SUDANESE REFUGEES IN ISRAEL
| by David Shishkoff |

Sudanese Mother and Child
In the last few months, hundreds of Sudanese refugees have been entering Israel from Egypt. Many of them are Christians who were uprooted and persecuted in Sudan and later in Egypt, for their faith and background. As conditions worsened in Egypt, many began to cross the border illegally into Israel, at great risk to their own lives. Their desire to seek refuge in the Jewish state, an enemy of Sudan, has greatly angered its radical Islamic government.

Our friends Avi and Johanna Cohen1 had just completed 8 simple hospitality rooms on the property of their moshav (farming village) in the southern Israel Negev Desert, when they felt impressed by God to take in some of these refugee families. So the little farm has become a refugee camp for 8 Sudanese families numbering around 50, all summer long.

Sudanese Lady
In the past the Cohen family have experienced persecution from their moshav for being believers in Yeshua. Their vision is to be a place of refuge, healing and salvation for street-children and other people in need. These refugees certainly are in need! At first there was fierce opposition from some of the other moshavniks because of Avi bringing them into the moshav. But afterward, the neighbors actually began helping them in different ways. So the presence of the refugees has actually brought about a big change in the hearts of Israelis on the moshav, toward the Cohen family and faith in Yeshua. One of the neighbors' major concerns had been that the Sudanese might be carrying dangerous diseases. Well God provided an Israeli doctor who has been paying his own way to come and care for the 8 families medically!

Others have been donating money, food and clothing; but the needs are still great.

Johanna says:

"It is such a blessing to see them smile and rejoice after all the hardships they went through. Some of their stories are really moving - how they saw their people killed in front of their eyes, and how they had to attempt the border crossing with their little children in spite of all the dangers. At times here near the border we actually hear Egyptian soldiers shooting at them. Thank God for saving these precious families! What is the situation now? By now all the men already found work here in the moshav. The women have begun doing all the cooking and cleaning by themselves. Volunteers have begun to teach the children some Hebrew and English, and to do all kinds of activities. So for now things are really going OK. What about the future? God knows. Our prayer is that God will open a door for each one of them to slowly but surely build their lives again."

Sudanese Children
There are quite a few other Sudanese families who are being provided for by believers in different parts of Israel.

For direct support for refugees and contact, email the Cohen family: jolpin@zahav.net.il

1. Not their real names. Faces in photos have also been intentionally blurred to avoid possible recrimination.

[Revive Israel has had the privilege of helping support the Cohen family, their building project and refugee aid. Idan, their son, was a student in the Revive Israel discipleship program and is doing part of his Revive internship with practical service in his family's "refugee camp."]

By David Shishkoff



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Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: Re-Interpreting Scripture
Leora Mazurovsky: Back to the Future
Avi & Hannah Tekle: The Trek to the Promised Land
Betty Intrater: Come and Let Us Go Up ...