Special newsletter - Gaza war 2023

by Daniel Yahav

Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,

Thank you all who have been asking how we are doing, and thank you so much for praying for us and for our nation. Israel is going through a trauma that no one anticipated.

As you all have heard, the Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel early Saturday morning the 7/10, and unfortunately took us by surprise. Israel was not ready for such a massive, unpresented terror attack. No one understands how this could have happened, but now is the time to fight, and the time for introspection will come after we are done with defending ourselves.

It is estimated that between 1500-2000 terrorists including Gazan citizens who simply came in order to plunder, entered through the border with Gaza, by foot, with over 80 pickup trucks, motorbikes and parachute engines. It was a well-planned and well prepared attack. On that same morning they had simultaneously destroyed by bombs dropped from drones, all the security cameras and the power suppliers on the very expensive and sophisticated wall barrier that Israel had built in order to secure the safety of the settlements near the Gazan border. After paralyzing the security cameras and cutting the power supply disabling all communication, they bombed the wall on many points at once and rushed as a flood into the settlements close to the border, and the cities of Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim, and into a nature festival which was held in the Be'eri forest nearby, with about 3000 participants.

The amount of ammunition that was found in the area after clearing the terrorists is enormous, including guns, anti tank missiles, RPG's, lots of hand granites and various improvised self-made ammunition. They had brought with themselves also food and medical supplies, as they had planned to conquer and hold on at least for a month. It also appears that their plans were even bigger than what they managed to do. They had maps and plans of all the Israeli settlements in the area, including the city of Beer-Sheba and the air force base in Hazerim, close to Beer-Sheba.

Here in Tiberias area and the lower Galilee it is still quiet praise God. We had only one siren go on, and later it appeared that it was a mistake. However, the Lebanon border is getting heated more and more every day, terrorists trying to infiltrate from there, and regular shooting at settlements in Upper Galilee. Just this evening there were several rockets fired at the south part of the Golan heights, from Syria. Another provocation. So you never know what comes next.

At the moment over 60 members of our fellowship have been called to the army. This includes two of our sons. We have some 17 fathers of young families who were called into reserves. They have left behind their wives and small children. This is the reality in many fellowships in Israel at the moment.

We have been very busy these last two weeks in preparing our fellowship for further escalation in this war. We have invested much effort in upgrading the two emergency teams combined of volunteers, which we have in our fellowship. They are trained in rescuing people out of collapsed buildings in war or earthquake scenarios.

In addition there are several other areas at the fellowship which require our special attention at this time.

One, is looking after the families whose fathers are in the army, supporting the wives financially and with any kind of help and support they may need.

Second, supporting the youth at this time of very traumatic news they are exposed to, so they are coming together now much more often than in normal times as it is important to encourage them.

Third, we have now every week a prayer and worship evening to come before God. Repenting on behalf of our people and interceding for our nation, for our government and for our soldiers.

Another new area of service which was started is the preparation of 150 hot meals each day for soldiers stationed in our area. This will now continue for as long as it is needed.

It is amazing to see how the nation of Israel is pulling together once again. It is especially encouraging after the terrible division we had in Israel over many months.

This is indeed a difficult time for Israel as once more we have to defend ourselves from evil and barbaric, demon possessed enemies who want to utterly destroy us.

Thank you for your prayers. Please pray for our government and military commanders to have wisdom on how to manage this situation. It is extremely complicated and fragile, with over 200 Israeli hostages held in Gaza, pressures from world opinion, and If Iran joins this war, this could be the beginning of the Gog and Magog war.

The good news is, that we know God is in full control, nothing surprises Him, He knew it all before it happened and He will watch over His children. And at the end of the Gog war, God says that he will not hide his face from us any longer. He will reveal himself to the nation of Israel. See Ezekiel 39:29. Many will come to know their Messiah. So, even if at the moment the nation is going through terrible shaking, at the end, God will use it all for a good purpose.

We are thankful at this time, that God’s peace fills our hearts. We fully trust the Lord. He is so very faithful, loving and good.

Some Prayer Points:

1- safety and protection for our soldiers (men & women), specially the believers. There are several hundreds of believing soldiers from all around Israel, Fathers, sons & daughters. May they all return home safely.

2 - Much wisdom for our government to make the right decisions, for God to direct their thoughts and actions.

3 - For the hostages to be released as soon as possible. There are estimates of over 200 hostages that Hamas took to Gaza, women, children and babies, young and old people along with soldiers. No information about their situation which is devastating to their families.

4 - For the Holy Spirit to be poured on our believing soldiers to strengthen them to be strong and courageous and be the light of Yeshua and a testimony to their fellow soldiers wherever they are.

5 - Peace in the hearts of the mothers and children at home while their husbands and fathers are called to the battle.

6 - For the fear of God to fall upon the potential enemies from inside, Palestinians and Muslim Arabs, that they will not dare to infiltrate Jewish communities and try to mimic the terrible slaughter that the Hamas terrorists did. That is nowadays a real concern from inside the country, especially when many of the men are not at home.

7 - For the fear of God to fall on the enemies from outside, on our borders, Hezbollah in Lebanon,
Syria, Iran, and of course Hamas in Gaza. For God to fight for us and drive the enemy from before us. May God show His mighty arm on behalf of His people.

8 - Last but not least, for the salvation of our people Israel.

In these very confusing times when people are wondering "why?" Searching for answers, that God would pour His Holy Spirit upon our nation and open the eyes of many to recognize our Messiah Yeshua, the one and only source of real peace.

Thank you for praying for us and for the whole nation of Israel!

Daniel & Shirya Yahav