As 2018 quickly draws to a close, the Almond Branch Initiative is exceedingly thankful for your continuous prayers and support. Recently, we have undergone some major changes as our talented marketing and development manager completed her tenure with us. Please continue to pray for us as we seek new assistance and undertake additional changes while prayerfully considering new goals for the year ahead.
With that being said the Almond Branch Initiative continues to faithfully support Israel and her citizens who are in the greatest need. We began 2018 by building our fourth mobile relief gym at the Ramat David Air Force Base in Northern Israel. Our gyms are built to provide a safe way for military personnel to stay active while stationed in some of the most dangerous and targeted bases within the borders of Israel. Our mobile gyms not only provide a protected space for exercise, but they also offer shelter from Israel’s extreme temperatures as the units are heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer months.
The Air Force project was one of our favorite projects this year as we were able to bring our 2018 Calvary Chapel Israel tour group onto the base for the grand opening of the mobile gym. These dedication ceremonies are greatly treasured by the Almond Branch as we are able to bless and serve the needs of the Israeli soldiers while sharing our love for Jesus Messiah. These projects are always a special time of building bridges between Jews and Bible-believing Christians as we extend a loving hand of friendship. Our time was mutually beneficial as the Almond Branch was encouraged in our support of God’s chosen people and able to renew our promise to support Israel in both action and prayer. Before the conclusion of the trip, we were able to have the unique opportunity to watch numerous fighter jets launch as well as enjoy a presentation on IDF Air Force history. We were also escorted to the hanger to see the jets up close. It was a tremendous honor and blessing to meet and provide a gym to these men and women who are among Israel’s first line of defense.
During the summer, more fighting broke out between Gaza and Israel. As a result, the Almond Branch Initiative was called upon for aid. This time, there was a need for over 1,200 hats to clothe border patrol units stationed at the southernmost part of the country. This may seem like a small item, but to those serving in the harsh sunlight and heat of southern Israel, it is an enormous blessing as temperatures can rise well above 125 degrees Fahrenheit. A seemingly simple hat can literally save a life. Please keep the brave men and women of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in prayer as they work diligently to uncover and expose terror tunnels built by Hamas intended to terrorize densely populated areas of Israel. Please also pray that one day peace may truly be secured.
To close out the year, the Almond Branch Initiative is in the process of sending monetary resources to two separate children’s homes within Israel. The goal of these funds are to aid the basic needs of these children and provide them with items such as food, clothing, arts and rafts, toys and more. Additionally, we are establishing a fund to support the work of two of our missionaries as they serve Holocaust survivors in northern Israel. By God’s grace and mercy several survivors have come to know Jesus as Messiah and many more have curious hearts with a growing desire.