By Koen Carlier.. The 100,000th Jewish person that we brought to the airport in Kiev was 27-year-old Larissa Vaisburd. She comes from Kivachyyka, a small town in southwestern Ukraine. Together with her husband Rusian and their one-year-old daughter Elizabeth, Larissa was on her way to Israel, the Promised Land.
The initial process for Larissa’s Aliyah, commenced three years ago. Her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, had told her that which she knew about Israel and the Jewish feasts. She did not know much about the Jewish festivals and Israel. While Communism reigned, it was almost a misdemeanor to be Jewish and people did all they could to hide their Jewish background.
When we informed Larissa she was to be the 100,000th person to make Aliyah, she was delighted and had no problem with us being present at her farewell. Pieter Benard, Christians for Israel’s Project Manager for many years, came over from the Netherlands for this special occasion. Pieter was thrilled to be able to participate in this prophetic work for a few of days. At Larissa’s farewell dinner with family and friends, Pieter told them why he had come and to present Larissa a ‘Bring the Jews Home’ Certificate with her name on it as the 100.000th Olim. We then had the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal and listen to some young children singing Hebrew songs.
Larissa and her only sister could simply not comprehend why we come from the nations to help unknown people while knowing that anti-Semitism is deeply imbedded in the Ukraine. We shared our motivation from the Bible, where the Lord calls the non-Jewish nations to assist in bringing the Jews back home to Israel.
Then came to moment for them to go to the airport and say “good bye” to parents and friends. This is the most emotional and devastating moment of making Aliyah.
Once in Israel, Larissa comprehended the role Christians for Israel had played in her life. She phoned to thank us and invited us to visit her in Israel. For the first six months – while living in a kibbutz in the north of Israel – she will pass through a process of integration. Our hope and prayer is that those who stayed behind in the Ukraine, will one day also be able to make Aliyah as well.
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