Friends, it is a time of trouble for Israel.
Over the last 24 hours, an unprecedented 400 rockets have been lobbed into Israel by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Sirens have been wailing throughout the country while thousands of people – old and young — spent the night in bomb shelters. Although most rockets targeted southern Israel and areas near Gaza, this time rockets fell as far away as Hebron and the Dead Sea, a sign that our enemies are using missiles with greater range than in the past.
For those who don’t understand how such violence could break out with no notice, I’ll share a brief recap of events that have lead us to this point – we are currently on the brink of war.
For months now, terrorists in Gaza have been holding violent protests on the border with Israel. They have tried to infiltrate Israel with the intention of murdering innocent Israelis, they have torched our lands by sending incendiary devices on balloons into Israel. There have been flare ups with rockets raining down on the south, but nothing like we are seeing now.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back occurred on Sunday night when an elite Israeli officer was killed and a top Hamas operative was terminated in a gunfight in Gaza. In order to “punish” Israel, Hamas has escalated the violence with this barrage of missiles targeting innocent civilians.
Many rockets directly hit homes, schools, and cars. At least one Israeli was killed and many are injured, some of them critically. As I write these words, it is hard for me to believe that this is happening. Again. My heart is breaking for my people.
But I take comfort in knowing that there are things that we can do to help, and that we are already helping significantly. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews are the “first responders” here in Israel. Israel needs us now, and we won’t let them down.
Fellowship staff and volunteers sprang into action immediately. Fellowship centers were opened to help those in need in various cities in the south of Israel. Fellowship representatives called each and every one of our new immigrants in the south, Jews we brought to Israel on our On Wings of Eagles program, and made sure that they were ok, that they understood what to do and where to go stay safe, and how to call for help if they needed it.
The Fellowship has built and renovated 5,500 bomb shelters around the country, and thank God they are here for Israelis in times like these. Every person who takes refuge in one of our shelters sees a sign that these shelters were donated by Christians with love. Thanks to your support, The Fellowship is able to help millions of Jews in Israel during this difficult time. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
Just last night when two families had their homes destroyed by rockets, they were brought to a Fellowship center in Sderot. One family was a single mother with six children. The other was a single father with two children. Neither family could afford a place to sleep for the night.
Our project coordinator in Sderot moved the families from the Fellowship center to a hotel where they could stay until a long-term solution was found by government organizations. “Christians love you,” she told them. “They won’t let you be forgotten.”
Now is a time for Christians and Jews to come together like never before. Pray with us — pray for Israel, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, pray for the wounded, pray for our soldiers, and pray that God protects us all. Jews in Israel and around the world are praying too. In Psalm 50:15, God directs us to “call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Israel is in times of trouble right now. May we see God’s deliverance very soon.