Israel, like the Gulf Coast, is preparing for disaster

Israel, like the Gulf Coast, is preparing for disaster

Our prayers are with the brave Americans who live in the Gulf Coast region as they prepare for Hurricane Gustav, a potentially catastrophic storm about to devastate the lives of 4.5 million people, destroy 59,953 homes and overwhelm 170 hospitals and more than 1,110 police and fire stations in its path, according to the latest FEMA computer projections.

All of us at The Joshua Fund are eager to bless Americans impacted by the storm and we are encouraging people to give generously to organizations that focus on U.S. disaster relief, including Samaritan’s Purse, Convoy of Hope, and the Red Cross

At the same time, an Israeli journalist has an interesting article today in Ha’aretz, noting that as Americans prepare for the impact of Hurricane Gustav, Israelis are preparing for the impact of Hurricane Mahmoud.

“In Israel as in New Orleans, there is a palpable sense of simchat hayim, a profound joy in being alive, alongside a constant and no less palpable knowledge that serial, unimaginable catastrophe is not only possible, but inevitable,” writes columnist Bradley Burston. “There is, regarding government in both places, an assumption of corruption, a habituation to ineptitude, a feeling that the very officials whose job is to serve you and protect you, will, when the chips are down, fail you. There is also the sense, in New Orleans vis a vis the rest of the United States, and in Israel, vis a vis the rest of the Jewish world, that while your people elsewhere truly love you, when push comes to shove, you’re on your own. True, we have no hurricanes here. But we have Iran. And that’s more than enough. The Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become Israel’s hurricane threat, the serial menace who orders his vassals in the West Bank to send us suicide bombers, his vassals in the Gaza Strip to send us Qassams, his vassals in Lebanon to send us Katyushas, his vassals over the next ridge from our house to try to burn us out in an arson fire. In the back of our minds, is Hurricane Mahmoud at Category 5: drawing strength from the warm waters of radical Islam and western inaction and covert western complicity and demonstrated western weakness, the Iranian regime unleashes ballistic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads. In the back of our minds, shadowing our future, is the threat that Hurricane Mahmoud has made explicit: erasure from this earth. In the back of our minds is the knowledge and the half-security, half-fear, that when it comes down to it, your friends and family are the only people you can really count on.”

The Joshua Fund is working around the clock to bless Israelis and Palestinians who could be severely impacted by the coming Iranian storm, one that by all accounts seems increasingly imminent. Though we continue to pray for peace, we are also continuing to prepare for war. We have just rented office space in Jerusalem to set up an operations center to coordinate our efforts. We are currently negotiating to secure warehouse space to store $1 million worth of relief supplies. We are acquiring vehicles to transport those supplies. We are interviewing people we may need to bring on staff soon. Meanwhile, we continue to help believers in Israel stockpile 400 tons of food in a warehouse in the North ahead of the coming war, in addition to our on-going projects to care for Israelis who are homeless, widows, Holocaust victims, and otherwise in need, as well as caring for embattled Palestinian Christians who face the constant threat of persecution and death. In November, just after the U.S. elections, my colleagues and I will travel to Israel to meet with government officials and relief organization leaders and assess the preparations we have been able make by then. We would be deeply grateful for your prayers that the Lord would give us wisdom and discernment to know best how to invest limited time and resources to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus as effectively as possible. If you would like to help us financially as we stockpile relief supplies in Israel, please click here. Thanks so much and may the Lord bless you greatly.