Ebenezer – Operation Exodus has a network of 13 bases and 47 sub–base representative offices across a vast area in the former Soviet Union. Our teams operating from them to find and help Jewish people make aliyah and give humanitarian aid to the needy among them, comprise full–time staff, national and Western volunteers, regional representatives and a growing number local church members and intercessory groups.
The Russian Federation
The Russian Federation can be summed up geographically in one word: vast. Nearly twice the size of the USA, it covers 6,563,706 square miles – making it the largest country on earth. It takes in Siberia, the Caucasus, the Urals, Moscow and its surrounding regions, and beyond. Ebenezer’s fishing outreaches have resulted in many thousands of Jewish people going to Israel.
God is calling His chosen ones home from the ends of the earth in the last days before His Son, Jesus’ return. Soon after founding Ebenezer, Gustav Scheller had a vision for setting up a ministry base in far eastern Siberia, which is known as the Russian Far East – literally ‘the ends of the earth’. The vision became reality in 1996 when Troels and Birgit Truelsen, a Swedish/Danish couple, became pioneer leaders in Khabarovsk.
Covering nearly 8.7 million square miles, Siberia is washed by five seas and two oceans. It has land borders with China, Mongolia, North Korea and Kazakhstan. It is a land of the taiga (thousands of miles of impenetrable, swampy forests), of tundra (much of it under permafrost) and flat, dry steppe (in the south), of frozen wastes and remote settlements.
It is a land where Jewish people are still living under the shadow of death. For it was to eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East that many of their forefathers were transported during Stalin’s reign of terror to be worked to death in the Gulag – the slave labour camps.
Ebenezer – Operation Exodus has helped many Jewish people to make aliyah from Magadan, which has probably the grimmest past in the whole of the former Soviet Union. Russia’s most easterly port city was built by slave labour in 1932 as a marshalling point for prisoners bound for the labour camps to mine the gold discovered in the Kolyma peninsula. From then on until after Stalin’s death in 1953 prisoners arrived at Magadan as little more than walking skeletons to be worked to death in the mines, building roads, laying railway tracks and digging canals. After Stalin died the watchtowers, fences and barracks came down to be replaced by more ordinary buildings. Survivors and their dependents stayed on as exiles in the Magadan area and elsewhere in Siberia.
We have also helped many of God’s chosen ones to go ‘home’ from Birobidzhan, designated the Jewish Autonomous Region by Stalin in 1934 as an attempt to rid western Russia of Jewish influence. Having failed to persuade Jews to voluntarily move to the swampy, mosquito–infected region by the Chinese border with its poor soil and desperately cold winters, the Soviet dictator resorted to mass deportation. He had Jewish leaders killed and Jewish life destroyed.
The sheer remoteness of Siberia poses a lot of transport problems, but dedicated Ebenezer teams have managed to get into many remote areas to find Jews in scattered settlements. They have used trains, planes, helicopters, cars, buses and boats. They have walked, braved blizzards, crossed mountains and visited islands to find Jewish people.
From Khabarovsk, Birobidzhan city, Magadan, Blagoveschensk, Sakhalin (the island off the Siberian coast just north of Japan) and Russian naval port of Vladivostok, Ebenezer – Operation Exodus helped many families to reach the Promised Land, causing one Jewish Agency director to declare that few people went home to Israel from the region without being helped in some way by Ebenezer.
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 > >