December 15, 2011
Dear Friends of Ariel Ministries:
Another year is ending and for us it has been a positive year. During the two previous years, we have suffered from the economy. Although the economy has not changed or improved, each year we manage to remain in the black. For this, we are grateful to the Lord. But elsewhere, things have greatly improved. Let me share just a few of these things with you.
For two years, camp attendees were down; however, last summer there was an encouraging turn around as numbers increased. People came from a total of nine different countries, and for the first time in our history we had three people from South Africa attending the Program of Messianic Jewish Studies. It is rewarding to Messianic teachers, such as those who teach in our program, to have students motivated to learn the Bible from a Jewish perspective. It was good to see our property once again filled with eager students wanting to learn.
For the past several years, we have been working on the construction of a very large building which is two levels. The main upper level will have a large dining room, a kitchen, four classrooms, and large bathroom facilities. That is the focus of what needs to be completed to allow us to move into a one-year school program. The lower level will be contain a library, bookstore, coffee house, and indoor recreation center. As of last summer, the main upper level was 90 percent complete! We are not yet certain that it will be completed by next summer, but we anticipate a date of completion by summer 2013. We are projecting the school to begin in the fall of 2014, but it may also start earlier in the will of the Lord. We need to build at least one dormitory, much less time consuming and much less expensive, and that will allow the school to begin.
I am happy to announce that we have added some new staff to our Home Office! With these new additions to complement our existing home office team, we have greatly improved our communications and publications. Our newsletter has been replaced by a beautiful magazine, allowing us to spread our Bible teaching even further, as well as updating our supporters of our activities around the world. The team at the Home Office also launched a smart phone app in recent months. So if you have an iPhone or an Android, please download the Ariel Ministries app to your phone. We are also improving the Come and See program and moving to establish the second stage of that program that would focus on the Life of the Messiah course.
Earlier this year, we brought on new members for the Board of Trustees to oversee Ariel New Zealand. The new leaders are zealous to not only continue the work of Ariel New Zealand, but also expand it. Next April, I will spend two weeks in New Zealand conferring with the new leadership. We will plan out a new strategy for what that branch will do. In 2013, I will have a one-month itinerary in that country that will be totally organized by the new leadership.
Three new branches have been added this year. We have had a representative in Germany for a number of years, but as of now, we officially have Ariel Germany under Georg Hagedorn. A brand new branch has been formed in Budapest, now called Ariel Hungary and another in Sydney called Ariel Australia. Our Israel Branch is now starting a new congregation north of Tel Aviv. They are in need of a new car, which in Israel is very expensive. If the Lord moves you to donate for that purpose, please specify your gift to read "Israel Car" or something similar.
Our other branches, such as the American and Canadian Branches are all reporting success both in the areas of Jewish outreach with the gospel and/or Bible teaching from the Jewish frame of reference. We will be reporting on the details of all our branches in the new magazine available online (as an e-zine) and in hard copy.
My sweet wife remains sweet. Without divine intervention, MS will not get better and at this point, God has not chosen to intervene. For now, we accept the message God gave to Paul's request for healing: My grace is sufficient for you, and so it has been. There has been further deterioration (she recently stated "I hate my body!"), but medications have slowed the process down. This year she spent three full weeks at Camp Shoshanah. We spent our fall vacation at the camp, and she joined me in Michigan for about three weeks. She also traveled with me for two other trips, although the traveling was rather uncomfortable for her. Her spirit has been good and positive, and we are grateful to the Lord for all He has done for us.
Mary Ann's caretaker for the last two and a half years, Tovyah, has now left and moved to Pennsylvania in preparation for her wedding in May. After much prayer, God has provided Tovyah's sister, Rivkah, to take over as Mary Ann's caretaker as of December 27th, and for this we praise the Lord.
We are blessed to have many people all over the world regularly praying for Ariel Ministries, and for this we are forever grateful. We encourage your continuous prayer for this ministry. As we watch all that God is doing, our gratitude for all your prayers increases.
Financially, we are grateful for all that God has provided, and while at times things have been tough, God continues to allow us to meet all expenses and end each year in the black. However, we want to encourage you to pray and consider a gift to Ariel Ministries as the year comes to an end, to enable us to continue progressing towards the goals the Lord has given us.
Yours for the Salvation of Israel,
Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
President and Founder