Local evangelical churches distribute groceries, hot meals to hundreds of traumatized Israeli families
LOVES PARK, Ill. — Jewish Christians in Israel, including Russian-speaking immigrants who’ve fled the war in Ukraine, are delivering aid to traumatized Israeli families, even as rockets continue to rain down.
Hamas continues to fire rockets at the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, where many frightened families are huddled in bomb shelters.
Partnering with Illinois-based Slavic Gospel Association (SGA, www.sga.org), members of local Russian-speaking evangelical churches in Israel are distributing free groceries and serving hundreds of hot meals daily to overwhelmed Israelis.
They began providing aid within hours of the first wave of attacks on Israeli cities.
Ukrainian Refugees Turn Relief Workers
According to Eric Mock, the organization’s senior vice president of operations, local church relief teams include Christians who fled the conflict in Ukraine, only to find themselves suddenly thrust into another war zone.
“These churches are ministering to hundreds of families in Israel living in fear right now,” Mock said. “One pastor and a church member moved all the women and children in their church to a safe area and then returned to the frontline to help those who had nowhere to go.”
People are hunkered down in their homes and bomb shelters “in fear and shock . . . in dire need of food and comfort,” said a local SGA-supported missionary pastor whose church is feeding up to 250 people every day. “We talk to many about the need to pray and trust God.”
Hope For Grief-Stricken
“Amid all the terrible bloodshed and suffering, local churches in Israel have a message of hope for those who are overwhelmed, grief-stricken, and traumatized,” said SGA president Michael Johnson, a regular visitor to the region.
“They’re showing their neighbors that God has not forgotten them, especially in this dark hour, and they’re sharing the Gospel with them,” Johnson said.
For decades, SGA has supported local evangelical churches in Israel started by Russian-speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union. These churches — located mostly in poor neighborhoods — run ministries to the homeless and addicts, as well as summer Bible camps for children.
One local pastor, who cannot be named for security reasons, said, “We know that everything is in the hands of God. The whole country is in shock. We need prayers and support more than ever before.”
Founded in 1934, Slavic Gospel Association (SGA, www.sga.org) helps “forgotten” orphans, widows and families in Ukraine, Russia, the former Soviet countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel – caring for their physical needs and sharing the life-transforming Gospel. SGA supports an extensive grassroots network of local evangelical missionary pastors and churches in cities and rural villages across this vast region.
PHOTO CUTLINE: ISRAEL: RUSSIAN-SPEAKING JEWISH CHRISTIANS RUSH AID TO WAR VICTIMS:Partnering with Illinois-based Slavic Gospel Association (SGA, www.sga.org), members of local Russian-speaking evangelical churches in Israel are distributing free groceries and serving hundreds of hot meals daily to overwhelmed Israelis.