This past week in Israel was difficult, but with the help of Christians around the world, it also became a demonstration of great blessing.
On Tuesday morning, November 12, Israelis woke up to a country under fire. The shriek of multiple air raid sirens indicated that they had mere seconds to get themselves and their children to a bomb shelter. The crisis began when Israel surgically eliminated a key terrorist who, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “was a ticking time bomb.” It was a strategic and necessary operation intended to create a safer living situation for Israelis and Arabs alike.
In response, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad sent hundreds of missiles into Israel, targeting innocent civilians, including children and elderly, mostly in the south of Israel, but reaching all the way to Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city. Schools, universities, and workplaces were forced to close as the country held its breath and prayed for the rockets to stop. Rockets continued to pound Israel for several days, and thousands of families were forced to live in bomb shelters.
However, in the midst of this horror, we also witnessed amazing blessings. Within days, our Christian friends mobilized and took action. You raised awareness about the situation in Israel, covered us in prayer, and sent in contributions to help protect the innocent. With your help, The Fellowship was able to provide more than 500 protective vests for emergency personnel, and send emergency aid to areas most affected. Some cities were hit so badly that the usual government employees tasked with visiting the elderly and bringing them food were unable to do their jobs. The Fellowship stepped in and mobilized local volunteers to bring the food, aid, and companionship in this terrifying time of need.
In addition, during this crisis, thousands of Fellowship-sponsored bomb shelters were put to use, providing a safe haven for Israelis under fire. With the funds raised during this crisis, we have already begun building even more shelters in Israel for those who STILL remain exposed to terrorist rockets. Every time a Jewish mother runs to a Fellowship bomb shelter with her terrified kids in tow, she sees a sign saying, “Donated with love by Christians around the world” and she knows that she is not alone. Every time an elderly man, perhaps a survivor of the Holocaust, finds refuge in a Fellowship bomb shelter, he sees that there are Christians who love him and stand with him. I cannot overstate the impact that this has on a people who have felt so alone for so long!
This past week, The Fellowship was here in Israel in real time to represent YOU, and bless Israel during this time of hardship. With your help, years ago we built fortified emergency command centers, and during last week’s emergency, they were essential. Thanks to you, mayors of major cities had a safe space to do their jobs as they helped their constituents while rockets flew overhead. This space was critical for police, army, and government officials to coordinate to their efforts and act effectively in order to protect the citizens of Israel. There is also a Fellowship-funded protected facility in the Barzilai hospital for Labor and Delivery, newborns, and NICU patients. Even as our enemies tried to destroy us, new life was brought into the world in safety and security — because of you!
Finally, I believe that your prayers saved lives. In one chilling video released by Israeli officials, a missile was caught slamming into a busy highway. Just seconds before the missile exploded, two vehicles passed by, and just a moment later, another vehicle approached. Had that missile hit seconds earlier or later, we would have faced tragic loss of life. Nevertheless, due to God’s goodness and salvation, the motorists were unscathed, not a hair touched — like Daniel in the lion’s den. Praise God! We saw miracles, and I know that even from thousands of miles away, your prayers are felt powerfully in the Holy Land.
Friends, in times like these we see the worst in humanity in the form of our ruthless enemies. But we also see the best of humanity in godly people like you. And if we learned anything from what happened in Israel last week, it is that when good people come together in fellowship and unity, the light will always overcome the darkness. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your help. I hope that the quiet that has returned will last. Please continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for all of Israel, and for the whole world.
With blessings from the Holy Land,
Tags: Aid Christians IFCJ Israel Rocket Attacks Terrorism The Fellowship