Thursday, December 18, 2008

URGENT NEEDS IN THE EPICENTER: Joshua Fund sending relief supplies to bless Israelis, Palestinians and Iraqis

“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; sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me….Truly I say to you, to the extent you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” — the words of Jesus of Nazareth as found in Matthew 25:35,36,40
Dear friend of The Joshua Fund:

First and foremost, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am awed by how generous you have been with your prayers and your financial gifts this year. Though I am an author by profession, words cannot express how grateful I am to you for investing so much of yourself into the work that we are doing to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. I have no doubt that the Lord will bless you and your family for doing so, because He promised this in Genesis 12:1-3.

By God’s grace – and with your help – The Joshua Fund this year has been able to:
* provide food for needy Israeli families in Jerusalem for Passover
* help Israeli organizations feed and care for needy Israeli Holocaust survivors
* fund the purchase of urgently-needed medical equipment for the only Israeli hospital and trauma center operating on the border of Gaza
* assist a shelter operating to care for the homeless in Israel
* help with a soup kitchen caring for the needy in Tel Aviv
* purchase (since the fall of 2007) over 170 tons of food in Israel to bless the poor and needy, as well as to stockpile supplies ahead of the next war
* help stock bomb shelters in northern Israel with food and other emergency relief supplies
* provide a shipping container of furniture to Russian immigrants in Israel
* provide blankets, heaters and others supplies to needy elderly residents in Sderot, Israel
* provide food for needy residents in Sderot, Israel at Hannukah season
* provide thousands of backpacks and school supplies to needy children in Israel
* purchase vehicles to assist relief organizations in Israel in transporting food, clothing, relief supplies and volunteers
* provide funds to care for an Israeli pastor's family whose son was nearly killed when a bomb was sent to their home disguised as a Purim gift
* help fund heart surgeries for three severely ill Iraqi children who were flown to Israel to be treated by Jewish Israeli doctors, all of which was organized by evangelical Christians
* provide thousands of Arabic Bibles, Christian literature and films about the love and compassion of Jesus for an evangelical ministry to Palestinians operating in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza
* fund evangelistic Christmas parties for nearly 600 Palestinian Muslim men, women and children run by Arab Christians
* provide emergency food assistance for Iraqi Christians fleeing Radical Islamic violence in the city of Mosul (ancient Ninevah)
* provide hundreds of backpacks, school supplies, and Arabic and Kurdish Bibles and Christian literature to needy Muslim children in Iraq, working through local Iraqi Christian ministries
* provide school furniture such as desks and chairs to needy elementary schools in Iraq through Iraqi Christians
* provide broadcasting equipment and funds to build studios for a Christian radio station in northern Iraq that will soon be able to broadcast Christian music, Bible teaching, Christian dramas, and gospel programming for up to 1.7 million people a day. (Please pray for this project in particular. The station is all ready to go on the air. I have been there to see it myself. The station's staff just need a final signature from local authorities, a process that is now underway. Please pray with us that the authorization will come quickly and the station can go on the air early in 2009.)
* provide thousands of vaccinations for at-risk children in Afghanistan
* provide funding for three Afghani Christian leaders to be tutored in English to improve their ministry skills
* send Joshua Fund staff, board members, and American evangelical Christian pastors to pray with, teach, and encourage pastors and ministry leaders in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf States
* take nearly 200 Christian leaders and volunteers to Israel in April 2008 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the prophetic rebirth of the Jewish State, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and participate in the first-ever "Epicenter Conference" in Jerusalem, attended by some 2,000 Christian leaders and lay people from around the world
* use radio, television and print interviews -- as well as email alerts and our website and weblog -- to help millions of evangelical Christians in the U.S., Canada and around the world understand the serious threats facing Israelis, Palestinians, Iraqis in the epicenter, and how they can truly bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus in real and practical ways
While this is by no means a complete list of the projects The Joshua Fund has assisted with this year, I hope this will give you a sense of our heart to care for those in real need, and how we are investing the funds you have entrusted to us.
That said, as you can imagine, there is so much more to be done. Wars and rumors of wars continue to dominate the Middle East as 2008 draws to a close. Just consider just a few of these sobering headlines in recent days:

* 7 more rockets strike Negev, as IAF renews attacks on Gaza: "More than 40 rockets have been launched at Israel since Tuesday. Militants fired 24 Qassams at southern Israel and 11 the day before. One rocket fired Wednesday struck a parking lot adjacent to a supermarket in the southern town of Sderot. Three people sustained shrapnel wounds and nine others were treated for shock."
* Violence rocks Gaza as truce set to expire: "Violence flared around the Gaza Strip on Thursday on the eve of an expiry of a truce but Israel stressed it would not rush into a major military operation in the besieged Palestinian territory."

In light of such serious threats, I want you to know that we at The Joshua Fund are praying for peace while doing everything we possibly can to prepare for war. We are, for example, prayerfully seeking to acquire a Joshua Fund warehouse in Israel to stockpile more relief supplies. We are prayerfully seeking to purchase a truck sufficiently large enough to transport and distribute relief supplies throughout Israel. We are prayerfully seeking to hire staff in Israel to run our warehouse operations center. And this is just the beginning.

Would you be willing to help us at this critical hour?
1) The first need is more prayer partners. We are seeking to recruit at least 100,000 evangelical Christians from all over the world to stand with us in praying knowledgeably and consistently for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and for the people of the entire region. By God's grace, we already have more than 80,000 prayer partners signed up (double the number from a year ago). If you would like to receive regular "Flash Traffic" emails with urgent prayer updates, geopolitical updates, and Joshua Fund project updates, please click here.
2.) The second need is financial support. I realize economic times are tough for many of you. But that is true in Israel, as well. One-in-four Israeli live below the poverty line (about $800 a month for a family of four). One in three Israeli children live in poverty. And obviously Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas are doing everything they can to prepare for the annihilation of the Israeli people. That is why we believe so strongly that now is the time for evangelical Christians to show unconditional love and unwavering support to the Israeli people. If the Lord prompts you, we would be deeply grateful if you would be willing to make an end-of-the-year financial gift. A tax-deductible contribution of $50, $100, $1,000 or more would help enormously as we seek to be as ready as we can possibly be for the next war, as well as to bless Israelis and their neighbors who have severe needs today. If you would like, you can give securely on-line right now by clicking here. Or please make your check payable to "The Joshua Fund" and send to:
The Joshua Fund
18940 Base Camp Road
Monument, Colorado 80132-8009

On behalf of The Joshua Fund staff and board, thank you again so much for your love and your generous spirit. It is an honor to be doing ministry together with you.
Yours to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus,
Joel C. Rosenberg
Founder and President

[Pictured from top to bottom: Iranian missile tests in 2008; Joel with Iraqi school children at a Joshua Fund backpack distribution project in northern Iraq in February 2008; Israeli school children who received backpacks funded by The Joshua Fund in September 2008; Joel handing out backpacks to Iraqi school children at a second Joshua Fund relief project in northern Iraq in September 2008.]