From the Frontlines
November 5-7, 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.
Pray for Smooth Delivery of Food Packages
This past Sunday, November 5, our Mercaz ministry center bustled with activity as twenty volunteers gathered for one united purpose: packaging food supplies (everyday items like tuna, pasta, olive oil, granola, etc.) for Holocaust survivors and the families hit hard in the rocket-riddled cities of Ashkelon, Holon, and Bat Yam.
Our group consisted of four Mercaz staff members, several international volunteers from Beit Immanuel (representing Canada, the United Kingdom/South Africa, and Germany), a believing army reservist (who had been protecting our northern border until recently), two ladies from Ashkelon, a not-yet-believer who had immigrated to Israel three months ago, and others. Four hours later, we had packed 300 packages of non-perishable goods, which will doubtless bless many during this difficult time. This joint operation was made possible through the contribution and cooperation of several ministries together with Chosen People Ministries—a beautiful example of the body of Messiah united in loving and serving God through loving and serving God’s people.
This past Wednesday, with a team of volunteers, we delivered all the packages. Praise God for smooth deliveries! Many of the elderly are afraid to leave their homes (some will not even open the door until we speak for a bit through closed doors to reassure them we mean no harm!). We took the much-needed food supplies to Ashkelon, Holon, and Bnei Brak, and on Thursday to Migdal HaEmek. Please pray this food comforts and sustains—as our Messiah does for us!
Technology Can Be a Blessing for Many Children in Need
“This is truly a blessing! This will make my son’s studies so much easier.” These were the words of a mom when we gave her an inexpensive tablet for her son to use for his studies on Zoom. She explained while her son has a cell phone, his high school math class is hard to follow because he cannot read the numbers on his phone.
About a week ago, a friend told us many of the evacuees probably need some devices because they are studying online. There is a sizable group of mixed believers and not-yet-believers staying at the Baptist Village. We are friends with almost everyone working there these days, and we do a lot together to serve those in need. We asked them to look into the need and discovered there are thirty-nine school-age kids. Most are using their parents’ cell phones for their Zoom classes, and some families with several kids have to choose who gets to use the cell phone . . . missing class and important lessons is difficult as we learned during the pandemic.
We bought them school supplies, like pencils, pens, notebooks, calculators, and a few other very useful items. They were so incredibly blessed by these gifts. They were standing in line waiting to receive the supplies for their families. They did not yet know we also bought them forty tablets with keyboards for their kids. They were exactly what the children needed to be able to study online, and we will continue to adopt these families to the degree we are able.
God Knows Exactly What We Need
Yesterday, my children and I went to Baptist Village—a real oasis and place of calm and peace. There was a birthday party, and the children living there, who were evacuated from the south, came to join. There was a lot of laughter and running around—as one would expect from children!
While talking with the adults, we struck up a conversation on how the Lord provides, He knows exactly what we need. Let me explain. I was addressing the envelopes of the Hebrew Isaiah 53 Explained books and had exactly the number of books and envelopes for the exact number of people who ordered the book.
One of our staff members bought simple tablets for the children in the village to be able to start Zoom school (finally, after a month). In general, these children come from low-income families, and with the onset of the war, they fled with almost nothing. He went to the shop and found three tablets. After asking customer service, they found ten more. Before ringing them up, the representative got a call they found a box of them with exactly the amount originally needed—and on sale!!!!!
The Lord knows exactly what we need. He provides. He knows. He sustains. As the adults sat around and told these stories, we were in awe at the Watcher and Keeper of Israel (Psalm 121:4).
Bringing Hope and Joy to Children
There are quite a few hotels in Jerusalem full to capacity these days with evacuated Israelis. One of our staff members has been serving at a hotel in Jerusalem housing families from the north. There are 350 people, including 150 children. They are very happy to be safe but the children struggle—they need to do something with so much empty time.
The volunteers, including our staff member, are there to help! One of our staff’s responsibilities is to manage all the volunteers who come and do special activities for the children. The aim is to serve and make their time special. There are two rooms—a PlayStation room and a games room. In the games room, there are a lot of games, puzzles, books, Barbies, and other activities. There is also a room for donated clothes for the people to be able to come and choose.
Our team member there spends a lot of time with volunteers and with the families. He knows most of the kids by now and enjoys building relationships with everyone—and playing with them!
He recently had a very meaningful conversation with a religious family about the Lord. Please pray for continued opportunities for our staff in Jerusalem and throughout Israel to talk about their faith.
God’s Hand in the Battlefield and Elsewhere!
The military buildup in the north is becoming quite extensive. Along the border, there is constant fighting, which the media is calling ‘skirmishes.’ On Sunday, a Hezbollah missile killed an Israeli citizen. On Sunday, I was giving out special gift bags to the soldiers in the area. I was driving around the hills looking for new Israel Defense Forces (IDF) outposts. My drive brought me to my favorite hiking trail in our area, and to my surprise, there was a tank base!
I found an IDF tank company holding a position in a forest. The soldiers welcomed and received some of the basic essentials I had. They gathered around and took a picture with me.
We watched a video of a soldier who was in Gaza. He said he felt people’s prayers for him, thanking everyone who is praying and encouraging them to continue those prayers. He said they were seeing miracles happening around them as they fight, knowing God is fighting alongside them.
Please pray for: