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How about some Ketchup with that?

November 3, 2017 in Newsletter, Uncategorized

Thank you for supporting us throughout yet another year here in Israel, with your prayers and financial blessings.

As the holidays are upon us, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Chanukah, we realize our website has not been updated for quite a long time and we would like to use this years ending newsletter to catch everyone up. (Ketchup, get it?)

< Isreali Ketchup

The Ark has been moving along, in more ways than one. The Ark was in search of a new Ark house when Ark Director Polly realized she could utilize her own home for these ladies since one of her foster children was moving on. Bless her!

We love to welcome women and their children.  It doesn’t matter if they are Arab or Jewish, or even from other countries.  It doesn’t matter what language they speak whether it be Russian, Hebrew or English.

Polly and our lovely Ark teacher Stacey have begun studying Arabic. After all, the very first Ark woman was Arab. Gratefully she spoke perfect Hebrew. That being said, we do live and work in a land where Arabic is almost as common as Hebrew. No sooner had they began their first lesson that Polly got a phone call asking us to accept an Arab woman. What are the odds?

Polly couldn’t turn down our new student just because she wanted her beloved dog by her side and since woman are often accompanied by their children, how could we turn down this woman’s member of the family? So, yes we are accepting this new student and her beloved pet.

Women, children, pets, how fitting for the Ark!

We still continue to do Ark jewelry.  We love getting special orders from those in our Messianic Fellowship here in Arad and elsewhere.  We are especially grateful when large groups come to bless us with their presence and perhaps even buy a piece or two. Oh how the women’s faces light up when their piece has been selected! Their sense of accomplishment is beautiful to witness.

We also enjoy watching our former students settle into new lives. A former student is once again doing this website, so check out all the new jewelry pictures that will soon be posted! She is also the new secretary and this is something Polly has praying about for quite some time.

A volunteer and her young son have received their Israeli citizenship and moved into their own place right here in Arad. She has just finished an intensive Hebrew course and now the two of them are embracing their new lives in this amazing land.

Barbara, the hair school instructor is back home in America and dearly missed.  Also, dearly missed is a recent volunteer who was with us for a couple of months and just got her MA in Business as well as a new job in her field of study. Of course we pray blessings upon blessings upon them as they have always been a blessing to us.

Now that the Ark has been incorporated into the director’s house, we are no longer in need of temporary volunteers, but we would like to thank those who were willing to come, just the fact that they were willing to come and serve, shows a lot to their character and love for the Lord’s work.

Please pray for us as we continue to accept new students into our hearts and lives. It is you, our prayer warriors and supporters that keep us encouraged. Never forget that we pray daily for you and it is our sincere hope that you are blessed beyond measure as you are more priceless to us than words can describe.

Important New Short-Term Aim

October 22, 2014 in Newsletter

We are prayerfully seeking to raise enough money through SALES of our JEWELS OF THE ARK necklaces to help pay a salary for a needed full-time staff member for the Ark in the Negev refuge.

We are setting aside 50% of all sales to the specific aim of saving and contributing toward the salary of an appropriately qualified and dedicated Israeli citizen and Hebrew speaking believer in Yeshua to live at the Ark and help to manage the daily program. (The remaining 50% of sales will continue to go toward the daily needs of the refuge – such as groceries and utilities).

We are so grateful for the wonderful volunteers who have come from all over the world to spend time at the Ark and to help. And we still welcome the contribution of volunteers!

At the same time there has arisen a need for a full-time permanent staff member at the Ark.

We need your help!

You can help by holding this need for a staff member in prayer.

In practical terms you can help through purchasing our lovely (we believe!) products.

We are  delighted about every single necklace that sells, not least because we love to see our pieces go out into the nations and bless those that buy and wear them!

Donations toward the salary would also be gratefully accepted. In sending a gift, please indicate the donation is toward a Salary for Full-Time Staff Member.

TO ORDER our product, please go to the shop on this website.

May you be blessed!

Fall 2014 Newsletter

September 22, 2014 in Newsletter

Shalom and blessings from the Negev,

By God’s grace we have made it safely through a difficult summer of war and nation-wide distress.  We have been praying for our country, for our enemies and for those who have lost loved ones in the fighting.  We are so grateful for your prayers for our safety, peace and protection. God hears!

