"All things come from Thee, O Lord, and of Thine own have we given Thee."
We are blessed to have Kimmie and Sahar Saado of Israel Bible Tours and their family, based in Israel, as friends of Old St. Andrew's. Kimmie has been providing friends and followers with email updates on the status life in Israel during this most difficult of times, which she has given us permission to share with our Old St. Andrew's family.
Kimmie and Sahar are coordinating donations received for Israel via their US-based Israel Bible Tours Relief Fund. You can make an online donation today directly to this fund by clicking the button/link provided below, which will take you to their Wartime Relief donation page.
If you'd prefer to donate by check, these can be mailed to the Old St. Andrew's office by using the address provided below. Please include "Support Israel" on the memo line.
Checks can be mailed to:
Old St. Andrew's Parish Church, 2604 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414
UPDATES FROM ISRAEL
Email updates are being posted below as received, the most recent messages at the top. To read all of the messages from the beginning, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
Date: Tues, Nov 7, 2023
Dear Friends and Family,
You are receiving this email because you have been on a trip with us or you are in our close circle of support. Many have been asking how we, as a family, are doing and how they can help. The video below will explain in detail both of those but the short answer is: God has been faithful to our family and here are two simple ways you can help:
Pray - We are working to expand the prayer team for Israel Bible Tours, Inc. There is a weekly prayer call via zoom that we join together with (9:00am EST Sundays). It is vital to the ministry to have this prayer team and support. If you are interested in joining please let us know. Even if you cannot make the prayer meeting we ask that you please continue to pray as you can.
Give - We have a goal to raise $70,000 for the next year to support our family and another $30,000 for war relief. As for now our tours have stopped, but this will help enable our family to remain in the Land and continue to serve as the Lord is giving us opportunities.
It would also help us tremendously if you would please share these needs with your friends, families, and churches.
Here is the link where people can give:
With Deep Love and Appreciation,
Sahar and Kimmie Saado
Date: Fri, Nov 3, 2023
Dear Friends and Family,
This is Lacy Ripley (the admin assistant for IBT) with an update. Brothers and sisters, this war is taxing. I cannot stress enough that your prayers are critical. Many of you have written to say that you are forming prayer groups within your churches, Bible studies, small groups, neighborhoods, etc., and we truly cannot thank you enough. Please do not grow weary in doing so. If you do not have a prayer team to join, please let us know by replying to this email, and we can give you a group to join virtually on Sunday mornings.
The attacks from all directions have caused such turmoil not only in the land, but also in the world. As you can imagine, as the rhetoric ramps up, the pressure on Jews throughout the dispersion, on all Israelis, and ultimately on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem has reached a boiling point. Believers in the Land can palpably feel the heaviness of the times. Throughout the Land, they are feeling the pressure, but it seems to be most noticeable in Jerusalem. Please pray specifically for physical stamina and physical health for Kimmie and Sahar and all believers. They are all experiencing the physical ramifications of this spiritual and physical attack.
A dear friend of the Ripley family and the Saado family runs a Telegram channel and shares a lot of great information. We are sharing some of that below, as we think it will be beneficial and insightful to all of you.
Syrian sources are reporting that thousands of Iranian-backed militia members have arrived in Southern Lebanon over the last week and that tens-of-thousands are still staging inside of Syria near the border with Lebanon and Israel’s Golan Heights.
After warning the world that by Wednesday night the hospitals would have no electricity due to no fuel in the strip ... Well, it’s Friday…….and there is electricity, at least for the pictures [See following file link]. There is no lack of fuel in Gaza. Hamas is doing everything it can to stock up and draw out its inevitable end.
This is how Golani goes to war: Invoking the covenant Name and covenant Faithfulness of King of Israel with the Shema
Video 2: The welcoming of Shabbat (Sabbath) from a tank in Gaza
Video 3: The parks have been full of children with their grandparents as so many dads that are normally at the parks in Israel with their children are off defending the nation, over 600,000 reservists in addition to the regular standing army. This week some of the warriors of Israel were given 20-24 hours to go home and see their families before returning to the battle. This is the face of the Nation:
Several heavy barrages today including at the center in the east and south Tel Aviv metro where there were 2 direct hits of which 1 destroyed a home near Ben Gurion airport.
