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Aid tour to the Gaza border

Feast of Tabernacles 2018 Bus Tour to the Gaza Border

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Posted on: 
26 Sep 2018
Aid tour to the Gaza border

Delivering protection and showing love and solidarity

On Tuesday a group of 50 Feast pilgrims from many countries including Australia, Singapore, the US, the UK, Fiji, Germany, Sweden and Ireland joined Nicole Yoder, director of ICEJ Aid, and Rabbi Shmuel Bowman, director of Operation Lifeshield, on a bus tour to the Gaza border. The purpose of the tour was to show Christian solidarity with Israelis living in the South under the steady attack of rockets, burning kites and balloons. Thanks to the donations of Christians from all over the world, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) has been able to build 65 much needed bomb shelters in numerous communities bordering Gaza in the past 12 years. In addition, six quickly maneuverable firefighting trailers were delivered this summer.

Protection and Prayer
Rabbi Shachar Butzchak and his family welcomed the Christian visitors at the synagogue of Moshav Maftechim. The ICEJ group and the excited and grateful recipients witnessed the delivery of a steel shelter donated by ICEJ Switzerland for the protection of the residents who gather three times a day for prayer in the synagogue. When a rocket alarm sounds, locals only have 12 seconds to find refuge before the rockets make contact.

“Our friends in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv invite us to have some rest and quiet from the alarms. But it should be the opposite: They need to come here to be with us, when we are hurt and it is difficult,” said Rabbi Butzchak who is also part of the first response team for the security of his community. “Yesterday we had six fires caused by balloons sent from Gaza. When people come and see it with their own eyes that´s the best.” “You had the courage and dared to come,” he continued. “Thank you for coming, God bless you!”

“I pray almost every day for the protection of Israel. It is good to meet people who cope with security issues on a daily basis with full commitment,” Jill from the UK was impressed.

“It was a special moment,” described Liane Rasch from Germany when describing her experience of the shelter delivery. “Because of the shelter they can live with a deeper feeling of security now.”

Fighting Terror and Fires
From a spot just 1.7 kilometers away from the border with Gaza, the group got to see a demonstration by the firefighting trailer of Kibbutz Kissufim. “This trailer contains 700 liters and works with high pressure. The idea is to get quickly to the fire to extinguish it or contain it until the fire fighters arrive,” explained Ilan Isaacson, head of security of the Eshkol region. “Everything has to be done very quickly. Therefore, the first response units and security officers in our 32 communities are not only responsible for first defense until the army arrives but they are also trained medics and fight fires.”

For the Lean family from Australia, it was eye opening to stand at the Gaza border and to meet locals. “We got connected with the struggles and the reality under which the people live here every day. It was impressive to see their heart and joy and their connection to God despite it all. We will share it with our friends!” they promised.

Watch every evening of the Feast of Tabernacles on demand


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