“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
I am writing this update with a heavy heart knowing all that has been happening in Israel. As you all know, the devastation has caused many lives to be lost since Israel was attacked. First and for most I want to thank you all for your prayers. You have no idea how much your prayers helped me in a time like this. I am now back in the States.
When Israel was attacked, the students and I heard about it Saturday morning and we found out that people from the church who we had met were called in to fight. We began to pray for them and for the nation. After we got done with prayer Pastor Steve, who is the head of CBI, showed us a bomb shelter near the house so if in any case something were to happen near our location (as we were 45 minutes from the Lebanon border and about 3 hours from Gaza), we knew where to go. Through this whole situation Steve was keeping us well informed with updates and he insured us we were safe. He has lived in Israel for many years and has faced similar situations like these before and I trusted his leading and guidance.
On the second day of war, the girls moved in with Steve and his wife at their house and the boys decided to stay in the house we were all living in. Me and another girl stayed in Steve’s safe room that was in his house. A safe room is a structure that is strong enough to provide safety against catastrophic events. The newer houses have safe rooms built in, as this is common in areas like these. Below is a picture of the safe room.
In the first couple of days of the war breaking out, the Lord showed me my life is not my own, that I was bought at a price; that if something were to happen, I needed to trust Him and that He was in complete control. As more days passed, the Lord began to show me, I was right where he wanted me to be and what He needed me to do was to intercede for His people, for His nation and that’s exactly what I did.
That is where Esther 4:14 comes in. When I read that scripture and read the ending “…yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” God spoke to my heart, in a time like this being in the midst of a war, I was in Israel to be used by Him through prayer. There was such authority and boldness in my prayers that could only have come through the Holy Spirit; this was a very special time for me.
In the Safe Room
On a Wednesday night we went to a prayer meeting to a pastor’s (one of Steve’s friends) house that was 30 minutes away from home. Within 20 minutes of our arrival, the sirens went off and we all went to the safe room. You can image the amount of thoughts that went through my mind as I sat in this room with 20 people. News had gone out that the North was under attack by armed ultralight aircraft carrying armed terrorists; which we later found out that it was a false report. As I sat there without my phone, all I could think about was my mom and the last message I sent her was “I love you,” but I wanted to say it one more time and I couldn’t. Then I thought about the pastor who was teaching and going through the Word of God as we sat in this room, “I want to be as strong in the faith as this guy. How can he be so calm? How can he be teaching God’s Word right now when someone can potentially come for all of us? Just a day ago he got pulled from serving in the war.” Man, in that moment I wanted to have the faith he had, the peace he had. After about 30 minutes of being in the room, Steve decided that we were all going to leave and drive back home, he had peace that everything was good and he was right because when we got home we found out the news had given a false report.
I will never forget being in the safe room and walking in with my pastry (silly to think about now) in my hand as there was no time to go get my Bible or phone when the sirens had gone off. There’s so much that I want to write and tell you all about, but the big picture that the Lord painted for me is: (1. the lack of faith I have in Him, (2. how much I hold my life dear to myself because I have all these plans I want to do in regards to missions, and (3. how I need to let go of those plans because that might not be what God has for me.
I do thank the Lord for allowing me to to go through this because I can have compassion for those who go through circumstances like these and this will be used to prepare me for missions overseas.
A Song I Wrote After Being in the Safe Room
Something that I love doing is writing songs/poems and I was inspired to write a song the day after being in the safe room. Here is a part of it:
But what will it take for me to trust your ways
What will it take for me to fix my eyes on you
What will it take to let go, let go
I’m broken before you
Please take my hand and never let go
God I need you, God I need you
May your Spirit give me the rest I need
May your Spirit lead me to you
May your Spirit calm my mind
God I need you
I’m thankful I got to participate in bringing snacks to the soldiers. Steve’s wife and I had a conversation with one of the men who was telling us how grateful he was for people coming by and dropping off food and other needs. What took me by surprise was that he knew we were Christians. How awesome is that! May we be known for our love for others.
Back in the States
I am now back in the States and it has been difficult being back which doesn’t come by surprise as I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. There were many sleepless nights in Israel where I could hear helicopters, gun shots, and other sounds, and now being away from that it has given my mind clarity to process all that has happened. I am thankful for the Lord protecting me through all of this and for all of you who kept in touch with me.
- Praise God for allowing me to be in Israel
- Praise God for keeping the staff, students, and I safe
- Praise God I made it home safely
- Pray for Israel
- Pray for Steve and his family as they continue to help and serve the Israel military
- Pray that I would have the peace that surpasses all understanding as I adjust to being back in the States