Israeli Believers Equipped to Comfort, Encourage Others Amid Raging War

Photo above: Josh Holland, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, helps lead a Sharing Hope in Crisis seminar for believers in Haifa, Israel.

In the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, “everyone is in trauma to some degree,” said Josh Holland, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT).

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Holland—along with BG-RRT chaplain Jason Scalzi—held Sharing Hope in Crisis seminars in Israel, to equip believers there to care for their suffering neighbors.

Between the three locations, around 150 pastors, leaders, and local believers—including many women whose husbands and sons are serving their country on the front lines—came to grow in their ability to comfort those around them and offer God’s peace.

The timely training was interpreted into Hebrew and Arabic during sessions in Messianic congregations in Jerusalem and Haifa, as well as an Arab church in Nazareth.

During the training in Haifa, a pastor received the devastating message that a young man belonging to another Messianic congregation was shot and killed while stationed at a checkpoint outside of Jerusalem. When he announced the heart-breaking news at the end of the seminar, many in the building started weeping and praying over the tragic situation.

“That just hit home. Right after we had this training, to have to hear that someone just died,” Holland shared. “Israel is a small country and everyone is connected somehow, and most people know of somebody that either died or is a hostage.”

Amid great loss, fear, and grief, Israeli believers left strengthened by God’s Word and spurred on in their mission to serve those reeling from tragedy—to help them recognize Jesus (Yeshua) as Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

“As Christians, we stand with Israel,” said Holland. “It’s an honour to be able to do this training.”

Rapid Response Team

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