The family was in the shelter and there were no casualties.
Beer Shevah and Ashdod were targeted more than once today, and Ashkelon as is usual since it is the closest large city to Gaza.
Barrages from Lebanon to the upper Galilee today and this evening. The last barrage saw a direct hit in Kiryat Shmona where 3 people were injured.
The IDF struck targets belonging to Hezbollah in 25 villages in Lebanon this evening, all within 10 km of the border. The strikes were in response to the rocket fire from Lebanese territory into Israel.
The IDF is now completely surrounding Gaza City and has cut the strip into 2 sections of north and south. IDF has begged civilians to leave (more leaflets this week to let them know if they don’t evacuate they will be in the war zone) and so many have flat out refused to leave. It is extremely difficult, as the main Hamas command center is directly below the main hospital and they all refuse to evacuate. There are still 240+ hostages (and counting). Please pray for divine strategies and completions.
The northern section, which is Gaza City, is 100% encircled by IDF forces. The forces continue at this time to advance closer to the heavily dense areas of the city.
The map below shows IDF advances in Gaza:
By God's grace, we hope to send more updates this weekend. Please stay tuned for more videos.
Brothers and sisters, please continue to pray. for physical and spiritual health. May the Lord bless and keep you, and may He open the eyes of the blind.
Grace and peace,
PS - I’m sorry I forgot to mention that Sahar and Kimmie (or at least one of them) will be doing their best to join the zoom prayer meeting on Sunday mornings and give a brief personal update.
For anyone interested in joining please email me back and I’ll send the zoom details. It will be 8:00am CST every Sunday morning.
Thank you for continuing to pray!
Date: Mon, Oct 30, 2023
Attached is a brief update. PLEASE continue speaking up for the TRUTH especially during times like this. With all of the rallies, protests, and antisemitism taking place around the world right now the Jewish people as a whole need to see Christians' love and support for them. We can see that God is preparing the harvest, and the hearts and souls of the Jews are becoming so ripe. At the same time He is continuing to stir in the hearts of the muslim world as well and bringing many to faith. We must keep praying against the evil agenda of Islam. We continue to pray for more disciples and the salvation of all.
We are excited and preparing to spend Thursday morning and afternoon near Tel Aviv blessing kids whose families have been evacuated from the south. We will be organizing sports games, Bible stories, music, and crafts with them. Please pray for Abba to minister in and through our family and our team of volunteers as we serve together.
Thank you for your continued support in every aspect!
Shalom from Jerusalem,
Sahar and Kimmie
https://app.dimegiving.com/israel-bible-tours/israel-aid - link for War Relief
Date: Fri, Oct 27, 2023
Dear Friends and Family,
Attached below is a link for a video update (*Please do not post on any social media). We have also included an article about Israel's ground invasion into Gaza that is just now extending extensively. Please especially pray during this time as there is concern for the possibility of a regional war. Gaza is part of the Land allotment to the Tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:47).
Here is also a link to a song just released today, that the kids and I (Kimmie) were blessed to be a part of. It is sung by all believers, including Jews and Arabs in this area. This is so timely.
Here is the link for anyone who would like to give financially to Israel Bible Tours, Inc.
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem,
Kimmie and Sahar
Date: Weds, Oct 19, 2023
It is amazing to me to see how much the people of Israel have come together since the massacre. There is a unity, bonding, and strengthening taking place that is so beautiful.
Many preparations are continuing to be made for what they are saying could be a long war. We're praying it will not be! However, Israel is preparing many "pop up" or temporary hospitals and continues to evacuate more residents in the northern part of Israel. There are many people offering their homes, guest houses, hotels etc... for families who have evacuated.
