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Israel & Christians Today

Biblical understanding about Israel

March 16, 2016

United in the Homeland: update from families that recently made aliyah

Three months passed since the remarkable day when the families Tsarenko and Pleshkov made their aliyah, i.e. ‘went up to Israel’. Leaving behind old lives, relatives and friends, they headed to the very South of Israel, the hot and dry Arava desert. 
Maybe you remember their stories. They were published on this website in two parts in February 2016, namely:
From Soviet apartment to kibbutz and Following Aliyah-making Jewish families.

Together with you we follow how their lives changed from the day when a white minibus from Christians for Israel took them to the airport in Dnepropetrovsk (East Ukraine). Koen Carlier, Christians for Israel Aliyah fieldworker from Ukraine, came to see how they are doing in their First Home in the Homeland. He knows very well every road they took in frosty Ukraine and now he is driving to them through the hot Arava desert in Israel.

When the families were asked, what has changed in their lives, they started to laugh. "Nothing stayed the same! There is nothing that did NOT change!" 
Already for two and a half months the parents are in the ulpan (i.e. intensive Hebrew language program) and their children go to school or kindergarten. Although First Home in the Homeland makes their landing and adaptation in Israel as soft as possible, some difficulties can not be avoided.

Children one after another fall ill or get a fever. They experienced a tough transition to the new climate and new viruses around. When that was over, the children started kindergarten and school, which was not always easy. What does it mean for a child to get into a completely new surrounding where everybody speaks a different language and even the teacher at school doesn't understand you? Fortunately these families will overcome their toughest period in Israel inside the kibbutz and together with the kibbutz.

Every neighbour tries to help, explain and support them. The children were warmly welcomed by the local children and started to play together very quickly in their common children's language. They teach newcomers how to celebrate Jewish Holidays, for example on Tu Bi-Shvat, Holiday of Spring and trees, all the kibbutz kids planted together trees in their new home. Small Jenya (2 years old) brings us Shabbat bread that kids themselves bake Friday morning in kindergarten, says her mother Olga Tzarenko. But the bread is so tasty that it hardly survives till Saturday. Every Friday the Tsarenko and Pleshkov families go to the kibbutz dining room and synagogue to celebrate Shabbat and greet all the kibbutz members. The unique unity between these people gives them energy and the assurance that everything will be fine. "We found an abandoned palm tree near our house and started to water it”, Denis Pleshkov said. Around the house a new green garden is growing.

"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy." (Isaiah 35)

Let's pray that the first spring in the desert with its hotness and dust will not dry out the garden of their hopes and will not extinguish their fiery will to live in the Holy Land.

Follow with us this story of prophecy coming true! To be continued!

Orly (Sveta) Wolstein
' First Home in the Homeland'
Projectmanager Jewish Agency for Israel 

There is a long waiting list for the 'First Home in Homeland' program of more than 80 Jewish families from the Former Soviet Union. Also Jews from France have indicated that they want to join this program. Assisting a family in the "First Home" program costs € 230 euro / US $ 250 a month.

Please support this 'First Home' program and help the people settle in the land of Israel! Any amount is welcome!

 Donate in €  Donate in US $

Watch the photos below.

Tzarenko family shows us around their kibbutz

Olim house overlooking the desert – kibbutz Lotan

First mezuzah on the door of olim. " write [these words] on the doorpost of your house and on your gates" (Deut. 6:4-9)

This is second of March in Arava desert. Spring is coming!

Children in the kibbutz are learning how to ride a bike

... about climbing trees, about making friends

Meeting Koen (Aliya worker from Ukraine) after three months. How do you feel in your new home?

Hebrew – so hard for the beginners, so important for their future in Israel!

There is a chance to study everywhere!

"The wilderness will rejoice and blossom" (Isaiah 35). The Pleshkov family started a new garden (3 months in the desert)

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