The work of our Moldova base team has resulted in Jewish people from all over this small country flying from the capital, Chisinau, to start new lives in Israel. Many would have been unable to do so without the practical help that Ebenezer offers. And it is often our ministry’s encouragement, backed by prayer, which helps them make what can be a difficult decision to leave the former Soviet republic for the Promised Land.
Ebenezer has been operating in Moldova for 10 years. The office is in the centre of Chisinau, not far from the Jewish Agency and the Israeli consulate. From there leader Pavel and team seek to help Jewish people overcome the obstacles to them leaving for Israel. These include finding documents, fear of changes, fear of leaving well–paid jobs, reluctance to leave the land where family members and relatives’ graves are, and concern about how the climate in Israel will affect them.
‘Nothing is impossible for the Lord! It is most rewarding for us when, in His timing, we can see the fruit of our labour as He does His work in the hearts and lives of His precious people and His Word is fulfilled before our eyes!’ said Pavel. ‘We see miracles when we bring Jewish families to the airport, bid them farewell and wish them God’s abundant blessings in the Land. The olim are very grateful to Ebenezer for all the help and support they receive and thank us from the bottom of their hearts. We always emphasise that it is not us but God who makes it possible and He is the one worthy to be praised.’
Humanitarian aid is another important part of the Moldova team’s ministry. Consignments, mainly from Switzerland, are distributed among Jewish communities and families, as well as orphanages and other places caring for needy people.
As the Moldova team looks to meet the challenges of the coming days, one of the keys is developing relationships with the churches so that local Christians can be trained for the ministry of helping Jewish people go home. Alongside this is establishing a prayer network of committed intercessors.
Just how many Jewish people are left in Armenia seems to be anyone’s guess! When Ebenezer started work there in 1994, helping repatriates to fly from Yerevan, the capital, to Tel Aviv, it was stated that no more than 300 of God’s chosen ones remained. Yet two years later over 350 of them had gone to the Promised Land with Ebenezer’s help! By 1998 the figure had reached 600 and since then Ebenezer has continued to find Jews and assist them to make aliyah – albeit in small numbers. Armenia is a land that has experienced great suffering through ethnic cleansing, repression, a terribly costly war with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno Karabakh enclave and a huge earthquake in December 1988 that destroyed much of the city of Gyumri. The early days of Ebenezer’s work saw team members seeking out Jews living in terrible conditions. Tremendous help with the work has come from local churches.
In 1997 God confirmed to Ebenezer’s Armenia team that it was time to start working in the neighbouring Transcaucasia republic of Georgia. Ebenezer set up an office in Tbilisi, the capital, and soon teams were spreading the message about aliyah throughout this beautiful land of high wooded mountain ranges and fertile coastal lowlands reaching to the south–eastern shores of the Black Sea. Jewish communities have been reached in places like Gori, Josef Stalin’s birthplace. Distribution of humanitarian aid among the strict Orthodox Jewish community there, as well as in other places, has broken down the traditional barriers between Jews and Christians, enabling Ebenezer teams to shar e the Scriptures about God’s promises to bring His people home and about how EEF can help them reach Israel.
During the 2008 conflict Ebenezer – Operation Exodus helped Jewish families forced to flee their homes with humanitarian aid – food, clothing, blankets, bed linen and pillows. It was through this work that people like Marina discovered that she and her family still had the chance to go to the Promised Land. Not only did our team give them practical help on arriving in Tbilisi after a dangerous journey from the conflict area but, as Marina pointed out, ‘encouragement and hope that we would be able to go to Israel one day. We are looking forward to the day when we take our first steps in the Promised Land. Thank you for all the support you have given us in such hard times’.
After fleeing with her family from Gori, centre of the conflict, and receiving food and bedding items thanks to funds provided by our supporters, Irina’s long–held desire to go to Israel was fulfilled in September 2009. Before she, her husband and son flew out of Tbilisi to Tel Aviv they profusely thanked the Ebenezer team for all they had done to help them make aliyah.
Intro, The Russian Federation, Siberia > > Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg > > Moscow, Pyatigorsk > > Rostov–on–Don, Ukraine > > Moldova, Armenia, Georgia > > Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan > > Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, The work of our bases in the former Soviet Union > >