1. DOR HABA AND NETZOR…ONE FINISHING, ONE JUST BEGUN!
We praise our faithful Lord for the wonderful work done in the Dor Haba music camp last week. We are so grateful for the prayers which went up on its behalf. The Holy Spirit came in incredible ways! Only this morning we heard regarding an Arab leader in the north who wrote (after only three days) to say that the group of young people who went from his congregation have returned home transformed, “turned around 180 degrees!” He is already speaking earnestly of the need to get the word out to many more next year! We plan to provide you with a fuller report soon.
Meanwhile, we ask your prayers this week for another camp beginning Tuesday morning. Called Netzor (“Besieged”), it is an 11-day program intended for young Messianic Jewish high-school graduates who will soon be beginning their compulsory army service in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force).
“It aims to prepare and equip the believing recruits—both spiritually and mentally—for their transition into the army, to give them the tools with which to serve God in the army and to face th many challenges they will inevitably meet as believing soldiers.” During the course of the camp they will “spend time in fellowship, worship, prayer, small groups, quiet time, seminars, challenging hikes, sharing testimonies (by current soldiers, and staff who have completed their army service)…The Lessons and discussions include varied topics such as: transitioning into the military framework, the identity of the Messianic soldier in the army, prioritization, personal ethics, general ethics—This time is important for strengthening one’s personal walk with the Lord, as well as forming strong friendships with other young believers which will continue to be an encouragement to the participants throughout their army service.”
It is estimated that at any given moment there are 350 to 450 Messianic (i.e. believing in Yeshua/Jesus) soldiers in the army. It can be a lonely experience—it is common for one of these young men or women to be the only believer in their unit. Many who enter service from believing families drift away from their faith during their tenure. But this camp provides a time of being strengthened and encouraged in truths which will help them to enter from a position of strength in their faith and their resolve. And also opportunity to network with other young believers with whom they may communicate throughout the years ahead. Several who just completed Dor Haba are moving straight into Netzor, and then into the IDF.
* A guard over those who have just finished the Dor Haba camp—that the experiences they have had and the truths they have learned will be allowed to continue working deeply within them; that they will move forward in the new directions into which the Spirit has directed them. That they will withstand any “counter attacks” of the enemy. That they will grow and mature in the new anointings they have received from the Holy Spirit this week.
* That the YHVH Tzevaot, Elohei Ma’archot Yisrael—“Yehovah of Armies, the God who brings Israel into Array” will pour out grace on the Netzor camp—anointing the camp counselors with discernment and insight, and preparing and equipping each young soldier in those special ways which God knows will be important and necessary in days ahead.
2. STAYING INFORMED: NEWS SOURCES FOR ISRAEL
It does not really fall within the scope of these Prayer Updates to provide a “news service” from Israel. We attempt, rather, to focus each week on one or two issues which we sense to be of timely importance for intercession, as well as providing you with references and notes on the Parasha. Reading these passages from the Torah and Prophets, besides providing personal edification, may also serve to bring us into a kind of alignment with millions of Jews throughout the world who also will be reading or hearing them read each week. Still, it is important for those who intercede for Israel to have available a means of at least to some degree keeping up with the news here.
“The reports on Israel in our news media are so brief (or biased) that we don’t really know what’s going on over there!” We hear this often as we travel outside of the country. That is why we find it important regularly to submit to our readers suggestions for resources in the media which will assist in staying informed. They provide an important aid in praying for Israel and “enquiring after the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6)
Through the means of Internet, the News services and Ministries listed below will certainly provide for our readers a clearer picture of what is occurring in Israel “on the ground” than they are likely to find in the services available on T.V., radio and in the newspapers and magazines. We would suggest placing several of them in an Israel Folder in your “Favorites.” Day by day, but especially during times of crisis in Israel, they may then be opened with a click to see up-to-the-minute reports in English of what is occurring throughout the Land and in Jerusalem. On several of them, besides frequently updated news-stories, analyses and commentaries, there is a constantly scrolling synthesis of “breaking news.”
Of course, the presentation on each news-source will to some degree be influenced by the “bent” of the editors of that particular source. For example, the point of view of writers and editors of a more “religious” paper will sometimes be at variance with those of a secular, more ‘left-of-center’ news source. And either will at times report stories which would not find their ways into the other’s paper. Being exposed to these varying viewpoints is important if we wish truly to understand and be praying for all of Israel.
Although, over time we have found the main “news stories” of each of the following sources to be generally sound, we would caution you, that it is the LORD who “knows what lies in darkness and Light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:20-22). We must ask His Spirit to guide us in discernment and counsel regarding all that we see!
Israeli News Services Available on the Internet
The following four English news services provide a spectrum of political and ideological perspectives. Each now provide running up-to-the-minute 24/7 news bulletins.
* The Jerusalem Post (Internet Edition) — http://www.jpost.com/
This English paper considers itself an heir of the Palestine Post of British Mandate days. Center to right of center politically.
* The Times of Israel — http://www.timesofisrael.com/
Founded by a former editor of the Jerusalem Post, the Times is also “right of center.”
We consider both the Post and the Times to be probably the best all-round sources for up-to-the-minute English news reports on Israel for those in the nations.
* YNET News — www.ynetnews.com
Owned and operated by Yediot Aharnot, the largest-circulation Hebrew newspaper. YNET is certainly “left of center—left wing” politically speaking (although not so much as HaAretz). For quick and sound coverage of breaking news-stories, it is excellent. And some of its editorial analyses are very good.
* Arutz Sheva — http://www.israelnationalnews.com
English-language new service from an Orthodox Jewish perspective.
CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES WITH NEWS UPDATES OPERATING IN ISRAEL
These services, besides having many helpful and informative resources available on their regular web sites, have either daily or weekly news summaries which may be subscribed to for free and will appear in your e-mail box. We would emphasize that these are only three of several ministries which have begun releasing similar services in recent years.
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
ICEJ Daily News Service (News and Analysis)
Subscribe: by going to www.icej.org, opening “ICEJ Publications” and clicking “NEWS” at the very top. Then under “Ways to get ICEJ News” click either “Free daily ICEJ News email” or “Free ICEJ News App for Apple & Android”
This is, in our opinion, one of the very best daily syntheses of News in Israel.
Kehila News Israel
Subscribe: by opening the website and inserting your e-mail address into a section marked, “Sign Up for Kehila News Email Updates”
As described at their website,
“Kehila News is a community news site and information portal of the Messianic community in Israel. “Kehila” is a Hebrew word that means “community” or “congregation”. Kehila News is developed and maintained by Israeli believers in Yeshua and funded by our friends like you around the world.”
Besides national news stories, their website has sections (In English) of Israeli Messianic Community Videos, News, Blogs; Teachings by the Body of Messiah in Israel; Newsfeed: Links to Israeli Messianic Websites.
Bridges For Peace Weekly “Israel Current News Update and Prayer Focus”
Subscribe: to receive a weekly Israel Prayer Update in your e-mail, visit the Web site, scroll down and click on the “Israel Update with Prayer” icon, and fill out the information. Each news item on this Update is followed by a Prayer Focus and an applicable Scripture reference.
-Martin and Norma Sarvis