Speeding along the narrow highway up the Jordan
valley northward toward the Sea of Galilee, the stark moonscapes
of the Judean hills were only occasionally interrupted by an oasis of bright-green date palm farms and small Arab villages. My long-time friend Yael, an Israeli police officer, deftly maneuvered the car, ever watchful of the looming threat of
terrorist roadblocks. She knew this road well and also knew the risk we were
taking. We were navigating along the Jordanian/Israeli border up the Jordan
valley in that twilight zone known as the so-called "West
Bank" territories, presently under "illegal occupation" by hateful Islamofascist Arabs.
Yael, our mutual friend Linda Miller from the U.S.,
and myself were on a mission to the north of Israel
to bring aid and comfort to the beleaguered Israeli communities who had just
endured nearly a month of rocket bombardment by Hezbollah terrorists. We
chatted pleasantly while constantly scanning the sides of the road for any sign
of roadside bombs or lurking terrorists, our eyes straining out of the windows.
This was no cakewalk. I couldn’t help thinking about how being in this country
so many times over the years had changed me. Even after returning to the relative
safety of the U.S.,
I can’t help walking around in a heightened state of alert most of the time. Traveling
these highways has proven fatal to number Israeli wayfarers in recent years. We
trusted the Lord to bring us safely to our destination, but it was also
comforting to know that Mr. Smith and Wesson was legally and discretely tucked
away in Yael’s belt.
Having made this journey twice before, Yael had made several
contacts in theGolan Heights and Kiryat Shmona. Before
the journey she spoke with tears welling up of the suffering of people in these
northern communities. "Some of the people were so shell-shocked by the
daily rocket barrages..." she would say.”One old man just sat staring
straight ahead and couldn't speak." Yael and her husband Kent, a medical
Doctor inJerusalem, were
well-acquainted with the constant strain of life inIsrael.
Her compassion for her people was evident, and it was clear that their pain was
hers. It became ours as well.
Up on theGolan Heights, we met with
Steve and Shulamite and their beautiful family in their town of Katzrin.
These precious believers set up three appointments with people in Kiryat Shmona
who needed our help. After visiting with them in their home, we loaded up and
went to a local market to buy supplies to bring to people in need.
Their community was a neatly laid-out patchwork of beautiful
red-tiled homes situated high up on the Golan. The gardens, parks, and
landscape were impeccable, with beautifully arranged flower gardens to feast
the eyes upon. The vistas from this location were amazing, and you could almost
see all the way down the slope to theSea of Galilee. I
interviewed Steve, and you will definitely want to hear his heart when the
video comes out.
Driving along the narrow, winding roads of the upper Galil,
we crossed the narrows of theJordan River as it meanders
down from the lofty peaks of Mount Hermon. The green
vegetation along the river banks were delicious to the eyes in contrast to the dry
Finally arriving in Kiryat Shmona, the first thing that I noticed
was the extremely light traffic. Only a short time before, when the rockets
were falling by the hundreds, these streets were empty. Now, since the cease
fire, life was slowly returning to this city. People were warily reopening
their businesses, and children were preparing to go back to school. With the
threat of renewed rocket barrages that could begin again at any time, these
people must walk in incredible courage. After over sixty years of living under
the threat of annihilation by surrounding Islamic Arab States, Israelis are
growing weary and impatient.
We met with some Lebanese Christians and their families in
Kiryat Shmona. These folks fled across theIsrael
border when Israeli forces withdrew from the buffer zone in southLebanon
in 2000. Islamic Hezbollah murderers were indiscriminately killing, raping, and
torturing the Christian Lebanese who were left behind. No one knows how many
tens of thousands of innocent people were slaughtered by these Islamofascists.Israel
granted many of them asylum inIsrael.
This, of course, is virtually ignored by theWestern Media.
It was heart wrenching to sit in the homes of these people
and hear their stories. How many of us in the West can grasp the terror evident
on the faces of so many people in this region. Yet, there is a quality of
courage and defiance against what they rightly discern as evil in their Islamic
tormentors. The West is obsessed with the concept of “tolerance” and “human
rights” as many coddle the Muslims flooding into our countries.
The Lebanese Christians witnessed what happened to their
country when they extended their hands of friendship to the Islamic communities
flooding into their nation in the late 60s and early 70s. The Muslims
multiplied because of the wide practice of polygamy (many Muslim men had several
wives and sired scores of children), while the Christians held to the “one man
to one woman” ethic. Within a few decades, the Muslim population overwhelmed
the political system as Islamic leaders began to be voted into positions of authority.
As soon as the Muslims gained the power and numeric advantage, persecutions
against the new Christian minority began, with huge numbers of Christians
for the West and freedom. Eventually, the persecution became so rampant,
Christian families were being stopped at roadside checkpoints by Muslim
militias. In many cases, once they were determined to be non-Muslims, entire
families were slaughtered on the spot.
is essentially an Islamic State, with radical Islamic groups like Hezbollah operating
with impunity against all dissenters. WhenIsrael
retaliated against Hezbollah and raidedLebanon,
most of the expatriate Lebanese inIsrael
and the West cheeredIsrael,
and prayed that the war would overwhelm the Islamic forces that destroyed and
pillaged their formerly beautiful and prosperous homeland. Certainly it was
painful for them to see such destruction, but they understood the need for it.
As we left Kiryat Shmona and headed south back to Tiberius
and theSea of Galilee, we passed the peaceful hills overlooking the sea where Jesus divided the loaves and fishes and fed the multitudes. I reflected upon the relative tranquility of this holy place as the
sun slowly set behind the Judean hills to the west. I thought about the fact that one day, when the Messiah returns and establishes His kingdom, all the
suffering and sorrow of this world will cease. My thoughts drifted back to the little Lebanese girls I met that day, and prayed softly that one day that such children will know no more fear, terror, or the sorrows of war. May it be soon
Lord! Come quickly!
A Christian Lebanese father and his daughters , who fled Islamic tyranny to live in northern Israel