As we continue praying for an end to the Israel-Hamas war, we are receiving reports of how God is continuing to work through His people. Please lift up SGA-supported Pastor Boris as you read his report below and pray for Eduard and other believers who continue to persevere in providing emergency help and sharing Christ.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:3-5).
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for standing with us during this difficult time! Our ministry continues in all our projects, but at present our main focus is on a city that is situated about six miles from Gaza. It is a big city of about 170,000 people that has been under constant attack by rockets since the beginning of the war.* Our employee Eduard lives there. He is the manager of our Aviv Outreach Center and the leader of the Aviv Ministry project among new immigrants in his city. These days, he is busy from morning till evening helping his fellow neighbors.
Since the fighting began, over 1000 rockets have been fired at this city, about 15 percent of which have not been intercepted and have fallen in its territory. The situation in the city is very tense, one fourth of the citizens have left, and those who could not leave are hiding from the rockets either in their homes (if they have a bomb shelter there) or at the public bomb shelters. Some cannot go outside at all (because of fear, physical conditions, elevators not working, etc.), and even those who do go outside are not always able to supply their basic needs, as many shops are closed and those that are open become empty of food and other essential products very quickly. People in this community who are in especially difficult situations are the elderly and the disabled, single mothers with small children and new immigrants. Municipality is trying to help, but it is overwhelmed.
Eduard and his helpers daily cook and distribute hot meals in bomb shelters, as well as visit people who hide at their homes, bringing them food packages, water, etc. In addition, Eduard helps some people move from apartments that have no bomb shelters to safer places. During these food distributions and visits Eduard has a chance to talk to the people, encourage and support them, and this is no less important than food these days. Many of Eduard’s contacts are refugees from Ukraine who are now getting traumatized again, having fled from one war and now facing another.
Editor’s Note: Ashkelon has also been on the receiving end of occasional rocket fire from Gaza even before the war that began October 7.