Scott and Theresa Johnson lived in Seymour Tennessee, nestled in the hills of the Smokey Mountains. In 2000 the Johnsons arrived in Israel to do volunteer work for the ICEJ. Scott was head of the logistics department for almost four years. This position allowed him a lot of contact with the Israeli public, vendors, contractors, even some military personnel. He did everything, from maintenance, moving personnel, to building the sets used for the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacle celebration. From there he went on to volunteer for JSC, for four years, where his duties involved working with even more Israeli’s, especially Lone Soldiers and New Immigrants. As for Theresa, she did five years of volunteer service with the ICEJ where she headed up the costume department; making 1000’s of garments for the Feast of Tabernacles celebration the ICEJ sponsors each year during Succoth. During these very important years they were making relationships with the Israeli people becoming acclimated into Israeli culture. The Johnsons were gaining a real love for the people in the land, The Lord’s Festivals “Leviticus 23: 1,2” and their Holidays. It started slowly, with the implementing of Shabbat into their lives; preparing themselves, their home, cooking something special, and enjoying the festive meals with friends and those who had nowhere to go.
As time moved onward this became an essential part of the Johnson’s lifestyle and as the years progressed they had greater opportunities to welcome more people into their home who had no place to spend Shabbat. So, with the love that had grown in them for the people and the culture of Israel, it was a natural progression moving from being someone’s’ volunteer to opening their home regularly for people to come and join them for a Shabbat experience. It has now progressed into being their life’s work. What started as an occasional visitor sharing a meal has turned into like a full time job feeding and sheltering the lonely. In 2005, they started by opening their home on Erv Shabbat inviting the lonely whom had no place to go for the Festive meals. Since that time their home “HaMiflaht” has steadily grown to serving over 4,000 meals a year to the Lonely Soldiers and New Immigrants. And as places the whole world over seem to be experiencing hardship they have every reason to believe that 2023 will see even more Lonely Soldiers and New Immigrants come through their doors.