We are discussing possible opportunities for organizing games, sports, and activities for children who are displaced. This would be such an honor and joy. The place where we held our overnight sports and leadership camp for 80+ kids this past summer is now housing many families too. Please continue to pray that Abba gives us divine opportunities to serve.
We are continuing to have regular prayer/worship meetings in our home with other believers who live nearby. This is so important for us at this time and we are truly thankful for the fellowship of the believers.
Please continue to pray for Israel as having the USA coming to help is causing Israel to be more dependent upon them and also having to have approval from them before making many decisions they should make on their own. The USA recently gave 6 billion to Iran, and Biden says he believes Iran that they were not involved in the Oct 7th massacre. Somehow too, it went without much of a mention 2 days ago that according to the nuclear agreement, the restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program expired.
The USA has committed $100 million in aid to the Gaza strip. They kept pushing for humanitarian aid to be allowed in the strip, but not a mention of aid being given to our hostages there or even contact at least with Red Cross, whereas Red Cross must be there to assist with the Gazan's aid. Please continue to pray for the protection and release of the hostages, and quickly.
Please continue to pray for Israel's leaders that they will seek the Lord and listen to and obey Him above everything else. Please pray Israel will be a light unto the nations.
Please continue to pray for our family and all those grieving and mourning. I believe the grief hits us at different times. We were in a mall today (most of the stores closed) and each time I looked at the people (kids and adults) I almost cried thinking it could have been any one of them who lost their lives on Oct 7th. Let us never take for granted the breath God gives us.
Some days, like today, we can feel so emotionally drained and tired from processing so much. It of course is nothing compared to what others go through (having lost loved ones, evacuating, etc), but we really have to rely on the strength of the Lord. Thank you again, for all of your prayers, support, and encouragement. You have such an important role in strengthening your brothers and sisters here.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Ephesians 6:18
P.S. This is Lacy, the admin assistant for Israel Bible Tours, writing now. Kimmie and Sahar's family were dear friends to us during our time in Israel. We are back in the US now, but our hearts are still very much connected to Israel, like many of yours. May I just say that the love and support I have seen from so many of you has been such an encouragement to my faith, and to my family's faith. Many of you have asked how you can help, and many of you have already contributed to the donation campaign we have established. We add people daily to the list of people asking to stay updated. For that reason, we will include the donation link at the end of each update. Please know it is for the benefit of those who are newly added to the list. I truly cannot stress enough how amazing it has been to see the Body of Yeshua pour out their heartfelt love and contributions for the well-being of people you've never met. May your generosity be considered a fragrant offering to the God of Israel. Thank you for continuing to pray for Israel, and especially for the believers in Israel to be able to offer the hope of Yeshua to the people around them.
Date: Weds, Oct 18, 2023
Today Biden met with the war cabinet in Israel. We still do not yet know what all was discussed. We do know that the USA as well as other leaders continue to push their agendas on Israel's leaders. Still there is no word regarding Israel's hostages. There are still over 300 missing bodies from the massacre of Oct 7th.
More countries have been evacuating their citizens from Lebanon for fear of war with Israel. Even the UNIFIL (UN) border teams last night evacuated the southern border of Lebanon. Meanwhile Hezbollah continues to fire rockets into Israel. There are many people who have evacuated to Jerusalem from both the southern and northern borders. We are finding more opportunities to serve right here in our city.
Attached below are pictures/videos of more of the soldiers we were able to help at multiple bases. They thanked us (you) so much and said they are strengthened and encouraged by our (your) support. They are SO appreciative!
Please continue to pray for:
- hostages to be unharmed and released
- leaders of Israel to listen to and obey God in-spite all of the pressures from other nations to push their agendas.
- the enemy's plans to be thwarted and turned back around upon him, just as Hamas' failed rocket launch from last night (re: the hospital) turned back towards Gaza
- Please pray that both Israelis and Palestinians will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and begin to walk with Him into the freedom and purposes He has created for them.
