Holocaust Survivor Brings Hope to Traumatized Israeli Children
Several Holocaust survivors have decided to help the children from the Gaza border communities traumatized during the brutal events of October 7. One is Hanna Gofrit, who, as a child, survived the horrors of the Nazis in Warsaw. She wanted to give back. Gofrit explains:
When I first heard that children in kibbutzim along the Gaza border had to hide in closets to avoid being killed by terrorists who infiltrated their homes on October 7, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. It was unfathomable to me that so many years after I hid in a closet in Warsaw to escape the Nazis, history would repeat itself, and Jewish children would once again find themselves hiding in closets, but this time in their own country, our country. I cannot express how deeply this news pained me.
Since then, she has met with different groups of children. They evacuated and are living in hotels or other temporary housing. She tells these children about her own experience and assures them, “The sun will rise again.” Gofrit wanted to show the children how she became a mature, happy woman despite the challenging situations she endured. She published a book in 1998 called The Butterfly about her experiences hiding in Warsaw. It has since been translated into seventeen languages.
Please pray for the children from the Gaza border communities who experienced and witnessed such horrors. Pray for their minds, bodies, and souls to be healed so they can live as children.
Israel Dismantles Hamas Infrastructure in Northern Gaza
After three months of war, an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman gave an update on Israel’s progress. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced the military had completely dismantled Hamas infrastructure in the northern Gaza Strip. This milestone comes at a tremendous price, as 176 Israeli soldiers have died during the ground offensive. Hagari explained the dismantling process consists of targeting Hamas commanders, purging terrorists from the area, collecting intelligence, finding and destroying rockets, and eliminating the tunnel network.
The IDF released documentation and footage of their careful detonations of the terror tunnels under Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital. They systematically destroyed tunnels more than 800 feet below ground without causing damage to the hospital. Hamas used the tunnels under the hospital for the free movement of weapons and terrorists. This precise operation kept the hospital safe so humanitarian aid could continue.
Meanwhile, for the first time, several families of Israeli hostages flew to Qatar. They met with Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani to talk about the release of the remaining captives. Qatar was a mediator between Israel and Hamas in the first hostage deal and is open to further talks. Hamas, however, has frozen any negotiations since their deputy leader, Selah Al-Arouri, was killed in an airstrike in Beirut. Many have attributed this strike to Israel.
Israel Launches New Spy Balloon
After a year and a half of preparation, Israel launched its massive spy balloon, “Sky Dew.” This spy balloon has an advanced radar to track multiple targets like unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles from Syria and Iran. Its exact dimensions are not public information, but previous balloons with similar capabilities have been around 180 feet long. Though its size will make it visible in the skies, it will be a valuable asset as it can remain in flight mode for weeks without needing to refuel or change crew members. A manned radar aircraft costs $40,000 per hour. This spy balloon, however, will cost less than a few thousand an hour. It can save up to $27 million a year.
Please pray this strategic development will alleviate costs and strengthen the safety of the IDF and Israel’s civilians.
Shining the Light of Jesus to Israeli Women and Children
News commentators and social media influencers focus almost exclusively on the war in Gaza and the people who live there. But another type of war simmers under the surface, behind the scenes, within the hearts of the people of Israel. This invisible war, however, is spiritual. During ordinary life, most people manage at some level to ignore the spiritual conflict for their soul, but in Israel, since October 7, life has been anything but ordinary.
Our staff in Israel continue to serve the physical needs of Israelis—Jewish and Arab, elderly Holocaust survivors, evacuees, displaced families, those who have lost jobs, soldiers called up to duty, folks of all ages who lost loved ones in the attacks, and unsettled students. Still, our core work is to serve the spiritual needs of those whose hurting hearts and shell-shocked souls are searching for hope.
Every conversation nowadays goes deep, and we do not even have to try! Everywhere we go, people hear who we are (believers in Jesus), who He is (the Messiah and Savior), and who the Lord invites to come (anyone who is weary or heavy-laden)!
This week, we focus primarily on post-war ministry among women and children.
One of our staff—from Tel Aviv—writes:
- I recently had the chance to go and visit a mom with two young kids at her home. They live outside Tel Aviv toward the south. She was regularly involved with our activities but has been unable to attend our events at the Tel Aviv center since the war started. Although she would like to come, she cannot get both her little kids unbuckled from their car seats and to safety in ninety seconds if a rocket attack occurs on the way.
While I was at her home, a rocket attack from Gaza suddenly interrupted our lovely visit. We had to take shelter in the stairwell with her young, red-headed son and baby. The moment the siren sounded, she had been changing the baby’s diaper and had to hurry to get out the door with him and down to safety. Her toddler is terribly frightened by the sirens, and this sweet mama worries about how her child has been handling the stressful situation. The many hostages still in Gaza, among them little red-headed boys (the Bibas baby and toddler), are ever on our hearts and in this young mama’s mind as well.
- Another young wife I met with received the happy news she and her husband are expecting their first child. Soon after, October 7 came, war began, and her husband was called up into reserve duty in Gaza. The worry for her husband’s safety has made the nausea worse.
Another one of our staff—in Jerusalem—writes:
- After the war began, we met a woman whose husband had tragically died six months before, along with her twelve-year-old daughter. They were already going through difficult times, but when the war came, and their city began to be heavily shelled, they lost all hope. By “chance,” they ended up in the group we were transporting from the south. The mother was wary of us, kept saying she was not religious and was closed to our faith. I invited them to live with other evacuee families in our Messianic center in Jerusalem anyway.
After they came, the Lord began to work in their hearts. The mother started asking questions, communicating more, smiling, laughing, and opening up. Then, surprisingly, she began coming to the Bible classes I was conducting, and we had long discussions. An answer to prayer became a turning point. They started praying more and telling the others about their experiences with God daily. Their lives changed. The mother said we were God’s light for them. They have now returned to their home and started going to the local congregation!
This week, would you please keep the women and children of Israel in your prayers?
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young” (Isaiah 40:11, NKJV).