Happy New Year! You will probably receive this letter just after the New Year, at a time when you have finally put the holidays behind you and are adjusting back to the routines of a new year. The New Year’s resolutions have been made and now is the time to start to implement them. Will this be a better year than last? Will we each undertake to do something differently, go the extra mile for someone or something, just be better than before? There is always such optimism as we begin something new – but can we indeed live up to our optimistic beginnings?
When I first opened the Israel office of CFOIC Heartland in March 1998 and actually created the organization as we know it today, together with my long-time partner Kimberly Troup, I was more worried than optimistic about our future. I knew what I wanted to accomplish. I had visions of connecting with Christians all over the world and inspiring them to visit with us in Judea and Samaria and become our partners in the settlement of Biblical Israel. I had a few practical ideas but actually knew very little about my audience. I had met very few Christians at that point in time but I did know the communities of Judea and Samaria and I felt passionately that whatever I could do to help them, would be worth every ounce of energy that I could expend. I had dedicated my life to building up Judea and Samaria and I relished the possibilities of seeking partners from all over the world who could help me.
Today, nearly 22 years later, we can afford to be optimistic. When we began, no one in Israel was talking about Christian support for the settlement movement. If it hadn’t been for a Christian family who came up with the idea of CFOIC Heartland, I would never had gotten involved in this. When we started, we took a huge risk and frankly, we continue to take risks every day. I still don’t know if I will have the funds I need to provide so many essential needs to the communities. There are months when I still lose sleep wondering if I will be able to meet my expenses, pay salaries, and effectively make a difference. But today, I am optimistic. Because when we do hit a snag, you, our partners and supporters come through for us.
Today, at the start of a new year, I am optimistic that this year will be better than ever. And I hope you will join me in this sense of optimism. I hope you will continue to partner with us and trust us to be your agents for implementing our dreams, and yours, as we work together to fulfill prophecy in the heart of Biblical Israel.
Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office
P.S. Thank you for partnering with us and helping communities in Judea and Samaria grow and flourish, as we work together to fulfill prophecy in the heart of Biblical Israel. I am asking you to join me this month and help protect residents in Hermesh, with the two-way radios and patrol jeep they need for their Rapid Response Emergency team. Thank you for supporting the families who live in Judea and Samaria.