Shells and Shalom

You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you (Psalm 91:5-
The Psalms are always a great source of comfort for our souls. I have been teaching the book in our mid-week Bible studies and have been encouraged and built up by the exercise. The words of the psalmist quoted above have been a great encouragement to us, particularly during the recent war against Hamas. Early on in that conflict, cities further away from the Gaza strip – such as Ashkelon, Ashdod, and even Gedera – were targeted by Hamas and missiles landed in them. Five HaGefen staff members live within the 40km range of the rockets, and many fell close-by with one landing just three doors away from our own home in Gedera. We are thankful to God for his protection.

During the twenty-two days of the war, 851 rockets were shot into Israel. Three civilians were killed, 182 were injured and a further 583 were treated for shock. In addition some 1,279 buildings and nine schools or kindergartens were damaged by direct hits or by shrapnel. No doubt the death, destruction and damage in Gaza was far greater and I hope we all are saddened by the loss of innocent lives on both sides of the border.

In the midst of all the insanity of war, the Lord provided us with many opportunities to present the gospel. It started when some of our neighbours were in shock after their homes had been damaged. They sought comfort and calmness but, above all, they needed the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. We were able to talk further with one family in particular and they have asked to look at The Testimony (the illustrated Bible in Modern Hebrew for young people). Then, when I took my car in for a service, the receptionist – knowing that we are in “the publishing business” – asked me for some books! We have just republished Betrayed in Hebrew and I gladly offered her a copy. I look forward to visiting the shop again so as I can ask her what she thought of the book.

There was also a lady who phoned and asked to see our office and the books that we publish. Apparently she had heard the gospel before, and had even made a profession of faith, but she is struggling due to pressures at home. We had a good chat and I shared some of the experiences I had been through with my parents and family and the challenges I had faced. She ended up purchasing a few of the books that we publish, including a set of The Testimony.

We are thankful for these meetings and for other opportunities we have had to present the gospel to our people. What a great privilege this is for us as the children of God. Please continue to pray for more occasions when we can be lights in the dark world in which we live.

While the country has been at war, many children have stayed at home. However, the work has continued and in the past weeks we have still been able to publish books and conduct some seminars. We are now working on five different books in Hebrew and Russian, two of which are evangelistic. Please pray that these and other projects will help to fulfil our calling to support the churches in Israel in their God-given task of evangelism and discipleship.

Again we are grateful for your faithful prayers and support of our work in this part of the world. If you wish to receive more information, please write to

David Zadok
CWI Israel, Field Director
HaGefen Publishing

This article first appeared in the Spring 2009 edition of the Herald

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