#Church Gist

The impact of Jewish and Christian assistance on Israeli evacuees’ journey to safety

Jewish and Christian groups are helping Israelis leave Gaza’s conflict and rockets. At a Jerusalem event, adults and children evacuated from southern Israel had fun in peace.

Isaiah Projects’ David Nekrutman stated that: “We evacuated approximately 50 families from a community near the Gaza border due to Gazan missile assaults on southern Israeli settlements. We felt obligated to share information with Jews and Christians. We have many ministries working together in Jerusalem to make this happen.”

Ortal Hadad and Ella Tovim-Gedasi, two mothers from Mash’en near Ashkelon, said Hamas attacked when they were at home.

“We hear the rockets, unstoppable rockets, for the first time because we don’t have a shelter,” Hadad said. “We protect kids. Me and my hubby on the ground, saying Tehilim (Psalms) again and over. All the time. We were terrified. I couldn’t breathe. I first felt unable to breathe.”

“We had a terrible week in Mash’en,” Tovim-Gedasi said. “We spent most of our time in shelters and couldn’t leave. Felt unsafe. We felt unsafe. As parents, we felt helpless to safeguard our children from a terrorist.”

“My buddies and I pledged to adopt a neighbourhood. After 23 years of working with Jewish-Christian organisations, everyone said, “We’re behind you,” Nekrutman remarked.

Nekrutman and other ministry staff evacuated Moshav Mash’en people to Jerusalem days after te war began.

“We evacuated over 50 families from a hamlet near the Gaza border due to Gazan missile assaults on southern Israeli settlements. We felt obligated to share information with Jews and Christians. So many Jerusalem ministries are working together to make this happen.

Those ministries and individuals include David Nekrutman of The Isaiah Projects, Jonathan Feldstein of Genesis 123 Foundation, Jeffrey Mark and Robbie Coleman of Zion’s Bridge, Connie Bachman of Zion’s Gate International, Ilse Strauss of Bridges For Peace, and Curt Landry Ministries’ Sam Philipe.

Ortal Hadad and others were relieved by the evacuation. “Finally, (on) this Sunday, we could breathe for the first time because we didn’t hear the rockets, we didn’t hear the missiles and we were very, very calm to be here,” said. We feel safe for the first time. Finally, we can breathe and our kid won’t wake up sobbing at night (and we don’t know what to do). Therefore, Baruch HaShem!”

Hadad and Gedasi thanked the rescuers.

“We want to thank the Christians who gave us the donation, which is incredible for me, that they care about us,” Hadad said.

“I was surprised that non-Israelis gave,” Gedasi said. Christians are Americans. It made me realise that when you love someone, you don’t care his religion or where he lives.”

As a youngster, Hadad had to leave her home almost 20 years ago when Israel disengaged 9,000 Israelis from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank in 2005.

While Israeli and Palestinian authorities called that a peace move, Hamas took control of the territory, combat continued, and now war has begun.

“This situation, It’s because we left our home – because we gave our land (God’s) land to the Hamas,” Hadad said.”Okay. Returning home is my goal. Safety is my goal. She lived in Gush Katif 20 years ago, and I felt comfortable. Safe! I feel unsafe.”

While much of the world condemns Israel and protesters cry “Free Palestine,” Nekrutman feels it means being free of Hamas and urged Christians to pray.

said, “I would say to our Christian brothers and sisters out there, if you’re praying, pray for our enemies to turn their hearts to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and see the light, and actually make real peace.”

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