Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
Greetings, sisters and brothers, in The Name of Yeshua, Messiah, King, The Prince of Peace. Blessing to you with love, and may He be BLESSED AND GLORIFIED!
Here are some thoughts and observations as I look through my window at a very real war. May this be fodder for prayer and may we be drawn into His Presence.
Most Friday mornings finds me at the shuk (market) on my way to the prayer meeting. I am at the shuk as it is still waking up at 6 a.m., so not all of the stalls are stocked or open yet, but I know by now the ones that are open. They know me as well. It has blessed me to watch the interactions of Arab and Jewish merchants at the shuk. They have almost a special dance to guard their relationships. There is not a feeling of hostility there at all, but of brotherhood. I see Jewish and Arab merchants embracing and I also inquire how they and their families are and look for the open-faced reply.
My bread man is Jewish. I pick up my challa (3 twined braided Shabat bread) each Friday from them and once a month, another two for communion (Tsudat h’Adon’ in Hebrew) for our kehila (fellowship).
I had just heard on the news as I rode the train that we had agreed to a 72-hour cease fire. Although it might seem hard for many to understand, this was sad news. The job is not yet completed, and if it remains as it is, we will be faced again and again with the same war while they build up more sophisticated weapons in ever increasing numbers. Once again, we feel the pressure from the world − the world that has been unsuccessful at pressuring Syria, Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, and so forth.
Since we DON’T censor our media, the constant barrage of accusations − inaccurate, ignorant and distorted − are very painful and influence many within the country.
On with my story.
The young man looked at me as he handed me the breads. “How are you? What do you think?” he asked.
I sighed. “We must finish it this time. If we do nothing and ignore the attacks, rockets and weapons will build up. Then we must do everything at once.”
He shook his head. “What they won’t let us do and what we can’t do, HE must do and HE will,” he said, pointing up to heaven.
I smiled. “Yes, Amen, oh yes,” I agreed.
That is what the bread man said. Bethlehem − Beit Lechem or House of Bread. The Promised One was hidden there like leaven in a loaf of bread as He described the kingdom of God in a parable.
And oh yes, more and more people really ARE looking UP seriously. This war is very fierce, and even though all of the other wars fought since I have lived here have been for our own homes and families, in our land or on our borders, this one IS different.
The problem has been allowed to fester and it HAS become a war for our VERY EXISTANCE, there is no doubt, and just about everyone knows it. A whopping 85-92% of the Jewish population stand behind the government’s decisions and wants to see it through to the end in spite of the great cost in lives or in allies. The sacrifice is great, but the alternative is EVERYTHING.
My heart was greatly moved on Friday night to see the demonstration up north − so brave and so very encouraging. Two hundred Christian Arabs marched together with Israeli flags and banners, saying: WE ARE ISRAELI AND WE STAND WITH ISRAEL.
The speaker was a Greek Orthodox Priest, but the group was mixed denominationally. He said boldly and bravely, “WE MADE A GRAVE MISTAKE IN 1948 AND WE MUST NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. We sided with the Arabs against Israel, but we Christians must repent and know that we share the same God, the same Bible, the same promises and that His promise is for the land of ISRAEL, and we share IN that.”
It was truly amazing and so encouraging.
All around the country it looks like yom h’atz’maoot’ (our independence day). Except for a few people, the streets are empty because more then 86,000 troops were called up. There are very few tourists or shoppers. But still flags are flying everywhere. The streets are decked in blue and white and flags are now interspersed all over, Israel, Jerusalem and armed forces. Signs and banners on walls, cars and buses (AND tee shirts) read: “Together we are strong…strengthen one another…stand with each other…help each other” and “Embrace a Golani, embrace a soldier” and of course “Messiah is coming” and even “Messiah is among us.”
