Fred Rogers famously said, “Look for the helpers”. What do you do when the darkness is too much to bear? When the pain, grief and horror is overwhelming? The acclaimed children’s television presenter, passed on this advice: “My mother used to say, a long time ago, whenever there would be a real catastrophe … she would say, “Always look for the helpers, there will always be helpers just on the sidelines”… if you know that there are helpers, you’ll know there’s hope”.
And in Israel, you’ll always find helpers. Look at any national disaster, pretty much anywhere in the world, and you’ll see teams of Israeli first responders right there, right off the bat. How much more then when tragedy strikes Israel will you find helpers leaping to lend a hand.
Immediately when the grim news came and people started getting called up for army service, someone took the initiative to offer help for those who would struggle to dissemble their sukkah without a man around. The message went out on Facebook: “Need to take down your sukkah but your husband got a tzav 8? Call me”.
Many more joined the initiative to be helping hands to households missing the man of the house.
Offers of hospitality
Meanwhile, some Arabic-speaking Druze men from Haifa sent a video message of love on social media to all those living near Gaza, right in the line of fire:
You are welcome to come to stay with us, we will host you, we love you!
They were quite serious and gave their phone number so that people could get in touch if they needed a place to stay.
Hotels here in Netanya and all over the north welcomed people fleeing from the south, but many people fled in such haste that they were lacking basic personal items: socks, phone chargers, medication… some of our team here at ONE FOR ISRAEL went to a hotel to ask what they needed and take a shopping list. While they were out stocking up on these essentials, other helpers were doing exactly the same thing for people in another hotel! We were so glad to be able to provide all they asked for and more.
The lady responsible for the group of elderly people we had been shopping for couldn’t believe their needs had been met so swiftly, and burst into tears.
Helpers from Arabic churches
Helpers from an Arabic church in Nazareth quickly mobilized to put together care packages specifically to give to families under fire in the south, living close to Gaza.
Some of our team transported them and handed over the boxes filled with love, and the message and logo printed on the side of the boxes “Home of Jesus the King Church” in Arabic prompted some great conversations!
Similarly, there are Jewish and Arab believers and prayer houses committed to praying and worshiping to see breakthrough in this situation. We are united in Messiah, and we are on HIS side. Prayer and spiritual weapons are more powerful than guns and rockets. However, we are also supporting our troops as they bravely take on the threats coming from every side. They are in need of our prayer covering but also have practical needs we can help with. Many have taken the initiative to help the soldiers, sending sweet messages from children of encouragement and appreciation, providing them with pizza and food which is desperately needed.
In the biggest call up in Israel’s history, 360,000 reservists have now been called for duty, rushing to their posts without having time to pack. The needs are enormous.
ONE FOR ISRAEL has been assembling packages for soldiers taking vital equipment like sleeping bags, mattresses, watches for when they have to leave their phones behind, as well as basics like food, water, and urgently needed provisions. People like you have donated so we can give our soldiers what they need, and we are in pole position to coordinate with local authorities and agencies on the ground to get help to where it’s most needed.
If you want to be one of the helpers that give light, hope and encouragement, we’d love for you to join us.