On the way South from Jerusalem, we passed a convoy of military vehicles loaded with munitions for the campaign in Gaza… it reminded me of my military days during the war.
We got to the gate of the Kibbutz and waited for our guide Or to arrive. Or, the grandson of the founder of Kibbutz Be’eri, survived the atrocities of Oct 7th in his bomb shelter with his fiancée. It is very hard to describe the many stories and scenes we saw across the Kibbutz over the next few hours of our time. I will try in future posts to share a few.
We first met the team from ZAKA that has been working since October 7th to gather bodies and body parts and spilled blood so they may be returned to families and buried according to Jewish Law, and also from a place of dignity. They also clean the area, spiritually, and naturally to begin the process of healing and recovery.
Over the next three hours, we walked through the horrific scenes of the massacre on Oct 7th. The very deliberate, meticulously planned, and executed evil that was carried out that day emanated from the homes and streets as I walked the grounds and into the homes of families and individuals who lived there. The Kibbutz, once a beautiful haven, bore witness to the cries of those trapped in bomb shelters, pleading for deliverance and safety. Praying to God that they would be rescued safely with their family and family members; that the IDF, first responders, family, friends, anyone would help them.
We heard stories of tragedy, despair, courage, selfless sacrifice for one’s family and family members, people crying out, pleading for help and support, while evil personified gloated sadistically to the point of enjoyment and pleasure in ending any human life that wasn’t a member of Hamas.
I heard multiple voice recordings along with the story of the courage of a young 13-year-old girl who did everything she could to save herself and her family, and against all kids was the only survivor in her family.
We met two family members of hostages in Gaza, who told of a husband and brother-in-law, whose families were destroyed and killed and were taken hostage. They are praying and hoping the two men are still alive and they will be returned home alive. I am honored to offer encouragement, and blessings, and join in prayer for their loved ones' safe return and that they’ll have the ability to be used as a voice to share their stories and show the world what happened on October 7. Please pray for the hostages their release and God’s Shalom in their lives to be able to move forward, and for their family and friends.
Some more stories and details need to be told, but for now, I will say this day has shown the resilience of the Israelis, a testament to God’s hand on the Jewish people.
Now to Bring Them Home, eliminate the evil, and continue looking to Jehovah Shalom the ultimate source of Peace….and our Prince of Peace.