Israel Wants to Help the People of Gaza

Palestinian protesters in Gaza (Photo: AFP)

For years, Israel has maintained a strict land, sea, and air blockade on the Gaza Strip to prevent terrorist groups from smuggling in weapons or crossing into Israel to kill and destroy. The Israeli government has now, however, provided an opportunity for people from Gaza to cross the border and leave from an Israeli airport. There is even an option to be transported to southern Israeli airports. The caveat is that they must be leaving Gaza and flying to a country that will accept them as immigrants. The problem is that countries are not willing to absorb them despite Israel’s attempts to persuade them. Last year, 35,000 Palestinians were able to arrange their own transportation to other countries without Israel’s help. Israel wants to make this available to more people. Please pray for the people of Gaza, that they would find peace and safety either within their own family walls or in a new country that will allow for their safety.

Read more at YNET

Making the Desert Bloom

Blueprint Negev (source: JNF)

In 2005, Israelis were forced to leave their homes and communities in Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip, which was part of the settlement disengagement that gave Gaza complete control of the land. Instead of being sad and angry, they decided to use their energy to build up a barren stretch of land in the Negev along the Egyptian border. Now, after fourteen years, Halutza is home to 2,000 people with projections that it will rise to 15,000 residents within a decade. There are medical and community centers, parks, top-rated schools, and synagogues. Young families wanting to flee the big cities are flocking to Halutza, with 70 percent of the population between the ages of one and eighteen, the highest percentage of this age group anywhere in Israel. David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, loved the desert and wanted to see it bloom. He would be pleased. Please pray that the gospel would be heard even in the isolated desert enclave of Halutza!

Read more at The Jerusalem Post

Ethiopian Jewish Family Lost and Now Found

Ben Gurion Airport (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The last Jewish people who were living in South Sudan have now been reunited in Israel. They are Ethiopian Jews who were part of Operation Moses in the 1980s, when 14,000 Ethiopian Jews trekked through South Sudan from Ethiopia on their way to the coast to be transported to Israel. Many of them died on the way, were separated from their families, or went missing. One young girl had become separated from her family, ending up being jailed, sold into a forced marriage, and eventually watching her daughters forced into marriages, as well. Many years later, this woman bumped into an Israeli hiker and, together, they spent the next three months searching Sudan for the rest of her family. After endless paperwork, embassy visits, trips across the country, and lots of money, the family was recently reunited at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. Praise God for this story of the lost being found and brought to Israel to live safely with their family. Please pray for their salvation!

Read more at Arutz Sheva

Isaiah 53 Explained Follow-up for Israelis

Isaiah 53 Explained in Hebrew

The Isaiah 53 Explained book in Hebrew is an excellent tool to explain the gospel through the Jewish prophet Isaiah. The message of the suffering servant was given centuries before the Messiah Jesus even came. The prophecies speak very clearly of the One who would be pierced and striped for our sins. Many Jewish people in Israel have ordered this book. Please pray for people to read the book and to engage in dialogue if they have any have questions! Also, please pray for the follow-up after our Shalom New York outreach in which hundreds of contacts were made! Praise God! Please pray for the follow-up phone calls, emails, and WhatsApp messages to those Israelis who have ordered the Isaiah 53 Explained book in Hebrew.