Israeli Ship Explosion
An Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman was recently damaged by an unexplained explosion. No crew were hurt, but the port and starboard sides sustained hits above the waterline, two holes on each side. The MV Helios Ray, is a vehicle cargo ship that allows cars to drive on and drive off. The ship had made deliveries to several ports before heading out of the Middle East on its way to Singapore before the explosion turned it around. Currently, it is in Dubai for repairs and investigation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed Tehran for the explosions, which Tehran has denied.
Please pray for peace and stability in the Middle East as tensions are high.
Israel’s Horrible Coastal Tar Spill
A week after Israel’s worst oil spill has ravaged the beaches and wildlife, clean-up efforts are still going strong. The black, sticky sludge can be seen for 100 miles along Israel’s coast, north to south. All beaches are closed except to volunteers cleaning up, and fishing is prohibited. There were ten oil tankers thirty miles offshore at the time of the disaster, and five of them are being investigated. Samples of the ship’s oil are being taken to see if they match the tar along Israel’s coast. In the meantime, experts say it will take weeks or months to clean up the beaches for the public to return and for the ecosystems to begin to grow again. Currently, 70 tons of the toxic tar have been collected by 2,000 volunteers, though experts say that there is an estimated 1,200 tons of tar that has hit the beaches so far.
Please pray for Israel’s wildlife and beaches to be cleaned quickly and efficiently by volunteers and organizations.
Western Wall Maintenance
The stones at the Western Wall in Jerusalem are inspected for maintenance and safety twice a year: once before the fall high holidays and again before Passover. With Passover at the end of this month, inspectors recently checked for cracks and erosion. The maintenance is carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority, but all activities are overseen by rabbis. During the inspection, the ecosystem created by the plants that have taken root in the stones and the birds who have built nests is carefully preserved. Workers use syringes to inject dissolved stone to fill in the holes and make the ancient walls more stable.
Praise God the stones of the Western Wall still stand, a testimony of God’s glory and honor at the site of the Temple, where the Israelites once worshiped the Lord.
Spring Breezes and New Opportunities to Serve
The country is turning from celebrating Purim, with all of its fun and silliness by dressing up in costumes, sending gifts of cookies and candies to friends, and retelling the Esther story. Now, it is time to move on to Passover, which will take place in a little more than three weeks. With that being said, there is much cleaning and preparing to do! However, before the holiday begins, Israel will have its fourth election in two years! We care for our people so much and want them to listen, learn, and love the Messiah! He alone is the answer in trying times and can give us health and wholeness! As we carry out our various ministries across the Land to all different types of people, please pray that there are many opportunities to share about Him – in the midst of changing times!
Please pray for Israel’s health and wholeness during this time. Even though half the population has had one vaccination, people are growing tired of restrictions.
Please pray for our workers who are also feeling the strain of the lockdowns and isolation. The spring holidays are a welcome relief, so please pray that they bring joy and connection, despite restrictions.