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As we live through days of prophecy being fulfilled, we see Ethiopian Jews making Aliyah to the Land of Israel, as is their right. Each quarter of the year, For Zion’s Sake magazine contains a report from the CFI coordinator, Marcia Brunson. Her latest correspondence says that although staff have been in lockdown until recently, they are told that the Ethiopian community showed no deaths or reports of people contracting the Coronavirus.  It is suggested that the spicy foods and diet kept them well.

Here in the UK it is difficult to grasp the complexities of the lives of these Ethiopians, who are now adjusting to life in Israel having come from simple, rural and arable environments. It is often hard, and these prayer points are designed to help us pray for them with insight:

Expectation and Reality are often very different. They settle in communities, sometimes within the municipality of Jerusalem, but find food, conditions, education, work and family life are difficult. They have the lowest standard of life in Israel. Pray for supernatural favour and resilient hearts for those adapting to such big lifestyle changes.

The Younger Generation adapt best. Pray for good educational programmes for them, with afterschool projects that are free or affordable, as both parents work in most families. New playgrounds have now been built for younger children – pray for more.

Pray that more of them can stay on in college and be helped by projects like ours to gain higher education qualifications.

Pray for mentors and careers advice, truancy to be reduced, good role models seen and followed, so that Ethiopians flourish. Israel’s new Minister for Aliyah is an Ethiopian-born Israeli lawyer, journalist, politician and member of the Knesset.

Women Ethiopian tradition means that women, even when working, stay home when their children are poorly, and this creates problems with employers. Pray for greater community support.

Pray for single parents, who are hardest hit. There is often domestic abuse and children at risk due to financial pressures and stress.

Pray for social services and new schemes being developed by community support, for training in sewing and tailoring and that the Ethiopian women can have their own businesses.

Pray that gifts given by CFI supporters are multiplied and can help with these areas, rent and bills when necessary.

The Elderly A large proportion of the Ethiopian Community in Israel are over 65, some are alone and feel forgotten.  Isolation has brought on apathy, illness, depression, difficulties with diet and growing traditional foods, more Type 2 diabetes and sometimes Alzheimer’s disease. Pray for God’s provision, compassion and closeness.

The older generations retain their history and identity, stories of why they came to Israel. Preserving culture and the concept of Aliyah are both important and make the Land of Israel especially unique.

Pray for a stronger sense of community but also integration into the wider areas. Sometimes Buna’s are arrangedevenings of fellowship and honouring of the elders, with traditional foods.

Pray for gardening schemes for the elderly where they can grow more of their traditional crops, and that this in turn will mean better diets can be enjoyed. Pray that it enhances physical and mental wellbeing. Pray for more to benefit from assisted living programmes.

Pray for the various Ethiopian pastors and believers in Israel, that they will encourage their own people and serve them well so that lifestyles and families are blessed.

Pray for new Ethiopian immigrants to reach out to Messianic fellowships where help can be given  

Please pray for Marcia, CFI Jerusalem’s Hope for the Future Coordinator, and the greater opportunities she now has within the municipality. Pray for God’s blessing on this project so that financial gifts from around the world can continue to be invested in it.   See details here

Compiled in cooperation with Marcia Brunson, by Julia Soakell contact julia.soakell@cfi.org.uk

June 2020