Why do we help Jews return home to Israel?

Tommy visited Israel for the first time in 1996. He was the chaplain of a pilgrim group, and was surprised when he was asked to teach about Israel, which he had never done before. It was then and there God spoke to him from a text in the Bible about Israel:

“Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, and set up My standard for the peoples; they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders”, Isaiah 49:22.

The “sign”, thought Tommy, must be Jesus. The ”lifted hand” was God’s call on the believers, and their task is to bring Jews home to Israel. Back home, Tommy started ”Operation Great Exodus”, a project whose goal is to help as many Jews as possible home to Israel. Many years later, along with many amazing supporters and churches, he has helped over 20,000 Jews from all over the world return home to Israel.

Since its start in 1996, Operation Great Exodus has helped more than 20,000 Jews return to Israel.

Pastor Tommy and Rabbi Josef in Jerusalem, along with 25,000 of the Ethiopian Jews who have returned from the lost tribe of Dan.

Bring my people home

Jews from the former Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, most of whom have seen their living situations become increasingly dangerous, have now found safety in their promised land with the help of Operation Great Exodus. Surrounded on all sides by growing anti-Semitism, Israel has become an ark for the Jews of the world, and for every Jew who returns, Isaiah’s prophecy is being fulfilled that the Lord will “assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth,” Is. 11:12. In order to be able to return from the four corners of the earth, first they had to be dispersed there. It took nearly 2,000 years! By the middle of the 1800’s there were Jews in Chile, Alaska, Japan, Australia and South Africa. And then the unthinkable happened! They returned.

Returning after 2700 years!

The first Jews who were forced to leave Israel were the 10 tribes, the Northern kingdom, who were deported when Israel was defeated, and they were captured by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. The southern kingdom, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, returned after the Babylonian captivity in fifth century B.C. but were forced to flee again in the beginning of the first century B.C. Even though there have always been Jews living in Israel, they were only a small remnant until the Russian Jews began to return in the 1870’s. It’s an amazing story about how a people have been able to preserve their ethnicity for thousands of years!

One of the tribes that OGE has helped home is the tribe of Manasseh, which was deported 2700 years ago. They were discovered in the deep jungles of northeastern India several years ago, and there was no doubt: they were Jews from the tribe of Manasseh!

Returning and restoration go hand in hand

But it is not only about returning. In Israel, OGE is actively facilitating the restoration and integration of the Jews through involvement in funding children’s homes, care for the elderly and humanitarian aid. In addition to all of this, Tommy is also an active part of the revival within the Messianic Churches in Israel.

Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East?

Israel is not a land like any other. It is written that Jerusalem is located where it is because God placed Jerusalem there. (Ez. 5:5). “Shall a nation be born at once?”, prophesied Isaiah (66:8). Yes, Israel was reborn as a nation on May 14, 1948. The entire Arab world declared war on the small remnant of people, many of whom had come directly from concentration camps in Germany and Poland, and against all odds they survived. The wars have continued, and many times Israel’s survival has been under threat. But, there are many people who say that Israel has had supernatural protection, and that an invisible hand has always intervened. Her attackers have made mistakes and wrong decisions, and miraculously Israel has always made it through.

Since its start in 1996, Operation Great Exodus has helped more than 20,000 Jews return to Israel.

Tommy baptizes believers in the Jordan River, Israel

Why should we help Jews home to Israel?

It all goes back to Isaiah 49:22. There is a call from God on every believer to help the Jewish people home to Israel. In the book “The Jews – Heroes of Eternity”, Tommy explains in depth the theology concerning Israel, the church, and the end times.

This does not mean that Tommy Lilja Ministries has anything against the other people in the region. For many years, Tommy Lilja Ministries has been involved in humanitarian aid in the West Bank. Our overall goal is to reach all people groups with the gospel of Jesus.

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