It Was A Night To Bless Israel

It Was A Night To Bless Israel

 

Heritage Florida Jewish News article,  Dec. 1, 2017:

On Nov. 19, Central Florida Christians and Jews shared a unique evening together at the Rosen Plaza.  The focal point of this year’s event was to bless the nation of Israel, and raise funds for three organizations that help Jews still trapped in areas like Crimea and Ukraine make aliyah to Israel.  The event, A Night to Bless Israel, was a successful interfaith event to show support for Israel, and raised $151,000 for Ezra International, Return Ministries, and Cyrus.

“Raising funds to bring 20 persecuted and impoverished Jewish families to israel was our practical purpose,” stated Audrey Sandford, an organizer of the second annual event.  “At the end of A Night to Bless Israel last Sunday this goal was met many times over.  The event brought in five times our initial goal of $30,000.  These funds will aid in the relocation of over 400 people to Israel, opening doors of economic, social, and personal opportunities they would not have had otherwise.  Just think of the tears of happiness?  Blessing the apple of god’s eye is not small feat.”

In addition to speakers Steve Strang, CEO of Charisma Media, who spoke about Christian Zionists who helped establish the State of Israel, and Holocaust survivor Jacques Wiesel, Pastor Blake Lorenz introduced Albert Veksler, who is involved in the Knesset and Israeli politics, and is currently deputy director of Global Aliyah.  Veksler stated that help must go beyond just getting Jews to Israel.  Even though no entry visas are needed for the citizens of Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, and Belarus, these ‘tourist-olim’ face many problems in Israel.  They can’t work and they don’t have the health insurance or social benefits, since they have arrived as tourists and are not yet citizens.  Many of them have used up the little money they brought to Israel and have become desperate as they face complicated bureaucratic hurdles.  In addition to many such cases in Israel, there will be thousands more to come in the coming months as the situation worsens in Ukraine.

“I am honored to have been asked to speak, along with Jacques Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor,” stated Strang, who spoke about the great heritage of Christian Zionism. He will also make the case why every Bible-believing Christian should strongly support Israel and Jews who want to make Aliyah.

Those in the Orlando Jewish community who attended were thrilled with the event.

“As a proud Jew and an Israeli, it was so touching seeing the generous amounts of support and love from Christian Zionists,” exclaimed Idit Lotringer, director of Hebrew and Judaic studies at the Jewish Academy of Orlando and principle of SOJC.  “The kindness expressed by the speakers and the audience portrayed a strong connection to Israel which was a spectacular sight.  I was impressed with the bountiful amount of donations and was especially emotional by the enormous amount of pride everyone had.  It was so touching to hear speeches honoring the state of Israel and about Zionism and Christianity.  Yishar Koach and Toda Raba to everyone who attended and donated!  I’m looking forwards to participate in your next event.”

Lorenz, who had the vision for the first Bless Israel Summit, which raised $4,000 for the Koby Mandell Foundation, held last November, hopes to continue to involve Christians and Jews in this annual event.

Why We Should Bless Israel as We Enter Year 5778

Why We Should Bless Israel as We Enter Year 5778

As the Jews enter year 5778, we have an opportunity to bless Israel through our nonprofit partner, Christian Life Missions. In the past two decades, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Israel, paying for items ranging from an ambulance through Magen David Adom, Israel’s first responders, to prefabricated bomb shelters in cities such as Sderot. There, residents have only a few minutes to run for shelter when the air raid sirens sound, indicating mortar rockets are on their way.

We’re not alone in our desire to bless Israel and the Jewish people, but our efforts pale in comparison to those of Mike Evans and John Hagee, among others, who have raised millions of dollars for various projects in Israel. Nonetheless, we must do what we can, and we can accomplish more together than individually. So I invite you to bless Israel this month by participating in our next project to help Jews in the Ukraine make aliyah (move to Israel) through a ministry called Ezra International.

In the past 22 years, Ezra International has helped more than 58,000 Jews make aliyah. The ministry is currently working with another 39,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union countries and other parts of Europe and South America who can’t afford the average $360 per person it takes to move to Israel. My longtime friend Pastor Gary Cristofaro tells me the average cost for a couple is $720, and for an entire family, it’s $1,440.

