By now you must be aware of the looming all-out war in Israel. For perspective as to what Israel is facing from just the Gaza Strip, terrorist organizations such as Hamas have launched 800 attacks against Israel from January to October 2012 according to Wikipedia. In October alone, 116 rockets and 55 mortars were launched into Israel. On November 10, 25 rockets were launched into Israel, and on November 11, over 100 mortars and rockets were fired against Israel. In the last two days, rockets have hit Israel’s economic hub and most populated city Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was attacked by rocket on Friday. It is reported the latter attack targeted Israeli parliament, but landed in a field outside Jerusalem, which has not been attacked in decades according to BBC News. Many more rockets and missiles have been fired at Israeli towns, and now the Israeli government has informed its citizens to prepare for seven weeks of war that will include a ground invasion of Gaza.
With this background, I’d like to share a testimony from a friend who lives in Jerusalem. I met Jacob on facebook a couple of years ago, and though we don’t communicate very often, I have very much enjoyed our interactions from time to time. He also has a really neat history as he is a fourth generation Messianic Jew, whose grandfather’s life was saved by Dietrich Boenhoffer in 1938.
Jacob posted a link on facebook tonight titled, “Staying Awake Tonight”. I clicked on the link and began to read the story. It opens like this:
I’m staying awake tonight. We won’t be able to do this every night. But tomorrow is Shabbat and we won’t go to our congregation (imagine 200 people at one place
that has 1.5 minute to evacuate when the sirens go off).
You probably hear a lot about “15 seconds” in the media. But that’s in areas close to Gaza. Here in Jerusalem we have 90 seconds.
Anyway, as I was saying. First our 5 year old daughter said she was scared. We offered her to sleep in the couch, so we’ll be close to her when she falls asleep. Then our 7-year old daughter didn’t want to be alone in her room. So we took out her matress and let her sleep on the living room floor.
The boys went to sleep in their room. But after a while the 8 year old got up and asked for a bucket because it feels as if he’ll have to throw up. We fixed that, and moved out our sleeping 2-year old son to sleep in the other couch.
That’s the first half of the story. Just as you are probably grieved by reading this, so was I, especially as I continued reading. My heart broke for this family and what they are facing tonight. You can read the second half here, and please do.
When I finished the article, I wondered whose blog this is. Curious, I clicked on the “About Me” link, and immediately saw the picture of my friend, Jacob. I did not know this was his blog. I immediately wept. Then I prayed. I cried out to God to protect this precious family, and that they would be filled with the peace of Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus the Messiah). I also prayed for all of my brothers and sisters in Israel and Gaza, for this evil to be crushed, and for the Gospel of Grace to spread rapidly to bring salvation to Jew, Arab, and Gentile. Please join me in this prayer. While many of you will not read this until after Jacob and his family see daylight on Saturday, this may be their future for many a night in the coming weeks. Please do pray.
I asked Jacob what it is like when the siren goes off. Do they evacuate or seek shelter in their own home? This was his response:
There’s no shelter close enough. The instructions for people on the top floor in a building higher than three floors is to run down two floors and be in a place that has as few outside walls as possible and not be near a window. Then wait for ten minutes. We went out in the hallway and stayed there, outside our neighbor’s door, and waited ten minutes. Got to know our neighbors for the first time…
If only 3 floors high, you run down to the middle. The “middler” the floor the better, but if possible it’s preferable to be at least 2 floors down from the top since there are rockets that can go through 2 floors.
Both me and my wife make sure to have our phones as close to us as possible, and always charged, since the internet is where we get the updates. If something happens we alert/wake everyone, I take the little girl in my arms, she takes the little boy, and the two big kids walk themselves.
Also, we will probably not shower any time soon…
I can’t imagine.
Again, please join me in praying for our brother and his family, and for all of these families who are in danger of terrorist bombings. One million Israelis are under this threat.
For my brothers and sisters in Yeshua living in Israel and Gaza, may these words from the Lord comfort you and give you strength:
God the Refuge of His People.
For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song.
1God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
5God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
7The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
8Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
9He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.