JCF Newsletter—January 2019

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A Parable of Dirt

Humanity’s first adversity was struggling with the earth’s dirt to extract food to eat. Finding seed and growing produce to survive would be mankind’s most important labor. Yet, not only does our food come from the ground, the Bible says we also come from the soil.

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Charity Report: 2018 Year in Review

Jerusalem Cornerstone is not a large organization. We are a handful of people that love God, His people, and His land. While there are many other non-profit groups working in Israel and the Palestinian Territories with a greater financial support and human resource base, at JCF we believe that God has given us a special calling despite our limited assets.

We believe that God has called us to help those who are struggling, those who have fallen through the cracks. Every day we come across people that have been rejected by the world, those forgotten by their families, friends, neighbors, and governments.

JCF does not have a brick and mortar building. We have a simple staff in Israel that receives modest stipends. Our workers embody your prayers and gifts.

This year, 118 different people have given towards the work and staff of JCF, and we are honored to serve as God’s ministers of those funds entrusted to us. Thank you for your faithfulness towards the Lord’s work and His Word.

Beit El is a Messianic Jewish Ethiopian Congregation in Jerusalem with more than 100 members. They struggle to make ends meet, while standing as faithful witnesses for the Gospel within Israeli society. JCF’s funds typically go towards the needs of their families, single mothers, sick, elderly, new immigrants, youth, and children. JCF’s average monthly support: $500

Club for the Blind is an Israeli social service to the blind residents of Tiberias which was dormant before JCF’s involvement. The club has around 25 members and meets three times a week for classes and trips. They host art and cooking activities led by professionals.  And they have started a long-term theater workshop.  JCF’s average monthly support: $500

House of Light (HOL) is an Israeli Arab Christian ministry led by Anis and Nawal Barhoum that provides spiritual and social aid to both Jewish and Arab residents. JCF specifically aids House of Light’s prison work, which visits and disciples current and former prisoners. In the future they hope to have a half-way house to disciple former inmates who accepted the Lord while in prison.  HOL owns farming land and is hoping to grow their own food for those in need and, perhaps, one day, build a Christian Center on the property.  JCF’s average monthly support: $500

Israeli Social Services.  JCF partners with an Israeli social worker in Jerusalem who refers cases of families in difficult financial, emotional, and medical situations. Many of these are individuals from broken homes with very little income and unable to work due to health reasons.  JCF’s average monthly support: $910

Little Hearts Preschool is a unique preschool where Jews, Arabs, and the nations come together to form a unified community in Messiah. It also strives to provide a quality trilingual (English, Hebrew, Arabic), faith-based education at an affordable cost for locals.  JCF’s donation is helping fund scholarships for needy families.  JCF’s average monthly support: $500

Refugees from Iraq and Syria. An estimated 500,000 Syrians have died since the outbreak of the civil war in March 2011. Now, in the 8th year of war, more than 5.6 million Syrians have fled the country and 6.2 million people are displaced internally. Among those escaping the conflict, the majority have sought refuge in neighboring countries, like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, or within Syria itself.

In November 2014, JCF began to pursue open doors in aiding some of these refugees who had fled.  Since then, JCF has partnered with the Nazarene Church’s work among Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan.  During 2015 JCF gave $52,150 towards refugee needs like food, clothes, blankets, heaters, school tuition, medicine, rent, and transportation costs. During 2016 JCF gave $35,600 in aid.  Recently, JCF has begun to focus its efforts on aiding refugees immigrating to the West.  During 2017 and 2018, JCF gave over $18,000 towards emigration flights of refugee families.

Holocaust Survivors Fund: Around 180,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel, of whom a significant percentage struggle with poverty.  JCF gave $6,927.50 this year to work with Holocaust survivors through ICEJ’s Holocaust Survivors’ Haifa Home

Lifegate Development School is a special needs educational institute for Christian and Muslim Arabs in the Bethlehem area. It provides education, medical care, therapy, and home care programs for 350 to 400 children and adults.  JCF helped purchase Christmas gifts for the children this year ($600).

Love into Action is a Christian ministry that helps Palestinians with cognitive disabilities by befriending, encouraging, training, and providing support for their families.  JCF gave $1000 this year to their work.

