“And I will sanctify My great name which hath been profaned among the nations which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Hashem saith the Lord GOD when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” Ezekiel 36:23 (The Israel Bible™)
After millennia of difficult relations, Jews and Christians are coming together in a display of love unprecedented in the history of the two religions to fulfill one of today’s most relevant prophecies. Operation Exodus, an organization of Christians dedicated to bringing Jews to Israel, expresses this bountiful love for the Jewish people by helping the Jews return to the land God promised them. The Jews who have returned due to their efforts, fueled by their prayers for Israel, account for an astounding 2.5 percent of Israel’s present population.
Operation Exodus was established in the United Kingdom in 1991 by Swiss businessman Gustav Scheller. With representatives in over 50 countries around the world, the organization has partnered with the Jewish Agency for Israel and other agencies in assisting over 150,000 Jewish people make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel. Scheller was driven by a powerful belief in prophecy and a feeling of gratitude towards the Jews.
In an interview given before he passed away in 2000, Scheller said, “Christians have no choice but to love the Jews. You have given us the Bible.”
The ministry had its beginnings in prayer. Operation Exodus began during the Gulf war in 1991, when Scud missiles began to fall on Israel. Over a hundred Christians gathered at the HolyLand Hotel in Jerusalem to pray for the protection of Israel, occasionally being forced into sealed rooms, their words of prayer muffled by gas masks. The conference gathered $30,000 for bringing the Jews of Russia back to Israel in boats, based on the prophecy in Isaiah.
Surely the isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far. Isaiah 60:9
Prayer and prophecy continue to be essential aspects of Operation Exodus. In addition to practical efforts bringing Jews to Israel, they also organize prayer groups, what they call intercessors, bringing together thousands of Christians around the world to pray for the Jewish people and the peace of Jerusalem.
“Really, everything we have accomplished is through prayer. We need support to accomplish our goals, but we also need prayer to open hearts, in order to allow our efforts to have a positive effect,” Adrianne Prosser, the Outreach Manager for Operation Exodus, explained to Breaking Israel News.
“Prayer comes from the deepest places of the heart,” Prosser explained. “It is our expression of the unmitigated, unconditional love we have for the Jewish people.
“Loving Israel and fulfilling God’s promises are really what are at the heart of our work. Helping Jews come to Israel is the best expression of this love.”
Operation Exodus’ belief that helping Jewish aliyah is a powerful expression of Christian love for God is firmly based in Scripture.
“We believe this, and it is precisely this that drives us to help bring Jews to Israel,” Prosser told Breaking Israel News. “We want to be the bridge for the Christian love into the Jewish community.” She cited Isaiah as the source for this Christian obligation, saying, “In the Scriptures, God clearly invites Gentiles to participate with Him in this process.”
Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up Mine ensign to the peoples, and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. Isaiah 49:22
“Aliyah is a gift from God. Israel belongs to God and he gave it to the Jewish people,” she continued. “That is something unique in the world. Every individual Jew that returns is a miracle, proof of God’s eternal word.”
The ministry acknowledges the difficult history of relations between Jews and Christians and is working to reverse the wrongs of the past 2,000 years. But its members also want to write a new chapter in this relationship, and their efforts seem to making a difference. Adrianne described the remarkable changes she has witnessed in the relationship between Jews and Christians.
“It is inspiring to see how well we are received in the Jewish communities these days,” Prosser said. “It encourages us to continue our efforts.”
Though Operation Exodus began as an effort to save Jews in danger from the former Soviet Union, it is rapidly expanding as aliyah increases. Since 2014, Operation Exodus has had a 79 percent increase in requests for aliyah assistance. The organization now has an office in Paris, France being the largest country of origin for Jewish immigration to Israel.
Their offices in America are also very busy, especially their new office in Brooklyn. 500,000 Russian Jews live in Brooklyn, and many are considering moving to Israel.
The organization provides ongoing assistance to new olim (immigrants) in Israel through their office in Jerusalem. In addition, Operation Exodus provides humanitarian aid to Holocaust survivors and many others in need in the former Soviet Union.
President of Operation Exodus USA Debra Minotti, described her vision of the future for the organization.
“Now that the Jewish community looks to us as a resource, we want to be there,” Minotti said. “When God calls the Jews back to Israel, we want to be there to help. We want to help every single Jew who comes to us, wanting to go home to Israel. That is our core, and the basis of our prayer.”