Believers around the world are awakening to the Creator’s will to “restore the ancient paths,” to bring His people back to the way of life He intended for us. An integral part of His original design was helping the poor, providing them with what they need to survive. As it says in Deuteronomy 15:7-8, “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.”
How The Lydia Project began:
The Lydia Project originated a few years ago as a natural outgrowth of Michael’s ministry, which aims to restore the Hebrew roots of the Christian Faith. As people began exploring the ancient paths that the prophets declared would be restored in the last days, they inevitably discovered the mandate that echoes throughout the Scriptures: provide for the widows, the orphans, and the poor in the Land of Israel. When they began to feel convicted to find a way to fulfill this mandate, people contacted Michael, asking if they could entrust their tithes to us to find widows and orphans needing provision. We regarded these requests as a sacred trust, and we began praying and making contacts in Israel where we could bring the widows’ portion that many of you entrusted to us over the years.
I remember the first time someone gave us $2,000, asking us to give it away for them. We put the money away while we prayed and researched the right place to sew it. After some time, we found our ministry facing an urgent financial need, and we recalled the $2,000 we had tucked away. Ultimately, we made the decision to give the money away to an organization in Jerusalem that ministered to widows. Immediately, Our Heavenly Father answered our prayers by providing another source through which our original needs were met.
This is how The Lydia Project blossomed—out of necessity. We have been convicted to obey The Creator’s command to provide for the needy, and this project makes it possible on a large scale. The Lydia Project works to identify and support organizations on the ground that are ministering, hands-on, to the needs of the widows, the orphans, the poor, and the victims of terror in the Land of Israel.
Works of The Lydia Project:
The city of Sderot sits on the border of Gaza, which has been under bombardment for the past few years—since Israel turned over the Gaza strip to the Palestinians. In Sderot, at any given moment, warning sirens can begin to sound, at which point the people of Sderot have only 15 seconds to find shelter. Taking a shower—only 15 seconds to scurry for a bunker. Children standing at bus stops—only 15 seconds to race to safety. These critical seconds often result in the death or maiming of children, parents, and siblings, leaving life horribly and permanently altered for those who have survived. The Lydia Project has been blessed by The Almighty with the honor of providing for a group of Orthodox Jews in Sderot, setting them up in a business where they can make their livelihood, in a town where the economy has been decimated by a mass exodus of people and local businesses who have fled the trauma, death, and destruction that has descended over the city with the constant threat of bombing attacks. These Jewish families were set up in the business of making tzitzit, which are then bought by Micro Tallit of Israel—the company that produces our microtallits. Now these Orthodox Jews know that they are making tzitzit for Messianic Believers, and they are so thankful that we came to their aid and helped them make a way in their wilderness.
There are many Orthodox Jews in the Land of Israel who have found Yahshua as their Messiah and are ministering the Gospel of the Kingdom in the streets of Israel, but the minute these people accept Yahshua as their Messiah, they are shunned and persecuted, and shut out from making a livelihood for their families, forcing them to live on the streets. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WITH WHOM WE STAND. Life is difficult for Messianic Jews in Israel, they suffer constant persecution and discrimination, and they need our help. The Lydia Project uses the tithes and offerings you entrust to us to provide assistance of every kind to these families.
We, outside of Israel, send provisions the way the body of Messiah did in the first century, when Paul took up collections from believers around the then-known world to send to the Believers in the Land of Israel who had remained behind to be witnesses in the land amidst harsh persecution.
When you donate to The Lydia Project, we take those much-needed tithes and offerings to those in need in the Land of Israel. Every donation to The Lydia Project—large or small—becomes part of our collective tithe than can make a huge difference to the widows, the orphans, and the needy in Israel. When we give to the needy, we are lending to the Almighty, who promises to repay us in our times of need.
I’d like to share with you the burden that Yahweh has placed on my heart and on the heart of my husband, but first I’d like to share a little about myself, not just as Mrs. Michael Rood, but as the person Yahweh has individually ordained me to be.
I grew up in Baltimore, MD in a Jewish home, attending an Orthodox Jewish synagogue. My entire family was made of observant Jews.
In 1973, I met Yahshua as my Lord and Savior, and while I will always remain Jewish, my life changed drastically. Incredibly, it was a group of Charismatic Catholic believers that Yahweh used to open my eyes and heart to my Messiah, profoundly changing my life.
Over the years, Yahweh spoke to my heart, and a longing for home, the land of Israel, began stirring within me. Yahweh drew me to Israel in exactly the way the prophets foretold that He would bring the Sons and Daughters of Israel back to their land. In 2001, I finally made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel. Yahweh had already led me on a remarkable journey, but little did I know what he had in store for me!
