GOD'S STORY WITH US
Pastor Magne Solheim
CARRIED FROM THE BEGINNING ON
Although the Home was opened in 1976, the history of Ebenezer can be traced back to the 1940s.
Pastor Magne Solheim, and his wife Cilgia, worked in Romania with NCMI, the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel. After the Solheims, together with Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand, had built a large Jewish-messianic community in Romania, the Solheims were expelled from Romania, and came to Israel in 1949.
Soon after, the doors for Jewish immigration from communist Romania to Israel, were opened. This happened very surprisingly, and after the prayers of many believers worldwide! Of course, Magne and Cilgia were delighted to welcome old friends and acquaintances to the port of Haifa!
THE NEED AND THE VISION
Over the years, there was a growing need for a home that met the needs of the believers in Yeshua (Jesus), in Israel. This group, from the beginning on, was the Messianic-Jewish, Christian-Arab, and other believing citizens of Israel. They often came from very different countries, with many of them having experienced the Holocaust, to varying degrees. The LORD had placed it upon many of the people's hearts, to pray specifically for a home for the now elderly, lonely, and sometimes sick, and frail, brothers and sisters in Yeshua. They all had suffered much in their lives, and even so, they still served the Lord. After all the years of giving, they now found themselves, needing help. This help should be provided to them in a faithful environment, with dedicated staff who would care for all of their physical, psychical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
THINGS START TO MOVE ...
In a joint effort, with foreign aid, an international committee was set up to oversee the construction and management of such a home. Until then, the NCMI, along with other individuals, and organizations, was the key factor in the development of the whole project.
Dedicating Beit Ebenezer
Eventually, the home was officially opened on February 24, 1976 and, with God's help, in the following weeks, was provided with running hot water, electricity for the refrigerators, an elevator, a washing machine, an oven, and a telephone.
The home was inaugurated by Pastor Harcourt Samuel, President of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (now known as the Messianic-Jewish Alliance).
Pastor Samuel chose the verse "So far the Lord has helped us." (1Samuel 7:12) for the Home. He said the completion of the house was the result of careful planning and very hard work. Above all, there was a vision, and the people remained faithful to that vision. He prayed that God would complete the work through His Spirit, and make the house, a true home.
A REAL HOME
With great gratitude, we still hear today how many different people refer to Ebenezer, as their "home". All honor and thanks go to our LORD, the author of history (His story). He supplies us day by day, and leads us, step by step. The fact is, with Him by our side, the journey always remains exciting! Or to put it in the words of a former volunteer from Mexico: "With Him on the journey, life is better than any TV show!"
During the building period
SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS
In 1963, Cilgia Solheim spoke at a women's conference in Bergen, Norway about the need for such a home. The women who had already offered their help, donated more than $15,000 at the meeting! In addition, other large donations were the result of this meeting.
Many Christians worldwide were moved to contribute to the establishing of this much needed home. Donations between $1- $50,000 and more, were received. A $21 check came from Brazil, and even a student from Tasmania, who could not afford a cent, sent a letter promising to pray regularly for the home.
A Norwegian architect volunteered to draw up plans for the home. These were then continued by an Israeli architect from Haifa, who had previously designed the building of Beit Eliyahu (the adjacent church). The construction of the home began in 1974 with the clearing of the site, and laying the foundation stone.
The first residents