Christians delivering aid to Israelis living in bomb shelters

By November 2, 2023

Israel (MNN) — On Tuesday, Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed missile and drone strikes on Israel for the first time since the Israel-Hamas war broke out earlier last month.

With Houthis joining the fray, world leaders face growing fears of all-out regional war in the Middle East. It also brings Houthi-sponsor Iran closer to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Meanwhile, Israelis continue to watch the skies for increased rockets and missiles that make it through Israel’s defense system. The southern city of Ashkelon continues to suffer direct hits. In Tel Aviv, a Hamas-claimed rocket hit an apartment building on Friday, injuring four people.

In Ashkelon and other southern Israeli towns, people have started living in bomb shelters.

Pastor Israel Pochtar with Beit Hallel Congregation in Ashdod says, “People actually run into the bomb shelter but eventually, they stop running because it’s too much. Now, they live in the bomb shelters.

(Photo courtesy of Beit Hallel Congregation)

“Here and there, they go out to take a shower or grab some stuff, grab some food from the house, also risking their lives because there are all sorts of rockets falling in Ashkelon. They just literally live in bomb shelters.”

Christians in Israel are visiting these bomb shelter residents in Ashkelon to deliver relief supplies, while at other times encouraging them with God’s Word.

Pochtar says, “Today, I’m going to visit another one (bomb shelter) at nighttime. I’ve been there in the daytime, but I’m going to visit them at night and bring them some more pillows [and] water. Because they also don’t go to get groceries, we bring them food.”

“We have one [Christian] sister in this bomb shelter, so she said, ‘I want to tell them that’s my [Christian] brothers together with American Christians who help!'”

Beit Hallel Congregation raises funds for Israeli humanitarian aid through their War Relief Project. You can donate to the War Relief Project here!

(Photo courtesy of Beit Hallel Congregation)

“It does create lots of opportunities just to speak the Bible, to speak prophecies, and just to love on them and tell them about Christians. Really, it’s opened up doors once again to share why — and it’s all about Jesus.”

Israel’s population is 73% Jewish and 21% Arab. Of the Jewish population, nearly half identify as secular, and 21% as traditional but minimally observant. The other 35% identify as traditional and observant, religious, or ultra-Orthodox. Some may be familiar with elements of the Bible but not the promises and hope of Jesus Christ.

“We have dozens of thousands of secular people in my city. People [are] just caught by surprise,” Pochtar says. “They don’t know biblical prophecies. They don’t know biblical promises. So obviously, there is an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, and even depression. I can tell you the atmosphere is heavy, truly heavy, because it’s wartime.

“But now, because of that, people are also open. People ask questions, and when they see Christians — or we call ourselves Messianic believers, Israeli Christians — we have answers. We act like one who has answers because we have answers in the Bible — both Old Testament promises about our days, the prophetic promises on that, and New Testament hope and salvation and God’s goodness.”

Please pray for Israeli hearts to be opened more than ever before to salvation in Jesus Christ. Pray for God’s glory among the nations in the midst of conflict in the Middle East. Ask the Lord to spiritually strengthen Israeli Christians who are living as Christ’s ambassadors.






Header photo courtesy of Beit Hallel Congregation.

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