Inside Israel

Families of Hostages March to Jerusalem

28 of the 240 hostages captured by Hamas

The men, women, children, and elderly people from Israel and other nations Hamas kidnapped and took into Gaza have been gone for more than six weeks with basically no evidence they are still alive. Families, friends, and the entire nation are desperate for the hostages’ release and terrified for their safety. Last week, thousands of hostages’ family members and supporters organized a five-day march, originating in Tel Aviv and culminating in Jerusalem. These families were enormously grateful for the public’s support, as an estimated 30,000 people joined them along the way. They hope to catch the attention of government ministers and the Knesset. The government is in a difficult position as it seeks to negotiate the release of the hostages without either emboldening Hamas or separating mothers from their children. An agreement might involve a pause in fighting or a release of terrorists Israel currently holds prisoner. Regardless, the families want to know the government is doing everything possible to return their loved ones. Upon entry to Jerusalem, residents greeted the marchers with yellow balloons on which they wrote, “Bring them home.” The whole country is heartbroken over the plight of the hostages. Nationally, there are many rallies for the hostages, memorials, and posters on every wall and overpass. Israel stands together to bring home the 240 people.

Please pray for the families to find comfort and release from anxiety. Pray the hostages will feel the Lord’s presence and peace during this extremely difficult situation. Please pray they are fed, healthy, and safe. May their hearts, minds, and strength remain intact.

Read more at The Times of Israel . . .

Traumatized Israeli Children Travel to Hungary for Special Soccer Game

Soccer ball (Source: Unsplash/Wesley Tingey)

An Israeli soccer fan decided to uplift and excite a group of 130 children and their families whose lives were disrupted because of the horrific attacks on October 7. Having evacuated the small towns along the Gaza border and with some having seen atrocities firsthand, these children needed some fun. Yigal Nisell, a leader of the Combat Antisemitism Movement, decided to organize and find sponsorship for a trip to Hungary for these children to watch the Israeli national soccer team play in a qualifying match for the European Championship League. He secured sponsorship from major businesses for free flights, hotel rooms, and travel insurance. While at the match, the children could interact with the players during their practice session. Nisell said:

The children and their families who will attend the games include those who have experienced the loss of siblings or a parent in the massacre. We aim to welcome children who have endured unimaginable hardships and want them to proudly hold the Israeli flag at the stadium. Together, they will sing songs of hope, emphasizing the importance of our homeland.

Please pray for healing and restoration in the hearts and minds of children who have seen and experienced much hardship as a result of the massacre on October 7.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Israeli Defense Forces Progress in Northern Gaza

Israel Defense Forces soldiers in Gaza in 2014 (Source: Flickr/Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli Defense Forces recently showed a tunnel they found under Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital. Hamas terrorists dug this tunnel thirty feet below ground. It had a blast-proof door with a hole to fire a weapon from inside. Above ground, next to the tunnel, was a booby-trapped pick-up truck stocked with anti-tank missiles, explosives, and AK-47 rifles.

Israeli ground forces also entered Al Rimal, an upscale neighborhood in Gaza City. Hamas leadership lives and sets up their command centers in luxury homes there. The Israeli Defense Forces found thirty-five tunnel shafts beneath these houses where large amounts of weapons and underground command centers were located. Soldiers had to inspect each tunnel for booby traps and used specially trained dogs to search for explosives. Once inside the tunnels, the Israeli forces sought to capture Hamas terrorists, take control of their command centers, and capture their weapons caches.

Please pray for the safety and protection of the Israeli soldiers searching for Hamas terrorists and their weapons.

Read more about the tunnels under Al-Shifa Hospital . . .

Read more about the luxury homes used as command centers for Hamas . . .

Making Food for Soldiers is a Testimony in the Community

We have continued delivering hot, nutritious meals to soldiers down south. They love the meals and are always very thankful. Usually, special forces units who have just returned to Israel after a special mission eat these meals. They are tired and hungry, and the home-cooked meals really rejuvenate them. One told us, “You have no idea how encouraging this is.” Our whole country treats the soldiers like their own sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and friends. We are united around them.

We tell the soldiers we are Messianic believers and ask if we can pray for them. We also love to discuss Psalm 91 with them. We do the same at the community kitchen where we make these meals. An Orthodox woman asked us who we were, and we explained we are believers in Jesus. She had many more questions, and we spoke for a while. We hope to see her again soon at the kitchen.

Everywhere we go, we take the time to listen to and encourage people while proclaiming our belief in Jesus.

Please pray for our brave and courageous soldiers as they fight an intense battle. Pray for their families back home, for their worries and concerns.