Our friend, Israel

The Hope For Israel – an organization of Jews and Christians who are dedicated to the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel. “We aim to raise global support for Israel by promoting dialogue and understanding thru Education, Advocacy and Humanitarian Aid”.  http://www.hopeforisraelusa.com/

Jamie Cowen Ministries – Helping to build congregations for Yeshua within the House of Israel. Please see Jamie’s most recent email below… Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017 6:52 AM
Shalom Chaverim
*A Change in Direction* I know I haven’t written in a while. But I was waiting to share a change of direction in our lives. As many of you know, Stacy and I started a small fellowship here called Adonai Shamah Congregation. It started with former members of our congregation in Richmond, Virginia who had made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel). Over time, additional people began to attend, but we lost most of the original group for different reasons. Since one of our children, Jennifer Morrison, and her family returned to Israel a year and a half ago, we have been praying about our existing fellowship. Jennifer’s family lives near us, and they chose to attend Ohalei Rachamim (Tents of Mercy) Congregation, located near Haifa. Judah, Jennifer’s husband, is originally from that ongregation. His father has been a leader with the congregation for years, and other members of Judah’s family attend there. We normally attended there as well on the weeks our group wasn’t meeting. Thus, we’ve decided to also commit ourselves to Ohalei Rachamim and leave the group we started. It was a difficult decision. We like our group and the people who attend. But the reality of family members going elsewhere and the pressure on our time from work and other activities caused us to seek the Lord about this issue and ultimately make this decision. We are hoping to serve at Ohalei, as the leadership requests. We will continue to maintain our own organization, Adonai Shamah, here in Israel, but the purpose will be different. I will continue to use the website as a resource site. For those who have supported us for our years here, a big thank you. I’m not sure if we would have made it without the support. Each year I’ve taken decreasing amounts from the ministry for our own support since we are earning a living here, both through my law practice and Stacy’s teaching. For this year, 2017, I’ve withdrawn nothing and don’t expect to. If you feel your support should be redirected elsewhere, we fully understand. Other than that, we will probably use the organization’s account to help others, or to provide for ministry trips.Please pray for the Adonai Shamah group that remains here. At this point they will continue to meet without us. Also, please pray for direction for us with respect to our decision to serve at Ohalei.

*Law Practice* The law practice is growing quickly. With the addition of our fourth partner, Mike Decker, we now have another office in Jerusalem. There are multiple lawyers and assistants in that office. So, now we have two offices — one in Petach Tikvah, near Tel Aviv, and the other in Jerusalem — thus covering the two most populated areas of the country. I mostly work out of Petach Tikvah but go to Jerusalem once a month for partner meetings. In addition, our side of the work just hired a full-time secretary to handle our increasing load of phone calls and appointments. One exciting recent development is a client who brought us a massive amount of work. The most popular Israeli TV reality show hired us to handle their company’s visas to the US for another filming of the show. It’s an extremely complicated case with over 75 people applying for work visas under a very tight time schedule. Consequently, I and the other partner who helps me, Alex Brosh, have been slammed with work for the past few weeks. If this is successful, it could boost our firm significantly. If, for some reason, the process doesn’t go through or is delayed, well, I may have to permanently return to the US. The exciting thing about my side of the practice is that almost all of my clients are non-Messianic. They range from a few Arabs to many secular Jews to even a few ultra-Orthodox Jews and all those in between. Yet all these folks are coming to the only all-believer law practice in the State of Israel. As I’ve said many times, my goal is to present a high integrity, professional organization to the country, to eventually show that Messianic Jews can offer real benefits to the nation. If you’re interested, a recent article was published about our firm in an English language magazine that is distributed in the Jerusalem area – http://www.biznessmagazine.com/real-estate-immigration-law/