Makor haTikva Messianic Hebrew School is the only Messianic Day School in Jerusalem offering exceptional academic education together with biblical instruction and godly character development for elementary to middle-school age students.  JCF bought the school ten new desktop computers this year to replace their outdated computer lab ($6000).

Charity Report: Your Gifts Helped these Ministries, Individuals, and Families during November and December 2018 

Lily is a Palestinian Christian girl from Bethlehem. She is going on an outreach trip with her church, but she needs help obtaining travel documents.  JCF is helping cover part of that cost ($200).

Nicole is an Israeli woman who runs an afternoon program for 3 to 6-year-olds at her home for the last 24 years. She provides a safe place for kids from families that have difficulty supporting their kids emotional, educational, and developmental needs.  JCF helped pay for craft materials and new games for the program ($194).

Susan is a 74-year-old Israeli lady who worked for 30 years at the Ministry of Finance but does not have any pension today. She raised her two daughters on her own and is trying to get out of tremendous debt. She is paying NIS 400 a month towards the debt. She recently received a notice from the electric company that they were going to cut off her electricity because of unpaid bills. JCF is helping cover most of that electric bill ($551).

Fannie is an Israeli single mother who spends most of her income on rent. Because of this, she is in the process of applying for protected housing through Israeli social services.  JCF is helping cover part of her rent ($689).

Belle is an Israeli mother with two young children.  She had a traumatic childhood being raised in a broken home. She suffers from fibromyalgia, depression, and PTSD.  Her oldest child has emotional and behavioral issues.  Her current husband is handicapped. He has been hospitalized and requires extensive rehabilitation. The family also has financial difficulties and Belle is not able to support the family.  JCF helped cover the cost for their child’s recent stay at a children’s home ($445).


News in Israel

  • Mass Slaying, Including Cruel Beheadings, Committed during the Bloody Reign of the Jewish Maccabean king Alexander Jannaeus was recently uncovered in a courtyard next to the Jerusalem municipality. More.

  • An Early Depiction of Jesus as a Youth was recently discovered in a circa 6th century Byzantine church deep in Israel’s Negev Desert at Shivta. More.

  • Rare Find From Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Dirt: A ‘Beka’ First Temple Stone Weightused by pilgrims paying half-shekel tax before ascending to Temple Mount. More.

  • Former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo inaugurates a multi-ethnic Jerusalem youth basketball league. The devout Congolese Christian was moved to tears by his first visit to the Holy Land. More.

  • Ring of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate Newly Discovered from 50-year-old excavations. The ring was originally found in 1968-1969 during excavations conducted at the Herodium, Herod’s famous Judean fortress where he was buried. At the time the ring was discovered, archaeologists couldn't tell that it had an inscription on it. It wasn't until they used a technique known as reflectance transformation imaging photography (RTI) that the inscription was revealed and could be read. More.

  • Israel’s Population Nears 9 million on eve of 2019. Jews make up 74.3% of society and Arabs 20.9%; over the past 12 months 185,000 babies were born and 40,000 people moved in. More.

  • Israel Saw Record-Breaking 4 million Tourists in 2018. Some 61% of all tourists in Israel this year were Christian, 22% were Jews, 12.1% were not affiliated, 1.8% were Muslim, 0.6% were Buddhists, 0.5% were Hindus, and 0.1% were Bahais. More.

  • Six Archaeology Stories from 2018 that Made Me Rethink My World. More.

  • Two Rare 1,700-year-old Funerary Busts Unearthed in Beit She’an Cemetery. More.

  • Heavy December Rainfall Boosts Israel's Water Reserves. Monthly rainfall along the coast and inland plain was nearly triple the monthly average for December. More.

JCF News: Chuck and Liz Kopp Celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary

Chuck and Liz Kopp celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a reception at Baptist House on Dec 28th.

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Join a JCF Study Tour in 2019

  • Fyffe Tour (Feb 23-Mar 6, 2019) “Jesus and His World” 

  • Ehrlich Tour from Chicago (Mar 9-23, 2019) “A Land of Memories and Miracles” 

  • Pinion Tour (Mar 23-Apr 5, 2019) “A Land of Memories and Miracles” 

  • Johnson Tour from Minneapolis (Apr 5-16, 2019) “A Land of Memories and Miracles” 

 For more information on how you can join one of these tours, here.