Protecting Those Who Protect Israel

Yael Eckstein with IDF soldier who are protecting Israel and her people

Credit:Arik Shraga

For as long as I can remember, the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been my heroes. When I spent a year studying Bible in Israel after college, I was in awe of them. They were only a bit older than I was, yet they seemed so far beyond me – here were young men and women, trained by one of the world’s greatest armies, protecting the Jewish people.

Today’s Israeli soldiers are part of nothing less than the resurrection of King David’s army. They are part of prophecy come to fruition. For the first time in nearly two thousand years, the Jewish people are home. And we have a powerful army sworn to protect and defend that home.

I think of my grandfather who fled from the Nazis during World War II. There was no Israel and no Israeli army to protect him then. But today, praise God, if any Jewish person in the world is in danger, Israel would move heaven and earth to help that one individual. Jewish blood is no longer cheap – and with God’s help, for over seven miraculous decades and against all odds, our army has secured the State of Israel.

Yet, as my children get older, I also recognize that our strong and brave soldiers are still very young. They are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, who not long ago were kids living life like most teens around the world. They are trained to be mentally and physically strong, but when I see them through the eyes of a mother, I want to hug every one of them like they were my own and let them know how much they are loved.

Care Packages in a Time of Crisis

This is why The Fellowship’s new initiative to help Israeli soldiers made my heart so happy. Over 300 IDF soldiers have contracted the coronavirus during the latest wave of the disease and have been placed in isolation at army facilities for the duration of their illness. The Fellowship is supplying each soldier with a care package that consists of a duffle bag full of basic hygienic products, audio and reading material, and special treats. Most important, the gift comes with a lot of love, which is represented by a heart over our logo on the package telling the soldiers it comes from Christians around the world who love them.

At a time when these soldiers can’t go home to their families to be taken care of by their own parents, this gift of loving care is a much needed antidote as they overcome their illness.

I was blessed to distribute some of these care packages to our soldiers, and while I intended to encourage them, they encouraged and inspired me. The soldiers expressed their gratitude for the gifts and many of them seemed genuinely surprised to learn that there are Christians around the world who know about them and care for them. And all of the soldiers expressed their enthusiasm to get back out into the field as soon as possible so that they can continue to serve their country and help others.

Watchmen on the Walls

These young men and women represent the best of us. Even as they take time out to rest and care for themselves, they never lose sight of their core mission of helping others. I want to thank you, friends, for helping us help those who selflessly serve the people of Israel. In this way, you too are part of the miraculous and holy army of Israel. You give strength to those who shield us, and with your prayers, you provide a canopy of protection above us all.

Thank you for being our “watchmen on the walls” and proving that even in the darkest times, we can be a powerful source of light, shining God’s love everywhere.

With blessings from the Holy Land,

Yael Eckstein's signature

Tags: IDF IFCJ The Fellowship

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