For Tewodaj, an Ethiopian woman raised in a small farmer's village near the city of Gondar, moving to Israel was both the fulfillment of a life-long dream and a crushing disappointment.
Tewodaj made aliyah (immigration to Israel) with help from The Fellowship when she was 21. Her parents and her newborn son went with her, but, tragically, her husband, Abiya, had not been granted permission to leave Ethiopia. In a desperate bid to come to her biblical homeland while she had the chance, Tewodaj chose to leave for the Holy Land without her husband by her side.
"It was very hard for me to leave Abiya behind in Ethiopia; he was my husband and the father of our son," Tewodaj explains. "But I had no choice, since in those days when you were given the option of leaving Ethiopia for Israel you left right away, before the authorities changed their minds."
Tewodaj remembers how when they first arrived in Israel, they were filled with joy and gratitude toward God. "In Ethiopia we always prayed with our eyes and hearts set towards Israel, and when we celebrated the Sabbath and the holidays, we yearned to be reunited with our nation, in Jerusalem," Tewodaj recalls.
Today, Tewodaj lives with her elderly mother and son in a small Jerusalem apartment. Her father passed away after a three year battle with cancer. Tewodaj works in a school where the student body is made up of Ethiopian immigrants. During her free time, she volunteers to help other Ethiopian immigrants learn Hebrew and adapt to Israeli culture. She works hard to take care of her ailing mother and young son and make a difference in her community, but Tewodaj is still dependent on The Fellowship's food packages to provide regular meals for her mother and son. "Thank you to The Fellowship!" she says with great joy. "God bless you all!"
Tragically, there are roughly 2,000 Ethiopian Jews waiting desperately in transit camps to be reunited with family members in Israel or to finally call the Holy Land home. They must make this move by the end of this year, but they cannot do it on their own.
These Jewish people desperately need our help to make it to Israel. Your support of The Fellowship and our On Wings of Eagles ministry will help fulfill God's promise to "gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12). Please give as generously as you can on their behalf.