Israel at the Olympics
Next week, the Tokyo Olympics will begin, and Israel is sending eighty-nine athletes—its largest delegation ever. Israel’s baseball team accounts, in part, for the higher numbers along with first-time contenders in archery, surfing, and equestrian sports. Israel has only won a total of nine Olympic medals, including its first gold medal in the 2004 games in sailing. Possibly the best chance this year for Israel to bring home another gold is with rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram, who routinely brings home medals from European championships.
Israel also has high hopes for its twelve Judo competitors as they are a strong team. Israel has done very well in this event in the past, with five of their nine total medals coming from victories in Judo. This year also marks the first time Israel will send a baseball team to the Olympics. The sport is not a major national pastime in Israel, so the team is comprised of many Americans who have become Israeli citizens, including some former Major League Baseball players! With three medals available and only six baseball teams competing—South Korea, Dominican Republic, United States, Japan, Mexico, and Israel—there is a 50 percent chance that Israel will come home with a medal. Though the sports analysts predict five medals this year for Israel, including one gold, two silver, and two bronze, all in all, there should be lots of great sporting events to watch!
Please pray for the health and safety of all the athletes.
Delta Variant Sweeping Through Israel
The highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus is sweeping through Israel. As a result, there are more than 1,000 positive coronavirus cases reported per day now for the first time in months. That is much higher than the ten positive cases daily that were seen back in early June. Israel is keeping a sharp eye on the number of serious cases to ensure hospitals do not get overloaded; but according to the Health Ministry, there has not been a marked increase in serious cases, which currently stands at sixty-three, or the number of people on ventilators, which remains at sixteen.
The conclusion is that despite seeing infected vaccinated people, the vaccine is still helping to curb the seriousness of the Delta variant. The government is working on a plan to allow freedom of movement while watching public safety, which may include a return to the Green Pass that was implemented as part of the vaccination deployment.
Please pray for those who are getting sick to heal fast and for those who are making decisions for the public’s health.
Israel Stands in Solidarity with Others Who are Hurting
The Israeli team of engineers and search and rescue experts recently returned from Miami, having flown there to help at the site of the condominium collapse in the Miami community of Surfside. They were the largest international team to join the effort, working around the clock in cooperation with local rescue forces. At the end of their mission, there was a large ceremony attended by the mayor along with families and residents connected to the missing victims. Many of the deceased were involved in their Jewish communities, so the Israeli team’s involvement meant much to them.
The Miami tragedy was not the only worldwide catastrophe to garner the attention of Israel. Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square was lit up with the colors of the German flag in solidarity with the people of Germany. Horrific floods recently swept through parts of Germany and Belgium causing major damage and taking the lives of more than 150 people in Western Europe.
Please pray for those who are mourning. Israel stands with them.
Thank you for praying for our workers and for those we are serving!
With summer in full swing, we are serving the Lord in our communities! Even if we cannot meet as much in person because of the concern for others, we are meeting through phone calls, messages, and online meetings. We are still having smaller gatherings outdoors as we are able. Israelis usually travel in the summer to Europe or elsewhere. Since they are once again in Israel for the summer, there are more opportunities for sharing the gospel. Please pray for these wonderful conversations! Each of our staff is ready and able to share their testimonies about how the Lord has worked in their lives.
Please pray the Lord will provide many divine encounters and for the listener’s heart and ears to be open to hear and receive the message of salvation!