 New Beginnings

He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. (Psalms 23:3)

 Here at the Ark, in the midst of the troubles, we welcomed two amazing young women, one of them with a baby.

The first of the ladies has been recovering from the devastation of alcoholism.  Consciously dependent on Yeshua, she has been diligently working on her sobriety through her program at the Ark.

She does not take her sobriety for granted and relies on the Lord one day at a time as she goes forward in her new life.

This young woman has been taking advanced classes in hairdressing with instructor Barbara Secreto , and has graduated to cutting and styling hair for women in the wider local community.  She’s doing well, she is a precious blessing to us, and we are so proud of her!

As for our second new student – well, her face shines! Having come to the Ark following her decision to follow Jesus out of a situation of bondage in Tel Aviv, she has come with her baby boy to take shelter at the Ark and has embraced her new life in the Lord.

Her desire for her son to be dedicated to the Lord was fulfilled as the baby was prayed for and committed to God’s hands by the elders before our congregation, Chasdey Yeshua.

Learning to walk with the Lord and take care of her child, she is keen to make the most of the opportunities presented to her.  She has enthusiastically joined the “Jewels of the Ark” project, making lovely, delicate and intricate creations.  She was thrilled when the first necklace she made was sold to a wonderful, supportive believer in Greece!

Friendly, kind and creative, this young lady is a testimony to God’s work and a blessing to our community.

 Outreach

 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

As a group, the Ark team is keen to reach out to help other ministries.

For some time now staff and volunteers of the Ark have been traveling to Tel Aviv to help with a ministry to women called Red Carpet Salon.

Sponsored by the International Christian Embassy, the Red Carpet ministry helps women in South Tel Aviv who are trapped in crises such as prostitution and/or drug addiction.  Women can come to seek help, talk about their lives, and have manicures, haircuts and a hot meal.  Ark staff has been there to share about the Ark and encourage the women that there is a way out.   There is a place to come to if they want to change their lives.

Additionally, Barbara Secreto is an on-going weekly presence at the local Arad senior citizens’ centre. Here the elderly are given free hair cuts while being quietly prayed for. A beautiful 80 -year-old Russian immigrant in our congregation is also in attendance and she is able to actually speak to the Russian-speaking seniors about Jesus.

 Jewels of the Ark

We are currently missing the lovely Barbara Ruth, our jewellery instructor. Ruthi travelled to the USA earlier this month to help her elderly parents.

Ruthi is not only a devoted teacher, but she also designs and makes gorgeous pieces at a professional level. She is also the one who takes the fabulous photos of our products.  God has gifted her very much. May she and her family be greatly blessed during her stay in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, Ark Director, Polly, has taken over the teaching and quality control side of the jewellery business. Praise God!

Please check out our products for sale on our website and on our Facebook page, Jewels of the Ark. Until September 29 there is a 30% discount on all listed items!

The proceeds of the Jewels of the Ark business fund the work of the ministry and in that way we can begin to help to contribute to our own upkeep.

 Prayer Points

We would be glad of your prayers in the following areas:

1. For the ladies of the Ark, and their children, to enjoy deep growth, joy and peace in the Lord.

2. We are SO thankful for our staff and volunteers:  May the Lord bless them mightily in their work here

3. For the success of the Jewels of the Ark business

4. That the women that God wants to bring to the Ark would be free from hindrances that prevent them from coming

Thank you so very much for your prayers and encouragement and support. May God bless and keep you all.

Much love in Yeshua’s Name,

Polly Sigulim and the Ark in the Negev

www.arkinthenegev.com

Email: arkinthenegev@gmail.com

 

Summer 2014 Newsletter

August 6, 2014 in Newsletter

Shalom and blessings from the Negev

It is very hot and dry here! We need to take care to check on our plants and trees and give them extra water so they can continue to live. That is a picture of the work of Ark in the Negev J The women who take refuge here are like tender plants and trees that need time with Yeshua, to drink in His Holy Spirit and be revived and built up in Him.

We are glad to bring the following news:

Graduation

 Our lovely “Dvora” is getting ready to graduate out of the Ark’s one-year program. She is preparing herself for work and life in the wider community. Dvora says: “It has been almost a year since I arrived. In that time I have had a baby, learned how to be a new mom, been able to open up through creative therapy, and made friends that I want to keep for a lifetime.”

