Israeli Defense Minister Warns about Airport in Southern Lebanon
During the annual conference of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy at Reichman University in Herzliya, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant showed pictures of an airport being built twelve miles from the Israeli border in southern Lebanon. He claimed Iran was building this airport for terror purposes against Israelis. Gallant noted, “In the pictures, you can see the Iranian flag flying over the runways, from which the ayatollah regime plans to operate against the citizens of Israel. In other words: the land is Lebanese, the control is Iranian, and the target is Israel.”
The airfield can accommodate large drones, including armed UAVs (unnamed aerial vehicles). Hezbollah, an Iranian-controlled terrorist group in southern Lebanon, has invested much in drone technology.
Please pray for peace along Israel’s northern border.
Israel’s Population Grows
The Central Bureau of Statistics recently released Israel’s new population numbers as the country and Jewish people around the world celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Compared to last year, Israel’s population grew by almost 200,000, a 2 percent growth rate. Today, 9,795,000 people live in Israel. Of this number, 7,181,000, or 73 percent, are Jewish people; 2,065,000, or 21 percent, are Arab Israelis. The rest are minorities, constituting 549,000 people, or 6 percent of the population.
Since last Rosh Hashanah, 172,000 babies were born, 66,000 new immigrants arrived, and 48,000 people died. At this rate, Israel will surpass a population of 10 million by the end of 2024. Of the Jewish population aged 20 and older, 44.2 percent said they were secular or nonreligious. Among the rest, 21 percent said they were traditional but not very observant, 11.7 percent were traditional and observant, 11.5 percent were religious, and 10.8 percent were ultra-Orthodox/Haredi.
Please pray for continued growth and safety for the people of Israel.
Israel Wins Five Medals at the Invictus Games
For the first time, Israel participated in the Invictus Games, which took place in Germany this year. The Invictus Games is an international sports event for wounded, injured, or sick military servicemen and women, whether still serving or veterans. Prince Harry founded the games in 2014 as a way for military personnel who are injured to continue to heal physically and psychologically. Israel sent twenty competitors to the multi-sport event to compete in swimming, cycling, archery, table tennis, and indoor rowing. These former Israel Defense Forces soldiers won five medals—a gold and a silver in table tennis and three bronze medals in swimming.
Please pray for the continued healing of these injured Israeli soldiers.
Discovering Our Spiritual Need
This past Friday evening at sundown, Jewish people worldwide celebrated Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish civil New Year), known in Scripture as the Feast of Trumpets. During the first ten days of the new year—the “days of awe”—Jewish people repent, reflect on their need for forgiveness, and seek to return to the Lord and reject evil.
Here is one encouraging testimony of how the Lord awakened one Israeli to his spiritual need.
We met Doron* fourteen years ago when he was twelve years old. He had come to our children’s camp for the first time, and for the next six years, he did not miss a single one. After finishing high school, he disappeared. I heard he joined the army, got a good job, married, lived not far from Jerusalem, and went to synagogue. We lost contact.
Then, not too long ago, I received a call and heard on the other end: “This is Doron! Do you remember me? Could we meet?”
A few days later, we met together. He said he had a wonderful family and a successful life but never found himself spiritually. Recently, he remembered our camps and how we prayed and worshiped God. He had an inner peace then, which he never experienced since. He missed those times and the peace he had as a teenager. Doron indicated he wanted to establish a relationship with God.
We talked for a long time [about Jesus] . . . and now he and his family have started going to the local community of believers.
Please pray for us to be the Lord’s agents leading people to Messiah Jesus during these days, and for many to be awakened to their spiritual need and seek us out.
*Name changed for privacy.