My first years in Israel were very fulfilling. Yahweh led me to a group of wonderful believers in Messiah. A year or so before I made aliyah to Israel, I was introduced to the teachings of a very straight-talking Jewish man. His writings and teachings challenged my spiritual walk with Messiah, and rang true in regards to what I knew about Jewish rabbinic teachings. He taught clearly about the distinction Yahweh had made between obeying the commandments of Yahweh given through Moses and following the man-made, rabbinic rules and regulations. His straightforward manner drew me in and challenged the very core of the rabbinic teachings I had experienced as a child and as a young woman.
Little did I know, however, that this exceptional teacher and author would become my husband. I first fell in love with the truth of his message, and then, through divine intervention, I came to know the man behind the message, and fell in love with him. The rest of the story is still unfolding…
Michael and I first lived in Jerusalem, then we moved near Tiberias, where our home overlooked the Sea of Galilee where the Messiah walked. We have seen and experienced, firsthand, the horror and hardship of the terrorism that has plagued the people of Israel or over a hundred years. We have had rockets soar over our home and hit the homes of our neighbors. We have seen the destructive nature of terrorism and Satan’s work up close. Eighty percent of families in Israel have lost loved ones to acts of terrorists. Their homes have been destroyed, their loved ones maimed or killed, or they themselves have been injured.
In America, we cannot conceive of what it is like to have one billion people dedicated to driving you into the ocean, committed to wiping an entire nation and people off the face of the earth. Yet every year, thousands of Jewish families make aliyah to Israel and return to their land, the land Yahweh promised to Abraham. They work hard to make even the desert bloom, while the leaders of the world try to force and coerce Israel into giving back their land to the very terrorists who have never ceased trying to kill them!
Hundreds of thousands have travelled HOME to Israel—to the land Yahweh promised them. Many arrive with little more than what they can carry. In addition, there are thousands of Jewish orphans who were brought by the Government of Israel to the land from every part of the world, where they had been left homeless and fatherless. Meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of these thousands of children, to make a difference in their lives, and give them hope and a future, is a constant struggle.
James 1:27 says this, “Pure religion and undefiled before Yahweh and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Our highest calling as servants of the Most High is to help the widows, the orphans, and the poor. Deuteronomy 27:19 says, “Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.”
Messianic believers are also victimized with prejudice and persecution, often by the very people who have, in the past, been savagely persecuted for nothing more than being Jewish. It pains me to see that Jews are persecuting fellow Jews for their faith in Yahshua as Messiah.
It is for these grave reasons that I want to introduce you to the Lydia Project, which takes its name from Lydia in Acts 16:14: “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped Elohim, heard us: whose heart Yahweh opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Shaul.” Then there was also Tabitha, in Acts 9:36; “At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.”
Yahweh has laid it on my heart to call forth the Lydias and Tabithas of this nation to help the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the needy and persecuted Messianic believers in the land.
In Genesis 12:3, Yahweh promises He will bless those who bless Israel: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee all families of the earth be blessed.”
In the course of teaching the Feasts of Yahweh, Michael has explained that the purpose of tithes and offerings is not to build cathedrals and churches, but for the laying up of provisions in the storehouses so that the needs of the Levites, the widows, the orphans, and the poor can be met.
The evangelical community has poured millions of dollars into Israel, and for that, Michael and I are very grateful, but due to pressure from the Orthodox Jewish community, Messianic believers have been ignored both by the evangelicals and the Israeli government. A Rood Awakening Ministries has set up the Lydia Project to help not only these persecuted, forgotten Jewish believers, but also to help the widows, the orphans, and the poor of Israel on an equal basis.
Michael has given me his blessing to take this project to the men and women of this nation and to every nation he has reached with his message. The Lydia Project has been set up by A Rood Awakening Ministries, and all funds raised will be earmarked for Israel, to support the needs of the poor who desperately wish to stay in the land they call home.
I ask of you two things: first, to pray about your part in this project; second, that you pray about what you can pledge either as a one-time gift, or, better yet, on a monthly basis to help us with this project.
Are you a Lydia or a Tabitha? I know you are. I am only one person, and I cannot carry this burden alone. I ask you to pray about your part in the Lydia Project. I trust I will hear from you.
Thank you for your support for Michael and me. I look forward to hearing from you. Together, we can be part of the solution and make a real difference by touching the lives of these precious ones in Israel.