Boxes and booths appear everywhere collecting money, food, underwear for the soldiers and food and help for the people of the southern communities. With NO tourism, the beautiful hotels, bed and breakfasts and resorts have opened their doors free to the people of the south and soldiers who need a break from the war. Groups of people from all over the country gather to go and shop in Sderot and other besieged towns where businesses are starving for sales. THERE IS A FACEBOOK PAGE called Israeli businesses under fire.
It lists businesses that need help. These are really families who will lose their jobs or companies in the midst of this fighting. It’s a creative way to buy things from them. I was very encouraged by it.
They say it is a list and description, easy to use. You can buy things for yourself or for others or to donate. One man in the states found a tee shirt place and ordered hundreds of tee shirts to be delivered to the soldiers. Another found a caterer (usually a family business) and ordered hundreds of meals sent to the hospitals where the soldiers are for their families who are with them around the clock. It may be worth looking at the site.
And so the cease fire on Friday lasted for almost 90 minutes. A suicide bomber entered a tunnel and blew himself up, killing 2 of our soldiers. Another cease is fire over.
Our 64 dead soldiers so far seems like a small number in comparison with the 1,700-1,800 dead people in Gaza, mainly women and children. But there is great grief here mixed in with great bravery.
Now I must share with you some things that many of you won’t read elsewhere:
The testimony below was from one of the wounded soldiers in Gaza. It gives an intimate look into what we are dealing with. May this and other first-hand accounts enable us to continue with what needs to be done:
“We went into Shuja’iya, to discover and destroy the Hamas’ terrorist tunnels. We discovered there an entire underground city, with multi-shaft, wide tunnels, with Wi-Fi & air-conditioning systems, concrete walls, and stocked to the ceiling with weapons and explosives. Some of the tunnels are so wide, that they can ride back and forwards on Vespa-type scooters. And then came the worst. The Hamas fighters started sending towards us 13- and 14-year-old Palestinian children, running at us, wearing explosive-laden suicide-bomber belts. Those children were death-trapped, and became human bombs, by the community’s adults. We were trained to fight adult soldiers or any other skilled adults, enabling us to defend our families and countrymen. But this?? We had no other option but, in self-defense, to shoot them at as far a range from us as we could, before the responsible adult that sent them used his mobile phone to detonate the belts, and kill us.”
One of the injured soldiers ended up by saying, “I do not know if I’ll ever be able to sleep again, the pictures of those poor children, killed by my gun, will probably never leave me.”
HERE IS A TRANSLATION OF AWSOME TESTIMONY PRINTED IN OUR HEBREW NEWSPAPERS ABOUT ANSWERS TO PRAYERS BY A GENERAL. He was mocked when he prayed them:
“Vinter also describes how his forces have seen miracles in their battles. One story he relates is when they were fighting in Hirbat Hizaah, Vniter says he saw something he had not seen during his entire career in the army to date. Vinter describes that they had decided to attack the area in the early hours of the morning, before daybreak, so the enemy would not notice them. The extraction team arrived at the location on time, but the fighters arrived late. Vinter says they did not know what to do, as the sky was already starting to light up and the soldiers were becoming visible, yet they needed to attack. Suddenly, Vinter says, a cloud cover came over them and protected them. Clouds of glory (ananei kavod). Suddenly it covered us, the fighters, a heavy fog, that stayed there throughout the attack. Nobody saw us. Only after the houses targeted were destroyed and there was no longer any danger to the soldiers did the fog disperse. Exactly as it says: “For Hashem will go with you to save you.”
One last thing, THE pressing issue is PRAYER. SPIRIT-LEAD SPIRIT FILLED PRAYER. He knows all and His Book is filled with directions and information. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING.
Again I have inundated you with so many words, please forgive me, but it is a most intense time. I plan to attend another funeral at 5 p.m. today at the Mount Hertzl military cemetery for a fallen soldier from a family that I know. I have been more emotional then I would like to be when I write, but please forgive my passion. I send you my love. God bless you dear body of Messiah.
your sis J