It is not easy to come to the end of yourself and commit to starting afresh in the Lord. Dvora shares, “I almost quit several times. I have been pushed to my limits and had to reach out to God to make it to the next step. My faith and relationship with Yeshua is now stronger. When I leave the Ark I am going to go where the Lord wants me to.”

We are also delighted that Dvora’s baby, “Daniel,” is thriving. His mom confirms, “He is growing and full of love. He is a peaceful baby: so much prayer has gone into him and I think it shows.”

Jewels of the Ark

Our jewellery business Jewels of Ark is forging ahead and the proceeds of sales of our product go toward funding the work of the Ark.

Beautiful pieces are made by students and staff of the Ark, and women of the local believing community.

Polly Sigulim, Ark Director, reflects: “Personally I am very pleased with the way the business project is going. When we are all together making the jewellery it takes me out of the role of Director and puts everyone on a more equal footing. The students are able to rise up and reach their own creativity level. This takes them out of a perception that they are in a rehabilitative program because they have failed at life.”

 Our business now has a Facebook page from which it is possible to see and purchase gorgeous (we think so!) necklaces.

To order: Go to Facebook page JEWELS OF THE ARK (www.facebook.com/pages/Jewels-of-the-Ark/731418853536748?), choose from the products you will see there and send a message to the page indicating which item you are interested in. We will take it from there! Payment is made through paypal account: jewelsoftheark@gmail.com. FIRST TIME BUYERS will receive a FREE pair of matching earrings JPrices include international shipping.

Groups or individuals visiting the Ark can also purchase our jewellery directly on site. We are happy to welcome visitors!

Hair dressing program

 We are excited that the wonderful Barbara Secreto has received the working documents necessary to return to Israel to teach hairdressing at the Ark.

The women of the Ark will again have the opportunity to learn a trade from a true professional who loves the Lord and loves the women and prays for them.

In the past Barbara has taught haircutting to the women of the Ark, and then together they have reached out to the elderly in providing free hair cuts at a local senior citizen’s center: It is healing and empowering for the women to be able to give as well as to receive.

We look forward to Barbara’s arrival on 4th July, and she already has candidates waiting for her classes!

Prayer

 We are so thankful for prayers made for this ministry.

Please pray for:

 

  1. Dvora as she prepares to leave the Ark.
  2. New arrivals to the Ark to receive all that God wants to give them during their stay here.
  3. For the staff and volunteers who currently work in this ministry
  4. The jewellery business to grow and provide funds for the Ark.
  5. For God’s choice of additional full-time staff and volunteers to serve Him at the Ark
  6. A treadmill for our women to exercise at home during the hot weather

Much love and many thanks

 Polly Sigulim and Ark in the Negev

www.arkinthenegev.com

Email: arkinthenegev@gmail.com

Spring 2014 Newsletter

August 6, 2014 in Newsletter

Shalom dear friends, supporters and prayer partners!

We are glad to bring you this newsletter. It has been a while since our last update, but we now plan to keep you posted on  a regular basis ☺

Arrivals
The work of the Ark continues, and we are delighted that one of our students, “Dvora,” gave birth to a beautiful baby boy several weeks after her arrival here.“Dvora” is learning to become a wonderful mother and is growing in the Lord. Both she and her child are a blessing to our community. Glory to God! Ivy has returned from a recent tour in America. She has been resting and gaining strength after her long trip, and we are happy she is back home ☺.We are also glad that Barbara Secreto, who set up our hairdressing salon, will be coming back to minister at the Ark in April. She will resume her work of teaching hairdressing to students, staff and members of the wider believing community. Definitely looking forward to that!

Jewels of the Ark” – our new business!

I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck (Ezekiel 16:11)An important aspect of the rehabilitative program offered tostudents at the Ark is that they are given the opportunity to
learn “marketable skills” that could help them back on their
feet.

A special project the Ark is currently running is called Jewels
of the Ark.

The Jewels initiative began in March 2013 when an American
ministry called “Jewels for God” came to Israel and donated
semi-precious stones, crystals, tools and an intensive weeklong
seminar for students and volunteers to learn how to make
quality jewelry.

Since then, volunteers, staff and students of the Ark have been
meeting every week to make beautiful necklaces, bracelets
and earrings. Each piece is unique.
We now have a non-profit business license and are looking to
promote and sell our jewelry on a larger scale.

