TEL AVIV, Israel – As Israel continues air strikes against Hamas in Gaza in the wake of the terrorist organization’s brutal, October 7 surprise attack, an estimated 60,000 Israelis and 1 million Palestinians have been displaced as war ravages the 141 square-mile region.
“Following the Hamas attack on Israel, everybody knew it was bad, worse than anything they had seen,” said one Baptist representative who served in and around Israel for more than a decade. “The attack was so horrific that everyone knew it was different.”
Israeli defense officials say Hamas has launched more than 6,000 rockets at Israel in the days since the initial terrorist attacks.
Send Relief has mobilized through local, Christian partners to provide housing, food, medical supplies, bomb shelters and trauma counseling for more than 20,000 displaced and hurting people in Israel and the region.
The organization issued a video update about the response intended for churches to show in their services this weekend.
“From the outset, it was obvious that there was going to be incredible need, and Baptists are known to respond when needs arise,” said this Baptist representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity given security concerns as they may return to the region. “We are going to respond just like we would respond anywhere else in the world.”
Baptists have brought help and hope to the Middle East since at least the early 20th Century, and there are Christians, including Arabs in the region, who trace their spiritual lineage back to Pentecost, described in Acts chapter 2.
One Arab Baptist leader in the region shared a prayer request that the Body of Christ in the Holy Land would be a source of Christian hope amid the ongoing chaos in a way that draws people to the source of their hope.
“War produces uniquely difficult humanitarian crises, and this is no exception,” said Jason Cox, vice president for international ministry for Send Relief. “As Christians, we want to care for the many hurting, vulnerable people impacted by this violence and upheaval.”
Reports warn that Israel’s conflict with Hamas will be prolonged, and U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel in an attempt to prevent further escalation.
Gifts through SendRelief.org go toward supporting compassion ministry projects, like the one at the Baptist Village, during this unfolding conflict.
Published October 20, 2023