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Update from Jerusalem on Coronavirus

From Dr. Jürgen Bühler - March 20, 2020

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Dear Friends of the ICEJ,

I do hope and pray you are safe and in good health. The global shaking over the Coronavirus is impacting every nation on earth, and I’m sure you have felt it in some way. Just know that we are praying for you… that all of us will emerge from this crisis with our lives and families intact, and with our faith and trust in God stronger than ever.

I also want to update you on what is happening here in Israel. As of last night, the country is now in a seven-day lockdown. You can still get to the grocery store or doctor, but otherwise we must stay home. Israel has over 600 confirmed cases of the virus, and there are six in critical condition, but thankfully there have been no deaths so far from the Coronavirus. We are praying that no one will die here from this plague, just as when the death angel passed over the Israelites some 3500 years ago.

Of course, this health crisis has impacted our ministry here at the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. Our staff must now work from home and we are managing to continue our projects and activities as we go forward. But this crisis also presents new opportunities for our ministry, and we want to let you what we were able to do so far.

First, our volunteer team in Haifa has been helping to feed and care for Holocaust survivors and other elderly people confined to their homes. Their courageous efforts have been covered by all the Israeli TV channels. And Prime Minister Netanyahu even mentioned it in his daily briefing on the current health threat. You can find videos on these latest developments here.

We also packed food boxes this week here at our Jerusalem headquarters and delivered them to the elderly and disabled patients cared for by our ICEJ nursing team.

This coming week, we also were planning to pack food boxes for front-door delivery to thousands of senior citizens who must remain in their homes to avoid getting infected by the virus. We are hoping to still be allowed to do that. Otherwise, we are providing financial support for this and other urgent projects, which will be carried out by those authorized to leave their homes and care for the elderly.

Besides all that, we are continuing to sponsor Aliyah flights for Jewish families who are still arriving in Israel even amid this global crisis. They are now required to also enter a two-week quarantine, and the Jewish Agency is looking for our assistance with this added phase of their immigration as well.

The restrictions on movement are tight here. But we will work within the limitations to help Israelis as much as we can in this troubling time that is confronting the whole world.

As we all know by now, the biggest danger is to the elderly and others with weak immune systems. They must stay in their homes and face their fears alone. Here in Israel, many of these elderly are Holocaust survivors who have already had enough trauma in their lives. We want to be there for them.

And after 40 years of ministry here, we know it is in difficult times like these when our efforts to bless and comfort Israel count the most.

So we hope you and your family are coping well with this ordeal and are using it to draw closer to the Lord. And remember us in your prayers, as we continue to reach out to the people of Israel on your behalf. Hopefully, this crisis will end soon. But we need your support at this time, when it can truly help those facing this Coronavirus threat alone.

So please give to our Israel in Crisis fund today by clicking the link below.

And may I wish you a warm Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem!

Dr Jürgen Bühler 
ICEJ President

 

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