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Christians who are Blessing Israel

By Linda Green
CBN News Producer A steady stream of humanitarian aid to Israel will soon become a flood if the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America has its way. That aid could trigger revival among the Jews, a revival born of collaboration between Christians and Messianic Jews. That is the vision of Joel Chernoff, chairman of The Joseph Project.

"What we believe God is up to is bringing blessing to Israel to trigger revival among the Jewish people," said Chernoff. "The Lord is setting things up right now for the release of a wave of his Holy Spirit that will spark a great revival in Israel. We want Israel to see God's heart of compassion."

MJAA's Joseph Project has been shipping humanitarian aid to Israel since 2000 -- non-perishable items like furniture, building materials, toys, clothing, bedding and toiletries. This aid goes to Israel's neediest: the poor, many of whom are new immigrants; those unemployed, many because of the intifada; terrorist victims; and an estimated 250,000 children living below the poverty line of $314 per month.

The goods are distributed through 22 Messianic Jewish storefronts and 110 government social service centers.

"Who knew when we started that the intifada would break out again?" said Chernoff. "The war is very expensive and Israel has increasingly cut its Social Service budget. Still 50-75,000 immigrants enter the country every year and they generally cycle into the bottom of the economic ladder. Tourism, the second largest industry in Israel, is almost non-existent, triggering escalating unemployment and poverty. There are tremendous social service issues. They can't take care of their own."

That is the emergent crisis the Joseph Project addresses. But assistance serves a longer-term goal as well. That goal has its basis in a prophecy to the MJAA that anti-Semitism will increase in Eastern Europe, spawning an enormous influx of immigrants to Israel.

"The Jews of Eastern Europe and Russia have a very short time before they will be either driven or frightened out of Eastern Europe and Russia," reads the 1996 prophecy. "Over 1 million of these people will end up in Israel. The deeper purpose of our effort to send aid to Israel at this time is not only for those that are in need in Israel now but also for those who are to come. Even as Joseph prepared for famine for seven years and Egypt was able to prosper in times of great physical disaster, so we are to bring leadership (like Joseph) to this effort."

"As Joseph prepared for famine in ancient Egypt, our goal is to provide a very large asset, a blessing on Israeli soil to be prepared for those immigrants," said Chernoff.

While goods that have been shipped to date have only served immediate needs, the door has opened on an opportunity to stockpile that aid for the future. One of the largest relief haulers in the world has dedicated two ships to the task. That will accelerate the giving. It has taken the Joseph Project two years to get 35 containers to Israel. But, one ship will carry 75 containers, and 35 shiploads are planned over the next 3-5 years.

This places the Joseph Project at a pivotal point in its history. Money must be raised to support this shipping process -- $15-20 million. That much will enable the Joseph Project to ship an estimated $656 million in supplies, depending on the cargo, and to provide warehousing. The goods themselves are donated by individuals, corporations and humanitarian organizations.

The first ship is almost ready to depart from Galvestan, Texas. It will cost $450,000-$500,000 to move that $18 million worth of humanitarian aid to Israel and get that aid into the hands of the needy.

"The muscles of the Messianic community are still pretty weak," said Chernoff. "The opportunity is amazing, but we can't do it alone. We need our Christian brothers and sisters to step up."

This partnership will not only facilitate distribution of aid, it is the very essence of the message that the Messiah Yeshua wants to speak to the Jewish people: the Messianic Jewish and Christian communities are "one new man".

"When Christians try to bless without the Messianic community, Jews don't understand the message spiritually," said Chernoff. Jews are confused by the historical relationship between Judaism and Christianity, he said. Christianity has been such a source of sorrow to Jews.

"As our people see this huge blessing from our Christian brothers being led into the land by the Messianic brothers, the message as preached in the New Testament becomes clearer," said Chernoff. "The message is that this faith in Yeshua truly is Jewish and for the whole world."

"How desperately our Jewish people and the whole world need to see the unity of Jew and Gentile as preached in John 17:20-23 and Romans 9-11. As Israel sees this truth played out in a very practical way through the Joseph project, we believe that the revival of Israel will be accelerated from where it is now," said Chernoff.

The Messianic community has grown dramatically around the globe, but not in Israel, said Chernoff.

"The Holy Spirit has not been poured out there," said Chernoff. "But people are ready. The crust of resistance is thin. Once it catches, it will be like a flash fire.

"But we can't just talk," he said. "We must bless the people with real blessings. The skeptics will be silenced as we show our love for them. The stakes in this are nothing short of the revival of Israel and of the world. For when the world sees Israel turn to the Messiah Jesus, the world will do the same."

To donate, visit the web site or call 1 800·225·6522. Donations of goods can be funneled through the humanitarian organizations listed on the web site.

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