The work with the refugees in Tel Aviv goes well with our feeding program over 800 people a week. Tuesday and Friday’s sees us giving out about 1500 pieces of bread and pita bread each day, plus our homemade lentil and bean soup. We have become somewhat an expert on soup making in the street and it has become truly a life line to many. January was an extremely wet month and cold, even in Tel Aviv, and many of those men had to sleep on the street, that alone can be trying but not having food to eat as well, can make it a very desperate existence. During the week we have been able to give our partners supplies to make hot oatmeal, and gifts have allowed us to buy and distribute blankets and other foodstuffs, almost every week there are new people coming, last week it was reported that a homeless Ethiopian man was found dead in the park.
Apart from our regular volunteer crew we have been joined by some Eritrean believers who have a congregation in the area, they are anxious to help us to minister to their fellow Africans and help in what they can. There is also an attempt by some believers to start an regular church meeting amongst those from Darfur, a difficult task, because of their culture and the fear of one another. The
Darfurians are mainly men who left their homeland because islamic racism by their fellow muslims and war, causing them to take the hazardous journey to look for work and a means to help their family. They are open to spiritual things. We get to hand out many Bibles and New Testaments and share the Gospel. They got excited when they heard my testimony of leaving Judaism and becoming a Christian, and we have met a number of them who have turned away from Islam to find rest in the Lord Jesus .
We are hoping to start to go to Tel Aviv maybe another two days a week, at least for the winter months, and also we have started a healing ministry which is going well, having come across many men who are in need of medical checks. We buy medical supplies and are taking those who have more serious medical problems to the hospital, as we are able. People have wounds , Malaria , and worms , diarrhea, influenza, and other ailments.
Another surprising aspect of our outreach has been the many Israelis we have met as we give out food. When we are serving in the park, we have seen Israelis come and give us foodstuff to give out, which we happily do. It also gives us a good opportunity to share our faith, they see a bunch of Christians giving out soup and it often leads to friendly conversations, some even taking a New Testament as a gift. We’ve seen Jewish Hari Krishnas in the park and Jehovah’s Witnesses at times. The park is a desperate place, on one side there are a row of brothels, it is not a safe area. On Fridays it has been so busy with people that we often do not get home until after midnight, and when we give out blankets it can be almost like a battle with each man fighting his way forward, thankfully, we have learned how to do this better but it does not always work out.
Thank you all for your prayer and support . This may be a short window of opportunity to reach to a needy people from places we cannot ourselves visit. We do not know how long this influx from Africa will continue, or what the State of Israel plans to do to solve this crisis, but while the door is open, we will use it to share His glorious Gospel, as we faithfully do to all we encounter in the Land.