Importantly, the proceeds from sales of our jewelry flow back
to the Ark, to help fund the work of the refuge itself. In this
way, the Ark can help to raise some of its own support, and
the students can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they are
contributing to their up-keep and their community.

Stacey Trobman, the Ark’s Bible teacher, says: “As I handle
the semi-precious stones to make a necklace, I think of the
ladies in the Ark. I think of them as diamonds in the rough
being crafted in the Master’s hand. I tell the women they are
unique and beautiful in the eyes of their Creator.”

We are so grateful for what the Lord has done in setting up
Jewels of the Ark!

Practical matters of prayer

We are thankful to God for the blessing of a new refrigerator…
This was an answer to prayer ☺
We would now be grateful for prayer in regards to the
possibility of buying the Ark house. We believe it would be a
blessing for the house to belong to the ministry for the long
term so that we can further develop and equip the building for
future service. May God’s will be done in this matter…
Meanwhile, our rental lease has just been extended for
another year, and that is very good.

Prayer for Israeli women in distress

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the
wilderness, And speak comfort to her. (Hosea 2:14)

Please keep our precious students in your prayers. The enemy
fights hard against them to drag them down, but God loves
them and wants to comfort, heal and restore them.
Please also pray that those women that God wants to bring to
the Ark would be able to come without hindrance and that
their hearts would be prepared to surrender to the Lord and
receive new life from Him.

We covet your continued prayers also for our staff and for our
amazing short-term volunteers and all others associated with
this ministry.

THANK YOU for your prayers and your support!
Blessings and love from Israel,
Polly Sigulim, Director, Staff, Volunteers, and the Women and
Children in the Ark

Donations to this ministry can be made by paypal through our
website at: www.arkinthenegev.com

WINTER 2012 SPRING 2013

July 12, 2013 in Newsletter

Shalom Dear Friends, Supporters, and Prayer Partners,

Greetings from the Ark in the Negev! We are sorry for the lapse in newsletters, but this has been a season of readjustments, as well as preparations for what the Lord is going to do with and for us. Please allow us to share some of the events and news at the Ark over the past few months.

The arrival of winter brought us showers of blessings that developed into an abundant rainy season. The stark brown landscape became covered with signs of life, as the many wheat and other fields began in flourish and became beautiful shades of green.

Just as we watched the fields evolve from being “void and lifeless,” we continue to witness the transformation of the lives of the shattered women who enter The Ark. Through Bible study, sharing our testimonies of how the Lord has helped us overcome difficulties and hardships, and other ways to share and express God’s love, we are so privileged to witness true life emerging in the students.

A new and exciting ministry project that helps teach confidence and work skills to the students is our jewelry project. The staff and students have learned how to produce and market some unique and beautiful jewelry. The sale of the jewelry is a way for students to have money for their personal items. Through this ministry project, the students learn that they must take the time to construct carefully the jewelry properly or it will not be usable. Stacey, the Ark’s Bible teacher/discipler, uses the project to share with the students the example of how the preparation of each piece of the jewelry takes patience and that they, too, must have patience in the Lord to prepare them to be exactly the “jewel” He wants them to be. Please pray for the Lord to bring the right person to lead this business venture. The jewelry is currently being sold to local communities, as well as visitors to the center.

The hairdressing program has proven to be a huge blessing to not only the students but also to the local residents. As the students progress in their skills, they accompany Barbara, program director and instructor, to the local senior citizen center where they provide haircuts to the residents. Not only does the experience help reinforce the women’s training, but it also builds their confidence to integrate back into society. Barbara took a break in the spring from the classes but expects to return later this year.

During Hanukkah, the staff and students shared a night of pizza and fun. The students work hard each day in their pursuit to overcome their past life and thoroughly enjoyed the time of relaxing. Please see some of the photos below.

We expect more students to arrive very soon. The two women who have expressed a desire to be with us are both pregnant. Thank you for your prayers, as we minister to these women and soon- to-be mothers.

Our short-term volunteers continue to be of great assistance to the staff and students at the center. Their invaluable help and support is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support to the center. Together we will continue to see lives impacted and changed for His Kingdom’s plans and purposes. Please consider a special year-end contribution to The Ark in the Negev.