Mel Hoelzle founded Ezra International in 1995 and remains the organization’s president. Gary told me that Ezra International has a four-star charity rating with Charity Navigator, so you can give with confidence. We will raise the money through Christian Life Missions on our website and in other ways, send you a tax receipt for your gift and forward 100 percent of the money to Ezra International.

Our goal is to raise $30,000, which would allow us to sponsor 26 families or 83 individuals. In order to encourage more donors to give, Christian Life Missions has pledged to match each gift up to a total of $15,000. That means half our goal is already committed, so it doubles your donation and helps us move faster to meet our goal. Of course, we hope to raise much more, and if we do, we will sponsor as many Jews as the gifts will provide.

Think of how this will show love for the Jewish people—Christians giving sacrificially to help Jews fulfill their dreams of moving to Israel. It is a tremendous witness for Christians to show love to Jews, many of whom still see Christianity in the light of forced conversions, the Spanish inquisition, the Crusades and various forms of anti-Semitism.

Please make out checks to Bless Israel Project, ℅ Christian Life Missions, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746. Or you can call 407-333-7111 during office hours to give or online at https://christianlifemissions.org/newsite/causes/charisma-cares-bless-israel/

Won’t you help us show our love by helping the Jews who want to make aliyah? Remember, the Bible says God will bless those who bless Israel (see Gen. 12:3).

Look at How Your Donations Are Being Used to Help in Houston

Look at How Your Donations Are Being Used to Help in Houston

 

Houston is beginning the difficult task of cleaning up and getting life back to normal, and Grace Church and other ministries are working to help, as we’ve reported before. We’ve partnered with Pastor Steve Riggle, who was one of the “Houston Five” pastors whose sermons were subpoenaed by a liberal former mayor.

Even though the government will help in many ways—and so will the secular charities—here is a chance for you to help other Christians, plus we trust them to give 100 percent to those in need and to put it where it’s needed most.

Pastor Riggle sent me this update:

  • Over 6,000 people total came through the building for assistance
  • We gave out 1000 pillows and bedding
  • Over 400 trucks went out with supplies for the community
  • We assisted other shelter and relief locations
  • We distributed food to first responders
  • Last Saturday, volunteers gave more than 100 haircuts
  • Doctors and medical personnel were on-site most of the time
  • 225-350 volunteers worked each day
  • We operated a playscape, train and carousel every day
  • Crews served in the community every day
  • Over 50 trucks were sent into the community in one day
  • We do medical exams and haircuts, and give food, hygiene, toilet paper, diapers and sorted clothing by size
  • More than 200 pizzas were given away
  • More than 900 hot meals were served each day
  • We distributed cleaning supplies and water
  • Tomorrow, we start delivering 1000 hot meals per day to various locations

“We are transitioning our operation to four locations that are spread out across the city closer to the immediate need,” Riggle says. “We will concentrate on resourcing these locations and helping people restore their homes. Our thought here is to get as many as we can back in their homes rather than throw pennies everywhere. We will invest financial resources after any government help and insurance, if any has been accessed.”

Of course, Grace Church is getting funds from other sources for this herculean effort, but what we send adds to that. Each of us must do what we can.

The Christian Life Missions supporters have given hundreds of thousands of dollars for disaster relief at various times. For Hurricane Harvey and the unprecedented flooding that occurred with the storm, we are working with Grace Church and also responding to other ministries as we become aware of them.

Even as Hurricane Irma is aimed at my home state of Florida, we want to continue to help in Houston. So please do as I did and give generously, knowing you can trust Christian Life Missions and Grace Woodlands Church in Houston, Texas.

Behind-the-scenes videos at Grace Church!

https://www.facebook.com/gracewoodlands/videos/1649331545090826/

 

Churches Are Uniting to Help Victims of the Texas Flood—and You Can Help

Churches Are Uniting to Help Victims of the Texas Flood—and You Can Help

The devastation in southeast Texas is unprecedented. It’s been called an 800-year flood. The damage is beyond description. Many people have lost everything.

