Masada

Isaiah 62 Prayer Letter – December 2022

Dear Prayer Partners,

As we near the end of 2022, it is a good time to stop and reflect. Having come through two difficult years of the corona crisis, we were hopeful for better times in 2022. Yet this year, too, has seen its share of tragedy as Russian sabre-rattling turned into a war against Ukraine that has since displaced and separated millions of families.

In Israel, this has meant welcoming some 60,000 Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, most who are coming as refugees with next to nothing. As a result, we have been kept busy assisting these immigrant refugees with everything from evacuation, accommodation and flights to Israel and on to providing basic household items, mentoring as immigrant families adjust to life in a new reality, assistance with professional re-certification, vocational training, and so much more. This coming winter, Israel is braced for yet another wave of Aliyah as many more are expected to flee the difficulties of a cold Russian winter while under attack and without adequate resources.

Nevertheless, just today I saw a beautiful reaction to this tragedy when I visited a distribution center where new immigrants can receive clothing, toiletries, heaters and blankets. This community initiative began with two Israeli women who just ‘had to do something’ to help. The whole effort snowballed and now hundreds of immigrants receive information and help each week. Most of all, immigrants need community and not to feel alone in the midst of all the upheaval. A smile or an offer of help can go a long way towards easing tension and trauma.

Thinking about these things, Lamentations 3:22-24 came to mind, for indeed it is only “Through the Lord’s mercies (that) we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore, I hope in Him!’”  What a comfort to know that God is sovereign and always faithful. Often it is in hard times that God is able to do a deeper work in our lives. This year’s challenges have given us new opportunities to be a light and practical encouragement as well.

When Lana, a new immigrant, broke both legs in a hit-and-run accident just weeks after her arrival in Israel, things looked pretty grim. However, she expressed so beautifully how tragedy can become redemptive when we allow God to work in and through us.

“Sometimes, help comes from a place you don’t know or expect – like the help from the ICEJ,” Lana explained. “When this happened to my legs, in one second I was helpless. But these legs and this problem also brought me into contact with such good people. I’m believing again in something better than war. These experiences have restored my faith in good people. Here in Israel, people who saw you for the first time in their lives were helpful. Sometimes, even friends close their eyes to your troubles. The worst part was lying in bed here without family to rely on. There in the Ukraine, they could help. Here, I felt so alone. Your gift enabled me to buy food and cover some medical and living expenses. I can’t thank you enough.”

Indeed, thank you for your prayers for Lana and others like her, and for us as we bring light and hope to those in distress.

Soon, we will celebrate Hanukkah and remember God’s faithfulness to preserve His people. This year, the end of Hanukkah falls on Christmas Day when we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace and Immanuel – God with us. Both holidays show God’s faithfulness. May He shine His love in our hearts during this holiday season and may we in turn bring that love, light and encouragement in practical ways to those around us throughout the coming year.

May your holidays be joyful and blessed,

Nicole Y. Yoder
Vice President of Aid & Aliyah
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

PS: Our first day of prayer for the Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign this month will be on Wednesday, 7 December 2022. That same day, we also will be hosting our online Global Prayer Gathering, at 4:00 PM (Israel time). Please join us there at on.icej.org/ICEJGlobalPrayer

And let us hear from you about your needs and how God has answered your prayers! Send a short email to prayer@icej.org to let us know you are praying and fasting with us.

The next day of prayer and fasting in our Isaiah 62 Global Prayer Campaign will be
Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
Please join us!