In addition to our work in Israel, the Lord has directed the MJAA to bring life-saving assistance to the “Beta Israel,” the Jews of Ethiopia (considered to be part of the Lost Tribes of Israel), who are currently living in devastating conditions.
There are more than 130,000 Ethiopian Jews now living in Israel, yet there are still more than 50,000 Beta Israel/Ethiopian Jews scattered all over Ethiopia in various villages, towns and cities. Over 95% of this community lives under the international poverty line lacking food, clean water and access to adequate medical care. The MJAA is working extensively to bring help and hope to these suffering people.
Of those remaining in Ethiopia, almost all of them believe Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah. When they were left behind, most could not return to their original homes, and were forced to live in poor communities waiting and hoping for a new future. They desperately want to return to Israel and are largely rejected because of their faith in Yeshua (Jesus).
They are treated as the dregs of Ethiopian society for several reasons:
The government of Israel has rejected them because of their faith in Yeshua (Jesus).
The government of Ethiopia believes they want to immigrate to Israel so they invest little in their well-being.
Anti-Semitism is endemic to the whole of Ethiopian society due to hostility from both the Muslim and Christian population in Ethiopia.
This anti-Semitism has existed and endured unabated since the 4th century A.D. resulting in a 1600 year holocaust for millions of Ethiopian Jews.
Because of their geographical isolation, this Ethiopian Jewish holocaust was unknown to the rest of world Jewry. Even today, the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) are constantly and daily attacked and persecuted.
They are accused of various horrendous libels like the “evil eye”, murdered, their homes are burned, their children are persecuted and their wives raped.
They suffer in extreme poverty and live in fear of anti-Semitic outbreaks that could happen at any time. Consequently, many in the Beta Israel community are forced to flee their homes, possessions and lives, having to start over in some other location where they are not known or they will face death. Many times, the anti-Semite’s accusations follow them from town to town. They are often hunted like animals. They all desperately want to immigrate to Israel.
Ironically, once they arrive in Israel, life is still difficult.
Even though they know it will be a difficult transition to Israeli society, at least Israel is Jewish and they will not have to live under the constant and lethal threat of anti-Semitism. So it is a step up for them.
As our legal counsel works with the Israeli government to permit the Messianic Beta Yisrael to immigrate to their homeland, Israel, we must work to keep them alive!
God has given to the MJAA a vision and plan to effect the final Exodus of the Ethiopian Jews to Israel:
- Bring blessing to all of Ethiopian society living around our Jewish people. Dig fresh water wells in areas in Ethiopia where there are Jewish people. In response to this water crisis, the MJAA commissioned the creation of a network of 20 clean water wells throughout rural Beta Israel communities. These wells provide the poverty stricken communities with safe drinking water and dramatically decrease illness and diseases caused by contaminated water.
- Conduct medical clinics in Ethiopian Jewish areas that are open to the entire population. 6-8 medical clinics are conducted annually affecting many thousands of hurting Ethiopian Jews and non-Jews who would never be able to receive medical care due to their dire poverty.
- These medical clinic rotations provide laboratory tests, prescriptions and medical drugs, along with assessments by specialists and hospital referrals for further treatment and surgeries. In these clinics, patients are treated for ailments such as intestinal parasites, hernias, fungal infections and cervical cancer; many of our recent clinics have also held birthing and pre-natal care centers for expecting mothers.
- Provides funds to help with rent that provides housing for Ethiopian Jewish school age children who wish to further their education, but come from families that live far away from the schools.
- Supports a Messianic school to educate these Ethiopian Jewish school age children
- Conduct research into how best to effect emigration to Israel.
- Advocate for the return of all Ethiopian Jews to Israel, regardless of their view of Yeshua (Jesus).
- Support the Beta Israel, once they arrive in Israel, thru various Ethiopian Israeli Aid and Absorption centers. – The MJAA’s Joseph Project is partnering with several Israeli organizations and Messianic Congregations to provide vocational training for new Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, allowing them to acquire professional skills so that they can secure better-paying jobs and become beneficial members of the Israeli workforce. We fully fund two computer learning centers, one in Haifa and the other in Netanya, both located in Ethiopian Messianic Jewish synagogues. Other centers provide training in craft making and technical skills.
Your gifts to help these Jewish people are just one part-but a critical one-of the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel in preparation for the return of Messiah!