On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists unleashed a wave of shocking attacks in Israel, resulting in a period of heightened fear and conflict in the weeks since. Below is a summary of the situation and call to prayer from Dr. Mitch Glaser (M.Div. ’78), president of Chosen People Ministries and adjunct professor of Christian ministry and leadership at the Charles L. Feinberg Center in New York.
Shalom. This beautiful Hebrew word for peace means more than ever! I know that you are praying for the peace of Jerusalem as am I. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), we are praying for the entire nation of Israel and for Jewish people everywhere and we are also praying for peace for all who live in the Holy Land. It is a disastrous time for Israelis and for innocent Palestinian victims of Hamas as well.
I was asked by the Talbot leadership to bring you up to speed regarding the Israeli response to the atrocities experienced on Oct. 7, the ongoing retaliation and defensive measures taken by the Israeli army, and the work of Chosen People Ministries is doing to try and bring God’s love and comfort to those who are suffering.
As you may know, Chosen People Ministries partners with Talbot in providing a Master of Divinity degree and certificate program in Messianic Jewish studies, based in New York City. However, we also have graduates and students in Israel, one of whom has already been called to the front. We have another couple taking courses in Brooklyn and they are grieving from afar as they wish they were not so far from home while their family and friends suffer. These students need your prayers!
First of all, let me begin with a bit of an overview of what has transpired since Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. Israel time on Oct. 7.
- Israeli forces have killed more than 1,500 Hamas terrorists who broke through the Gazan border into Israel.
- 1,200 Israelis were killed, and more than 3,000 were wounded or injured.
- The Israeli military mobilized 360,000 reservists.
- Israel has now stationed a large number of troops in the north adjacent to the Lebanon border.
- Israeli forces continue to make air strikes in Gaza focused on munitions factories, large and small and the offices of the Hamas leadership.
Our Jerusalem center is providing shelter for about a dozen children whose parents fled the border town of Sderot where we have ministered for two decades. The parents had to work, and schools were again shut down. We brought them to Jerusalem as it is a little safer and created a program for them to have fun and learn more about the Lord.
We are also providing everyday staples of food, water, clothing and toiletries that are needed by the soldiers and families of those whose husbands and fathers left for the battlefield. The stores are quickly running out of what is needed as well. One of our staff sent me this report: “I received a call from a soldier who was in the camps when he was a kid, and he shared with me that they were short of food (there was only dry food). I was able to contact and talk with the unit commander, ask him about his needs, and provide them with 300 sandwiches and drinks.”
Please pray for our team as we also minister to the families of those who were murdered and whose loved ones have been abducted and taken to Gaza. We are grateful for the Talbot family and the love and support we have received at this challenging time.