Dear Calvary family,
The images on our televisions, computers, and mobile devices from Israel overwhelm our senses. I am sure you feel it, too. My heart aches for the pain and loss the people of Israel have experienced at the hands of evil, brutal terrorists. Our world groans for hope amid so much darkness. Events like these remind us of our precious hope in Jesus! No matter what, we have Him, and He has us!
Let’s pray for the Israeli families whom the horrible attacks of the Hamas terrorists have directly impacted. Please pray for those held hostage and their families who are anxiously awaiting their safe return home. We also need to pray for our fellow Americans impacted by these awful events. They, too, grieve the loss of life and worry for their loved ones held hostage.
Let’s pray for the government of Israel as they seek to rescue the innocent and defeat the terrorists who have acted so barbarically. Pray for our own nation’s leaders as they seek to support Israel’s efforts to defend its people.
Let’s pray that any and all forms of antisemitism will disappear from our world. God has a special place in His heart for the Jewish people, and it is no wonder that Satan has worked tirelessly to sow hatred toward them over the centuries. Let’s follow the admonition of the Psalmist to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).
Lesli and I visited the Auschwitz exhibit at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley a few months ago. Sadly, we were reminded of the awful evil that human beings can carry out on others. It was also a clear reminder of how seemingly simple roots of antisemitism can quickly become blind barbarism. If you have not visited the exhibit, you may want to do so (the exhibit is there through January). It should stir in us a more profound passion to pray for Jewish people in Israel, the United States, and all around the world.
Likewise, let’s remember the innocent civilians among the Palestinians who are suffering due to the actions of terrorists among their own ranks and those who infiltrate their communities from the outside. Let’s pray for the safety and well-being of all innocent lives affected by these horrific attacks.
Several have asked about our announced plans to lead a trip to the Holy Land in February 2024. Over one hundred people were registered to go with us. After prayerful discussion, our leadership has decided to postpone the trip for one year. Lord willing, Israel’s security will be fully restored, and we can enjoy a safe and blessed Holy Land experience in February 2025.
Gospel-centered organizations such as Send Relief, Chosen People Ministries, Samaritan’s Purse, and others have already begun to serve those impacted by the recent attacks. I would encourage you to prayerfully consider supporting one of these ministries in Israel now, helping in Jesus’ name. These are ministries Lesli and I have given to over the years and trust to get help and relief directly to those in need with the funds we donate to them.
Let’s pray and support efforts to bring hope and healing to those hurting in Israel!