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Operation Good Neighbor

Outreach to Syria

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6 Feb 2018 (All day)
Operation Good Neighbor

Outreach to Besieged Syrian Communities - 

By: Barry Denison - VP Operations

The ICEJ is well-known for our support of Israel and the Jewish people. So much so, that we sometimes are described as being anti-Arab. This is unfortunate and incorrect because the ICEJ continues to reach out to all the people of Israel and the Middle East with the love of Jesus. For instance, in 2017 we had several significant outreaches, which for security reasons, we could not speak about until now. 

The IDF has now gone public with “Operation Good Neighbor”, the name given to the ongoing assistance Israel provides to the devastated communities in Syria near the border. We were approached with a request to assist a secret IDF-outreach to Syrian villagers near the border of Israel. The IDF specifically asked the ICEJ for baby formula to help feed the infants across the border in these villages.

Another outreach involved my wife, Deb Denison, who is an Intensive Care Nurse and Trauma specialist. Together with a close friend, Dr. Sally Parsons, a Trauma Surgeon, traveled into Syria with a team of Christian medical workers. Thanks to a designated donation from ICEJ Taiwan, we participated directly in this outreach by helping purchase the vast amount of medical supplies needed to keep this team supplied and able to minister through medical care.

For seven weeks, the team showed the love of Jesus in a Syrian village, treating over 1,000 individuals. There were over 120 wounded from the war and 11 babies that were successfully delivered with six of them requiring extremely difficult caesarian surgeries. Had it not been for the C-section deliveries, many of the births would have resulted in death for either the mother, baby, or both.

The ICEJ has given the remaining funds of the designated donation to help purchase medical supplies for the new team going into Syria to equip them to serve for more than 4 months in rough conditions of snow and isolation. Recently, a nearby town suffered an attack of 50-barrel bombs including chemical munitions. “Casualties had muscles clamping, barely breathing, spasms and smelled like chlorine,” reported the medical team.

Deb and I counted the cost before she went in, and we said yes to the voice of our Lord knowing the risks involved. When I saw my wife escorted through the border fence by IDF soldiers coming out of Syria, tears of joy and relief flowed forth.
It seems like a mirage, but it’s real: Jews helping Christians help Muslims!

To offer your support go to int.icej.org/donate and mark your contribution: “int.org/Israel-good-neighbour”
Imagine: Jews helping Christians show love to Muslims in a nation that has been in a state of war with Israel since 1948. A short while ago, this was an unimaginable thought.

Since the beginning of the chaotic conflict in Syria, over 500,000 Syrians have died, and many more have fled as refugees. During this time, Israel has taken in over 5,000 sick and injured Syrians including women, children, and men with major illnesses and war caused injuries.
 

Saving Lives in Syria - By: Kayla Ellingsworth

The ICEJ is a hub and staging point for an impressive range of activities. One morning this fall, Deb Denison, the wife of ICEJ’s VP of Operations Barry Denison, returned to the Embassy to share about seven intense weeks in a Syrian war zone. With tears in her eyes, she recounted the horrific situations her medical team endured to shine the light of Jesus in a place that had no understanding of Christianity.

With two doctors, two nurses, two medics, and one photographer, God used a simple group of people to bring the love and healing of Jesus into a small village under attack. Debbie stated, “We were just a rag-tag team of non-military and medical people with a passion for the Lord and a desire to make an impact. God doesn’t need an army, he just needs people who are willing to say, “Yes Lord, use me!”

Debbie explained how she and her husband counted the cost, “I had to say, ‘Yes Lord. I love you enough to lay down my life to show your love to a people who do not know you!’”

Debbie also expressed her deep gratitude for all of the prayers people had prayed for her and her team while they were in Syria: “It was only by the prayers of those who stood behind us that helped us navigate some really difficult waters.” Please continue to pray fervently for the many other servants of God that are willing to go into places of war and death to bring the peace and life of Jesus Christ!

 

War Looming on Israel's Northern Border - By: Aaron Hecht

After almost seven years, Syria’s fractious civil war seems to be winding down. Despite Israel’s adversaries having expended much blood and treasure, the end of this war may provide them with a very advantageous position to launch a lethal assault on the Jewish State.

The Assad regime has been preserved thanks to Russia’s military, economic and diplomatic support, along with the enormous numbers of Shi’ite fighters from around the region that were mobilised, trained, armed and transported to Syria by Iran. The most dangerous of these Shi’ite militias is the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, which fought an inadvertent 34- day war with Israel in 2006 and has been threatening to renew hostilities ever since.

Intelligence officials warn that because of the estimated 120,000 rockets Hezbollah has aimed at Israel, along with the battlefield experience it has gained by fighting in Syria, it is much more dangerous than it was in 2006. If Israel does not aggressively react to meet these threats in a future war, its home front will be subject to severe disruption and devastation.

Moreover, Iran has used the war in Syria as a cover to move various military assets, Shi’ite militias, weapons manufacturing, and logistical equipment into Syria and Lebanon. These moves are part of its strategic ambition to establish a land corridor from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea, which will enable Iran to menace Israel directly. One ominous development has been the construction of an Iranian military base close to the Golan Heights. The IDF recently struck this base, but dealing with such threats now carries greater risks due to the proximity of Russian forces. One silver lining, however, is that much of the Sunni Arab world feels equally threatened by Iran’s growing strategic reach, providing new opportunities for Israeli diplomacy.

 

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