“Love for Lake Charles” Provides Blessings and Hope from Israel

December 22, 2020

4 min read

Jerusalem, Israel, December 21, 2020… If 2020 hadn’t been hard enough, this year residents of Lake Charles, Louisiana were hit hard by two devastating hurricanes in as many months. Homes and lives were destroyed, making getting by that much harder in the midst of a pandemic. In response, the Genesis 123 Foundation launched an emergency campaign to provide blessings and hope from Israel. Join the Genesis 123 Foundation’s Inspiration from Zion series this Wednesday, December 23 at 5:00pm Jerusalem time, 9:00am Central (US) as we share the inspiring and meaningful story behind the relationship and outcome.

Earlier this year, Pastor Todd Schumacher of Church of the King hosted Jonathan Feldstein of the Genesis 123 Foundation in Lake Charles, to teach about Jewish traditions related to Shabbat (the Sabbath), and build bridges. Pastor Todd is an evangelical Christian and Feldstein is an Orthodox Jew. It was the beginning of a meaningful relationship that in retrospect, was a Divine Appointment.

On the verge of the second hurricane, Feldstein spoke to Pastor Todd, to ask how they were, and to pray together. Feldstein heard the stress in Pastor Todd’s voice, personally and on behalf of the community. In consultation with the Genesis 123 Foundation board, they devised an opportunity to help, launching an emergency fund, Love for Lake Charles. In addition to serving its mission of building bridges between Jews and Christians and Christians with Israel, Genesis 123 wanted to take the opportunity to be a blessing not just in Israel, but to the nations of the world as per the scripture in Genesis 12:3.

After initial donations came in, Pastor Todd was uplifted. “I’m very encouraged! I’ve had so many people say they would help and they would give big only to get nothing at all. So, this is a huge morale booster for me! Let’s watch God do something cool with it!”

After the flooding receded, and the big relief organizations left, Pastor Todd explained how there were still many needs among numerous people whose lives were turned upside-down. He and Feldstein developed a plan to help in a meaningful way, and bless the residents of Lake Charles, in a Biblical way. It turns out that through this, there’s also an indirect blessing for Israel.

Suggesting that the funds raised be used toward helping to renovate and paint the house of a man whose home was habitable but required considerable repairs, Pastor Todd noted that weeks after the hurricane, the man’s wife died as well. The idea that he would wake up to a fresh start in his home, knowing that it was a blessing from Israel, resonated well. Pastor Todd offered to match what the Genesis 123 Foundation donated. Together, they would make a difference.

Feldstein then realized that there were many more whose homes were not habitable, requiring much more work, and funds. However, he saw an opportunity. Because of the pandemic, the Genesis 123 flagship program Run for Zion in March was canceled. Feldstein was left with dozens of Jerusalem stone mezzuzot that were meant as gifts for participants and donors. (A mezuzah is the ritual object that Jewish families place on the doorposts of their homes signifying reverence to God per the Biblical commandment in Deuteronomy 6:9 to “write the words of God on the gates and doorposts of your house.”)

As it would have cost more to ship these to the participants all around the world, with the permission of the participants and donors, the beautiful mezzuzot were donated to Church of the King. Feldstein noted with excitement, “They will be distributed along with the scriptural verses explaining their significance as people are able to move back into their homes. The symbolism is clear. Just as when the Jewish people enslaved in Egypt were protected from the final plague by placing lamb’s blood on the doorpost of their homes millennia ago, these modern mezzuzot will remind the residents that whether plague or hurricane, they should put their trust in God, and know that several thousand miles away, there are Jewish Israelis praying for them.”

Pastor Todd added, “This will be an amazing blessing for people’s homes!”

Both Feldstein and Pastor Todd are grateful to partner together in this beautiful, healing, and inspirational way. They will announce their plans in a public Zoom meeting/press conference this Wednesday, December 23, at 5;00pm Jerusalem time/8:00am Central time.

In the spirit of the season of giving, both the Genesis 123 Foundation and Church of the King pray it will provide extra joy, showing Love for Lake Charles, this Christmas. All are invited to follow the event on Facebook, or the Genesis 123 Foundation on YouTube.

The Genesis 123 Foundation is a US based nonprofit dedicated to building bridges between Jews and Christians and Christians with Israel in ways that are new, unique, and meaningful. Its programs like Run for Zion, and Verses for Zion make connections at a grassroots level.

Media, pastors and donors are invited to register to be part of the live Zoom conversation, or to arrange to speak with Pastor Todd Schumacher or Jonathan Feldstein, and are requested to be in touch for details at Gen123Fdn@gmail.com or at 1-201-203-0983.

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