Date: Tues, Oct 17, 2023
Today things were rather quiet in Jerusalem again. In the north and south rockets continue to come across. When I say rockets you can see a video link below of a barrage from last night south of Tel Aviv. The brightest lights are the interception of the rockets by the Iron Dome system. When they shoot rockets it's not just one, but a barrage of many. This is happening day and night here while political powers continue to tell the IDF to hold off on the ground invasion.
There are now around 1400 who were murdered on Oct 7th, reported 200-250 hostages still in Gaza. Please continue to pray for those mourning the loss of their loved ones. Please also pray for the Palestinians who are suffering greatly under the control of Hamas in Gaza.
On a positive note I was able to meet with other moms and their kids for an art project. They made posters to put in their bomb shelters with either one word or a whole scripture to help them meditate on God's truths. The kids were so excited to put theirs in our safe room.
Our family was asked to lead a prayer/worship watch at a 24/7 prayer house here. It was our first time as a family leading a watch and we enjoyed it so much. We played instruments, sang, danced, read scriptures, and prayed over the city, nation, and world. It was really a special time for us.
Today, also was a reminder of how weak we are on our own. All of this- the war, the innocent lives who suffer, the corruption, the fears of the unknown, etc... are too much for us to handle. This is why we can boast about our weaknesses.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11
We sure are looking forward to all God wants to do in His strength through us, because we sure can see more and more of our weaknesses. May His strength be revealed in and through us in these coming days especially. Thank you for continuing to stand with us in prayer!
P.S. Below you'll find a photo of the kids from today, and the rockets in the sky from yesterday.
Date: Mon, Oct 16, 2023
We are so thankful that the Lord led us to homeschool our kids this year, and especially now. Our greatest focus with homeschooling has been the Bible each morning. What a gift!
Today, we tried to get back to more of a routine with their studies since the war began. Late in the afternoon Sahar decided to take the kids to a park near our home for the first time since the war began. We haven't until today, because there is not a shelter there. I drove with my oldest daughter at the same time to go pick up something about 5 min away.
While sitting at a traffic light waiting for it to turn green we heard the sirens for the first time in 4-5 days. My daughter and I quickly got out of the car and as she was coming over to my side of the car we heard the first of 3 loud explosions. It sounded as if it hit the ground just a few streets over or was intercepted extremely low to the ground. I quickly grabbed her and we knelt down against a rock wall and I held her head to my chest. I prayed out loud for the rest of our family at the park and then we could see and hear another loud explosion, this time right above the park where they were. Thank God the rocket was intercepted, however very low and not high up in the sky as usual.
The Lord quickly gave me the scripture from 2 Timothy 1:7 and I said to Him- "You have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Thank you Lord!" We heard the 3rd explosion a bit further in the distance. I then called Sahar and he said they were ok and all going back to the apartment. I also went straight back home.
When the rockets came and Sahar and the kids were at the park, Sahar quickly laid over our youngest child and the other 3 laid down next to him with hands over their heads. They did not panic, but followed Sahar's instructions. We were very proud of them for this. My son (age 10) said he prayed during the sirens and felt the Lord's comfort. As he rode his bike home he said he teared up and just thanked the Lord for protecting us all. It brings me so much joy to know he has his own relationship with Yeshua and that He is growing and maturing Benyamin's faith.
After we arrived home we spent the rest of the evening sharing with one another how we felt from the incident, things we learned, we encouraged one another, prayed for one another, and worshipped together. We especially loved singing Phil Wickman's song- The Battle Belongs to You. We were all so encouraged and built up in the Spirit. Our God is so so good.
We certainly can't understand all that is going on around us and know there is much corruption in our own government as well as all who are involved in this war. We are choosing to focus on God's Word and His heart and be obedient to Him. He will get the victory.
Thank you for continuing to stand with us and encourage us. Your prayers are like fuel for us (& all of the brothers & sisters) and we cannot thank you enough!
