When the ministry of Revive Israel developed from a small home group to a budding non-profit organization, one of the primary directives the Lord put on our hearts was what we refer to today as “strategic giving.” This concept was born from two observations made from years of serving and supporting the local believing body in Israel:
1. For most businesses and organizations in Israel, it has become common practice to bend or even break the law in regard to finances. Taxes are high and regulations are stiff, so it is not unusual or unexpected for businesses to look for creative, albeit illegal, ways to avoid additional fees and expenses. For believers striving to conduct their businesses, congregations, and ministries according to Biblical principles, avoiding this pitfall can be very challenging.
2. In addition, believers from time to time find themselves the victims of religious persecution from Jewish Orthodox (Haredi) anti-missionary organizations. These attacks come in many forms from boycotts, harassment, and protests outside their businesses and homes, to plastering giant brightly colored posters in the windows of believer-owned businesses warning Jews to stay away. With a believing population of less than 1% throughout all of Israel, the body of Messiah cannot always rally enough support to keep these businesses open under these conditions.
Since the Aliyah movement began, followed by the reestablishment of the Jewish state of Israel, Christians around the world began to recognize that they were witnessing a fulfillment of prophecy. They also understood through the scriptures God’s heart for His people as well as His desire for the nations to bless Israel. So they began to send their financial support to various non-believing Jewish organizations throughout Israel, as they were the only ones available at the time.
However in the last few decades, the body of believers in Israel has grown from a few hundred to fifteen thousand, and some estimate this number to be even higher. The number of congregations and ministries have also grown as a result. But still, the large majority of Christian support for Israel continues to go to organizations rooted in secular humanism or Orthodox Judaism, as opposed to the growing remnant of believers in Yeshua who carry Israel’s true spiritual destiny.
As the team prayed about these two challenges facing the growing body of Messiah in Israel, the Lord put it on our heart to be a part of the solution by setting aside 1/3 of all general donations we receive to be strategically sown into the local body of believers. By doing this we not only planned to strengthen the local body, but to set an example of generosity and support for others to follow both in Israel and around the world.
Strategic Giving: What It Is and What It Isn’t
The goal of strategic giving is to identify and strengthen believing individuals and organizations that are advancing the Kingdom of Yeshua in Israel while having a positive and effective impact on Israeli society; those who carry a strong witness and testimony for non-believers throughout their local communities and stand as an example to which the rest of the believing body can aspire. We do this with great hope and expectation that these same individuals and organizations will grow to produce even more fruit for the Kingdom of Yeshua and further establish the believing body in Israel.
While we do have a fund for the needy, strategic giving is neither charity nor benevolence. Amidst the financial challenges in Israel, many would be happy and very grateful to receive financial support to help cover their needs. But in this regard we believe and continue to see that there is a far wider and lasting impact in helping believing individuals, families, congregations, and ministries achieve financial stability and independence. To this end we partner with believing financial counselors to teach and to train those in need to create budgets, manage their finances more effectively, and advance their projects and goals while occasionally providing financial assistance in cases of emergency.
What We Support
Congregations are central to the life of the believer, therefore we are committed to regularly supporting a number of congregations in the greater Jerusalem area, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. We also support and participate in the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel, a group of pastors and spiritual leaders who gather regularly for prayer and mutual support for the sake of unity through our shared faith in Yeshua.
After receiving Yeshua as the Messiah and joining a local congregation, discipleship is the next step in the process for every believer. We therefore support a number of organizations that provide discipleship programs, courses, and experiences for teens, soldiers, and young adults alike. In addition, some of these organizations also put on regular youth groups, camps, and conferences. We also support an organization that provides rehabilitation for drug addicts and prostitutes through evangelism and discipleship.
While congregations and conferences greatly strengthen the local body, there are still many other organizations that meet very specific, very special needs. For example, children from broken homes often deal with many psychological and emotional challenges. This has a significant impact on their ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships and do well in school. Therefore, one of the services that we actively support uses equine (horse) therapy to help children of single parent households cope with their struggle by experiencing the special and healing relationship-bond with horses.
Dental care is another area of great need, particularly in Israel where dental insurance simply does not exist. Dental care is as expensive as it is important so we therefore provide funding for a number of special cases every year.
Higher education is also a critical expense required for the growth of the believing body in Israel. To this end we provide university level scholarships. These scholarships are unique in that they are provided under the condition that should the student drop out or otherwise choose not complete their education, the scholarship would then become a loan. We do this to encourage the students who receive scholarships to invest time and effort into their studies.
Finally in regard to social justice, there are few such organizations in Israel that are led by believers and fight for the rights and protection of the unrepresented, the disenfranchised, and the persecuted among us. Therefore we gladly support the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) as we believe that equal representation and religious freedom in Israel will help pave the way for the spread of the Gospel in Israel. While it is true that believers in our communities sometimes find themselves in need of legal counsel because of their faith, through our support of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice we also hope to encourage more believers to pursue offices in the realm of public service in order to influence and bring about change in modern Israeli society for the sake of the Kingdom of Yeshua.
Let Us Help!
At our base in Yad Hashmona, among a core of just twenty staff members, we represent seven different local congregations. And as a ministry we have active relationships with dozens of pastors, spiritual leaders, and other ministries throughout Israel. Through our network of mutually accountable relationships, in the area of financial integrity specifically, we can ensure that your contribution will be sent where it will bear the most fruit for the advancement of the Kingdom of Yeshua in Israel.