Let us pray for God to keep a watchful eye over His People, and bind the schemes and resources of their enemies so they can do them no harm (Zechariah 12:1-5; Psalm 91)
Fifteen seconds… Imagine you are awakened to hear a siren blaring, and must gather your family to rush to shelter from incoming rocket-fire, and this is the amount of time you have to say a quick prayer under your breath and hope that you will see another day.
Due to on-going tension along the Gaza Strip, Israelis have had to endure a barrage of attacks, from their Western border since 2001. These attacks have historically included the throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails, large and small-scale terror tunnels for burrowing subterranean routes into Israeli territory, Qassam rocket launches, and most recently the threat of incendiary kites sent from Gaza in the hope of burning Israeli agricultural fields and setting nearby villages alight. This constant security threat is felt most by those closest to the border, and it does not get any closer than the city of Sderot, which is only 1 kilometer from the active conflict zone. This reality leaves the residents of Sderot only 15 seconds on average to rush to nearby bomb shelters when they hear the siren alerting to an incoming rocket attack. Because of this, an estimated 75% of children between the age of 4 and 18 in Sderot exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can cause severe anxiety and disturbed sleeping habits, among other symptoms. Because of this, CBN Israel has felt a strong call to assist these victims of terror through partnerships with local organizations in Sderot.
However, amidst this reality is a beacon of hope! Yir HaHaim is the local Messianic Congregation in Sderot, and despite starting their ministry in a city which is often referred to as the “bomb-shelter capital of the world”, they have named their congregation the “City of Life” as a proclamation of faith despite these adverse conditions. They have been called to be a light to their community, as they are aware that the city of Sderot houses many new immigrants, Holocaust survivors, homeless and low-income families, widows, orphans, and those affected by both direct terrorist attacks and the general threat of living in one of the world’s most conflicted zones. It is through the support and partnership with CBN Israel that this ministry is able to offer numerous programs for both Believers in Sderot and other citizens in need, making the congregation a hub for healing, support, and living the Gospel. Not only has CBN’s support allowed for community members to receive much-needed food vouchers, but there has also been an emphasis on funding holiday celebrations at the congregation. These food security efforts are vital to not only ensuring that daily needs are met, but also to create annual milestones for trauma victims to look forward to, and inspire more community involvement and outreach. Arguably though, the most impactful assistance has been CBN’s funding of therapeutic efforts for victims of terror. These efforts have taken different forms. There are one-time healing events, such as a sponsored day for elderly victims to visit a therapeutic thermal spa for restoration and relaxation following one of the most brutal nights of rocket attacks. There is also a focus on long-term support though, such as the sponsorship for over 52 families to receive vital trauma-informed therapy for overcoming PTSD. This investment in the community’s mental and spiritual health has been a large priority for CBN and Yir HaHaim to ensure Sderot residents have the opportunity to resume a normal life and seek a ‘refuge and a fortress’ (Psalm 91:2) in the protection of the God of Israel.
Please help us pray for the peace of Israel, the ‘shelter of the most High’, and the efforts that CBN has been called to fulfill in aiding victims of terror in these Southern territories. It is because of those who give selflessly to CBN Israel that these victims are finding help and hope in their time of need. Would you consider partnering with CBN Israel and helping us make a very real impact on the lives of the needy in Sderot? On behalf of our staff and the many lives we have already touched through your support we say, “Thank you!”