issued orders to the Interior Minister and the security officials in Nineveh province to meticulously follow this issue and work hard to release the archbishop as soon as possible,' a statement by the prime minister's office said....'Christians in Iraq are an essential component of the Iraqi society and a part that cannot be separated from the Iraqi people and civilization. Any assault on the Christians is an assault on all Iraqis,' the prime minister's statement said."

* Please pray for the release of the Archbishop.
* Please pray for courage for all of followers of Jesus in Iraq.

HELP US HELP ISRAEL: Rockets from Gaza keep raining down on innocent Israelis with no end in sight

Israeli parents and children living in Sderot and Ashkelon on the southern border with Gaza are being pounded day after day, with no apparent end in sight. The Israeli military has made several attacks on Hamas positions and incursions into Gaza, but the rockets, missiles and mortars just keep coming. The Joshua Fund has been sending relief supplies to both cities, but we need to do much more. Among the current urgent needs of Barzilai Medical Center:

* Operating Room Lamp cost: $20,000
* Mobile X-Ray Machine cost: $40,000
* Ultrasonograph for Delivery Room cost: $50,000
* Echocardiograph cost: $60,000
* Breast Ultrasonograph cost: $ 70,000
* Ventilators and Respirators cost: $85,000 each

Please pray that we can raise these and other funds quickly so we help these brave doctors and nurses with the equipment they so urgently need to care for the 500,000 Israeli who live near the border of Gaza. Please also pray that the Lord would continue to open doors for The Joshua Fund to provide food, clothing and others critical supplies to those Israelis suffering in this horrific missile zone. To help financially, please click here.


Latest headline from Ynet News: "Qassam strikes Sderot house; no injuries. House sustains direct hit, several people suffer from shock. Seven rockets fired at Israel from northern Gaza since Thursday morning.".....Excerpts from the story: "Elisheva Turjeman, the owner of the house hit, found it difficult to talk after the shuddering experience. 'We were at home with the children, there was a very loud explosion, and the entire house was hit,' she told Ynet. 'We managed to get to the secured room and take shelter. It was a real miracle. I still can't believe we escaped it unharmed....'We heard a very loud explosion, and I immediately understood that the house was directly hit,' one of the residents on the street told Ynet. 'Our houses all shook and the windowpanes were damaged.'"

Latest headline from the (UK) Independent: "Ashkelon, the new target for Hamas missiles".....Excerpts from the story: "Israeli surfing shop owner Elan Biton was standing in the car park chatting to friends as he waited for his wife and three children after an afternoon at Ashkelon's marina when he heard two distant but unmistakeable booms. A few seconds later, he heard a whoosh followed by a very much louder explosion a mere 10 metres away. It was only as he started to head down to the water's edge, dazed, to look for his family that he noticed the small hole in his lower stomach. It dawned on Mr Biton that he had been hit by shrapnel from another of the Grad rockets which had helped to trigger last weekend's bloody incursion into Gaza. Lying in his bed in a private room in Ashkelon's modern 500-bed Barzilai hospital yesterday, and attached to an antibiotic drip, Mr Biton, 36, did not mince his words about what needed to be done to stop the rockets. 'I don't think there is a political solution. I can't know that I will leave this hospital and not be hit by another rocket,' he said. Was he talking about a full-scale invasion of Gaza? 'Yes. You cannot talk to Hamas and then think everything is going to be OK. It needs massive power to deal with it.' Ashkelon, a growing city of 120,000 people with its 12km of sandy Mediterranean beaches, gardens and tree-lined boulevards, seems a far cry from the low-income Israeli development town of Sderot, which has borne the brunt of repeated Qassam rocket attacks which have claimed 13 lives in Israel since 2004....But the city has suddenly become of major strategic concern to Israeli politicians since it moved into the front line as a result of the 15 Grads – the smallest form of Soviet-designed Katyusha rocket but notably more accurate and powerful than the Qassam – launched from Gaza since Israel killed five Hamas militants last Wednesday."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

JOSHUA FUND TEAM CARES FOR POOR AND NEEDY CHILDREN IN IRAQ: Doors open for Christians to help as never before

