Av – Elul 5776
Ari and Shira Sorko Ram
I arrived in Israel, just for a visit, in October 1967 – four months after the prophetically-shocking Six Day War. But His Land captured my heart, and for nine years I lived in Israel as a single girl. Yet at times, I wondered what I was doing here. Except for isolated believers such as the Smadja and Haimoff families, there were very few believing Israeli Jews in the Land.
I did what little I knew to do: pray, witness to whoever would listen, travel from time to time to the U.S. looking for born-again Jewish believers who were willing to immigrate to Israel to help get a Jewish Messianic core group established in the Tel Aviv area.
It was on a trip to the U.S. in 1976 that Ari and I met – with the help of Pastor Jack Hayford! Within three months, Ari left his successful film-acting career and moved to Israel. Even before we were married, Maoz was established and provided us a structure to begin to work together as a couple when we married in February 1977.
And now – we’ve made it for 40 years and feel we have yet more years of strength to conquer new horizons. When I think about the cardinal essentials that have given me the strength to overcome the strategic attacks we endured – as have all the Messianic pioneers in Israel – I believe my foundational understanding of faith for miracles and breakthrough came through the ministry of Kenneth Hagin, Sr. Although some people practice their faith to acquire material goods, that had little interest to me. But I did want to use this God-given faith to see many Israelis come to know their God through Yeshua, King of the Jews.
The other most important pillar in my life (influenced, I’m sure, by my mother) has been to read the Bible through every year. I have found there is no substitute to being able to understand world events around us. Nor is there any other way to be anchored in clearly hearing the voice of God.
There is nothing that gives me a passion to keep my eyes on eternal values than the Bible which constantly reminds me that there is a heaven for those whose hearts cling to the God of Israel, and a hell waiting for those whom Satan deceives into believing his is the truth.
Most importantly, I hope from this Anniversary issue of the Maoz Israel Report you will clearly discern that the pioneers here in Israel who have written these (way-over-the-top) gracious notes, are huge heroes themselves! Every one of them! They have gone through the same fires of testing – different issues, but the same need to stand against the black clouds that would overcome them. And stand they have!
And our friends from abroad who have stood with us – without their prayer and financial backing, we would never have been able to do these things by ourselves. We always remember that “our generosity” is really their generosity and yours. We are simply a conduit – and we pray and strive to be wise stewards for what has been entrusted to us. Ours is the privilege and His is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
WHY AM I HERE IN ISRAEL DOING WHAT I DO? TOP TEN REASONS
1. In the mid 70’s, I found myself falling in love with Shira and, at the same time, began falling in love with my people and the nation of Israel.
2. I soon began to love teaching and equipping young Israelis.
3. I had a passion to see them come to faith in Yeshua.
4. It wasn’t long after that I began to love pastoring this new fledgling group of new believers.
5. I love having spiritual children and grandchildren.
6. I love seeing the body of believers grow and expand throughout the country.
7. I love being a part of developing leaders for this and the next generation.
8. I love helping the needy and giving them hope and a future.
9. I love helping others in the Body see their dreams and visions become a reality.
10. If I can help those in the Body of believers reach their destiny, I have fulfilled a great part of my destiny.
That is why I am here and I’m still in love.