American Christians' prayers & pocketbooks sustaining Jewish nation

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
 | Staff (

I Stand With IsraelAmerican Christians helped fund thousands of bomb shelters that protected Israelis from Hamas terrorist attacks during the recent 11-day conflict.

The Associated Press reports the battle between Israel and Hamas killed more than 250 people, mostly Palestinians, and caused widespread destruction in Gaza because Hamas terrorists deliberately place their rocket launchers in residential areas. But the cease-fire that came into effect on Friday continues to hold.

Yael Eckstein is CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), a nonprofit group that provides a way for American evangelicals to give humanitarian aid to Jewish people in Israel. He explains his group has placed nearly 3,000 permanent and mobile bomb shelters in Israel to date, including areas that have been targeted by thousands of Palestinian rockets.

"It's mostly on behalf of Christians in America who want to provide that shelter and protection, just as the Bible says to be the watchmen on the walls [of Jerusalem]," Eckstein told The Christian Post (CP).

Over the past 18 months, 59 permanent and mobile bomb shelters, along with 1,000 protective vests, have been distributed in Israel in anticipation of attacks.

God is the true protector


As a mother of four living in Israel, Eckstein is ultimately relying on God for protection.

"Every night before we go to sleep and say the bedtime prayers to ask God to watch over us, we're giving our plans for if there's a [bomb] siren – who is going to grab who to go down to the shelters," she shared. "Things have definitely changed, and it's a constant balance between making sure our children are aware and that you're honest with them and that they're aware of the threats and aware of where the closest bomb shelter is."

Quite familiar with Jews who were killed in war and terrorist attacks in Israel, Eckstein finds comfort in God's protection amidst the concerted terrorist attacks on Tel Aviv.

"What's really unique and unprecedented about this situation now is that we're not even technically in a situation of war and [there have] been more rockets over Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, than ever before in the history of Israel," she continued.

"And so, I guess what makes this unique is just the range that Hamas terrorists are able to [reach]. The amount of people who are in their bomb shelters who have never [had] to get in their bomb shelters before, and the ongoing barrages that are targeting civilians and not specifically military or IDF bases."

The evangelical Jew stressed that the recent attacks have affected an all-time-high number of Israelis, who have been served by The Fellowship during its 15 years of operating on the Gaza Strip in order to help citizens not only through bomb shelters and protective gear, but by setting up secure trauma centers.

Israelis not oppressors, but liberators

Eckstein is grateful to see that many evangelicals in America have not ascribed to the pro-Palestinian narrative given by the left.

"What's inspiring to me personally is to see the millions of Christians who – despite the media totally mis-portraying what is happening – they see through it and continue to stand with Israel and be Israel's most vocal supporters," she shared.

"And for Christians, obviously, who stand for life, who stand against killing, who have these very, very strong values of freedom – to see how they recognize there's one side defending themselves and one side waging war and targeting civilians – for me is just the most encouraging thing."

The evangelical leader pointed out that since it was re-established as a nation in 1948 after 2,000 years – as prophesied in the Bible – Israel has never provoked a war in those 73 years, and she is glad millions of American Christians recognize that "Israel stands for freedom."

"Israel yearns for peace – [it] does not want war [and] doesn't want to kill anyone," she impressed. "Israel wants to make sure that its citizens are safe."

It was also noted that while Israel commits to save the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians alike, Hamas terrorists use women and children as human shields while building weapon factories under schools and hospitals – having little regard for human life.

"[T]he day that our enemies love their children more than they hate us is the day there will be peace," Eckstein said, reflecting on a quote from former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

Israel's God-given ability to defuse attacks and survive in the volatile region of the Middle East – known as the Powder Keg – was celebrated … and contrasted to its enemies.

"[Israel] is really this beacon of light and Judeo-Christian values – just like America stands for the same democratic process, same value for life and freedom – and one of the hardest things is being surrounded by terrorists … who have no value for life," Eckstein explained. "If the Arabs would put down their arms, there would be no more war; [but] if Israel would put down their arms, there would be no more Israel."

She marveled at Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system and how God "neither slumbers no sleeps" as he blesses Israel with innovation, strength and divine protection.

"I think that we're seeing miracles in our lifetime, and I think that we're seeing blessings, as well, that with over 2,000 rockets being launched at Israel … and miraculously, they're falling in open areas," she concluded. "I really believe prayer is Israel's greatest weapon, and the fact that we have millions of Christians praying for us and standing with us is just, I believe, a huge component of what's giving us this strength."


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