*Stacy’s Work* Stacy has also been very busy. There’s a famous area in Israel (actually most areas here are famous) called Tzippori. It was a significant town in the period of the Second Temple and is thought by some to be a possible place of work for Yeshua during his earlier years. Although the New Testament describes Yeshua as the son of a carpenter, in that era a carpenter more likely meant a stone mason. Since significant building of this town occurred during Yeshua’s early adulthood, it’s thought he may have helped in the building projects. In fact, on one old block house, there is inscribed “Yeshua was here.” J Anyway, there’s a very nice community there. Stacy often travels to teach her students English or piano, so several months ago she got a gig in Tzippori. At first she was hesitant, because it meant a good half hour to forty-five minutes (depending on traffic) of driving “over the mountain,” and through congested Nazareth. But she decided to go for it, and now, through word of mouth, she was contacted by numerous households in the community, resulting in ten students in the area, some taking both English and piano lessons. The most exciting thing is that she now has a total of eleven piano students and will likely hold a recital with them in the coming months. About half of her piano teaching is conducted in Hebrew – Kol HaKavod (good show).

*The Family* As I’ve shared before, one of the more amazing things about our life at this time is that our entire family lives in Israel — our three girls, their husbands and their children. Our youngest, Rebecca, just gave birth to her second daughter, Eva Chesed, two weeks ago in Jerusalem. Stacy stayed there for a few days, and I zipped down for part of a day the day after the birth. Amy, our oldest daughter, is due with her first child at the end of April. With that birth we will now have five grandchildren, all Israeli citizens. I thought life slows down as you get older; it seems to go in the opposite direction.

*Another Driving Escapade*As anyone knows who has attempted to drive in Israel, it’s like driving in New York City on steroids. Other than what I deem “normal drivers,” which seem to be in the minority, there are three other types: 1) The aggressors – these are the folks traveling at high speed that ride your bumper until you move over; 2) the cutters – as traffic backs up, they switch into the right lane, race down the side and slam their cars right in front of you; 3) the wanderers – they obliviously move from lane to lane as if they’re driving while reading a novel. With this background, I was at a light waiting to turn left. The turning lane was backed up quite far, causing the light to change a few times before I got near. I think I was third in line at this point when the light turned green. A truck came barreling across three lanes of traffic, cutting in front of the guy right in front of me and making the left turn in front of him. Suddenly, out of nowhere a police car surged out, followed the truck and pulled him over. While this may not be unusual in the US, enforcement of traffic laws in Israel is almost unheard of, although I’ve recently heard that may be changing – a sure sign of Yeshua’s near return. I almost got out of my car to give the officer a high-5.

*Country Conditions* In one sense things have never been better in Israel. The economy is booming. Unemployment is lower than in the US. Housing projects spring up everywhere. The country is at peace. While there are still terrorist attempts, the security services have successfully shut them down for the most part. Even the current US government is more favorably inclined towards Israel than the last, relieving pressure on the current government. And, yet, there is unrest in the country. For many, there is a sense that Israel is drifting along, unable to atfc ddress some of the major needs of the country. There is a strong likelihood that there will be a call for new elections sometime this year. Governments are elected for four year terms but rarely last that long. The current government was elected in the Spring of 2015. It seems corruption investigations against the Prime Minister may lead to official charges, thus likely causing the collapse of the government. The party I’m working with, Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid, has been leading in most polls. He considers his party to be radically centrist – an interesting and somewhat paradoxical phrase, but realistic in this increasingly polarized world. In my view the two biggest issues in this country is the disproportionate control of the ultra-Orthodox over the affairs of the State, and the lack of any serious progress on resolving the Palestinian issue. In both cases, Yesh Atid has proposals to address these concerns. Continuation of the status quo could lead either to Israel’s demise or her diminution in her relations to the rest of the world. For the past few months I haven’t been as involved due to busyness, but I am planning to ramp up my involvement now. I will be attending another event this coming week where a member of the Knesset will be speaking. Please pray for wisdom as I continue to get involved in the Israeli political scene.

*Adonai Shamah *For those wanting to make tax deductible contributions to our ministry, you can send checks payable to Adonai Shamah Congregation (our organization here), 2510 Stratford Road, Richmond, Virginia 23225. I have now uploaded over 500 messages from my days at Tikvat Israel, Richmond, VA to my website at www.jamiecowenministries.com. You can also make on-line donations on the site. Also, you can order Stacy’s worship CDs and/or my Jewish History course from Alan Lese in Richmond, VA. His email is aelaspenski@comcast.net. Thank you for your assistance. Jamie Cowen