March 23, 2020

Eshkol Cornerstone Ceremony

For the past few years we have worked closely with the nation of Israel finding ways we can fulfill the call of God from Isaiah 40 to comfort His people. God has connected us with the most amazing men and women who are there in the trenches every day face to face with the growing need to bring hope and healing to this land. With the help of our friends and partners of this ministry, we’ve built a church in Jerusalem, constructed housing for Holocaust survivors and helped to provide them with critical food and medical attention. More recently we stood by the devastated community of Mevo Modi’im to rebuild and restore what the enemy burned to ashes. Now we are doing what may be the most important task yet—building the Eshkol Region Trauma Center.


I believe protecting this southeastern border, where Israel meets the Gaza strip and Egypt, is one of the greatest needs they are facing today. This is an area that faces daily attacks. You can look above and watch as the Iron Dome intercepts rockets like shooting stars within reach. When parents leave their children at school during the day, or tuck them in at night, they pray if the alarms go off, everyone will make it to safety. Once the sirens sound, there’s only 15 seconds to make it to shelter.


There is one recent account of a mother running to shelter with her three-month old baby in her arms. As they were running, she tripped and fell down the stairs. They were both rushed to the hospital where the baby was admitted into ICU and treated for serious head injuries. As horrific as that must’ve been, the most unimaginable part of this story is that the mother said she had to decide in a split second which of her three children she would carry to the bomb shelter.


Together, with the Jewish National Fund, we are building the Eshkol Region Trauma Center to help this war-torn region of Israel. The trauma center will truly be a beacon of hope and light for the people. Fully fortified, the entire building will serve as a safe-shelter during times of alert. An indoor playground and classrooms give children and opportunity to experience a sense of security during extended times of uncertainty. A cafeteria and community center will allow for all ages, including the region’s elderly Holocaust survivors, a place to gather and find respite. The center will be situated in an area central to the schools so that parents can rest assured during the day that their children can make it to safety.


I was so honored to represent this ministry, Free Chapel church, and YOU – our friends and partners who are making this possible – at the ceremony in Israel where I helped lay the cornerstone for this building. It was a historic moment and an opportunity to hear just how meaningful this project is to the precious people of Eshkol. I heard from mothers, fathers, teachers, government officials, church leaders, and most importantly the children just how much it means to them to have our support and this center of hope as a symbol.


We stand with Israel not just as Americans, but also as Christians. We stand with the Jewish people as a fulfillment of God’s Word in Isaiah 40 to comfort His people, to speak comfort to Jerusalem, and to make it clear that, as it says in The Message version, “She’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with” (v. 2). Every time we reach out to our Jewish brothers and sisters, we do so in the love of Christ, letting them know Christ is love, and He deeply loves them.


We are so close. We are more than halfway to our goal of $1,000,000 to complete the Eshkol Region Trauma Center. Thank you for getting us here. Thank YOU for laying that cornerstone and beginning the beautiful work of comforting Israel. Now, let’s finish strong! If you have not done so yet, consider making a donation. No amount is too small, and will help bring this treasure to the heart of Eshkol.