"If there is a poor man with you, one of your shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks." (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)
"Jesus said, 'When you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.'" (Luke 14:13-14)
John Moser, The Joshua Fund's executive director, and I have just returned from a nine-day trip to Iraq. We visited five provinces and had the privilege of meeting with scores of Iraqi evangelical Christian pastors and ministry leaders, interviewing the Spokesman for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, meeting with former radical Sunni Muslim terrorists and jihadists.
One of the biggest highlights of their trip was the opportunity we had to work with local Christian leaders to distribute some 800 backpacks to poor and needy children at a school near Mosul, the ancient city of Ninevah, at the invitation of local school officials. Each of the backpacks contained school supplies, coloring books, an illustrated children's Bible, a copy of the JESUS film for children on DVD, and an assortment of other books and tapes.
As you can see in these pictures, despite the jolting poverty these kids live and the horrifying violence they have had to endure over the years, they were absolutely beautiful -- bright shining eyes, big smiles, full of life and hope for the future, and so excited to meet followers of Jesus who came all the way from America to bless them and show them some love. They loved practicing their English. They loved asking us questions about who we were, why we came and whether we would come back (we assured them we would!).
What a joy to be able to bless the poor and needy in Iraq in the name of Jesus. Thanks to all of The Joshua Fund's prayer partners and financial partners for making this possible. We'll have more reports on our trip to Iraq in the days ahead. In the meantime:
* Please keep praying for peace in that troubled country and for God to keep showing His love and mercy to people who have endured so much hardship.
* Please also pray for the local Christians to be strong and courageous, full of love and forgiveness.
* Please pray that we will also have the financial resources to help our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq continue to care for the poor and needy and for victims of war and terrorism. The Christians leaders we met with made it crystal clear: they want to love their neighbors and their enemies. They have never seen such openness among Muslim people and their leaders to God's love and practical assistance. But they do need believers in the West to partner with them. They cannot possibly meet the enormous needs or respond to the historic opportunities by themselves, nor would they want to if they could.

Monday, March 03, 2008



More than 150 Palestinian rockets and missiles have been fired at the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot. The Barzilai Medical Center, the only trauma center serving the 500,000 Israelis living along the Gaza border -- a center that has been adopted by The Joshua Fund -- has also taken direct hits within the last few days. Reported one Israeli news service: "The Grad rocket that landed next to the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon on the Sabbath last week narrowly missed killing two premature babies from Gaza who were admitted to the facility. "One of the Grad rockets fell a mere 50 meters from the hospital entrance. All the premature babies in the NICU unit, including the two Palestinian babies, were transferred to the hospital's bomb shelter for fear that the hospital itself would receive a direct missile hit."

Men, women and children in the region are living in great fear. Israeli military forces have struck back, but it remains to be seen whether the current government in Jerusalem is willing to do all that is necessary to stop the Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who are firing these rockets indiscriminately, and to truly stop them once and for all.

* Please pray for peace for the Israeli residents along the southern border with Gaza, and for courage.

* Please pray for wisdom for local Israeli security and emergency response officials.

* Please pray for evangelical Christians in Israel and around the world to have wisdom and courage to know how best to bless these Israeli victims of war and terror.

Excerpts from AP story: "(Ashkelon, Israel) Residents of this beachside city are still coming to terms with being on the front lines of Israel's battle against Hamas militants. A dozen long-range rockets slammed into Ashkelon over the weekend, marking a significant turning point in the conflict and compelling Israel to strike back hard. 'Until yesterday, I never would have believed that I would see the things I saw,' said Rachel Shimoni, 66, as she stood amid shards of glass, blown out of the front window of her clothing store. 'All of a sudden, the reality has changed.' Palestinian militants fire rockets nearly daily at Sderot and other Israeli border towns near Gaza. But by reaching Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 people about 11 miles north of Gaza, Hamas raised the stakes considerably. It is one of the largest cities in southern Israel, home to Mediterranean beaches, a college and strategic installations like an electric plant and a water purification plant....Six people were wounded in Ashkelon on Saturday after one rocket landed next to City Hall and another in the marina area. Another rocket struck Ashkelon on Sunday, slightly wounding one person, medics said. Ashkelon's mayor said he would not accept the rockets becoming a normal reality. 'This is a state of war, I know no other definition for it,' said Roni Mahatzri, from his makeshift office in an underground bunker. 'If it lasts a week or two, we can handle that, but we have no intention of allowing this to become part of our daily routine.'"