Updated: Oct 12
Just an hour ago, we were told that a Messianic soldier was killed in battle. It was confirmed by All Israel News, who is reporting that “David Ratner, a soldier in the IDF was killed while fighting terrorists infiltrating a base in the south. He was a fighter in the 13th Golani Battalion. David was an active member of the Beit Hallel congregation in Ashdod.”
Elana and I just listened as a sister told the news that her brother, Ohad, and his son never came home on Shabbat. They have no idea where they are.
We are right now listening to a mother tell the most horrifying story. Her daughter was at the concert in the south. Several of them escaped in a car, but the terrorists caught up and began shooting them. Romi called her mom and said, “I’m shot.”
Her mother said, “I told her, ‘Tell me where you are. We will send you help.” I know I was lying…[but] I did not know what to do. I told her, ‘You will be fine…’” But she died on the phone, as her mother heard gunfire and Arabic.
More than 800 Israelis have been killed and the number keeps rising. Rockets hit Jerusalem thirty minutes ago. The southern cities, including our city, Ashkelon, have taken a barrage of rockets.
Israelis come together in crisis. We have also seen a video of civilians in the south showering an Israeli tank unit with food, coffee, socks, and other things they will need, all the while, cheering them on.
A soldier who was supposed to get married today, instead is with his unit. He was released to home but stayed to fight. On Instagram, his unit surrounds him singing traditional wedding songs of joy.
300,000 reservists have been called up in the last 24 hours.
Parents of loved-ones of those kidnapped are demanding answers from the government. But the government clearly has nothing to say. Newly appointed “Hostage Czar” says, “we are creating a full situational picture and are working at full strength to create an effective system” to give information to families. “We have heavy missions ahead of us, and I am with you in the campaign to bring all the missing and kidnapped back home to Israel.”
But the truth is, the only way we will see them alive is either to trade an insane amount of Hamas prisoners or a miracle. If you are reading this—pray for a miracle! Please pray for a miracle.
Yesterday, I told you about the heartbreaking story of a young boy who had been kidnapped and taken to Gaza. He was left alone in Gaza as other kids called him a “filthy Jew.” His picture, taken by a terrorist in Gaza, has been spreading on Instagram. Print out this picture! Put it on your phones! Let this picture remind you to pray. Let it remind you that Hamas is inhumane.
Times of Israel is reporting Arab nations condemning Hamas.
Bahrain has joined the UAE in condemning Hamas’s attack on Israel.
The foreign ministry in Manama says “attacks launched by Hamas constitute a dangerous escalation.”
“Bahrain denounces…. the kidnapping of civilians from their homes as hostages,” the statement says, calling for immediate efforts to stop the fighting.
A statement from Bahrain on Saturday made no mention of Hamas and drew an equivalency between the two sides.
There is no equivalency between civilians of a democratic country and demon-possessed, Nazi-like characters on a blood-thirsty adventure. But that has not stopped some on the left, that is, the very far left, from encouraging people to understand the poor plight of Hamas. You'll never see Israelis rejoicing with the dead body of a Muslim. You will never see the people of Israel kidnapping women and children and holding them for ransom.
Friends, I could write for days. The stories don’t end…
On a personal note, we are stuck in Marseille. We hope to fly back home on Friday. Many of our friends are telling us not to come home, but we cannot merely watch videos of other Israelis supporting our soldiers. We long to be in Eretz Yisrael. Please pray with us that we will get home soon. In the meantime, the people of the congregations in Marseille have been amazing. They have treated us like kings and queens. We are so blessed by the people of EPP Church, Pastors Bjorn and Rita, and Pastors Shimon and Darja. What dear people and lovers of Israel!