From the Frontlines
October 23 and 24, 2023
Here are some ministry updates directly from staff on the ground in Israel. Not all the staff have time to send in their updates, so please pray for the amazing unspoken ministry as well. Please keep the staff in prayer as they are serving with all their abilities and strength. Please pray for their safety and wholeness.
Distributing Necessary Supplies
One of our missionaries in Israel was visiting family in England before the attacks on October 7, 2023 happened. Due to the terrorist attacks in Israel, their flights to return home were canceled, but once flights resumed, and after spending time praying and assessing the situation, our missionary and her family returned to Israel on Monday, October 23.
As our missionary puts it:
We are ready for what the Lord has in store for us. Before leaving, Chosen People Ministries’ partner in the United Kingdom purchased five suitcases filled with supplies for soldiers and Israelis who evacuated their homes. We purchased much needed items such as watches, head lamps, flashlights, batteries, power banks, warm socks, gloves, and kosher protein/energy bars.
Our team in Israel and other believers will take the supplies to distribute to soldiers on active duty, and to those who have evacuated. We pray this is a blessing to them and can continue our dialogue about how much the Lord cares for and watches over us, even through difficult times.
Showing Brotherly Love through Words and Actions
“I’m just calling to see how you guys are doing.” That was the call our team in Israel received from a friend serving on the border between Israel and Gaza. He wanted to make sure our team in Israel was okay, when he is quite literally a watchman on the walls.
Yiftach* feels God is really blessing him. On his first day on the base, he went to a nearby town to buy socks and underwear for his unit. At the counter, a local paid his bill for him. This treasured brother needs your prayers! Pray God will continue to allow him to boldly proclaim the gospel with his unit and Yiftach* will be safe from harm.
Since Israel’s reservist soldiers are not allowed to use their phones, they needed simple wrist watches so they could get to meetings on time. We were able to buy 200 watches today and will make sure they get to the units with believers!
When we deliver our care packages to these believers and their units, we have opportunities to proclaim the gospel and explain how this aid comes from believers who stand with them and support them in prayer! Soon, washing machines and dryers will go to a location with 2,500 displaced refugees so the evacuees, mostly women and children, can do laundry.
Serving the Soldiers’ Needs
From the first days of the war, our team in Israel began helping the Golani unit on the border with Lebanon as two of our ministry camps leaders serve there. Through them, we had the opportunity to show God’s love to more than 300 soldiers by providing them with sandwiches, Sabbath treats, and drinks.
We continue to distribute supplies to our soldiers. We distributed forty packages of smears, power banks, and flashlights to forty soldiers from the “Agoz” unit on the border with Gaza. We bought fifteen fleece jackets for one of the special forces where our brothers serve!
Some of the soldiers we serve were very thankful for the help we have been providing; here are their messages:
Ministering in Ashkelon, near Gaza
The team in Israel has helped more than 100 people from Ashkelon with the help of a congregation. Some of the people have stayed in bomb shelters for at least two weeks. And they are concerned about their financial well-being, as they have not been able to work. The team has prepared hot food for them at our center in Jerusalem while others deliver the food to families.
Our staff has also provided hygiene items and other supplies to more than seventy women in the area near Ashkelon. The team is planning to visit a nursing home in Ashkelon where we have been serving people for several years; the hope is to provide comfort and pray with people.
Serving Holocaust Survivors from Sderot
We have been ministering to the entire group of Holocaust survivors from Sderot who evacuated and are now scattered in different places around Israel: the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Eilat. We visit as many as possible and are in touch with everyone by phone. We support them and pray with them.
Every week, we deliver food and basic supplies to more than sixty people in Ofakim. When we arrive, they do not want to leave. We communicate, listen to them, and read the Bible together. We constantly visit our older friends in other cities, paying particular attention to the lonely! One story broke my heart. Rachel from Kfar Aza, a Holocaust survivor, first left with her children for America, but then she and her husband decided to come to Israel. They have been living here for thirty-plus years. Her husband died several years ago. She was supposed to fly with us to Poland on October 22, but on October 7, terrorists attacked Kfar Aza. A lot of people in the village were killed. Rachel miraculously survived—for the second time in her life. She evacuated to Eilat. We called her, and she had nothing: no money, belongings, or documents. We found people who could help her, but a few days ago she called us and said in tears: “My dears, I don’t need anything. I’m already in Tel Aviv, my documents have been completed, and tomorrow, I’m flying to my children in America. I love Israel very much, but my home is destroyed, my friends are killed, and I can’t live here!”
Refugees at the Messianic Center
Sixteen people continue to live in our Jerusalem Center, five families from Ashkelon. We constantly communicate with them, pray, and discuss biblical topics. They help us a lot: together, we prepare hot food for distribution, grocery bags, and much more. Yesterday, I gave them a tour of Jerusalem. It was a perfect time. We went to eat ice cream, and one religious woman, learning they were from Ashkelon, offered to help. It turned out she lives not far from the center, and in the evening, she brought toys and a lot of different treats. Naturally, she asked whose house it was, and we had the opportunity to tell her the good news!
On Friday, we celebrated the Sabbath together. We invited Holocaust survivors who evacuated Sderot and were staying at a hotel in Jerusalem, and we also had friends from America who, despite the war, came to give concerts for people. It was a very blessed time. At the table, everyone said what worried them most, and we prayed for it. We sang a lot, ate deliciously, and talked until late in the night! The grandmothers from Sderot said “thank you—for the first time in two weeks, we smiled, forgetting all the horrors for a few minutes!”