Blessings and love with gratitude from Zion,
Polly Sigulim, director
Staff, Volunteers, and the Women and Children in the Ark

May June July 2012

August 17, 2012 in Newsletter

Shalom Dear Friends, Supporters, and Prayer Partners,

The past few months have passed quickly. We apologize that we have not issued a newsletter during this time. At the women’s center, we have gone through a time of major reorganization, re-evaluation, and intense shifting. It is hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since we first secured the home that would be the first Teen Challenge women’s center in Israel. “I”, one of our volunteers from the United States who arrived soon after the painting and preparation of the home was completed, helped organize the center. She continues to be an integral part of our volunteer staff and now serves as our assistant director. She reflected on the beginning stages and progress. “We have learned a lot since that time,” “I” said. “We have had several women and two babies living here. Some stayed a short time, but two others stayed four to five months. This is a cause to celebrate what God is doing in their lives and ours,” she said. “He (God) continues to provide for all our needs and teaches us along the way,” she added.

We have experienced some trying and faith-stretching times recently, but we have found the Lord’s faithfulness to be with us. Despite the challenges of learning the “ins” and “outs” of how to operate such a ministry center and sometimes wondering if we were “on track,” we have been encouraged greatly and assured by Teen Challenge leadership that things are going along as expected for the first year. We look forward to soon visit of our International Director and his family. Our local director and his family make frequent visits. Their input – sharing of their own experiences in such a ministry, prayers, and support – has been invaluable and greatly appreciated.

As we welcome another student, we also have had two students leave. Our most recent student is from the Ivory Coast. She comes to us with a need for much spiritual healing. We expect the arrival of another student next week. Julia, who was with us since the first part of the year, has gone back to her home in the northwest part of Israel with her child and been reunited with her husband. He recently completed a drug/alcohol rehabilitation program. This was our desire for Julia, to see her family reunited and ready to face the challenges of life with a fresh perspective of hope in the Lord. This is the heart of this ministry. We want to see the women overcome their former lifestyles and learn a more excellent way to life. We believe the love, support, and concern that was imparted into Julia will continue to guide her in her pursuit of a better life. She is determined to use the skills she learned in the hairstyling lessons to earn a respectable income for her herself and her family.

Our other student, Nadia, was with us only a short time. While we offered her love, support, and guidance, she decided after a few weeks that she is not ready to make the commitment to stay in the program. The door will remain open to her to return, if she desires to return.

We currently have a family staying in the center. They are in between moving from their former home to their next one. They greatly appreciate the blessing the center is for them for these few weeks. Please pray for this family, as they face major adjustments in their life here in Israel. They also seek the Lord’s will concerning travel possibilities.

We have had several inquires about the center in the last week and expect more students to arrive soon. There are at least two ladies who will arrive at the center within the next few days. We are thankful for the invaluable and committed volunteers who stand ready to receive the women. In addition to “I”, who oversees the day-to- day operations of the center, we also have other staff members who have been with us for most of the past year. Barbara, our volunteer who teaches hairstyling, has taken a few months to travel to her home in the USA to visit with family and friends. She plans to return to us in September and will resume her classes. She plans to teach other women in the area hairstyling skills and to continue to visit the nursing home and Holocaust survivors’ home to give free haircuts. Ruti remains a great help in the office duties, as she keeps the financial records up to date. Stacey presents Bible studies each morning to help each student learn the value to allow Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) the Lord to be first in her life. Through this, the women learn how to apply these valuable teachings to their individual life be a better woman of God, a better wife, and a better mother. Stacey also teaches Hebrew reading and writing to those women who don’t have these skills, so these women can survive in the workplace where Hebrew is necessary. We also continue to have short-term volunteers to serve at the center. Past volunteers came from Germany, Brazil, and the United States. If you are a woman with a passion for God and to serve the women at the center, please write Polly at the e-mail listed in this newsletter. We also have had work teams to visit the center and assist with various projects. As mentioned in past newsletters, they have performed general repairs, erected fences around the property, remodeled the tree house for the children, and helped us prepare a garden where we are growing vegetables. Currently we are doing some needed repairs on the center. We also plan to add a toddler playground area and a place to sit and relax outside in the back of the center.

Staff and students have enjoyed summer outings, including going to Omer, a suburb of Beersheva where we join friends in a weekly praise and worship meeting. We also plan to take trips to the Dead Sea and other outdoor activities. While the students are in a “restricted/supervised” atmosphere while they are in the center, we do not want them to feel closed off completely from society, especially to be with Believers.

