‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
As a pastor, there are so many things that your day-to-day consists of. As a pastor in Israel, there are many other things on top of them. And then there are the days of a pastor in Israel during wartime. Those are the hardest and most overwhelming.
It feels like we’re in a race against time, (because in a way, it is) I’m working with our teams to coordinate our war relief operation distributing food and essentials among affected families in the south, bringing food baskets and basic personal equipment to our soldiers on the frontline, coordinating prayer between our congregations (then conducting it), and many other tasks that I need to be able to handle as a pastor.
Apparently, there’s another aspect to being a pastor in Israel during wartime that I needed to take into account, and today I was faced with it, which crushed me more than you know.
I had to comfort the grieving parents of a lost soldier who gave his life defending his family and his country.
I’ve known David since he was a baby. The eldest of 6, son of Miriam and Haim, our dearest elders and leaders at Beit Hallel. David was my son’s best friend.
The boy who spent countless days and nights at our home, playing with Guy, going to camp together, kids church then youth ministry, then army.
David became an amazing young man of God before our eyes, devoted to Yeshua, reaching others with the message of Christ.
As Vicky and I sat with Miriam, David’s grieving mother, and looking through old pictures of him as a boy, smiling through tears, she shared with us her last one-on-one moments with her son.
David asked Miriam to drop him off at his army base, even though he had his own car. Miriam at first argued that he has his own car, and it’s so much trouble for her to leave his sibling just to take him. But she did.
As they were driving through picturesque villages that you now see on the news absolutely brutalized and destroyed, she remembers thinking: “What a beautiful Land! Imagine, the people of Israel lived in these biblical parts 3000 years ago.”
David was busy telling his mom about a friend from the army, Ariel, whom he was trying to lead to Jesus. Miriam told him: “David, just make sure YOU are alright with Jesus first.” To which her son replied: “Mom, I’ve been through several encounters in the army that have shaken me to the core and made it clear to me that I am alright with Jesus.”
He assured her of his unwavering faith before Miriam dropped off her son at the base where just a few days later he would fight with terrorists and die defending his country.
As we sat, crying and grieving together, we found Vicky’s phone had the biggest collection of David’s photographs, because he spent so much time with our family since he was a small boy.
Yeshua called David home, and even though it was too early for our liking, but nevertheless, we’re thankful for the beautiful 20 years God gifted us with this wonderful and brave boy who was like a son to me, and we take comfort in knowing David is now safe in the arms of our beloved Lord.
Not only a pastor in Israel during wartime, I am also a father to two sons who are currently on the frontline, defending our country. The sense of enormity of it is hard to describe. Your prayers are so appreciated.
We have a lot on our plate as a nation and as believers in Yeshua who have the responsibility to stand as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem, today more than ever.
Our war relief efforts are ongoing, and we are still trying to raise all the generous support we can to help provide our dear soldiers, our sons, with meals and personal equipment while they are in the battle field shielding the entire nation right now.
Donate today to support our boys on the frontline. They are fighting the same battle our ancestors fought in the Bible, defending their land.
In honor of David, who gave his life for the people of Israel, pray and sow into helping our soldiers as the fight between good and evil continues on the battleground that is Israel.
Beit Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ashdod, led by pastor Israel Pochtar, serving holocaust survivors and the poor and needy locally and throughout the nation of Israel, while building up the body of Messiah in the promised land of Israel.