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Ephesians 6:18
Date: Sun, Oct 15, 2023
Today was a bit of a rollercoaster as many days have been since the war began. The US has been evacuating citizens who want to leave. Several of our close friends and their families have either left or will soon. The US now has the following here (some may still be on the way)- 2 aircraft carriers, at least 160 planes, 2 ships with guided missiles, 6 destroyers, additional F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 aircraft. Rockets are still coming from the north and south, and the ground invasion is still waiting to happen. It seems like a movie sometimes.
To be honest our family really has such peace and clarity to stay here and continue to serve. We look around us and many of our friends and loved ones here have no other place to run to and are committed to helping in any way during this war. We especially sense Abba guiding us to be a Light and to serve here at this time.
We were so blessed to be able to get out and buy more things for our soldiers. There is a person calling directly to all of the bases throughout the country and asking what their specific needs are. These are the items we are able to get and send to the specific bases (undershirts, boxers, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, towels, plastic cutlery, duct tape). We feel so blessed to be a part of it. Thank you so much again to all of you who make this possible!
I wish I would've taken a picture, but at one of the traffic lights today, there were people giving out flags of Israel to put on their car windows to show support. Normally on Independence Day here you have to pay for them, but instead they just gave them out. People were so proud to receive and display them. I am so blown away at the resiliency of the people of this country. Many different videos are circulating of weddings that have taken place at bases this past week as well as bar mitzvahs for sons of some of the officers at bases. They can still find a way to celebrate in the midst of pain.
We are striving to choose joy at this time and this is the attitude and character we want to have...
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Date: Sat, Oct 14, 2023
Today has been rather quiet again where we live, thankfully. We are thankful for a restful Shabbat. We had a wonderful and encouraging time of prayer, worship, reading the Word and eating together in our home with other families and friends who live near us. We need this especially during this time.
The ground invasion in Gaza has not started yet. Rockets continue to come from Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon. Please especially pray for the civilians in Gaza who are trying to move south away from the targeted areas (by IDF), but Hamas will not let them all as they sickly use their own people as human shields and for propaganda.
The IDF gave them even more time today to clear out and said between 10:00-16:00 two specific roads would be safe for them to travel on to get further south before they start destroying more targets. Many people may not know, but a lot of Gaza is an underground system, used by Hamas. This is what the IDF is going after this time.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12
We continue to pray for:
- Our brothers and sisters in the IDF and all those who are serving and still mourning.
- Our brothers and sisters and other innocent civilians in Gaza who are also suffering.
- All of the hatred growing around the world once again, and riots just a week now after the massacre. Bible prophecy is unfolding before our eyes.
- The wicked plans of the enemy to be turned back upon him.
- For the believers to really press in and clearly discern the voice of the Lord from all of the others. We want to know and do His will alone.
Thank you for continuing to pray!
Date: Fri, Oct 13, 2023
Thankfully today was another rather quiet and calm one in general where we live. However, tensions are still rising as you’ve likely seen on the news: rockets and artillery from the north and still more rockets from Gaza, including 1 long range missile (250km). Meetings have been held between diplomats of different countries (Iran, Lebanon, Syria, etc…). The USA continues to send support. Praise God as the USA will be blessed if she blesses Israel (Genesis 12:3)! The US State Department is already seeking medical personnel who would like to volunteer. I have a link for a form if anyone is interested.
The IDF has warned all residents (since yesterday) in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south until 20:00 today. Now they have started the heavy attacks. Most people don’t realize that the IDF distributes flyers in Arabic in all of the cities letting them know to evacuate before they begin going after cells, storehouses for weapons, etc… The ground invasion is just waiting for the command.
Many weapons found from the attacks were weapons from N. Korea, Iran, Russia. This is not surprising. If any of you are not familiar with Ezekiel 38-39, the war of God and Magog, it will help you to understand all that is happening now. We can’t know for sure if this will be the full blown war Ezekiel spoke of, but if not now this is sure a big shaking to help us get ready for it.
I do believe God is also waking up the Body of Yeshua and warning us that we better be operating as a united Body in order to face the future battles. I heard a great explanation about the role of Israel once- Imagine a drama is going to take place and each person has a different role to fulfill. God chose Israel as the “lead role” (because of Abraham’s faith). All of the “supporting roles” have to do their part to support the lead role in order for the whole drama to succeed. Likewise the lead role needs to be successful for the whole drama to succeed. I would prefer to use sports analogies but this is how it was first explained to me and I got it
Israel sadly at this time is not fulfilling her destiny to be a light unto the nations (Isaiah 42:6). We all need to be praying for this. Israel has a specific role to fulfill during the end times (read the book of Revelation). God never broke his side of the covenant with her. The world needs to see what a covenant keeping God we have and how badly He desires to enter into covenant relationship with each and every person He created.
My heart has been rejoicing in the fact that through this horrific shaking more and more members of the Body are beginning to pray for and support Israel. My prayer is that we especially realize why we need to pray for her. Yes, to comfort her during this time, but more importantly that she will fulfill her destiny to be a light unto the nations and let the world see what it looks like to walk in a covenant relationship with a covenant keeping God. Israel cannot do this without the support from the other members of the Body. We see it so clearly now. Abba, please help your children to each recognize their roles and truly operate as one united Body so that the world will know YOU!
*Please continue to pray for wisdom for many people who will likely need to make decisions about evacuating or not, especially with small children. Many people do NOT want to leave and want to stand and support Israel here, but also want to know what Abba is saying is best above all.
Date: Thu, Oct 12, 2023
I'm sorry I did not send much of an update yesterday. The evening ended leaving my stomach in knots and I had to put the phone down and rest. Earlier in the day I was so blessed to be on a prayer call with pastors/leaders from all over the world. I was especially touched to hear from a Palestinian brother who grew up in Gaza and is very close with a believing leader in Gaza. He shared how even though he and his wife had lost their home, they were still praising God and have seen His provisions for them each day. Wow! Most people don't even realize there are some believers in Gaza and think what their side looks like. It is so sad how much they have to suffer under the control and leadership of Hamas. Please pray for them.
The evening ended up with a number of cyber attacks ... causing adrenaline and emotions to go all over the place. I learned a lot:)
Today was very different and so refreshing. First of all my strength, peace, and joy even in the midst of turmoil come from Yeshua- being in His presence and reading His Word. A song I sang over and over was Shane and Shane's - You've Already Won. Hallelujah! https://youtu.be/sM0ovt_nbd4?si=yPsqXYEXUvkGOLKK
Outside of our apartment building is a major construction zone with 21 cranes and a new neighborhood being built. I've never been so happy to hear the loud drilling and banging as this morning. Sahar and I were shocked that people had returned to work. Praise God we have not had any sirens for 3 days now.
We took the kids out and stopped at a local community center where a unit of soldiers are stationed and asked if they had any needs. We were so blessed to be able to go and purchase these as a family. The kids were especially excited (& the soldiers gave them lots of candy too:). When our cashier realized the items were for soldiers she asked us if she could help pay for some of them too! We were so touched. Another girl saw our cart full and said she knows of other bases that have needs and they drive items to each night. I told her for sure we will get more and bring it to them.
Sahar surprised one IDF officer at the checkout by paying for some items he was buying for his men. He was so touched and they had a long conversation. He thanked Sahar so much.
What a JOY to be a part of helping like this! So many of you have helped make this possible and we cannot thank you enough!
There is still so much coming out: 1300+ Israelis killed, now 247 soldiers.
When people begin to second guess the truth about babies & children being beheaded, shot, burned to death, etc... Please do not believe them. I will not post such pictures, but have seen them with my own eyes. My friends' husbands have personally entered these awful areas as their duties with the IDF.
Please continue to pray for the hostages and their families and also the ones working to help get them back. There are some believers involved with this. Please keep praying for our soldiers and also the women and children left behind while they serve. Please pray for Israel to be a light unto the nations (Isaiah 49).
Thank you again, for your continued prayers and encouragement and gifts. Each of you are such a blessing.
Most of all, Thank you, Lord, that YOU are seated on the throne and this battle belongs to YOU!
Chronicles 20:15 — “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.”
Date: Tue, Oct 10, 2023
Greetings From Jerusalem,
First of all we want to say thank you so much for the generous gifts, love, and support from so many of you. Today, we were able to purchase mattresses for soldiers stationed along the southern border and food, flashlights, toothbrushes/toothpaste for soldiers in Jerusalem.
Our niece is in the IDF and she has a difficult role organizing funeral arrangements for many of the fallen soldiers (now 156). The overall death toll is now more than 1000 Israelis. Today, 40 more bodies were found in a village including babies and children who were beheaded and people burned alive. It's atrocious.
On the northern border tensions are rising as more rockets are being fired. Residents have evacuated near the Lebanon border. Please pray this stops soon and does not escalate. Please also pray as the IDF is close to a ground invasion in Gaza with 35 battalions.
Not everyone may be aware of this testimony: Saturday afternoon the Taliban in Afghanistan made a public announcement saying they would like to join efforts with Hamas and help them finish off Israel and even take over Jerusalem. Within an hour or so after that announcement there was a massive earthquake in Afghanistan killing more than 2000 people. I absolutely hate that more people died, yet what a testimony to God's protection for Israel.
Today was pretty quiet in Jerusalem. We did not have any sirens or rockets all day for the first time since Saturday. Our kids all said in their prayers tonight that it was the highlight of their day:) Everyone is generally still staying put in their homes except for grocery runs or other important reasons to leave.
Last night a lot of my emotions finally came out that I had been keeping inside since the war began. It is not easy living off of adrenaline. After the kids were asleep in the safe room I found myself with my hands and knees on the kitchen floor with a wet rag cleaning up spilled juice along the baseboards and floor. I began to sob like a baby. The Lord reminded me of the woman who washed Yeshua's feet with her hair and his endless examples of being a servant.
So many times I can lose His perspective and become distracted from what's true. I was quickly reminded of what an HONOR and privilege it is to serve these people AND in this Land just as He did. I wept even more as my heart became full of gratitude and thanksgiving. As hard as this time may be I will never forget years ago when He first told me that I would come and live and serve in this Land, especially even during times of war. He is sure faithful to His Word.
Your prayers and encouraging words mean the world to my family and me and all of the people serving here alongside us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Date: Wed, Oct 11, 2023
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
This is Lacy Ripley (I'm a new admin assistant IBT) writing on Kimmie and Sahar's behalf. Please know that they are so thankful for all of your prayers and support. They have read your messages and have tried to respond to as many as possible. Please know that your concern is so appreciated. They are experiencing the weight of prolonged attacks from various fronts, and have asked me to give an update.
Today there have been widespread cyber attacks throughout Israel. This has caused severe communications issues. The red alert system has given several false alarms, sending the citizens again to their shelters. There have been false reports of incoming attacks, and more threats. You can imagine the toll this takes on the family. The kids tonight are noticeably more upset, needing constant comfort from their parents as they go to sleep.
This evening Kimmie and Sahar are weary from the constant and conflicting rumors and reports. They have all been in a constant state of readiness, and this posture is incredibly taxing, both physically and spiritually. We believe that this is part of the plan of the Enemy (both the physical enemy and the Enemy of our souls): to cause confusion, stress, and exhaustion.
Here are some immediate prayer requests:
-Pray that Kimmie and Sahar, along with all the believers in the Land, will have stamina -- physically and spiritually.
-Pray the Lord will give them discernment when reading news reports.
-Pray for the safety and success of Israel's military.
-Pray for those who are lost to turn their eyes and hearts to our merciful Messiah.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Israel and for Kimmie and Sahar and the family.