Dear friends of the Jewish people and of Chosen People Ministries,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you because war has broken out in Israel.
It started with incursions by roaming bands of Hamas terrorists from Gaza, along with missiles fired into major southern cities in Israel. The focus of the attacks have been seemingly indiscriminate. Terrorists have been walking the streets of villages along the southern parts of Israel and border areas around Gaza shooting individuals as well as kidnapping family members. There were also some direct hits out of the more than 3,000 missiles that were fired in Ashkelon and a few other border towns.
So far there has been rumblings of war in the north, but Hezbollah has not initiated any attacks. If this happens, the war will escalate, as Hezbollah has more armaments than Hamas and would cause the war to spill into Lebanon. Hopefully, they will be restrained by concerns for their own safety and international pressure.
According to Michael Z, our leader in Israel, various Muslim leaders in Jerusalem itself have been calling for protests, revolts and more!
So far only one of our Chosen People Ministries staff members has been called up to the Israeli Defense Force, but we are expecting others. By the time you get this note, I am sure there will be dozens, if not, hundreds of Messianic Israeli believers that will be involved in what Prime Minister Netanyahu has now declared a war.
From what I’ve heard from our staff, there might be more than 30,000 people in reserve being called to active duty to put a stop to this. Of course, the terrorists chose the last day of the festival of Tabernacles, and the Sabbath to initiate the attack. It is within a few days of the anniversary 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war as well. So, it goes without saying that even though Israel was surprised by the attacks, that the choice of this date was carefully selected.
Your mission to the Jewish people has 30 plus staff members in Israel and will do what we can to keep you posted. I am sure that you will be watching various news sources about what’s going on as well. I am so sorry to say that at this point—which is about 6:30 a.m. Houston time where I am speaking today—40 Israelis were killed, about 700 Israelis injured, 70 or more of them in critical condition, and there has been several Israelis that have been kidnapped and taken into Gaza.
At this point, the Israeli army is already bombing strategic sites in Gaza and I am sure this will continue throughout the day and grow increasingly fierce.
Please pray for our staff families who are sheltering all across Israel. Please pray for the Holocaust survivors, who are elderly, of course, and people we minister to and love dearly. They live in many of the towns that are under attack. Please pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu, that God will give him wisdom; and pray for the families of those who lost loved ones, and for those now who have been kidnapped and taken into Gaza. Pray that Israelis come before the Almighty God, and cling to Him to find peace in turmoil in Jesus, the Messiah.
These terrible events today will be a game changer for Israel, and as Scripture tells us, we need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). We know the Lord gave the land to the Jewish people, and that he will protect them, but that’s not to say that along the way there will not be considerable pain. Finally, pray for the citizens of Gaza, many of whom are oppressed by Hamas, especially the believers. Pray that their leaders will come to their senses and release those who have been kidnapped, that they would stop sending missiles into the various territories, and that efforts will be made on all sides to make peace.
Thanks so much for your love and prayers,