The Israel Family Fund (IFF)
The Israel Family Fund (IFF)
by Shani Ferguson
״The restoration of Jews to their homeland may be a fulfillment of prophecy but it was never promised to be easy or cheap.,״
Over the years, we’ve participated in various operations to help the poorest of the poor. On one occasion after hours of handing out basic home items to lines of people, I pondered the reality that by next week my efforts would be unnoticeable. The items I was handing out would be used up, and the people would be just as poor and needy. Sure, it was still a worthy cause, but I wondered if there was a way to help people that would still have a ripple affect in their lives years and decades from now.This question led to a change in our paradigm of “helping people” that is summarized in three aspects. First, we focus on quality over quantity. This means we help less people but help them more profoundly. A few years ago, a whole neighborhood in Israel suffered a devastating fire. A local non-profit raised tens of thousands of dollars and divided it among all the victims. The amount per victim was enough to cover a meal or two. I thought to myself, what if they had chosen a handful of victims? They could have had enough funds to purchase several housefuls of furniture and restored multiple families’ lives back to normal.The second aspect is to give towards specific needs. Thousands of boxes filled with random food items and gifts are given out each year, indiscriminately, to long lines of people. Some of the items aren’t needed by everyone and therefore go to waste. It takes more time and effort to find out what people really need and then meet that specific need, but it is better stewardship of the funds with which people entrust us.The third aspect is meeting family needs rather than only individual needs. Hundreds of millions of dollars are raised every year to help sustain individuals in Israel. But few think of the benefit of helping sustain families. It’s beautiful to watch an individual’s needs met and even more wonderful to see them recover enough to care for themselves and we do seek to help when the occasion arises. But families are essentially teams. If you help sustain a family, you’ve multiplied the impact of your effort, and your seed will bear more fruit.
Strangely, families are a massively overlooked needy sect of society when it comes to charitable giving. Families, especially young ones, are the incubators of a culture. An incubator with all the needed nutrients will bring about healthier future adults. Your gift could be the difference between a child growing up in a healthy home where the parents are involved, and a child who comes home to an empty house everyday because their parents are working that third job. Ten or twenty years from now, society will be more healthy or less healthy because of the young families of today.What IFF your efforts could be the difference between a child who grows up to be a teacher or a doctor and a child who is doomed to low-skill jobs, simply because their parents couldn’t afford a language or math tutor.
If you’ve been following Yeshua Israel Ministries for any amount of time, you know family is an important part of our mission. While street evangelism is a common approach to spreading the Gospel, in Israel it rarely brings about long-term fruit. On the other hand, mentoring and supporting Israeli families is the most effective way for long term expansion of the Kingdom of God and rooting its influence deep in the heart of Israel.We have been helping families for years, but are officially launching the Israel Family Fund (IFF) to raise awareness for this highly neglected core of society.This year, the Israel Family Fund (IFF) has adopted several Messianic Jewish families across the country, and this year end we would love if you would adopt them with us .The restoration of Jews to their homeland, to live and thrive in Israel may be a fulfillment of prophecy but it was never promised to be easy or cheap.Our first family is a widow and mother of six children. After they immigrated to Israel as a family over a decade ago, the husband was struck with cancer and after several years of failed treatments, passed away without leaving them with any financial security. The wife is a hard worker and works in everything from house cleaning to physical therapy. The Bible specifically tells us to care for widows and orphans; and we feel strongly to support this family as they continue to try to make ends meet.Our second family immigrated to Israel each with their families as teenagers. They were childhood sweethearts, got married in Israel and now have four children. They currently live in a two-bedroom home and are in need of a larger place. Their best option is to find a place outside the city of Jerusalem which means cheaper housing but also will require purchasing a car.Our third family has three young kids all under the age of 5. The husband is an incredible songwriter and great asset to the Body of Believers in Israel – although he spent most of the past decade working as a janitor. They make less than $2,000 a month and rely on occasional support from abroad. To put that into perspective, a one bedroom apartment in Jerusalem runs around $1,000. When children are under 3 in Israel, it is hard to find a job that pays enough to cover childcare costs so we would like to support them through this phase that their family is in.There are many more families in Israel who are in need. We have shared only a few. These families will continue to struggle as they search for a way forward, but we believe as a Body we can make this time of life for them more fruitful for the Kingdom of God and help them thrive here in the land of Israel!Adopt a believing Israeli family into your Bible study, congregation or prayer group. Cover them with your prayers and shower them with your generosity as they strive to raise godly children in Israel’s spiritually difficult environment.
Our first family mentioned earlier (the widow with six children) is a great example of “how” your gifts help. Though they spent most of their lives in Israel, because of the long battle with their father’s cancer, the kids struggle with the Hebrew language (which is the greatest barrier to succeeding in Israel). These kids would benefit more from a language tutor than a school supply handout at the beginning of the year.
We are already supporting some of these families and our current goal is raise $500-$1,000 per month for each family.
When Yeshua spoke of the sower who sowed seed in good soil, he described the fruit as multiplying 30, 60 and 100 fold. We’re usually so happy the sower finally found the right type of soil after several failed attempts at sowing in fruitless ground, that we overlook the possibility that even good soil has sweet spots.Sowing seed in the fertile land of Israel is good. Sowing seed in the sweet spot of Israeli believing families is even better.When you sow into a family you are sowing into all the potential God has placed – not in just one person but in an entire team. You are sowing into young children who will have access to better education and living conditions. You are sowing into parents who can spend more time pouring values and spiritual truths into their kids rather than pouring over bills. When you sow into family, you are sowing into the very foundation of Israel’s calling to be a light to the world.
Yeshua Israel Ministries is based in Jerusalem, Israel
You can also give via mail. Send check to our U.S. office:
PO Box 270208
Flower Mound, TX 75027-0208