VFI News April 21, 2020

Israel's Economy to Gradually Reopen

"I am the Lord who heals you." Ex. 15:26

Israel's government has decided to adopt a proposal that would see trade, services and manufacturing at 100% capacity if they're able to adhere to health orders; people will be able to venture 500 meters from home; those over 65 and those in risk groups are to remain in quarantine. The current proposal to open the economy, which began to take effect on Sunday 19 April 2020, was presented by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who claimed it is vital to begin lifting the current lockdown as soon as possible. According to the proposal, trade, services and manufacturing will be operated at 100 percent capacity as soon as next week if they are able to adhere to health directives. Under Bennett's proposal, all businesses will operate under a string of health and safety requirements: 1. Temperatures will be checked at the entrance of each venue. 2. Workers showing coronavirus symptoms will remain at home. 3. Wearing protective face masks is required. 4. A two-meter distance must be maintained from one another. 5. Public Spaces must be disinfected every two hours. 6. For workers between age 50-65, a sterile area must be created. Places such as shopping centers, beauty salons and schools will remain closed. In addition, people over 65 and those at risk of complications from COVID-19 will remain in self-quarantine for the time being and will be eligible for unemployment benefits. (VFI News)

Intercede that Israel will successfully be able to return to normal life with no setbacks in the coming days.

Israel, an Ark in the Sea of Coronavirus

In a study of 60 countries published in Forbes magazine, Israel has ranked first in terms of being the safest country in the world against the coronavirus. The study rated the Jewish state's quarantine measures as highly effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Israel was followed by Germany, South Korea, Australia, and China according to factors, including safety, risk level, and treatment efficiency. In the risk index, Italy was ranked as the most dangerous, followed by the USA, UK, Spain, and France. Health Minister Yaacov Litzman expressed satisfaction with the data, "We have reached the goal of setting ourselves at least 10,000 tests per day. This is a great opportunity to praise the medical staff working around the clock in simple conditions for Israeli citizens. We will continue with this trend with all our might. Litzman added that he was "deeply honored and appreciative" of the citizens of Israel, who struggle with pride and courage during a very difficult time. "The vast majority of you obey the instructions and keep the Ministry of Health's directives aimed at preventing the spread of morbidity and saving lives", he said. (VFI News)

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life." Ps. 138:7

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 archeology, history, the Bible, culture, music, the language, interviews, the 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

Hungarian Official Honors Holocaust Amid Corona Crisis

With much of Hungary in lockdown, a minister attended a quite ceremony to remember the 600,000 Hungarian Jews killed in the Holocaust. Justice Minister Judit Varga made clear those who died should never be forgotten. Dressed in black, she placed pebbles, flowers, and candles at the Shoes on the Danube embankment monument in Budapest, the capital. She did so at a time when much attention focuses on the coronavirus pandemic. (VFI News)

Turkey's Coronavirus Cases Now Highest in the Middle East

Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday 18 April 2020 that Turkey’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 82,329, overtaking neighboring Iran for the first time to register the highest total in the Middle East. An increase of 3,783 cases in 24 hours also pushed Turkey’s confirmed tally within a few hundred of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged. Koca said 121 more people have died, taking the death toll to 1,890. A total of 10,453 people had recovered from coronavirus so far. The Interior Ministry also said over the weekend that it was extending restrictions on travel between 31 cities for a further 15 days. (VFI News)

Pakistan Christians: Convert to Islam or Starve

Christians and other minorities in Pakistan face starvation as they are denied food aid for refusing to convert to Islam, aid workers say. International Christian Concern (ICC) reports Pakistani Christians were denied food aid amid the COVID-19 crisis in the fourth incident ICC has documented since Pakistan was placed on lockdown by authorities seeking to combat the pandemic. In the Facebook video, a young Christian man claims that a local mosque committee distributed food on 2 April 2020, however, village Christians were told to leave the mosque compound because the food aid was meant for only Muslims. Three other such incidents have been reported since the beginning of April 2020. On 11 April 2020 an incident took place in which Christians were forced to make the Islamic profession of faith to get food aid. “Denying food aid and discriminating among citizens is a crime,” Aftab Hayat, a Pakistani NGO leader, told ICC. “Christians often face discrimination and are victims of religious hatred. However, the situation for Christians amid the COVID-19 crisis is alarming and becoming worse. Therefore, the authorities must take note of the developing situation.” (VFI News)

Pray that Pakistan's Christians may receive desperately needed food supplies without discrimination or being forced to convert.

Israel: New Canal to Flow Waters from Kinneret to Jordan River

Israel's Water Authority last week, decided to open a new canal to flow water from the Sea of Galilee to the southern Jordan River. The strategy bypasses the Degania Dam and prevents its opening this year. The canal has already been dug and will open within days, according to reports. The Water Authority decided as the Kinneret reached just 16 cm under the level at which it would begin overflowing its banks. The canal will flow 5 billion liters of water from the Kinneret to the Jordan River and will avoid the Degania Dam to avoid negatively affecting pumping stations in the area and the financial costs required to open the dam. The opening of the dam would also impact the water supply for agriculture in the area. The canal will allow for the Kinneret to be kept from overflowing without causing floods and waves. The lake is currently at the highest level it's been since 2004. (VFI News)  

"He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’" Job 37:6

Wild Boars Pillage Haifa Neighborhoods

Haifa residents under coronavirus lockdown say they are scared to leave their houses even to throw out their garbage. Wild boars traveling in family packs have been trotting through Haifa in increasing numbers. Their once-nocturnal visitations now take place throughout the day, as they root through refuse, spook domestic pets and even block roads. "They come here and turn over our garbage dumpsters. We actually feel defenseless", said one Haifa resident. For now, residents must turn to "pig patrols" made up of volunteer animal-rights activists who can be summoned at all hours to shoo the boars away. "I'm scared that after the coronavirus passes, the boars will have gotten used to coming every day, every night, every hour," said Yaron Hanan, 63, who runs a public campaign that has been calling for a municipal crackdown on the animals. Likewise, jackals have been roaming the parks and streets of Tel Aviv looking for food. Worldwide, with the coronavirus keeping humans inside, many wild animals have taken to the cities to have their own play. People in New Delhi have spotted monkeys looking for food in an alleyway lined with closed shops. In Venice, Italy, clear blue canals have lured swans and fish before tourists return in gondolas. In the north of Wales, herds of wild mountain goats have claimed the empty streets of Llandudno as their own. Known as the Great Orme Kashmiri goats, they typically live on a nearby hill that looks over the town, rarely heading into it. North Wales police said the agency received calls about the wandering herd - which has been grazing on people’s hedges and gardens. (VFI News)

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