It is with sadness that we share about the death of one of our former students, Reem. After she was with us for four months, where she received much healing from past hurts and disappointments in her life, she recently returned to her former lifestyle. She had multiple health issues, and after she could not get the proper care she needed, she died. We believe she is with the Lord. This was a time of deep sorrow for all of us here at the center and others who met her.

We were blessed to have several individuals and groups visit the center in the last few months. Despite the triple-digit temperatures in the Negev Desert, they made their way to come visit the center and learn more about what us. We invite you to visit, too. Please see the invitation below, for more information. We’d love to have you drop by for a cup of tea or a glass of cool water.

If you haven’t visited our website in a while or ever, please do. We recently updated it and all of our newsletters are posted there, in case you missed one. There is additional information about this program, along with the purposes and goals we have for the Lord’s ministry in this center. We have added information to help make the donation process much smoother and more convenient. Please share our link with others. http://www.arkinthenegev.org

We cannot express our deepest appreciation for your continued financial support. With the triple digits we have endured for the past couple of weeks in the unseasonably hot weather for July, it has been quite a challenge to keep the center at a comfortable cool temperature and not operate the fans and air conditioners more than necessary. Within the next few months, our attention will shift to how to keep the center heated. Your financial gifts will help maintain a comfortable temperature in the home. Those of you who have visited a desert or perhaps live in one now can relate to how hot it can become in the daytime and how cold it can get at night.

Please let us know when you make a donation by PayPal so we can better keep track of it. Also, when you send a non-tax-deductible check to Israel, please make sure to let us know the date you mailed it, so we can be aware of its expected arrival. Be sure to make these checks payable to Teen Challenge Israel. For tax-deductible contributions, please see our website for donation information.

We are currently updating our contact records and need your help. Would you please reply to this email address and send us this information? 1) Full Name, 2) Mailing Address, 3) Telephone Numbers, and 4) Website address, if applicable. Thank you very much.

I (Polly) am planning another journey to the USA this fall to share about the center. I hope to be there in mid-October to mid-November. My main focus will be in the State of Florida. If you live in Florida or have contact with others there and know someone who would like to host
me in a church, Bible study, prayer group, or home meeting, please
contact me as soon as possible.

In personal matters, I (Polly) recently moved to a new home. As some of you know, my former home was across the street from the women’s center. My new home is a couple of blocks away. It is a blessing to have office space where I now can better coordinate the center’s documents.

Thank you again for your patience with us during this extremely busy time. We apologize for the length of this newsletter but wanted to bring you up to date with the exciting things the Lord is doing at the Ark.

Blessings and love with gratitude from Zion,
Polly Sigulim, director
Staff, volunteers, and the women and children in the Ark

March April 2012

May 2, 2012 in Newsletter

Shalom Dear Friends, Supporters and Prayer Partners,

As we reflect over the events over the past two months, we see it has been another very busy time at the Ark in the Negev. It’s hard to describe everything in words the Lord has been doing among us, but please allow us to use this newsletter to share some of the recent news. Two of our students have left the women’s center. One student returned closer to her previous healthcare clinics. She is determined, however, to continue in her pursuit of a better life. Another chose, unfortunately, to leave the program completely. It is hard for us, as staff and also for the fellow students, to see some of the women leave the center before their committed time is over. Teen Challenge is a commitment and not a mandated program that confines students to a set period of time with consequences and penalties, if this commitment is broken. Because of this, students understand that they are admitted to the program through this commitment, yet they also understand they are released to leave if they so choose. We believe, as staff, that our time invested in the students is not in vain. An explanation of the Teen Challenge program is below. Julia, the mother of the toddler remains with us and continues to show great improvement in her determination to learn a better lifestyle than what she had when she joined us several months ago. There is a testimony of this below.

We also have been busy with celebrating Jewish holidays, as well as hosting friends and groups to the center. In March we celebrated Purim (the story of the Book of Esther) and for Passover, we hosted about 70 people for a Seder (the ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Passover holiday). We have had several tour groups to visit. We greatly appreciate the tour leaders and pilgrims taking the time out of your busy tour schedules to come visit us. We are blessed to have such a nice yard with the new security fence that allows us to host such events.