Thankfully, we have a safety net in this country, and the government will step in to help. But the government can’t do everything, and whatever it does involves paperwork and often, delays. Yet Christians are also responding and showing the love of Jesus—and can fill in the gaps more quickly for those who need it.

When I heard Hurricane Harvey was headed toward Houston, I reached out to two long-time friends—Doug Stringer of Somebody Cares ministry and Steve Riggle, who pastors a megachurch called Grace Community Church in the Woodlands area of Houston. At the time, our editorial team was looking for local contacts to help with our hurricane coverage. We had no idea the disaster would be as big as it turned out to be.

In years past, our readers have responded to the crisis after 9/11, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and other disasters. Then, as now, we worked with Christian organizations at the scene to help in ways the government or secular organizations could not or did not. Then, as now, 100 percent of the money raised went to help those in need.

Stringer works through local churches, and Riggle’s ministry is a local church with four campuses. Long after the other agencies are gone, churches will be there, still helping people. Stringer told me that, at a time when the nation is divided, Christians are coming together to assist in many ways. “It’s a new narrative,” he said. “It’s a church united for a nation divided. It’s an opportunity for the church to really be a city on a hill.”

There are many churches that are helping. These two ministries are the ones I am most familiar with, so we are channeling our giving through them. But if you know and appreciate another ministry, by all means, support it. The main thing is that each of us should do something.

Both Stringer and Riggle said 100 percent of the money they receive will go to help victims. I trust them, and later, we will report back on some of the ways the money is used.

Today, Riggle texted me as follows: “Our experience with the government helping, and even the major charities, is their red tape when what people need is help, not filling out endless forms. I will assure you that any funds received will go 100 percent to people in need.”

If you know and trust CLM, then, like me, give your donation here christianlifemissions.org/causes/hurricane-harvey-relief

If you experienced this type of disaster, you would appreciate people helping. Now is the chance for us to reach out and make a real difference. I hope everyone reading this will do something.

Together, we can accomplish more than we can individually. And we can do it through respected ministries you can trust to meet the needs that exist rather than through secular organizations that do good work but receive government funding. These churches and ministries rely on donations from people like you and me who want to help.

Remember, Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b). My prayer is that thousands of you will donate tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re a pastor, maybe you can take up an offering at your next service and send it to one of these ministries. Let’s remember these and the many others who are working so hard to help those who have lost so much.

Help Us Reach the Least of These in Prison With the Truth of God’s Word

Help Us Reach the Least of These in Prison With the Truth of God’s Word

Not long ago, a letter from a reader, David Bradford of New Mexico, caught my attention. He wrote to say he has been sending a subscription to Charisma for years to a friend in prison in Huntsville, Texas. His friend is an on-fire Christian, leading Bible studies and growing in his faith while serving his debt to society for breaking some serious laws regarding business ethics.

“Your magazine not only goes to Bill but also is passed around to hundreds of inmates who are hungry for the light of the world,” David wrote. He went on to say that he and his wife continued to buy their subscription even though he had been laid off. He challenged me to send magazines to prisoners and offered to help.

I contacted David and told him we sent free subscriptions to many inmates but didn’t have an organized program. We get requests every week asking for free subscriptions. Of course, they have no money to pay, so we send them a subscription and have been doing that for years. Most of the letters we receive are simply asking for a free subscription, but sometimes we’ll get letters commenting on articles they’ve read or telling us about their lives. Some of them break your heart.

One such letter was from a man, also named David, who was incarcerated in Arkansas for 20 years for rape. He had been moved by reading an article from several years ago called “A Home for Stella” highlighting Stella’s House, a home in Moldova that rescues orphan girls from human trafficking. (Prisoners often comment on old articles because back issues of the magazine are circulated in prison for many years.) David said he was glad to read that teenage girls who age out of Moldova’s state-run orphanage system and are quickly trafficked as sex slaves are instead given hope and a home in a Christian environment.

