The War Continues …

The War Continues … Jackie Santoro

Day 20 of the War. The situation is very complicated, fragile, volatile and very tense. The ground troops have been amassed for three weeks on the Gaza Border awaiting orders to begin the invasion. The United States is exerting pressure to delay the entry citing that a ground invasion hinders the release of the captives. To date, four hostages out of 224 have been released. The missile attacks are continuing unabated. Thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel and there has been a percentage of direct hits around the country causing injury and destruction of property. 1400 Israelis have been killed and over 5000 wounded.

There are incidences daily with Hezbollah on the northern border with rockets being fired. The threat is that they will enter the war full force when Israel starts its ground offensive.

Israelis close to the Northern border and the whole Gaza area in the South have been evacuated. Instead of happy tourists filling the hotels, now there are over 200,000 displaced Israelis in every hotel in every area that is considered “safe”. Whole towns have been shut down in the north and in the south. The resulting economic fallout is devastating.

The shock and horror, grief and mourning are transmitted daily through eye witness stories on the television and radio. Nothing like the Shabbat massacre horrors has been experienced since the Holocaust. All Israeli programming is solely focused on the war with minute by minute military updates. The Israeli news broadcasters seem to be working around the clock to give the public the lastest in what is happening in the country.

Sadly, Israelis are familiar with war. We are a tiny country with one shared history. Israel was reestablished supernaturally on the ashes of the Holocaust and the cry of the people was “never again.” Too many wars have been fought since then yet Israel, with the help of God has always won against insurmountable odds.

There is a family connection among the people that in times like this illuminate the specialness of this nation, and this feeling runs very deep in the hearts of its citizens. That is why the recent political division was so grievous and ripped the heart of the nation in two. Since the Shabbat massacre though, the people have rallied, differences have been shelved, unity is proclaimed and in the midst of tragedy, sadness and mourning, there is a feeling of victory, strength and overcoming.

300,000 reserve soldiers were called up in a day. The army couldn’t supply the needed equipment fast enough and in Israeli fashion, the people fill in what is needed and are continously pouring out love and care for the soldiers and the survivors of the massacre. There are countless deliveries of everything from clothes to food to mattresses for our soldiers who have gathered on bases around the country in addition to clothes, food and personal items for those whose homes were ravaged and those forced to evacuate. Almost every family has at least one or more soldiers now on the front line and everyone knows someone who knows someone who was murdered or is being held captive.

The Body of Messiah is also coming together to fight the good fight of faith. We are praying not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. We are joining forces with the heavenly army and will fight until there is victory. Even as the army is saying – this is not a war between Israel and the Palestinians but a war against the dark forces of evil. We believe that when this evil force is taken down, there will be a great opening in the spirit and we will yet see a revival among the Muslims and the Jewish people in the days ahead.

In our congregation, Ahavat Yeshua, we had one of the most powerful meetings we have ever had in the spirit. The presence of God was very strong as we came together with broken hearts over the horrific tragedy, expressed in deep worship and strong intercession for our soldiers and the captives. And we were certain by the end of the meeting, that God had surely heard us and our heart was one with His. We approached His throne of grace and mercy with confidence, secure in the knowledge that God loves us, loves His nation and hates Hamas.

We also had a very special “Third Season” gathering. It is always a difficult decision to have a meeting because of the constant threat of a rocket attack but most wanted to have the opportunity to pray together. It was a blessing to be in fellowship as we welcomed the Shabbat and made our requests known to God. And thankfully, the skies were quiet and we didn’t have any sirens.

Everything the people of Israel have always trusted in has failed them in these days. The government failed to protect them, the beloved army was not there when they needed them, leaving the citizens of the south alone, surrounded by terrorists whose goal was to torture, rape and kill as many as possible and to take hostages. The super hi tech intelligence system which the nation depends on to warn them of danger failed tragically and seemed unaware of this highly organized terrorist plan to invade the Israeli communities. Hamas drills were held in full view of the border patrol and yet there seemed to be a demonic blindness on the IDF to all that was happening.

Please join us in praying that now the Jewish people will begin to look at the One who will never fail them. There are many Messianic believers in the army. Pray that they will be a light shining in a dark place and many discouraged soldiers will find hope and truth. Pray that the Hezbollah in the north will not open another front and Iran’s power will be crushed. Pray that the hostages will be freed and miraculously not harmed in any way.

Pray for heavenly wisdom for all government leaders especially PM Netanyahu and the emergency war cabinet. Pray for Holy Spirit led strategy for the military. May there be confusion in the leadership of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran and that no weapon formed against this nation will prosper! Pray that the war will be shortened by supernatural victories.

My granddaughter, Lia is serving in the army at this time. Although not in combat, it is still very stressful and they are on high alert non stop. The soldiers can’t come home as much as they did before. Please pray for her that in this time she will see God’s mighty hand doing mighty works and she will have peace. Some of her soldier friends are suffering emotionally from tension and fear.

As difficult as this time is with the threat of it getting much worse, we are filled with faith and know that God will do amazing and wonderful things and bring us the victory. For me personally, it is a privilege and an honor to be here in this time with my people and I am grateful that I have hope as an anchor for my soul. Pray for many divine appointments that the light of Yeshua that lives in me can be shared with others who feel hopeless and fearful.

God has promised that Israel will never be destroyed. He who guards Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers but He needs us to fight the battle on earth and to keep our hands raised to heaven. It is for a time such as this that we have been joined together in the family of God. We can’t do it alone.

I am deeply grateful for all the support, love and encouragement. I know that we are on God’s side and He is our refuge and our strong tower against the enemy.

With love from Zion,