From the Frontlines
November 2 and 3, 2023
Here are some ministry updates directly from staff on the ground. 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. As you read, you can see ways to pray—either directly or indirectly. Thank you so much for praying—we know the Body is praying for Israel!
Shining a Ray of Hope at the Northern Border
In the North of Israel, the city of Nahariya is six miles from the Lebanese border. After I returned, I could quickly see the atmosphere was very different from when I had last been there in the summer before the attacks on Israel. Usually, the streets of our 65,000-person city are bustling with shoppers and people strolling along the beachfront. Today, the streets are quiet, and many of the shops and restaurants remain closed. There is a vast military presence along the beachfront. Soldiers are now stationed in our city—it looks like an army base.
At our local congregation, we are busy extending aid to people in need and providing special gifts to our soldiers. We especially look for opportunities to talk with people, to encourage and pray with them. The other day, I was in a store and bumped into a believer friend. It was a God-moment when we could stop and pray together. At the store, Sam* (our co-pastor) and I purchased camelback water bags for the soldiers to use, along with an assortment of specialty items. We give these out to soldiers and pray with them. Sam’s son-in-law has been called up to reserve duty and has other friends and family who are serving.
Please pray for Sam’s son-in-law’s safety and for his wife and two young children. Pray for others in our congregation who have been called up or have evacuated.
Pray also for divine protection over Nahariya and the surrounding villages—both Jewish and Arab—as the situation heats up in the North.
Finally, please pray for safety along the whole northern border, for Hezbollah not to open a second war front.
A BBQ Fellowship Serving 200 Soldiers!
On Thursday, November 2, we had the opportunity to serve Israeli soldiers at their base. It was not just any base; it was where our dear co-worker in the Lord, John*, has been called up for reserve duty. We wanted to bless him and his fellow soldiers. So, we prepared a barbecue dinner for 120 people. However, on our drive over, we found out the crew did not want their friends at the base next door to miss out, so they invited them to join the party. In all, we served a hot BBQ meal to more than 200 soldiers! With the help of some friends from Ashkelon, and some sweet young ladies from the United States, we fed and entertained these young men and women. Many of us had very fruitful conversations with soldiers. They all expressed tremendous gratitude and were extremely curious as to why the friends and coworkers of one of their officers cared so much about them and went through all this effort to bless them. One of our teammates plans on buying tactical gloves for the whole unit and bringing them later this week. We are so grateful for this opportunity to bless and show the love of Jesus to these people in harm’s way who keep us and our families safe during this time.
Please pray John can have additional conversations with the soldiers about the Lord.
Please pray for John and his family to be safe while he is away serving in the military.
Preparing the Field for a Fruitful Harvest
My town of Arad has become a refuge city as people are evacuating the northern and southern borders. More and more people are coming to our Messianic congregation from other parts of Israel. Please pray for my elders and the rest of the congregation as we try to reach out to all.
Please pray for safety as I accompany a dear older friend to a Tel Aviv hospital for a medical appointment. Tel Aviv is far from Arad.
Rejoicing to See People Hear about Jesus, the Messiah
Our staff recently packaged seventy food parcels and delivered them to our network in Ashkelon. This much-needed food will last them a week and, hopefully, brighten their Sabbath dinner table. Our Messianic Center in Jerusalem is full of those who have evacuated from the South. Some are believers, while others are not yet. The team started a Bible study with them, and everyone really enjoyed our time in fellowship. As people heard about this Bible study, many wanted to come, even if they were not sleeping at the center. Please pray for these Bible studies, a way to dive into the Word and study together—and for the not-yet-believers as they happily join!
At the next Friday night Sabbath dinner, our Israel staff will invite people from Ashkelon and Sderot to join them at the Jerusalem Messianic Center. These friends have evacuated and are staying at a local hotel in Jerusalem. Everyone looks forward to being together, as there is sure to be a time of talking, laughing, singing, and eating together—sometimes, it is all you need!
Praying for Traumatized Children in Israel
Please pray for the children of Israel. As the first week of the war has now progressed to day twenty-eight, many in the country are used to quickly taking cover when daily sirens and rocket alerts sound. You can either enter your own safe room, a stairwell, a basement or public shelter, or lay down flat on the sidewalk while covering your head (and praying).
Each time this happened, our young daughter became more aware of the growing tension and disruption to our daily lives. Eventually, she began to process what she was experiencing. Each time the siren sounded, we tried making the process of going to the bomb shelter like a game. Most of the time she was laughing and thought it was fun, but as time went on, she became more serious. Words like “rocket” and “bomb shelter”— words no parent wants their young child to know—were new vocabulary for our daughter, but this is the reality in Israel now. No child should live this way, in fear. They should be able to play outside without thinking of incoming rockets.
Many children are struggling with fear. Everyone is jumpy at sudden noises. School is mainly on Zoom with one or two in-person days a week (as bomb shelters cannot hold the capacity of an entire school). Public playgrounds are chosen on the basis of having a close bomb shelter. Of our staff, there are approximately twenty-five children. Please keep them in your prayers. Pray for the children of Israel, for the Lord to comfort them, and for us to have loving and encouraging interactions with them.