News from Israel

News Jobst Bittner0

Dear Friends,

in Gaza hundreds of incendiary kites are sent up every day. They are called "fire kites". They have caused more than 1,000 fires already that have destroyed far more than 8,000 hectars of land, forests, nature resorts, parks and cultivated land. These are terror attacks by Hamas and form a constant threat to the population. We met Nachman Shai, Member of Knesset and Chairman of the Israeli-German Parliamentary Group. He said to us, "We Israelis know how to respond to attacks, but we have not yet found a way to counter these burning kites at five shekels a piece."

At a meeting with the Jewish Agency, one of the staff there taught us that the 9th of Av, which is on June 21st, 2019, is the culmination and end of a three-week period of mourning. According to rabbinic tradition, both the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temple as well as the destruction of the city of Betar and the defeat of the Bar Kokhba revolt (AD 132-135) took place on Tish b'Av. I cannot list all the events that took place on that day - but it is worth reading more about it. According to the Jerusalem Talmud, the Messiah was to be born on that day.

Christians have welcomed Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And yet there is a common message. The day of greatest grief can be turned into joy through Messiah. There is good news in the time of grief and mourning! He will comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:1-3).

Maybe the March of Life Movement can be one piece of the puzzle in the hand of God. We will not stop sharing our family histories and, if appropriate, ask forgiveness, comfort and show with our public statement that nations stand in friendship with Israel. Many people we spoke to in Israel have encouraged us to not stop with the March of the Nations. Jürgen Bühler, Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), said, "It is obvious that the Lord has blessed you and has placed His hand on you."

The global March of Life Movement and the March of the Nations in Israel will continue: in 2019 with numerous events in cities of Israel and a conference in Jerusalem, afterwards with a "March of the Nations" in Jerusalem again. Stay connected - we will keep you posted on the developments.

Greetings and Blessings, 

Jobst Bittner