Touching lives in Israel with the Bible

“What I want supporters in New Zealand to know is the Word of God is changing lives in Israel!”

“It is because of your support we can do this. Thank you, and please keep it up, there is still more work to do,” says Victor Kalisher, Head of Bible Society in Israel (BSI).

“For me to know I am here in Israel and you are on the other side of the world, but we are working together in unity to build the body of Christ – it’s so encouraging for us here at BSI.”

One of the ways you can help with Bible mission in Israel right now is by helping BSI reach out to migrants in the Holy Land with the Bible.

Faithful outreach

Every week, without fail, Victor and his team pack up their supplies of Bibles, biblical materials, tables and soup pots and head out to areas of Jerusalem frequented by desperate and poor migrants. They come from many countries including Ethiopia and Russia. The refugees sit, waiting patiently, as the team prepare the food. “Seeing how desperately hungry they are is very sad and makes us wish we could do more,” says Victor.

Migrants like these from African countries, receive Bibles and meals from BSI.

But what he and his team do is open up the fullness of the Bible to these migrants. “We share with them, talk and give them the Gospel. It’s amazing. People ask us questions. Just a few weeks ago a man approached us and said, ‘I want to know more about Jesus, do you have some materials?’ We gave him a New Testament. This is just one example.”

“We give them spiritual food and provide the Bible in many different languages for them,” said Victor.

“One time, an Israeli man came up to us. He said he’d been watching us from a distance and noticed we were not only giving food but we also cared and talked to the refugees showing them love. ‘I know who you are and I know you give Christian literature. Your Jesus must have a lot of love and you show it to others,’ he said. When we asked him if he would like a New Testament in Hebrew, he told us if we had met him in the streets of Tel Aviv he would have said no. But because of what he witnessed today he said, ‘Your God must be a great man and I am more than happy to take a New Testament.’”

Victor’s story

Victor, who trained as an electrical engineer, joined Bible Society because it was a calling on his life. “I knew I would serve the Lord full-time. I knew it from my childhood.”

“My father is a holocaust survivor,” said Victor. “He then went through the Independence War (the 1948 Arab-Israeli war) and with no surviving family or any worldly goods left he came to faith by receiving a Bible. He started reading it and realised there was a God in spite of everything he had been through.

A table stacked full of biblical materials is popular with the many Israelis who are seeking spiritual meaning and truth for their lives.

“The Word of God is living and it changes lives. I’ve seen it through the life of my father. He was never angry. I saw how God worked in his heart. So for me, I know the Lord can change lives through his Word.”

“There are many things that are happening in Israel. In the news you hear about conflict but you don’t hear about what God is doing. God is doing a lot. There is a growing body of believers, people come to faith and they are eager to share their faith with others.”

The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.’  Matthew 25:40 (NAS1977)

Easter/Passover outreach

During the time of Easter and Passover, BSI tried a different approach with a Gospel choir from France. During the day, staff and volunteers went out onto the streets and beaches inviting people to the nightly concerts.

“At the entrance, we placed a big table stacked with Bibles in assorted languages. We were surprised by how many books were gone on the first night. The people said that the choir was very good and it even attracted local neighbouring Israelis. Following each song, a short gospel message was given,” shared Victor.

This lady is reading a booklet of 25 Bible stories given to her by BSI.

The homeless, drug addicts and refugees from the park were also invited. Each night after the concert, BSI organised a big cookout and invited everyone. “It was so good to see their smiling faces. For a few hours, at least, they were able to forget all their problems. Some of the people asked for prayer, including a young Israeli woman who was a drug addict. She approached the pastor who had just spoken and hugged him and she said with tears running down her face,

‘Your message touched me. Can your Jesus save me? Please pray for me, I want to start a new life.’”

Victor says BSI is now in regular contact with her and praying God will touch her and transform her life.

We hope you’ve been encouraged by the story Victor has shared. Will you prayerfully consider partnering with us to help reach people in Israel with the Bible?

If you can help, use the form below to make a donation…

Help Bible Society reach refugees with the Bible

“Pray for us,” says the Director of the Bible Society in Syria, based in Aleppo. “Every day we live is a gift from God.”

People in Aleppo are living without water and electricity. They have nowhere to escape. And there is nowhere safe to shelter. Bombs and missiles are falling, causing huge damage throughout the city.

The Director of the Bible Society in Syria is speaking over a noisy telephone line from the city that was once Syria’s economic capital. Today it is the world’s most war-torn city, but Bible Society is carrying on with its work.

Five years ago this July the war reached Aleppo. He describes a life where explosions roar day and night. There is no warning before the shells land and the rockets explode. There are no functioning air defence sirens to tell people to seek shelter.

“You’re dead before you hear the rocket arrive,” he says. “We live with the knowledge we could just as easily be hit whether at home, work or in church. There’s nothing we can do, nowhere we can go. It is God who decides. Therefore, people continue to live as normally as possible. They go to work, and they go on worshipping, though many of the city’s churches are now partially or completely destroyed.

“God has given us hope ever since the conflict began, and as a Bible Society we serve all people and all churches, whether they are Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant.”

Pictured above is a Syrian refugee family who fled their home village when the bombs started to fall, killing people in their street. They live in an apartment in Jordan, and say that the only help they have had is from Christians – the Bible Society of Jordan and a local church. The Bible Society is working with many churches to provide material help for many thousands of Iraqi and Syrian refugees in the country.

Demand for Bibles is high

Despite the war, the Bible Society team has managed to bring in 30-40 tonnes of Bibles and Christian books each year. Most arrive via Lebanon, since it is not possible to send the books directly to Syria.

“The demand for Bibles is high here,” the Director says. “Children’s Bibles are very popular. People feel that only the Bible can provide answers in this difficult time, and it is only God who can really meet their needs.

“For the Bible Society, this is actually a good time, because we witness and give people hope through the Bible. People in Aleppo are traumatised and exhausted after four years of war. They live with the grief of all their loved ones who have lost their lives, and with the fear of being hit themselves.

“Also, everyday life has become harder. Even small or mundane tasks are difficult. People are dependent on private generators for electricity, they get water by carrying it in buckets, and there is little to buy in the shops.”

“We are totally dependent on God. He is the only solution. At the same time we have realised that we must not lose our respect and love for man.”

“Yes, this is what we have learnt through this conflict and we are crying out to God on behalf of each person in our country. Each one is precious in his sight! Please continue to pray. It’s the most important thing you can do for us.”

Donate now

Helping refugees in Lebanon

We’re helping to reach out to displaced Syrian, Iraqi and Kurdish refugee families fleeing to Lebanon with the hope of the Bible.

Partnering with the Bible Society in Lebanon, we aim to build bridges to these desperate people in a very practical way by helping them with food and medicine needs, as well as their spiritual needs.

“We want to be living the Word to them and for them to encounter God’s love,” said a Lebanon Bible Society worker.

Our goal is to help provide as many as 4,500 refugee families forced out of their homes with aid packages and Scripture materials. In doing so these people will be introduced to the Bible message for the first time and local partner churches will be strengthened.

Would you prayerfully consider how you can help bring the Bible to refugees in Lebanon, Greece and on the refugee highway by making a gift?

We are 100% donor funded and rely on your gifts to continue our work.