Thank you for your generous responsePublished on: 29.11.2023
Dear friends and supporters,
I want to take a moment to say thank you for the generous response of so many Christians worldwide to the urgent needs in Israel due to the war launched by Hamas on October 7, and to give you an update on our efforts to assist the Israeli people through this time of crisis.
We were all encouraged to see some of the Israeli hostages held in Gaza being released in recent days, but they still cannot truly go home. With the war in Gaza and the North far from over, there is no timetable yet for when these families can return to their homes and start rebuilding their lives. Until then, Israel is still dealing with the immediate needs of some 250,000 displaced persons, and we are doing all we can to help.
So far, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is approaching NIS 15 million shekels (US$ 4 million) in donations given in support of Israel since the mass terror attacks of October 7. These gifts have come in from well over 50 countries far and wide. This includes donations from some of our well established branches like Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and USA; but also from such places as Albania, Bulgaria, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Colombia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, India, Latvia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Samoa, Spain, Surinam, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, and even the United Arab Emirates.
This clearly demonstrates that Christian support for Israel can now be found in all parts of the world, even in countries with Muslim majorities or where the Christian faith is suppressed. So, we thank you for these very tangible expressions of Christian love and concern for Israel from so many nations, as it really does show that our ministry brings together an entire global family of Christian believers deeply committed to the safety and well-being of the Jewish state and people.
Scores of requests for urgent help are still pouring in, and we are grateful that you have enabled us to say “yes” to so many of them, as our war relief efforts are addressing a variety of needs. In one touching example, the ICEJ will be sponsoring the printing of a special book for traumatized Israeli children that will be published by the already re-opened print house in Kibbutz Be’eri, a community that was hard hit by the Hamas terror attacks.
Our ‘Israel in Crisis’ funds will continue to go towards meeting a variety of urgent needs, such as:
>> Assisting evacuated Israeli families with housing, emergency aid, educational needs, and emotional support, plus toys and activities for the children. For instance, we have provided grants to all the surviving families from the besieged community of Kfar Aza. The ICEJ also gave equipment for three kindergarten classrooms for evacuees from the Eshkol region now staying in Eilat, and we will help equip seven more classrooms about to be established.
>> Helping with urgent food distribution and other humanitarian efforts to assist the elderly, new immigrants, and needy families nationwide. This includes providing two delivery trucks to bring food to those most in need. With so many families struggling from closed businesses, lost income, added expenses and so much more, the ICEJ also is providing a special basket of assistance to vulnerable families in a professional mentoring program which helps keep them from going under.
>> Providing protective gear and other safety equipment to volunteer emergency first-responders. This includes a gift of four new ATVs equipped with firefighting gear, as the past two months of rocket barrages have set off numerous blazes which have destroyed many crops ready for harvest in the western Negev. Last week, the ICEJ also delivered more sets of special radio transmitters to additional communities along the Gaza border like those which helped save thousands of lives on October 7.
>> Placing more portable bomb shelters in the north and south of the country and renovating more underground shelters in vulnerable border towns. So far, we have ordered seven new mobile bomb shelters and are renovating 120 existing underground public shelters.
>> Donating ambulances and other emergency medical equipment. To date, we have collected funds for three new ambulances and a medi-cycle, and more gifts are coming in for additional medical equipment such as paramedic kits and first aid kits for emergency responders.
>> Donating warm clothing, tents, and other outdoor equipment for those near the frontlines.
>> Funding trauma counselling and care for Israeli families severely shaken by the conflict. This includes renovating and equipping a new trauma care center in Jerusalem to treat those with PTSD from recent events, as well as a special trauma care website focused on affected youth, and a training course for some 5,000 medical professionals nationwide on how to help patients traumatized by the war with Hamas.
Please consider making a gift to our relief aid projects by donating to our Israel in Crisis fund at: https://give.icej.org/crisis
Meanwhile, the Christian Embassy has been showing solidarity with Israel through our global network of national offices, especially in calling for the return of hostages taken into Gaza. Learn more at: https://www.icej.org/solidarity/
And we have been earnestly praying, with fasting, for a swift and complete victory by Israel over this vicious Islamist terror militia, and even for the freeing of Gazans from Hamas. Find out more about our urgent prayer efforts at: https://www.icej.org/pray-with-us/
Please continue to support our urgent efforts to help Israel through this immense challenge and on to victory and a brighter future.
With heartfelt thanks,
Dr Jürgen Bühler