VFI News April 17, 2020

A Full Kinneret - Waters of History and Hope

"Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion. Therefore I hope in Him!" Lam. 3:22, 24   

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is mentioned for the first time in the Bible, in both the books of Numbers and Joshua. According to Christian history, many essential moments of the life and ministry of Yeshua took place on its shores.  Now, after many years of drought and an unusually wet winter, Israel's Sea of Galilee is full for the first time in decades.  Following an abundant rainfall earlier this week, the Water Authority announced that the level of its waters reached its full capacity, marking a record since 2004. Located in northern Israel, the Kinneret is the lowest fresh-water lake in the world, around 210 meters below sea level.  For many years, scarcity of water represented one of Israel’s major challenges. This is no longer true, however, thanks to rapid advancement in water-related technologies that have been able to turn previously unusable resources – sea and wastewaters – into major supplies. Yet, most Israelis have been rejoicing in the fact that during the past two winters the Sea of Galilee level has been on the rise. It is due to its religious and cultural as well as political significance, and not merely because of the hydrogeological implications, that the Kinneret is such a central part of Israel’s life and identity, said Avner Adin Chairman of Israel Institute of Standards' Central Water Committee. (VFI News) 

"He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call." Ps. 147:8-9 

Roots and Reflections Tours with Barry Segal

Have you been longing for and planning a visit to Israel, however, been delayed by coronavirus restrictions? Take heart, you will get here. As one man of faith says: "God gives Israel to people as a desire of the heart." In the meantime, you can visit and learn about this wonderful nation by joining Barry Segal in his biblically based travel program focusing on the reality of life in Israel. It's all about archaeology, history, the Bible, culture, music, language, interviews, food, and humor. See one and you will want to see them all! Pray with us that many people will have their eyes opened to God’s deep love for the people and the Land of Israel through these programs. Click on the link below and enjoy.  We hope to see you face to face soon. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBl0vL9lwgASJIZ_H7USD8Q/videos   

UK Prime Minister Wins Battle Against Coronavirus

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released on Sunday 12 April 2020 after battling the coronavirus for nearly a week. Johnson, 55, was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London a week prior to the date of his release, because of worsening COVID-19 symptoms. On the second day of his stay in the facility, he was moved into intensive care.  Downing Street said throughout his time in the hospital that Johnson was “in good spirits,” and assured the public that he was conscious and not on a ventilator - although he was receiving oxygen assistance. The British leader will not immediately return to work and will instead recuperate at Chequers, his official country retreat in Buckinghamshire. On Sunday 12 April 2020 Johnson said in his first public statement since he was moved out of intensive care that he owes his life to the National Health Service staff who treated him for COVID-19. “I can’t thank them enough," Johnson said. "I owe them my life.” (VFI News)

Heartfelt congratulations to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his recovery from COVID-19 and thank you to all of the Christians who prayed.    

Pope: "Self-Centeredness" Must be Banished in Coronavirus War

Pope Francis' Easter "Urbi et Orbi" (message to the city and the world) delivered from an empty St. Peter's Basilica instead of to the usual crowd of tens of thousands in the square outside, was by far his most urgent and political since his election in 2013. Saying the focus of this year's "Easter of solitude" should be a "contagion of hope". He lavished praise on doctors, nurses and others risking their lives to save others and hailed those working to keep essential services running. "This is not a time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic," he said in the message, almost entirely dedicated to the pandemic's effects on personal and international relations. "Indifference, self-centredness, division, and forgetfulness are not the words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever!" he said. Pope Francis on Sunday 12 April 2020 called for global solidarity in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, urging the relaxation of international sanctions, debt relief for poor nations and ceasefires in all conflicts. Francis expressed sympathy for those not able to bid farewell to their loved ones because of restrictions and for all those worried about an uncertain future. The pope said now was the time for politicians and governments to avoid "self-centredness" and take decisive, concerted action to help each others' populations live through the crisis and eventually resume a normal life. (VFI News)  

