As our plane full of Israelis touched down yesterday, everyone broke into applause. We were home. We had been debating the night before where we would go when we arrived in Israel. My daughter had found us an apartment in Tel Aviv. Elana really wanted to go home, to Ashkelon. Or we had the option to go and stay with Elana’s sister and her husband. Since it was Shabbat, and Elana’s mother was also with her sister, we decided to drive south to Moshav Nogah. A Moshav is a farming neighborhood. It's different from a kibbutz in that each person owns their own plot of farming land.
But before dinner, we drove to a neighboring Moshav where they were hosting 100 soldiers. After feeling guilty all week for not being able to do anything to help our people, it was nice to hit the ground running.
Kevlar Vests Needed
I interviewed a woman who is desperate for 20 bulletproof vests. In any other context, that would sound strange. But unfortunately, our country was not able to supply all of our soldiers with what they needed. A commander said that some soldiers even showed up without socks. I promised her that I would be back on Monday with $10,000 to buy 20 Kevlar vests. We put the video on Facebook and already, one donor sent $5000. Please consider helping!
This morning, on a walk around the Moshav, I met a man who was guarding his home and family. Last Shabbat, there was unbelievable terror. He shared what it was like.
After the interview, Elana and I drove home to our apartment in Ashkelon. What an amazing feeling! Elana took a shower and I started finishing a research paper that was due last Sunday (Liberty University was very understanding, given the situation). Suddenly, sirens began to blare. Fortunately, we have a safe room. After the second round of sirens was over, I turned on the TV.
I would love to play the video for you, but it is all in Hebrew. I'm too tired to write subtitles. I put together a few seconds of the clip so you could hear her passion and brokenness. Her son has been taken hostage in Gaza, and she's pleading with the politicians and the country to stop pointing fingers and work together to get the hostages back. I can't even begin to imagine what she's going through.
“I am directly all of my energy right now just to one thing: To return [my son] Omer and all the hostages back home in peace. … We don’t have time to argue right now. We have no time for anything else, just to be together. It is the time to raise the voice of the families of those whose loved ones are in captivity.”
Here are some of the major events that have taken place in the last day:
The IDF conducted quick raids inside of Gaza. They were able to recover some of the dead bodies of Israelis. I am assuming that they were close enough to the border that the Palestinian terrorists were afraid to come that close for fear of being shot.
Head of Hamas’s aerial forces is killed in an IDF airstrike.
The IDF warns the northern Gaza residents to go south. Hamas tells people to stay at home, so they will die, and they can use them as propaganda.
Our home city of Ashkelon came under heavy rocket fire yesterday. While we were home today, we heard at least six or seven explosions.
IDF kills terrorists attempting to enter Israel from Lebanon.
Netanyahu tours scene of Hamas atrocities for the first time.
PLO says that Israel’s efforts to evacuate Palestinians and SAVE THEIR LIVES is a war crime. They are spinning it as if Israel is seeking to displace them as opposed to saving them! You would hope that the PLO would not be Hamas’s mouthpiece.
Not only are we going to buy Kevlar vests, but we are going to continue to help in any way we can. Our home congregation is putting together care packages for soldiers. Each package is $40. We are going to send $4,000! Can you give $40? Or $400!
The Messianic body here is small, but we have relationships with believers all over the world. May Israel see the love of Yeshua through us.
We are getting ready to go further south tonight to join others who are hosting al ha’ash (bar-b-que) for soldiers on the Gaza border. Pray for our safety and that we can be a blessing of encouragement! Thank you all for standing with us in Israel in this most difficult time. We bless you from Zion!