By Charles Gardner —
The modern-day Jewish exodus from Europe continues apace. And many touching stories are being told of how Christians have helped people make Aliyah (‘going up’ to Israel) as Jews from the worldwide diaspora return to their ancient homeland.
These accounts are an example of how a biblical prophecy is being fulfilled, thus: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips.’” (Isaiah 49:22)
Among those involved are Ezra UK, who report that the Ukraine conflict has caused the displacement of millions including Jewish people who, in addition to the terror of war, face increasing antisemitism from both sides.
Christian sponsored Aliyah goes back almost four decades before becoming a reality after the fall of Communism in 1989, with the major early focus on Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and subsequently the whole of the former Soviet Union. In fact, the first international flight from Belarus was to Tel Aviv!
Svetlana from Kyiv, sharing her harrowing story, said the help and support she received from Ezra was “priceless”. Her village was under Russian occupation from the early days of the war, and it was like “a bad dream”.
“We had to hide our sons in the cellar (under the house) to avoid being captured and tortured, while trying to survive without heating, food, and hygiene facilities.
“We stayed in the cellar almost all the time because of the shelling, and it was very scary because of all the soldiers with guns. Eventually we were liberated by Ukrainian troops in April. It was a real miracle!
“It’s very hard to leave my sons behind (as adults, they have to fight), but going to Israel is something beyond my dreams. Thanks to Ezra, who advised me on how to collect the necessary documents, helped me financially and paid for a train ticket to Poland for my consular interview. Thanks for cheering me up at this difficult time of my life.”
Boris, from Donetsk, said it was very dangerous to stay in an area being frequently shelled, with his wife too practically living in the basement for fear.
“And when a shell hit a neighboring house, we immediately began to gather our documents.”
So the whole family has now been able to join their middle son, who has been urging them to come and live in Israel for the past five years.
“Thank you for making this possible,” he says.
Nina, from T’bilisi, says being forced out of her country added to her heartache following the death from a stroke of her husband. But she is now hoping for a little rest, and a better life, in Israel, where she has relatives.
“Meeting Ezra was the best moment in this dark time. I received advice, transport, accommodation, and food. Dealing with documents is difficult, but when there are professionals to help, it is much easier. It was a miracle that God answered my need in this way.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every sponsor who gave money for the care of poor people. God bless you!”