Sending Prayers and Encouragement—Virtually!
Our team is also sending much-needed video encouragements to our community on social media. They keep in contact with many reservists who were called up to encourage them and get their prayer requests. Our team has been in contact with their young adult group. They started a prayer request system. Five of the young adults have been called up to serve in the army so far. Our staff is organizing a prayer meeting to pray for all of their friends and loved ones in dangerous locations.
Bringing Aid to Soldiers and Survivors in Jerusalem
On Saturday, October 7, after emerging from bomb shelters and recovering from the shock and trauma of the news of the horrifying attack in the south, our staff began to organize the purchase and delivery of food for reservists suddenly called to duty. They recruited friends in the north who were happy to volunteer, and many joined them. Our deputy director began to help families relocate, and many opened their doors in Jerusalem to let them in. Staff helped find housing for one family who survived the tragedy in Sderot, where terrorists slaughtered numerous civilians. Our team also helped foreign visitors leave the country. Now, they are taking sixty people out of Ashkelon for a spiritual retreat to recover from the constant rocket attacks.
Staff members have ordered food for elderly people in the south. Other friends helped the team purchase battery packs for soldiers and terror victims to charge their phones. Staff phones have been ringing constantly with requests for help. The son of some acquaintances was killed in battle, and terrorists shot the daughter of others. At least five Holocaust survivors whom our staff have served for years were murdered.
Supporting Troops Suddenly Called to the North
During the first week of the war, our Israel staff took supplies to the bases up in the north. The army provides most of what soldiers need, but because 360,000 people were called into reserve duty with no notice, many did not have time to pack all they needed. In some areas, soldiers are on the front lines and cannot access daily necessities like showers. Staff members bought T-shirts, underwear, socks, and sleeping bags, all according to what the base commanders requested. As they drove up north, they met up with some friends, collected more supplies, and traveled with three vehicles.
As they approached the border, the atmosphere grew increasingly tense. The soldiers—many of them very young—had serious expressions. They saw numerous tanks and police in combat vehicles. The team met an officer with whom one of our staff members was in touch, and she helped them bring the right supplies to the right locations. It was great! The bases sent soldiers out to collect the items from the team since they were not allowed on post because of safety concerns. The personnel at the base were very happy to receive the supplies, and our staff conveyed how Christian friends of Israel are praying for and supporting the Jewish state during this difficult time. Some soldiers told stories about their children and wives back home. The trip was stressful, but our staff were grateful for the opportunity to serve their fellow Israelis in this challenging time.
Evacuees from Ravaged Towns Find Shelter in Dead Sea Hotel
Some of our staff took sixty people who evacuated Ashkelon, which many missiles hit, to a Dead Sea hotel. This group included families with a lot of kids. It took three hours for them to drive to the hotel. A tank had to escort their bus out of the city. More people came than they invited; the hotel was so full! People slept on mattresses in the hallways. The staff of the hotel was so nice to our group and gave them three additional rooms. So they were able to accommodate everyone for at least a few days and give them a haven from the threat of missiles.