By nature, I’ve always been outgoing, hopelessly optimistic, defender of the underdog and those closest to me would add bossy to the list of my attributes. To that I reply, every family needs a disruptor personality...what can I say?
Because of the way I’m designed, I’ve always truly enjoyed meeting new people and enlarging my circle of friends. It was certainly true and even perhaps a divine appointment in 2018 when I met a new Jewish friend, Sondra Baras, director of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. She was in town recently so I wanted to share with you who she is and what she does.
(Lori and Sondra Baras, March 2019)
Sondra’s primary responsibility is to help build bridges between Christians and Jews while garnering much needed support for Jewish communities fighting against all odds to build and live in Judea and Samaria.
After meeting her last year, I decided to bring my group to visit one of the communities in Samaria that she helps to support. We visited the community of Maale Levona, where we met Mina, a gentle but strong soul who is like the local matriarch.
(Lori and Mina, May 2018)
We also met some of the moms and children at their little farm...so precious!
(Jewish children living in Judea, May 2018...beautiful on so many levels!)
The ladies I hosted had their eyes opened to the challenges Israelis face, especially in Judea and Samaria. For example, the closest grocery store is outside of the secured community and a simple trip to pick up groceries, can take all day and the risks of danger from extreme Palestinians are always high. By the end of the trip, the ladies were shocked at what they saw and confidently told me that most Americans, especially Christians have NO IDEA and won't unless they go to Israel.
I consider it a privilege and honor to have friends in Israel and especially in Judea and Samaria. It’s an even higher privilege to support them with prayers, encouragement and financially.
Thankfully, there are hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world who support our Jewish friends like the families of Maale Levona. Below is the link to CFOIC if you would like to learn more and become a true friend of the Jewish people.
The “Projects” tab is a quick reference to the needs of various communities throughout Judea and Samaria. Click here to visit CFOIC
I am happy to visit with you if you have any questions or if you would like to host Sondra at your church on one of her next trips to the US...just let me know!
I think the most inspiring thing about Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria, the biblical heartland, is despite the incredible challenges they face on a daily basis, they choose to live there. Right there in their God-given land, it is awe-inspiring!
I hope you are inspired and I wish only blessings to each of you.