Supernatural Unity

Pastor Israel attends Jewish and Arab Pastors Retreat

War brings with it a weight that few other experiences can match. In Israel, this particular war has been an extreme time of challenge, change, and growth. A heavy religious atmosphere has sought to divide the nation and the people. Where peace once existed between the two cultures of Arabs and Jews, there is now an air of suspicion and fear. It will take an extraordinary act of love to overcome the barriers that currently exist inside Israel’s borders.

The ongoing conflict in Israel has affected every person, including Jewish and Arab Christian pastors. The hardships and challenges have become a shared experience, but each faction faces its own set of struggles. Now, more than ever, there needs to be a time of healing and restoration that can only be found in the unity of the body.

Recently, Jewish and Arab pastors were given the opportunity to gather together with fellow pastors for a special desert retreat called “Sit at Yeshua’s Feet.” We started the day every morning with a simple yet powerful worship session led by young leaders. It was amazing how the Holy Spirit came down, bringing a sense of supernatural unity. Many pastors spent time in prayer caves, coming out with powerful words of encouragement from God – for each other and the nation. However, one of the most remarkable highlights of this retreat was sitting by the fire and hearing fellow pastors and leaders share testimonies and stories of those who experienced October 7th on different levels.

One of our congregational leaders, also an IDF officer, shared his experience of October 7th. In the dawn of the day of horrors, he was called in for duty and sent to Gaza the same day. What he saw and experienced would scar anyone forever. However, by focusing on the Lord, he was able to press on to complete what he was sent out to do that day. Miraculously, the Lord protected his mind and heart. He was only able to face the indescribable barbarism by claiming the blood of Jesus over his life, his mind, and his soul. He told us that, through it all, he felt God’s presence watching over and protecting him, even in the darkest moments.

Another powerful testimony came from the settlement of Sderot, one of the southern towns along the Gaza border. This area was deeply affected by both a barrage of rockets and the terrorist invasion on that bloody morning. To hear the Sderot pastor speak and share his testimony was incredibly powerful; the truckloads of terrorists he saw from his window that morning driving down Sderot streets is an image he can’t erase from his mind. By a miracle of God, the entire Sderot congregation was out of the city that day, and everyone managed to evacuate safely. However, many other Sderot residents were killed by terrorists while trying to flee the city during the attack.

These stories are only a sample of the many we heard at the retreat. It was a journey of faith for these pastors to tell their stories and have their struggles acknowledged. It’s remarkable how light the burden can get when you have others to help you carry it. For the rest of the world, it’s April, but here in Israel, six months later, it’s still October 7th. People are still dealing with so many issues, challenges, and struggles of what they lived through and are still living every day during this terrible time of war.

The retreat was a blessing for all the pastors who attended. We joined as one in prayer, asking the LORD to bring peace and unity back to our country. Prayers have been the greatest weapon in this war! It is what saved countless people and worked miracles for so many. However, this war is not over, and battles are occurring on numerous fronts.

We need you to stand with Israel and pray for these pastors diligently watching over their flocks. Will you join us in this prayer? We thank you for your support and for partnering with VOJI to help provide the resources these pastors need to continue spreading the message of unity, to the people, and to the body of Christ. Blessings from Pastor Israel!