NOTE: moving forward, we will write these reports in 3 sections: 1) Stories of how your gifts are helping people, 2) the latest news, and 3) prayer requests.
Greetings from Netanya, Israel. We had to come north to pick up 15 special backpacks for 15 special soldiers. A friend who is out of town invited us to stay at their apartment, which has a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea.
It is so nice here that it is tempting to stay…but we have to pick up the backpacks this morning.
One of the most challenging aspects of this war that the country grapples with is the lack of preparation. I'm sure you have heard through us and probably others that not every soldier has a bulletproof vest and not every soldier has a helmet and knife. I can’t explain all the reasons why, but it is a great embarrassment and shock to Israeli mothers whose sons are preparing for imminent war.
You have to understand that Israel is not like America. I will give an update tomorrow about the bulletproof vests in a video. With each day, the situation becomes clearer. So much of what we consume here is imported. So, if we need bulletproof vests or knives, we have to order them. Then, they are put on a ship in a container. Everything takes time. It took me three days to find those fifteen backpacks! Yesterday, we found 250 lettermen knives and bought them on the spot. They were picked up, and Elana and I verified that they were delivered to the soldiers. They made a beautiful thank you video for our donors.
We delivered the backpacks to the soldiers. While there, we found out from one of the commanders that they were lacking ten sleeping bags. Elana got on the phone and is now on her way to Ashkelon to pick them up.
Evacuees Suffering Trauma
Below the Dead Sea is a Kibbutz called Sapir. They are now housing 2,500 evacuees (refugees) from the towns next to Gaza. These people have suffered incredible trauma. Many of them watched their friends or family members be killed or kidnapped. We plan to wire them $10,000 today and visit them tomorrow or next week. Inbal, the manager of the kibbutz, sent us this beautiful thank-you video even before we were able to wire funds.
We want you to know. We are only working with legitimate non-profits. We are not just giving money away. In many cases, Elana and I will buy what is needed. There are always scammers looking to make easy money. We're being very generous but very shrewd. We don't want one penny to be wasted.
Biden in Israel
President Biden landed a few hours ago and hugged Prime Minister Netanyahu on the tarmac. They both gave vital speeches about the right of Israel to defend herself, the need to protect innocent Palestinians, and Hamas’s disregard for the lives of those same Palestinians. Biden said clearly that the US has Israel’s back.
Hospital blast came from Hamas
Yesterday the whole world, or a good part of it, including our favorite anti-Semitic congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, condemned Israel when 500 innocent Palestinians were killed when a rocket hit a hospital.
There is now conclusive evidence that the rocket was by was sent by the terrorists, not Israel. “The [Israeli] military presented an intercepted conversation between Hamas officials saying the explosion was caused by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad projectile that fell short…” When Biden landed, he blamed Hamas for killing their own people.
Folk Hero Survivor to Meet Biden
Two weeks ago, Rachel Edry was just an ordinary retiree living in the southern city of Ofakim, Israel. She never dreamed that today she would be meeting the president of the United States. What happened in between it's something that will scar her for the rest of her life. But she will be remembered in Israel as the woman who outsmarted five terrorists in her own home.
She and her husband were held captive in their own home for roughly 20 hours. Due to her quick thinking and hospitality, she was able to win over the terrorists. She expressed concern for them and asked them if she could make them food. She connected with them emotionally, being able to speak Arabic because of her Moroccan-Jewish background.
When her son, a policeman, snuck up, she secretly signaled to him, there were five terrorists. “And then, just after 3 a.m. in the morning, Israeli SWAT team members – from an elite commando unit known as Yamam – used explosives, stun grenades, and heavy machine gunfire to burst into the house, catching the five Hamas members completely by surprise.” (All Israel News)
Now she is a national folk hero. She was been on Channel 12 News, our most popular news channel, and she took over the show, and today she will meet with President Biden.
The most pressing need for prayer is still the 200 hostages. Pray that at least all the women and children will be freed. Pray for God to intervene supernaturally.
Pray that our soldiers will have all the equipment they need. That nothing will be stuck in customs.
Pray that we will have all the resources that we need to meet every need. Just before we came over here, we were asked if we could pay for a family who is traumatized and now homeless to be in a hotel for a few weeks. We said yes… And will work directly with the hotel. As long as God keeps providing the funds, we will help.
Pray that the international community will support Israel. Pray that God will move on the hearts of the president and prime ministers to not give in to the cries of the apologists for the terrorists. This attack had nothing to do with Israel's policies but rather Iran's desire to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.
Please pray for Elana and I. we need rest. Each time I realize that I have a few hours to catch my breath, five new needs arise. Pray that we are very disciplined, not wearing ourselves out.
Please pray for our team. They must keep up with my crazy pace. Getting articles proofed, videos edited, and emails sent. Pray also for our accounting team as they process donations and send us funds. And pray for our media team at Shelanu.