If you think that 2020 has left you with nothing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, I would like you to take a step back. If we wear the correct glasses, I believe there is much beauty from 2020 that can be seen.
I’ll be the first to admit, this year has not registered in my history book as the easiest season that I’ll look back on and remember. However, they say hindsight is 2020 (pun intended), and looking back, I not only find physical and spiritual growth in this last year, but miracles as well.
As I ponder everything that has transpired in 2020, I came up with a list relating to Israel, our organization, and hopefully you and your family, of things that we can all be thankful for.
American policy toward Israel could hardly have been more favorable than it was this year. Here are a few of the things that Israelis and Israel-lovers have to be thankful for from 2020:
- Thousands of homes and building units were approved in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
- The Abraham Accords were signed, with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates normalizing relations with Israel. While the accords themselves raised some cause for concern, so far, we have only seen good come from the countries who have chosen to align themselves with the Jewish state.
- As a result of the Abraham Accords, produce from Israel with the Israeli flag prominently displayed is being sold in supermarkets in the UAE!
- The United States recently lifted the prohibition on government-funded projects that are located across the green line.
- Israel’s government announced (just this week) that they are working on legislation that would potentially legalize a number of outposts (small settlements) in the biblical heartland.
Here at HaYovel
Even though 2020 has looked vastly different from any other year since our organization’s founding, we have much to be thankful for. Here are just a few items:
- Because of not being able to travel and conduct our normal US events and speaking tours, we wrote and published several books, including Christians Meet Israel, Jesus Loves the Temple, and Facing Jerusalem.
- In a miraculous turn of events, we were able to bring our staff and seventy volunteers into Israel. These dedicated Christian Zionists made a commitment to come to Israel for three months (many with less than 24 hours notice), staying in quarantine for their first two weeks, and then working very hard during their entire trip.
- Because of our incredible volunteers, we were able to save the grape harvest of 2020, harvesting a total of 286 tons of grapes!
- We started the Greening Israel project. Our staff and volunteers planted 2,279 trees in less than one month, no small feat!
- This year, our media has gone to a new level. With a brand new studio on the Mount of Blessing, we are now broadcasting the Joshua and Caleb Report and The Heartland Connection, and we are planning new shows – all broadcasted on the Joshua and Caleb Network.
Our Personal Lives
Personally, I have much to be thankful for. I have not stayed in one place for this long in more than twelve years, a blessing for which I and my family are incredibly grateful. Even though we have accomplished so much this year in Israel, we have also realized the blessing of being able to take a season to slow down. I am thankful for the health of my wife and children. I am thankful for an incredible staff team that never backs down from near impossible tasks. I am thankful for thousands of volunteers all over the world who have put their blood, sweat, and tears into the soil of Israel’s heartland. I am thankful for the thousands of people who pray and invest financially into our work here in Israel.
Even though 2020 has looked vastly different than any of us would have projected, we still have much to thank our heavenly Father for.
So what are you thankful for?