“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Shalom, my friend.
The Scriptures promise us that God has good intentions for His people – that no matter what we face, what we are forced to endure or the circumstances around us and the world – we can trust God’s plan. We can believe in the future He’s written. And we can lean on the hope He supplies.
This promise feels more needed now than ever.
We may not be able to understand what’s happening in Ukraine, in Israel or in the midst of any act of evil that’s happening around the world. But we can rest in the hope that God has a plan. And our responsibility is to simply trust Him.
As you pray your own prayer of trust today, I hope you’ll also pray for this work of ministry. For our partners on the ground in Ukraine, in Israel and around the world. And for the salvation of the Jewish people.
Thank you for your partnership.
RUSSIA COULD EARN BILLIONS FROM REVIVED NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) revealed last week that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from 2015 – the nuclear deal in discussions with Iran – permits Russia to undertake civil nuclear projects in Iran worth billions of dollars.
According to the FDD, this runs counter to the attempts of the U.S. and other countries worldwide who’ve ratcheted pressure on Russia through sanctions they’ve implemented in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The FDD reports that last month, Russia forced a pause in the Vienna talks to ensure the protection of its financial interests. Moscow seeks to resume several civil nuclear projects in Iran that it previously carried out under the JCPOA, such as building two additional reactor units at the Bushehr nuclear power plant according to a $10 billion contract. The Kremlin also seeks to recoup a $500 million debt for past work. More broadly, Russia wants to avoid running into Western sanctions for any such nuclear work in Iran.
But the FDD indicates that there is no technical reason a nuclear deal with Iran should protect the Kremlin’s interests.
The situation now begs for a course correction, according to the FDD. There is no need for Russian firms to engage in uranium transactions with Iran. Under a restored accord, the Islamic Republic could comply with the deal’s limits on enriched uranium by simply blending it down to natural uranium. Washington and its allies, reports the FDD, should announce that they will rescind sanctions for all projects carried out by Russian entities and should threaten new penalties.
RUSSIA WARNS IT WILL DEPLOY NUKES NEAR FINLAND, SWEDEN IF THEY JOIN NATO
According to The Times of Israel, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned late last week that Russia would deploy nuclear weapons close to the Baltic States and Scandinavia if Finland or Sweden decides to join NATO.
Medvedev, now the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, also said that if the countries joined, this would more than double Russia’s land border with NATO members.
“Naturally, we will have to reinforce these borders,” he said. “In this case, it would not be possible to talk any more about the Baltic non-nuclear status,” Medvedev continued. “The balance has to be restored.” According to The Times of Israel, his remarks indicate that Russia would be entitled to deploy nuclear weapons in the region.
According to The Times of Israel, Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine have sparked a dramatic U-turn in public and political opinion in both Finland and Sweden over long-held policies of military non-alignment.
Finland said this week that it will decide whether to apply for NATO membership within weeks, and Sweden is also discussing membership.
RUSSIAN BLACK SEA FLAGSHIP THAT ATTACKED SNAKE ISLAND SINKS AFTER BLAST
The Jerusalem Post reports that Russia said last week that the flagship of its Black Sea fleet – the Moskva – sank after being seriously damaged following an explosion that a Ukrainian official said was the result of a missile strike.
The Moskva was one of the two ships that seized Ukraine’s Snake Island on February 25.
Maksym Marchenko, the Ukrainian governor of the region around the Black Sea port of Odessa, said the Moskva had been hit by two Ukrainian-made Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles.
“Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage,” he said in an online post that The Jerusalem Post could not verify.
But The Jerusalem Post does report that the Snake Island incident included a small Ukrainian force of 13 stationed at the port of Odessa, where they were recorded cursing at a Russian warship after having been asked to surrender.
Initially, the Ukrainians announced that the 13 servicemen were killed in action, fighting to the end. The recording and story went viral in Ukraine and abroad and became a symbol for Ukraine's fight against Russia.
However, on February 27, it was announced by the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service that the servicemen could still be alive. Their capture was confirmed by the Ukrainian navy on February 28.
One serviceman was released from Russian captivity on March 28 and was awarded with a medal. It is unclear what the conditions for his release were and what the status of the other captives is.
LET US PRAY TOGETHER
Please pray with me for:
- God to bring peace and safety to the situation in Ukraine, protecting the lives that could potentially be at risk
- God to move in the hearts of world leaders and give wisdom to address the global threat of a nuclear Iran
- God’s protection to be upon His people in Israel, who are constantly facing threats and violence from surrounding enemies
- Peace in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel and their enemies
- Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah