By the grace of the God of Israel, the raging fires in northern Israel are now fully extinguished. This is a huge and wonderful development as of late Sunday night. Now the difficult work begins of helping families affected by the fires. More than 17,000 were evacuated from their homes during the fires. Many are returning home now. A total of 42 were killed in the fires, including, so sadly, the police chief of Haifa. Some three dozen more Israelis were wounded — some severely — in the fires. There is enormous property damage and many other challenges.
With the gratitude of the Israeli government and the Israeli people, aid is coming in from all over the world, from Jews and Christians (as well as from the Turkish government). The Joshua Fund is part of these aid efforts. Last Friday, we begun funding relief efforts to care for those Israelis who are suffering as a result of the fires, and we will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead. Please be praying for our team as they go about this important work. If you would be willing to make a generous year-end, tax-deductible contribution to help The Joshua Fund at this critical time, we would be very grateful — please click here.
“Dear Joel [and Joshua Fund team] — Thank you so much for your prayers,” writes one of our dear Israeli friends and allies in northern Israel. “Didn’t sleep much last night. I went to help the police evacuate people from their homes just next to Haifa. It was mainly poor and elderly people who don’t have cars. One couple’s home was really close to the fire. It affected my breathing and I could really feel the heat. It is very windy and the wind keeps on changing the direction it’s blowing too often. Please keep on praying for the 41 families that are mourning after losing their loved ones. Many of them will be buried today. There 2 police officers that are MIA and probably dead. Pray also for the Haifa Chief of Police Ahuva Tomer. She was very seriously injured yesterday and is in the IC unit with slim chances of surviving. We appreciate your heart to serve and help.”
Israel has faced “the biggest inferno in the country’s history.” Arrests have been made and a major investigation continues. Firefighter had a very difficult time containing the blaze, and the smoke was visible from space. Here is video of Israelis battling the fires.
“Mass evacuations continued across northern Israel Friday morning as dry easterly winds fanned a massive brushfire towards the city of Haifa,” reports Haaretz. “Over 17,000 residents, including 600 prison inmates, were evacuated as the blaze raged out of control, devastating hundreds of acres of pine forest before sweeping down the slopes of the Carmel plateau towards Israel’s third largest city.”
NEW PRAYER REQUESTS — please pray….
- For the Lord to comfort the family of Haifa police chief Ahuva Tomeris who was “in critical condition, after being hurt while escorting a Prison Service bus en route to a northern jail located near the site of Thursday’s major fire,” and has since passed away.
- For the Lord to heal and comfort 4 Israeli border guards who have been injured during the blaze.
- For the Lord to comfort the families and friends of all 42 Israelis who have died as of Friday as a result of the fires — here are the names of those who were lost.
- For the Lord to encourage and provide for the 17,000 Israelis who have been evacuated from their homes.
- For Lord to bring to justice to all those responsible for these horrific fires.
- For the Lord to provide desperately needed physical and spiritual rain.
Thanks so much, and may the Lord bless you as you pray faithfully for Israel, help The Joshua Fund care for Israelis affected by the fires, and mobilize others to get involved to help, as well.