Sunset Panorama

How ICEJ Has Met the Unique Challenges of 2020

By: David Parsons, ICEJ VP & Senior Spokesman

As we look back over the past twelve months, Israel and the entire world were greatly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. But the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem rose to the challenge and accomplished more in some of our key areas of ministry than ever before.

JANUARY • After starting the new year with a month of concerted prayer by our Jerusalem staff, the ICEJ hosted some 100 pastors and ministry leaders from Israel and abroad for our annual Envision conference – an enriching time of Bible teachings, current affairs briefings, encounters with Israelis, and special visits to biblical sites and government offices.

FEBRUARY • ICEJ leaders met in Jerusalem to plan for our 40th Anniversary celebrations during this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. But our ICEJ-Norway national director also spoke from the prophet Habakkuk that a great “shaking” was coming, and within days the Coronavirus started spreading from China.

MARCH • As the COVID-19 threat forced Israelis to stay at home, the ICEJ became busier than ever feeding the poor and assisting the elderly in lockdowns. We also began flying hundreds of new Jewish immigrants to Israel on emergency Aliyah flights from Russia, Ukraine and Ethiopia.

APRIL • Despite strict lockdowns over the Passover holidays, the ICEJ helped feed and care for more Israelis than ever before over the Pessach season, including hundreds of Holocaust survivors and other elderly Israelis confined to their homes.

MAY • ICEJ marked 30 years of Aliyah efforts with a special chartered flight from Russia in late May, adding to the hundreds of Jewish immigrants flown to Israel by our ministry despite the Corona travel bans.

JUNE • With each passing week of the worldwide health crisis, the ICEJ intensified its online prayer initiatives, including our weekly Global Prayer Gathering, as well as extended online Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) prayer vigils first launched in June.

JULY • By July, the ICEJ had sponsored over 85 direct and connecting flights bringing more than 1,000 new Jewish immigrants to Israel this year from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Ethiopia, despite the Corona global travel bans.

AUGUST • Following the massive blast in Beirut port in early August, the ICEJ raised over $35,000 in contributions to help several churches, prayer houses and other ministries in Lebanon repair damages to their facilities and reach out to their communities with a strong Christian witness.

SEPTEMBER • The ICEJ surpassed over 100,000 signatures from 130 nations in a worldwide petition addressed to the Danish Bible Society urging them to recall an alarming new Bible translation which omitted or replaced hundreds of references to “Israel” in both the Old and New Testaments.

OCTOBER • With travel bans not allowing foreign tourists to enter Israel, the ICEJ transformed our annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration into an online global event, with more speakers, worship artists and seminars, and more viewers from more nations, than ever before.

NOVEMBER • Plans for renovating and expanding the ICEJ’s Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors were nearing completion, as our volunteer team there continued to care for over 65 residents at the special assisted-living facility first started in 2010. Over the past decade, a few modest apartments has grown to a large project spread over a dozen buildings, now including a community dining hall, museum, and activity center.

DECEMBER • ICEJ is ending the year by sponsoring flights for hundreds of Ethiopian Jews who are part of a renewed wave of Aliyah for the last remnant of this ancient Israelite community.

These are examples of our many projects, events and other ministry highlights over the past year, despite all of the unique challenges we all have faced. With your support, we are bringing Jews home, helping them settle in the Land, caring for Holocaust survivors, protecting vulnerable Israeli communities, and impacting churches and nations all around the world.