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Great Hope in the Midst of Great Tragedy

A Rocket Hit Their Home

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22 Mar 2019 (All day)
Great Hope in the Midst of Great Tragedy

“It was here. It hit in our home!”

Gladys needed few words to describe the most harrowing day of her life. Last November, she and her husband Sergio were at home in Ashkelon, just north of Gaza, when they heard sirens and Hamas rockets being intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. All night long, the alarm kept sounding and sent them scurrying towards the bomb shelter specially built into their home.

From inside the shelter, they heard a rocket hit nearby. After a while, Gladys went to the balcony and saw smoke rising in the distance. For Gladys, her balcony is not only a great lookout point, but one of her favorite places to talk with God. Standing there watching the smoke rise, Gladys heard the Lord say: “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” (Psalm 91:7)

Sergio suggested they move their mattresses into the shelter for the night, which they did. They had just closed the door, when muffled explosions of Iron Dome intercepts began again and then everything went silent. But the eerie calm abruptly ended in a loud, violent BOOM!

Hearing debris falling outside, Gladys shouted, “It was here. It hit in our home!” But her husband thought otherwise. Gladys slowly opened the door to investigate. A gray cloud of smoke and sulfur enveloped her, so she slammed the door in shock. Later, Sergio ventured out into the dark, smoke-filled home. Stepping over debris and broken glass, he reached the balcony and yelled for help. Their home had suffered a direct hit!

As Sergio led Gladys safely out of the home, she looked at the devastation and felt her dreams were crushed. Yet when the police arrived, they made an extraordinary discovery: The rocket never exploded! Instead, the massive rocket – over five meters long – had split in two and exited the home unexploded. The security forces were perplexed how this happened. But Gladys knew why! The Lord had kept His promise to protect them.

During the ambulance ride to the hospital, Gladys kept repeating Psalm 91:7. She asked God, “Why did this happen?” And she heard the Lord reply, “I told you that it would not touch you.”

“This situation changed me”, Gladys explained during a solidarity visit from an ICEJ team. “I strongly believe that God is with me and He answers my prayers. This made me stronger as a believer to trust in God, and it strengthened my marriage.”

As Gladys related her experience, her heart overflowed with both sorrow and thankfulness. The destruction of her home was shocking, yet she was utterly grateful for God’s protection. When Gladys later met an old man with scratches all over his face from rocket shrapnel, she appreciated God’s protection even more. A rocket directly hit their home, yet Gladys and Sergio walked away without a scratch!

Despite losing everything, Gladys insists, “I still prefer to live in Israel, even if a rocket hits my home, because this is the land that God wants me to live in.”

Gladys and Sergio are now in temporary housing, but must still pay rent on their gutted home. When the ICEJ heard their story in the Israeli media, we stepped in to provide some much-needed assistance. Gladys was greatly comforted with the love and care from her brothers and sisters in Christ. “I am so thankful you are here”, she said. “It brings healing.”

Your generous support allows the ICEJ to reach out quickly to families like Gladys and Sergio when they most need our help. Please pray for this dear couple, and many other Israeli families who must overcome the trauma of violence and terror every day.

 

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