“I am glad I am serving time because I hurt someone physically and mentally,” he wrote. “[It] has cost me my daughter and 20 years of my life. I don’t care that I’m doing time. I just want help too. Is there any help for me?”

It grieves me to think of the hopelessness men like David feel—especially around Father’s Day when few are remembered by their families—often because of the trail of broken lives these inmates have left.

We give subscriptions when asked. But we could do so much more by partnering with ministries like that of William Bumphus, who was featured on the cover of Charisma years ago. We supply William with books and magazines and help his prison outreach in other ways. His is an example of a ministry that can give us lists of names of many prisoners who would be blessed every month to get a copy of Charisma in the mail. Yet we know there are countless others we’re unaware of who would also love to receive the magazine.

That’s why we have now developed our Prison Outreach. With the help of readers like you, we can send thousands of Charisma subscriptions to prisoners.

But that’s not all. Prison chaplains also want Bibles and good Christian books. Since we publish Bibles and books, we are able to respond and have given away tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Christian literature. But we can do much more if you help.

Your tax-deductible gift pays the basic cost for these books and Bibles. The cost varies based on which Bible you choose. For every $5 you send, we can give a subscription to Charisma, which covers printing and postage.

Our goal is to raise $10,000. Won’t you click here to help us help reach as many prisoners as possible?

You have assurance that 100 percent of your gift will go to our Prison Outreach. We will give the chaplains what they need for the inmates—subscriptions, Bibles or books—at our cost.

Recently, we’ve organized a network of prison ministries that will give us the names, addresses and inmate numbers of prisoners who want to read Charisma. To avoid contraband getting into facilities, prison regulations require magazines to be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. That’s easy for us to do; we mail issues to people’s homes anyway. We simply need to know the recipient’s name—either from a request from the prisoner or from a chaplain. If there’s an inmate you wish to bless, please send us their information with your own information, and we’ll handle it as we would any gift subscription.

These subscriptions, as well as Bibles and books, are actually tax-deductible through our nonprofit partner, Christian Life Missions. You’ll receive a tax receipt. Give any amount, and Christian Life Missions will apply 100 percent to this program; we take nothing out for overhead.

Jesus said, “As you have done it for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you have done it for Me” (Matt. 25:40b). That includes those who are incarcerated. Isn’t this an investment in the lives of the prisoners Jesus asked us to visit? Think of how a single copy or a book or Bible could be passed around to inmates eager to read something from the outside world. What a witness!

Thank you for partnering with us on this important project by clicking here and giving generously as I have already done. You can also donate using your credit card by calling 407-333-7111, or by mailing a check to Christian Life Missions, Prison Outreach, 600 Rinehart RD. Lake Mary, FL 32746.

Vision For Israel Offering Support for Terror Victims

Vision For Israel Offering Support for Terror Victims

Israel, a land of beauty, diversity and wonder, is facing an insurmountable challenge, as it has been since before the modern state was reestablished: caring for and helping heal the brokenhearted. Today, our small nation, a country of nearly 8.7 million people, is caring in varying degrees for an estimated 10,000 living victims of terror attacks.

From 1920 until the end of 2015, 3,743 citizens of Israel, both Jewish and Arab, were killed at the hands of Islamic Jihadist terrorists opposed to our nation’s existence. Terrorism has produced, through the years, an ever-mounting number of residents with both physical and emotional wounds. Most never get over the experiences of their attacks, such as witnessing a mother or father murdered in front of them. Some have had more than 50 percent of their bodies scarred due to Molotov cocktails exploding nearby, while others have seen their friends killed before their eyes. Those who survive often go through multiple surgeries, including cosmetic procedures, and have prosthetic limbs. All have some form of continuing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gifts, teachings, and food for women’s day terror attack survivors

The words of the prophet Isaiah say, “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted …” (Is. 61:1b). This cry sounds louder and louder each year of Israel’s nationhood and restoration. Later in the same chapter, the prophet adds, “To console those who mourn in Zion …” (Is. 61:3, NKJV).