Our staff, composed of volunteers, continues to be the “backbone” of the center. Without their dedication and help, we could not continue to function properly. This time, we would like to share about another invaluable volunteer who gives of herself to serve the center. Our house mother, “I” truly has a heart for the students. (Because we want to guard her identity, we will not publish her name or photograph.) Before “I” knew the Lord, she, too, travelled on a road leading to self destruction with eternal consequences. Her life was filled with drug and alcohol addictions, as well as other ungodly actions. She surrendered her life to the Lord and He delivered her from her life’s actions that were killing her. Since then,” I” uses the victories over her past for the glory of God. At the center, she guides the students on the straight and narrow path, as she loves them into the Kingdom. She knows first-hand what these women battle. She knows the pains they endure. She recognizes the signs that their life is in shambles. She bears the “battle scars” of her past life, but these scars are also evidence of the victories she has won with the Lord’s grace and mercy. Because she has been there, the students trust “I” to understand them. Please pray that as these students trust “I”, they will also learn they can trust the Lord.

Jane is one of our most recent volunteers. A powerful prayer warrior, Jane also has a heart for praise and worship. She shares her beautiful talent of music through her ability to play the guitar. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Already we see her willingness to assist in the center’s duties. She also is a vital part of the evenings’ activities for the students. Lois arrived just a few weeks ago. The owner of a computer business for many years, she brings to us some very vital knowledge of computer organizational skills. We have been blessed with a new computer for administrative purposes and Lois has set it up for us and organized the files. We have applications from several other women who are interested to be volunteers in both short-term and long-term positions. We are so grateful for each of them. If you believe the Lord is calling you to volunteer with us, please write to us at the email address in this newsletter for more information.

Our student Julia has proven in several ways that she is determined to learn how to and live a better way. She has shown that she is not a quitter and no longer afraid of challenges.
Several years ago, Julia trained in hairstyling but her confidence was so low that she would not attempt to cut anyone’s hair. She attends the hairstyling classes at the women’s center and now enjoys cutting and styling hair. She recently accompanied Barbara (center volunteer and class teacher) and a former class student to the local Holocaust Survivor Center to cut and style the residents’ hair in time for the Passover celebrations. In addition to the hairstyling classes, we continue with the daily schedule of Bible studies, English classes, and handicraft classes where students make marketable items.

The center, seen by those on the outside, is merely a house, a building where the Ark in the Negev staff and students live. But to the staff and students, it’s “home” for the duration of their time in the program. A local artist painted this mural on one of the center’s walls. The beautiful landscape brings softness to the stark white walls that are so common in the homes in Israel. Located in the southern part of Israel where many of the recently launched rockets are within range of Arad, we are thankful for the Lord’s protection over us.

Blessings and love with gratitude from Zion,
Polly Sigulim, director
Staff, volunteers, and the women and children in the Ark

February 2012

May 2, 2012 in Newsletter

Shalom Dear Friends, Supporters and Prayer Partners,

Things have been rather busy here at the Ark in the Negev! It’s hard to believe another month has come and gone. Since last month’s newsletter, we have welcomed our second and third students into the Ark. They come to us with a desire to learn a better way of life. What an open door to their hearts! One of the women has a toddler with her. We ask that you pray for us, as we continue to minister to the ladies who come into the center.

We had another young woman visit the center for a few days. She qualified as a student but her heart was not yet ready to commit to the program. Our door is open to her, should she desire to return.

One of the main assets of the center is our volunteers. Their willingness to come to the center to share of their gifts and talents is greatly appreciated. In addition to sharing the Gospel with the students, one of our goals is to teach the women job skills so they can return to daily life with a new and better way to earn a living.

Barbara, one of our volunteers, teaches hairstyling. Through the generosity of her church in the USA, the center was able to purchase the necessary hair salon furniture and tools to teach this trade.

Another of our volunteers, Kathy, came for a few weeks to teach breadmaking. Bread is a staple in Israel, served at every meal, so to learn this skill was very welcome. We enjoyed the time with Kathy very much.

Cindy, a volunteer through Teen Challenge, serves as one of our “home administrators.” She is here for another couple of months to help oversee the day-to-day operation of the center.

We greatly appreciate the volunteers the Lord has sent to the Ark and hope more will arrive this year. If you believe the Lord is leading you to volunteer at the Ark in the Negev, please write to us at the e-mail address at the bottom of this newsletter. We will be glad to send you the necessary information.

