Israeli and German Air Forces Fly over Jerusalem
The Israeli Air Force and German Luftwaffe flew over Jerusalem together on Sunday as part of the international Blue Flag exercise. Germany, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, India, and Greece are participating in this joint aerial training program. Pilots will drill various scenarios involving air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, and surface-to-air missiles. The purpose of Blue Flag is to strengthen ties and facilitate cooperation between these countries. The flyover of Jerusalem, aptly named “The Wings of History,” was the first time a German military aircraft has flown over the city since World War I. Earlier in the day, the German and Israeli commanders visited Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial together.
Please pray for continued cooperation between Israel and Germany.
Astronauts Meet in Israel to Train for Travel to Mars
Six so-called “analog astronauts” from Austria, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and Portugal are living in isolation in Israel’s Negev desert to simulate conditions on Mars. While living in the pretend Martian space station, they are perfecting skills needed for the Red Planet, such as wearing space suits, working with drones, using solar-powered vehicles, and learning to work well in a small group. The visual conditions in the Negev are very similar to Mars with its red color and rocky environment, but the atmosphere is completely different. The Negev’s temperature is around 77–86 degrees Fahrenheit, while on Mars, it is minus 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the air is unfit for breathing. The Austrian Space Forum and the Israel Space Agency run this mission jointly.
Let us thank God for our ability to learn, research, and plan for amazing discoveries!
Drone Deliveries Across Israel
Israel’s National Drone Initiative is moving forward to establishing a national drone network, now in its third of eight testing stages. Five participating companies are testing 300 flights a day over open areas and performing different tasks. One company is delivering sushi to people who order it from a specific beach. Another company is doing the same with ice cream drone deliveries. Yet another drone is performing autonomous security missions for a major fire station.
Israel Celebrates Yom HaAliyah
Israel just celebrated Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day). Aliyah comes from the Hebrew verb “to go up.” In the Bible, it is used when the Israelites would ascend to Jerusalem to worship the Lord at the temple. Now, aliyah is a term to describe the return of Jews to Israel. In 2020, the numbers were quite low as a result of the pandemic. Currently, aliyah is up 31 percent with 20,360 people arriving in 2021 so far. It will likely not reach 2019’s total of 34,000 immigrants, the highest in a decade. This year, Russia and the United States have topped the list in number of emigrants. Many others are coming to Israel from the United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, Belarus, and South Africa. There was a large contingent from Ethiopia (1,589 people) who came through Operation Zur and were reunited with family already here for decades, compared to only 285 people who came the previous year. Immigrants have always been essential to Israel’s survival and success over her seventy-three years as an independent state.
Please pray for the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and for an easy transition and adjustment.
Israel in Need of Rain
Pray with us for rain! It is the time of year when we should be seeing the fall rains start, but we have only seen occasional light sprinkles so far. Israel has not seen rain since April and the ground is dry and parched. During these cooler months, Israel receives its yearly rainfall to replenish the Sea of Galilee and reservoirs and to nourish the ground. In the Bible, Joel 2:23 talks about the early rains and the latter rains. The early rains in the fall are usually intense, hard, and relentless, dumping large amounts of rain in a short time. This serves to break up the hard, dry ground so that it can absorb the rain and not let it just slide over it. These strong autumn rains often create flash floods. In the spring, the latter rains are usually soft and easy for people and the ground to handle, and do not destroy fragile crops.
Please pray also for spiritual rains that will open people’s hearts and minds to Jesus the Messiah and cultivate them as they grow spiritually.