Friday, March 25, 2011
Since many of you had asked, I thought I would send a quick update on the recent increase in activity here. The past week has seen a substantial increase in rocket/mortar activity. Several times this week the IDF has advised those living in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip to stay close to bomb-proof areas. Since March 19th, 97 rockets were fired from Gaza into the southern district. The following is a breakdown of the week’s activity.
50 rockets/mortars were fired into Israel during early morning hours. Two people were reported to be injured and two homes damaged by the barrage of rockets.
Following an IDF reprisal onTuesday for continuing Hamas attacks, the IDF advises Israelis living in Gaza Strip vicinity to stay close to bomb-proof areas.
Wednesday morning two Grad missiles were fired from Gaza and exploded in Beersheba, injuring five people and damaging a house, Later that morning, seven more mortar shells exploded in the Eshkol farm region. Some mortars were found to contain phosphorus which magnifies the burn wounds.
Later that morning two more rockets exploded in Beersheba, and ten mortar shells fell in the Sha'ar Hanegev and Eshkol Regional Councils.
That afternoon a bomb was detonated at a bus stop in central Jerusalem, killing an elderly woman and seriously injures thirty-nine others. Since Wednesday is our distribution day, we were at the storefront as the breaking news was heard. As we listened to the reports, it was evident that our neighbors and volunteers were visibly shaken. The events of this past week are wearing hard on them. As we continued to monitor the reports we tried to calm our volunteers, and reminded them that “… He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”
The violence is the fiercest between the two sides since Israel went to war in Gaza two years ago. With no sign that Israeli and Palestinian leaders are narrowing the gaps that have deadlocked negotiations, fears are growing that another grave escalation is imminent.
Wednesday night, after taking 20 assorted missiles and mortar shells during the day, three quarters of a million civilians were advised to stay close to their bomb-proof shelters and safe rooms. In addition, it was announced that schools in Beersheba and Ashkelon would remain closed for rest of week.
In the morning hours, three Kassam rockets, one Grad missile and a mortar shell were shot into Israel from Gaza. Grad missiles landed in and north of Ashdod. By evening a total of eight rockets were launched into the area.
Thursday evening, as we were leaving the market the "Seva Adom" was heard which was then followed by a loud explosion nearby.
Thursday evening, we usually gather for dinner and fellowship. As we sat at the dinner table we heard and felt at least five explosions as the Israeli Air Force retaliated.
It is a privilege to be here serving Ha’Shem and ministering to His people as we remind them and ourselves that He reigns and is in control of every detail, that He changes not… His name is El Shaddai !
Please pray for Israel’s leadership
v For wisdom and discernment
v For courage in dealing with the situation, and for the Lord to remove fear from the hearts of the leaders (fear of the world’s opinions, world’s leaders and their pressures)
v For breakthrough strategy in dealing with Hamas and terrorism
v For vision and inspiration and prophetic understanding into Israel’s future
Please pray for the nation of Israel
v For divine protection from terror and rocket attacks
v From fear and panic, especially in the children who are experiencing rocket attacks
v For God’s blessing and grace upon the nation
Please pray for the security forces
v For intelligence and alertness to deal with attacks in the making
v For success in apprehending terrorists
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Well as most of you already know, I am now back here in Sderot, Israel. What a wonderful blessing it was to have a few weeks to visit my family and friends in California. I am so thankful for the wonderful times of sharing and fellowship with dear friends and the opportunities to make many new friends.
It was such a blessing to be able to share at the different fellowships and home groups. I give thanks for each and every one of you, for your generous hearts and willingness to come along side the people of Sderot. May Ha’Shem richly bless you all. And a special thanks to those who opened their homes to me while I was there. You’re gift of hospitality is warmly appreciated. Toda Raba!
“And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.”
1 Chronicles 29:13
Well since arriving back here in Sderot, the Lord continues to shower us with so many wonderful blessings. A week ago we were so blessed to have a group from Costa Mesa, California come visit us. Our brothers and sisters had gathered together from fellowships all over California and came to bless Israel as well as those serving here. We were able to spend several hours together sharing about Ha’Shem’s work here. The time of fellowship continued as they invited us back to the kibbutz Nir Am to have dinner with them. We are so thankful for the servant’s heart of each one who came. To all those who came to bless us, toda raba!
Currently, details are being planned for an event this May to bless the people of Israel. Several “storefronts” will be hosting a day of gifting of food, personal hygiene, and household items to many of the poorest families here in Israel. Some of those coming to Israel for the Epicenter Conference will also be participating that day as they help us to pass out the “gifts.” Join us in prayer as we seek Ha’Shem’s leading as we plan for this day of blessing. And also that Ha’Shem will prepare the hearts of all those who will be joining us.
Another upcoming event that I am excited about is the “Day of Instruction”, as we are calling it. In the upcoming weeks we will have the opportunity to gather at the main warehouse in Bet Shemesh for a day of instruction with the IDF. The day will include instruction in emergency first aid response and CPR, as well as how to respond to various chemical attacks and non-conventional warfare . This is a very special opportunity to be able to spend the day with IDF instructors as we learn valuable information and skills.
And the blessings just keep on flowing. Recently, we were blessed by a fellowship in Southern California with the Rosetta Stone Hebrew language program. Baruch Ha’Shem !
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;” Lamentations 3:22
ידה ידה We give thanks…