"Tal recently wrote, "I would like to request to all those who are friends, brothers and sisters in the Lord, supporters of Adi's and my dream and our vision, to please with all sincerity, 'go before the throne of the Almighty' and request mercy and clarity on our behalf concerning what we should do to proceed forward.""
 
 


By Betty Intrater & Tal Ellis

In the late 1970's a young newly married couple immigrated to Israel. Idealistic, but without any real plan or training, they settled on a kibbutz (collective agricultural community) and started studying Hebrew. While on the kibbutz the Lord began to put a vision on their hearts; t establish a farm with multi-purposes.

"The farm that we hoped to establish would be built on the foundation of wanting to be a help and aid to brothers who were in need. Not necessarily as a welfare fund but helping those who are trying to help themselves, while needing some assistance in any case. We wanted to have a place set up on the farm for some R & R for people needing to have a short break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life here in Israel. We wanted to be an example of a family that would work hard and show others in the community, that because of our beliefs, we were dedicated to doing what was good and right, not so much with 'talk,' but by 'deeds.'" And thus began what is known to friends as the 'Ellis Farm' in northern Israel

The Ellis Farm is located in a small lower Galilee community with picturesque views of fertile hills and valleys. Tal and Adi adapted quickly to farm life, learning from scratch how to manage the animals and operate the dairy milking equipment. At its peak, the farm boasted over 800 goats and sheep.

Eventually Tal set out to learn the meticulous art of cheese production. This process is highly technical and requires a large amount of dedication and patience. His studies took him to over 14 countries and 100 operating dairies. As a result of Tal's dedication, the Ellis farm produces some of the finest quality goat cheese in Israel. In addition they sell milk and yogurt products and sometimes-even ice cream! They sell these products at the small shop on their property and at outdoor markets. The Ellis' are in process of establishing a delivery business as well.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most small businesses in Israel, it is impossible to succeed in the competitive market without large amounts of capital; access to capital has been difficult for the Ellis family to obtain. As a result, their farm has hit hard times. The equipment is old, many of the animals had to be sold in order to pay off debts, and the monies needed to invest in their cheese/coffee shop are unavailable. In addition, there have been property lawsuits, equipment breakdowns, and clients that have not paid for services rendered. All these difficulties have eaten away funds. The herd has shrunk to less than half its size, not large enough to produce the income to cover operating costs.

Tal recently wrote, "I would like to request to all those who are friends, brothers and sisters in the Lord, supporters of Adi's and my dream and our vision, to please with all sincerity, 'go before the throne of the Almighty' and request mercy and clarity on our behalf concerning what we should do to proceed forward."

Last month, through an unexpected gift from friends, the Ellis' were able to purchase new baby female goats (does) to increase their flock. They are hopeful that these will be the start of a new season for the farm.

In summation Tal adds:

"If we could recruit the funds and the manpower, there are other potential projects that we could initiate on our farm.

Some of the projects that we would love to make a reality include:

  1. Build 4-5 new guesthouses
  2. Develop one of the fields to raise organic vegetables and fruits for use here and for sale
  3. Turn the manure produced into compost for our use as well as for sale to greenhouses
  4. Open a gift shop that would be a tourist stop for our area
  5. Utilize the meat that we produce for higher gains
  6. Develop and become licensed to sell our dairy products abroad
  7. Become as self sufficient as possible, even to the point of having solar cells on all the buildings generating electricity and recycling water for use in our fields and for the animals
  8. Apply for the licenses needed to take our cheese shop and convert it into a cheese and coffee shop
  9. Put up a new security fence to keep out thieves and stray dog attacks. (This would replace a fence that was put up in 1986 and today has many breaches in it. One section is even completely gone.)"

At Revive Israel we see successful businesses as crucial for the survival of the Messianic community in Israel, to provide jobs, training and income for the Body here as well as to be a testimony to the community.

Through much blood, sweat and tears the Ellis family has survived ups and downs, trials and tribulations, bumps and bruises, but also many blessings and successes. They are one of the first businesses and probably the only of this type started by believers that has endured for this amount of time. Although far from reaching their potential, they have proved that they can run a successful business and despite the difficulties they have faced have maintained a good reputation.

Please join us in fulfilling Tal's request by bringing our fervent prayers before the throne. Let's pray for the funds needed to run this business successfully, to fulfill the dreams of this family, for protection among the flocks, the property, the equipment and the merchandise, and for the right workers to be joined with this project. Let's believe for strength, renewal, wisdom and guidance for the Ellis family as they continue to sow into the vision the Lord put on their hearts so many years ago.

By Betty Intrater
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Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: The Palestinian Scheme
Eitan Shishkoff: Teach Us to Number Our Days
Moshe Morrison: A Timely Shavuot