Soon after we opened the Ark in the Negev, it became apparent a privacy fence was needed around the property. The Orthodox Jews in this area often persecute the Messianic Believers in Arad. Protests in front of the women’s center, as well as the home of the center’s director are a common sight. The women, as well as visitors to the center, are often subjected to personal harassment from the Orthodox. We welcomed a group of volunteers from the Czech Republic who came and built a beautiful fence around the property. This fence helps provide privacy and security for the women and children who come here. We are very grateful for these men and women who came to help make the center a more secure and pleasant place of refuge.

Your prayers are treasures to us. The women who enter the Ark in the Negev come to us with various issues, hurts, and addictions, yet their core need is the same…to hear of the One Who alone can heal their broken hearts and deliver them from their bondage.

Please know that each financial contribution is greatly appreciated. The box below gives the information on how you can continue to be a part of this ministry.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your family and friends. If they would like to join our mailing list, please have them send us a message at the email address below. Thank you.

On a personal note, please pray for Polly Sigulim, the center director. She has received notice from her present landlords that she needs to move from her home by May. After 15 years in the house, she must now relocate. Please pray for the Lord’s leading in this situation. Thank you.

Blessings and love with gratitude from Zion,

Polly Sigulim, director
Staff, volunteers, and the women and children in the Ark

January 2012

May 2, 2012 in Newsletter

Shalom Dear Friends, Supporters and Prayer Partners,

The Ark in the Negev officially opened our doors this past October. At our Home Dedication celebration, we welcomed guests from throughout Israel. We were blessed richly by their gifts, including food, plants, wall decorations, financial donations, as well as clothing for our clients.

We are so thankful to Operation Blessing, other ministry organizations (especially Maoz Israel), various congregations and individuals who have donated time and finances freely to make the Ark in the Negev a beautiful home of rest, refuge, and reformation. We are very thankful for all the furnishings and appliances for the center.

There are still some basic things we need to purchase for the home. Thank you for supporting these financially. We recognize the need for more privacy on the grounds so volunteers from the Czech Republic Teen Challenge will arrive in February to build a fence along the property. We are thankful that they will donate the materials, skills and time.

Our first resident was a 1-year-old girl from near Sudan. She lived in the center for two months, while her parents became established in the land. Our first resident/client is a woman referred to the Ark from the Door of Hope in Tel Aviv, a shelter for homeless women with life-threatening problems such as drug addiction and prostitution. This woman came to us after her release from a hospital. Weighing only 45 pounds, her life has suffered one trauma after another. She was abandoned by her mother at an early age. When she was a teenager, she was in the family car with
her father. She watched in horror and disbelief, as he was shot and murdered. She also was severely injured in the gunfire. Though she can neither read nor write, she is very open and willing to learn from the Bible and acquire job skills. We are excited at the progress we see already in her. With the aid of a MegaVoice, she hears the Word of the Lord, as she learns of His love for her. (MegaVoice, a solar-powered digital device, enables the Bible to be heard in 4,615 languages and dialects. (For more information, see www.megavoice.com.) We expect another woman to be with us next month.

We are thankful for the volunteers the Lord has sent to the center and expect more to arrive this year. If you believe the Lord is leading you to volunteer at the Ark in the Negev, please write to us at the e-mail address at the bottom of this newsletter. We will be glad to send you the necessary information.

Center Director Polly Sigulim recently returned from a three-month speaking tour of the United States and Canada. Polly and Barbara, Polly’s travelling companion and one of the volunteers at the center, were warmly received and blessed, as they shared the story of the Ark. Thank you, to all of you who helped to make this trip successful for the Kingdom’s purposes.

We are very thankful for you who have caught the Lord’s vision for the center to be a place of refuge and hope in the Lord for the poor, abused, unsaved, orphans, and strangers in our land. We greatly appreciate your financial commitments to be a part of the Lord’s work and, most of all, thank you for your prayers. You are such a vital part of what the Lord is doing with these women and children.

Please know that each financial contribution is greatly appreciated. The box below gives the information on how you can continue to be a part of this ministry. It also is attached for your convenience. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your family and friends. If they would like to join our mailing list, please have them send us a message at the email address below. Thank you.

Blessings and love with gratitude from Zion,

Polly Sigulim, director
Staff, volunteers, and the women and children in the Ark