Isaiah’s words describe our work at Vision for Israel, a faith-inspired, Jewish-believing nonprofit humanitarian aid organization based outside Jerusalem in the heart of our country. Since Hamas suicide bombers murdered four of our older daughter’s friends in February and March of 1996, Vision for Israel has sprung into action on this front, never looking back, but moving with a greater intensity every year to assist these victims of terror attacks and comfort them through the display of God’s compassionate heart for the people of Israel.

400 victims of terror attacks attending Purim event

In 2016 through the end of March 2017, we have provided educational grants for victims of terror attacks, supplied financial vouchers to alleviate the financial challenges that come so often with the Jewish holidays and purchased much-needed special medical chairs or equipment when called upon to do so. We have also, sponsored banquet-type dinners that bring hundreds of terror victims together. Here, they can look each other in the eye and see mutual pain but also share comfort in these new friendships, knowing that someone else has been through the same shock. This experience is healing for the soul and opens the way for the light of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Food preparations for Women’s Day terror victims

At Vision for Israel, we are so thankful for partners who stand with us in prayer and finances, as Christian Life Missions has done in the first quarter of 2017. These precious gifts and donations make a way for us to provide streams in the desert, light where there is darkness, hope where there is despair. Vision for Israel can serve as eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. And working on behalf of CLM, we can fulfill the words of Scripture: “[They] will know [us] by our fruits” (Matt. 7:16a, MEV).

Thank you once again for comforting all who mourn in Zion.

Barry Segal – President and Founder, Vision for Israel

Support Vision For Israel.

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Danita’s Children Christmas Gift Update

Danita’s Children Christmas Gift Update

I am happy to give a report on where your giving went when we showed the love of Jesus to orphans in Haiti at Christmas.

You may remember that we shared the vision to help Danita’s Children have a Christmas present.  Our goal was $10,000 and we ended up at over $10,400.

Danita’s ministry shared with us a detailed report and photos.  We share them with you so that you can rejoice and also as verification that we followed through on what we told you.

Our policy is that when we raise money for someone like Danita we give 100% of the money to that ministry taking nothing out for overhead and then we report back on exactly what happened.

Toys were moved across the DR border. God provided a driver, truck & cash to pay him to carry them & lots of rice to a warehouse.  320 toys were given in remote villages and to the children of hurricane victims, especially those in the caves. Thank you for making it possible and Merry Christmas to all!

Danita’s ministry has needs all year long.  Christian Life Missions has been generous with her over the years to and we need you to continue to be generous.  If you would like to give another gift to her ministry to be used as they see fit please visit the cause page for Danitas Children.  I know that she will deeply appreciate your generosity.

Blessings,

Steve Strang

Help support this cause or learn more at Hope for Haiti

The Story Behind Dr. Alveda King Becoming an Evangelist to the Black Community

The Story Behind Dr. Alveda King Becoming an Evangelist to the Black Community

You have seen Dr. Alveda King on Fox News, and you may have read the cover story about her in Charisma in August 2009. You may know she is the niece of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

But did you know she is also an evangelist? Especially during Black History Month, I believe this is a story worth telling.

Recently, I interviewed her on my Strang Report podcast, which you can listen to here. She explains how she was radically saved in 1983 after experiencing much pain and hardship. Not only was her famous uncle slain in 1968, but her father, Rev. A. D. King, was also murdered only a year later. Alveda’s grandmother, Alberta Williams King, was shot and killed at her organ at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in 1974.

Alveda King also underwent the pain of abortion. After Jesus changed her heart, she not only became a champion for the pro-life movement but has helped many women by sharing her own story about abortion.

She travels widely. She is greatly respected by many who know her as a voice of reason and traditional values within the black community.

Dr. King is also very active in her church and from that base works as an evangelist. She extends her ministry through social media and has nearly 74,000 followers on Facebook. She employs several part-time staffers, but she is looking to expand her staff as her ministry grows.

Dr. King is a prolific writer. This weekend, she wrote about Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, who died this weekend, about Melania Trump praying the Lord’s Prayer and about an extraordinary dream she had. You can read it here.

I believe in some ways, Alveda King is a “missionary to the inner city.” I believe her work is so important that I support her monthly.

