My home church, Wayside Chapel, is conducting Vacation Bible School this week. Almost 500 children are emptying their piggy banks, doing odd jobs and other chores to make money, and bringing what they have to support an often overlooked group of people who need to know Jesus.
Recently, Wayside began supporting One For Israel. Located in Netanya, One For Israel is an initiative of both Jewish and Arab believers in Israel who are working together to proclaim the Good News of Jesus out of Zion to the whole world.
One For Israel
Each week, believers from One For Israel visit the homes of Jewish Holocaust survivors living in their city. Bags of groceries are assembled and given to these often isolated and lonely people who are in desperate need of not only food for their bodies but also for nourishment for their souls. Each bag of groceries costs about $50. The children of Wayside Chapel are learning about the Jewish people this week. These elementary and middle school children are discovering how God used the Jewish people to bring Messiah Jesus into the world so that they can be saved, in fulfillment of the promises made to them in Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:3). These children are doing something about the need of Holocaust survivors living in Israel. The money they are bringing is an offering to the Lord. It will be sent to One For Israel to purchase food for the Holocaust survivors.
This is a worthy summer project for all of our kids. If you would like to join with the children of Wayside Chapel by donating to the One For Israel-Summer Missions Project, you can do that here. Just designate your gift as One For Israel. 100% of what we receive will be sent to One For Israel.
Shoah is the Hebrew word used by Jewish people to identify the tragedy known by Gentiles as the Holocaust. Satan’s demonic forces ruled the hearts of many of Germany’s leaders during World War II. Six million Jews perished in Hitler’s death factories.
Throughout history, evil men have targeted many other groups of people for elimination. This is called genocide. The Holocaust was genocide in overdrive, fueled by satanic- motivated anti-Semitism (hatred of Jewish people).
Following the liberation of those who survived the Nazi war crimes, people everywhere were forced to look at unspeakably horrific images. The broken, rotting, and incinerated remains of what were once living people sickened most. Most thought that this kind of evil could never happen again. How we wish that this was true.
Germany of the 1930s was home to three categories of Goyim (people who are not Jewish). Olivier Melnick, author ofThey Have Conspired Against You, has identified two of these groups for our consideration here. Both groups have blood on their hands for what happened to his French grandparents during the Holocaust.
The first group was the perpetrators. The perpetrators were Hitler’s paid henchmen. Under his direction they plotted and planned the Final Solution to what they called the Jewish Problem. Plans were drawn up, people mobilized, and step by step they jack-booted their way through the Jewish communities of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. They rounded up Jews wherever they were found. They also targeted other minority groups, including Bible believers who read the Scriptures, understood what was happening, and stood in their way. Like Satan himself, the Nazis’ primary objective was the complete destruction of the “apple of God’s eye,” the Jewish people. Their engine of hatred was built for speed and efficiency.
The engine was fueled by ignorance, lethargy, and the manipulation of the masses. This second group listened while their leaders identified the Jewish people as the cause of all the problems in the world. They were much like the citizens of Rome whose allegiance was bought with a loaf of bread at the gladiatorial games in the Coliseum. Melnick identifies this group as the bystanders. Because they chose to look away when all the signs pointed to a rising evil just outside their doors, they are guilty of participating in the Holocaust by omission of interest rather than the commission of the perpetrators.
The Righteous Among The Nations
There was a third group. Some of them are remembered through the planting of trees in their honor at Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust in Jerusalem. Corrie ten Boom, Oskar Schindler, Miep and Jan Gies, Irena Sendler, and Raoul Wallenberg are a few of the people who risked everything they had to save Jewish people who lived nearby. There are many more whose names will never be known. Some of them were motivated by their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As readers of the Bible, they looked at the times in which they were living, and acted accordingly. Some shared the fate of those they were trying to help.
Make no mistake! Hitler counted on the ambivalence of the entire world in his attempt to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth. Since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the collective cry of Jewish people around the world has been “never again!” The rest of us should be saying the same thing. Tragically, it appears that the times we are now living in are like the 1930s all over again.
Let’s identify this for what it is. Like every other ill in this fallen world, this new anti-Semitism is a manifestation of sin. Collectively, the prognosis for humanity is not good. But, there is an answer to the problem of sin on an individual basis. While we as humans can do nothing to stop the rising tide of sin in the world, there is a personal remedy.
Yeshua is the only hope for people who live in this sinful world. We are so grateful that the children of Wayside Chapel are doing something about this problem this week. Will you help, too?