Pure Alcohol is Not a Cure for COVID-19

Despite alcohol being banned in the Islamic Republic, the wild rumor has taken hold in the nation that has seen 75,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4683 deaths that alcohol can cure the disease. The death toll from Iranians drinking pure alcohol in the tragic misbelief that it can cure the coronavirus has reached about 600, with thousands more hospitalized, according to recent reports “The numbers are very high and are beyond our expectations,” Iranian judicial spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaili told a state-run news service. The officials said there had been a number of arrests over the bootleg booze, warning that they will be dealt with decisively. “They must be held accountable for their criminal acts, for causing death and damage to citizens,” he said of the most lethal of the numerous rumored cures for the contagion. Actual figures of those who have died or been infected with the virus are said to be far higher than those officially published by the Iranian government. (VFI News)

Intercede for the Iranian people to receive the desperately needed tests, protective gear, and instructions on how to stay as safe as possible. Iran's oppressive regime has proven time and again that it cares little for the Iranians on the street or their basic, let alone emergency needs. This tragic method of self-medication reveals the fear and panic of multitudes.

Royalty No Deterrent To Coronavirus

As many as 150 members of the Saudi royal family are now believed to have contracted the coronavirus, according to a person close to the family. The royal family includes thousands of princes, many of whom travel routinely to Europe. Several doctors in Saudi Arabia said the kingdom's biggest current outbreaks were in the slums around Mecca and Medina, home to hundreds of thousands of African or Southeast Asian Muslims. Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the governor of Riyadh, is in intensive care. King Salman, 84, has quarantined himself in an island palace near Jeddah. (VFI News) 

Israel Producing Multi-Use Masks for Residents

The Health Ministry has introduced a project to produce high-quality masks that are not only washable so they can be re-used, but are also suitable for all of Israel's dynamic population to use. The project took off on Monday morning 13 April 2020 with the initial production of 300,000 masks. The product line is 100% made in Israel and employs over a thousand Israeli seamstresses. "Thanks to the important venture of locally produced masks, we are able to help our economy which is in dire need of support during these complicated times," said Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman. To further prevent the spread of the virus, the masks will be distributed to residents living in areas with a high concentration of the virus by their local authorities together with the Home Front Command. "A mask can be used as personal protection against the spread disease and infection," Liztman said. To make mask-wearing a norm, residents of these areas will be instructed by the authorities on how to properly wear the masks. Recipients of the mask will receive a kit including three masks paired with an instructional leaflet printed in a variety of languages such as Arabic, English, and Hebrew. The project is being led by defense systems and the Mossad in cooperation with textile experts, and industries that make products for the Defense Ministry. The Mossad has obtained over 10 million masks for Israel, as well as other medical equipment and hundreds of thousands of test kits. (VFI News/J. Post)

"Praise the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits - Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases." Ps. 103:2-3

Baptismal On the Jordon River Now Mine-Free

Following a massive explosion that triggered more than 500 landmines in a controlled explosion in March 2020, the Qasr al-Yahud site where Yeshua is believed to have been baptized on the Jordan River is free of landmines for the first time in 53 years. Nearly all the major sects of Christianity have monasteries, churches, and chapels at the site, 10 km. east of Jericho. In 1968, after the Six-Day War, Israel made the site a closed military zone, fearing terrorists could use the churches as a staging ground for attacks. The Jordan River is only a few meters wide at that point and easily crossable on foot. The site is also holy to some Jews. Qasr al-Yahud translates as "The Castle of the Jews," and some believe it was the spot where the Jewish people crossed into Israel for the first time after leaving Egypt. It is also believed to be the site of Elijah the Prophet's ascent to heaven in a "chariot of fire" and the place where his disciple Elisha performed miracles. (Times of Israel)

Bless Israel in this Time of Crisis

We at Vision for Israel, continue to extend a desperate cry to our readers and donors to help us meet the requests for aid and financial assistance that are pouring into our VFI offices by the hour. We are working day and night to meet those needs, but we have never been so challenged to raise the necessary funds that are called for in this unprecedented crisis.  Over a million people have been suddenly left jobless and entire families are suffering. We need supernatural divine provisions. We ask you also to take the time to review the projects we continue to undergird and the accomplishments that are taking place as you give to Vision for Israel. To see our many areas of outreach, including those to children at risk, entire families in need, the elderly, Holocaust survivors and much more, go to https://www.visionforisrael.com/en/outreach.There, click on one of the four categories and view the list of the projects with which we are actively involved in that category. Thank you and please give generously now to those amid emergency hardships in Israel. You can do so with easy instructions on the VFI website page

"Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?" Job: 30:25

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