Won’t you support her with either a one-time gift or, better yet, by giving on a regular basis? You can donate through Christian Life Missions, and 100 percent of what you give will go directly to Alveda King Ministries. She will report back on how she uses those funds.

You can give by clicking on the donate button on this page. You can also call (407) 333-0600, ext. 5102 during business hours and give over the telephone with a credit card, or you can mail a check to Alveda King Ministries, c/o Christian Life Missions, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746.

I am hoping this appeal will touch the hearts of many people who will stand with Dr. King and support her ministry. Please share this with friends, and let’s get the word out about the important work Alveda King is doing for right to life and many other causes.

You can learn more about Dr. Alveda King and her ministry by visiting alvedaking.com.

Provide Hope for the Children of Haiti This Christmas

Provide Hope for the Children of Haiti This Christmas

Listen as Steve Strang, founder of Christian Life Missions, talks with Danita Estrella Watts, founder of Hope for Haiti.  Hope for Haiti is a non profit organization with the intent of rescuing and caring for orphaned children, meeting their needs spiritually, physically, academically, and emotionally. Find out how you can impact the lives of many Haitian children and families this Christmas.

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Churches hit hard from the devastating Baton Rogue flood

Churches hit hard from the devastating Baton Rogue flood

The Baton Rouge floods have devastated people’s homes and many churches. Nine megachurches and many other smaller churches have standing water.

Listen to Pastor Larry Stockstill share the stories of the Baton Rogue flood and how the churches are being affected.

Jesus told us to “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” If any of us experienced this type of devastation we would appreciate others coming alongside us. Together we can do a lot more than we can separately. I ask you to give generously, either directly through Bethany.com or through christianlifemissions.com.

How Together We Can Make a Difference With Donations and Volunteerism For Churches in Baton Rouge Devastated by Floods

How Together We Can Make a Difference With Donations and Volunteerism For Churches in Baton Rouge Devastated by Floods

Last weekend, a tropical depression sat over Baton Rouge, Louisiana, dumping more than 31 inches of rain in 15 hours, according to some reports, in a flat area already prone to flooding.

The result is some of the worst flooding in U.S. history, and certainly the worst flooding in Baton Rouge. It left up to four feet of water in people’s homes and in many churches. Nine megachurches and many other smaller churches have standing water. Not one church in Baton Rouge held services last Sunday.

water-Church-Bethany-under-waterLarry Stockstill, who pastored Bethany Church for 28 years before handing the reins over to his son, Jonathan, in 2011, says, “this is unbelievable devastation to the body of Christ.” Already, churches are responding. The Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, sent 100 volunteers to help with both immediate needs for repairs and longer-term rehabilitation.

Stockstill is reaching out to let the need be known, and I interviewed him on a podcast where you can hear him describe how more than 40,000 homes have been destroyed. He told me, “I’ve never seen anything like it.” You can hear the podcast below.

 

This is an opportunity for the body of Christ all over America to respond. The Bible tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

There are two ways to respond. The first is directly to Stockstill’s ministry at Bethany.com. There is a place to give and also to volunteer.

The other way is to give through christianlifemissions.com. This is where we have raised millions of dollars over the years from readers like you. We will quickly send 100 percent of the money that comes in to Stockstill’s church. I am giving personally, as well as my organization, and I encourage you to give something and, if you can, to volunteer.

I’ve known Larry Stockstill for years. He and his ministry carry the utmost integrity. The ministry is taking half of what comes in to rebuild its own north campus, which is a 6,000-seat auditorium under four feet of water. It is giving the other half to other churches and also to a list of widows who basically have no one to take care of them.

Normally in this situation, the government steps in and insurance covers some of the damage. But there are areas in Baton Rouge that are not in the flood plane and many churches do not have flood insurance, as Larry explained to me in the podcast, because they didn’t feel it was necessary.

Jesus told us to “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” If any of us experienced this type of devastation we would appreciate others coming alongside us. Together we can do a lot more than we can separately. I ask you to give generously, either directly through Bethany.com or through christianlifemissions.com.

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Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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