Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Excerpt from the KGET-TV 17 (NBC) website: "New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg was in Bakersfield Sunday to support a local church and its humanitarian mission in Israel. Rosenberg has published four political thrillers. His focal point is the Middle East, specifically how events there are shaping the future of Israel. On Sunday, Rosenberg delivered two sermons at Bakersfield Assembly of God Church with an emphasis on the church's involvement in the global Bridges For Peace program. 'Evangelical Christians are blessing the people of Israel, mostly the poor and needy, by distributing 50 to 60 tons of food a month to those in need,' said Rosenberg....Bridges For Peace was established about 30 years ago by Christian organizations to provide Israelis living in poverty a helping hand. Each year, the organization provides millions of dollars in food, education, and medical aid."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

ANOTHER UPDATE ON GAZA SLAYING: Christians all over the world -- including Jewish believers in Israel -- standing with their Palestinian brothers

Here's the latest email we've received from our friends at the Palestinian Bible Society:

"Rami Ayyad, 30, manager of the Bible Society bookshop in Gaza, was kidnapped on Saturday near his home in Gaza City. His body was later found near the Islamic University on Sunday morning. It is not known who is responsible for the killing. The attack comes six months after the Palestinian Bible Society bookshop was bombed, causing significant damage. Mr Ayyad leaves a pregnant widow, Pauline, and two children; George (2yrs) and Wisam (9months).

"The staff at the Palestinian Bible Society work against a constant backdrop of violence and conflict. They face the threat of attack daily. But they are dedicated to demonstrating the Bible’s life-changing message to the Palestinian people. Rami was no different, and the bookshop he ran was an oasis in Gaza City. His death is a tragedy. During the last two months, Rami received direct threats to his life, and was challenged to refuse his faith.

"The Palestinian Bible Society is in shock at the death of their colleague. 3 days of mourning have been announced, and a black flag has been erected on all Bible Society centers. All activities have been put on halt as a sign of grief. The Catholic Church with the Bible Society branch “Living Stones” in Bir Zeit has provided the chance for people to give their condolences today from 14:00 – 22:00 in the Catholic Church. A memorial day for Rami will be held in the coming weeks in Jerusalem.

"The media response has been much noticed. Daily newspapers are writing about the incident. However, some newspapers have been trying to manipulate the truth by saying that this was a robbery and that Rami was not tortured. Heads of churches in the Jerusalem and the West Bank have asked the PA to investigate the matter and find the murders. The response from the Christian community has been very powerful and supportive. We also received phone calls from Messianic congregations whom have also showed their love and support at this time.

"Labib Madanat, Chief Executive of the Palestinian Bible Society, said, ‘Rami was the most gentle member of the team, the ever-smiling one. He was the face of our Bible shop, always receiving visitors and serving them as Jesus would. ‘Please pray for Rami’s family, for the team and all Christ-followers in Gaza. We are sure that his murder was death was a result of his faith in Christ.’"


Please keep praying for our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters, especially those who live in Gaza. Pray that the would be "strong and courageous" and especially bold in loving their neighbors and their enemies, as Jesus commanded us to do. Remember that earlier this summer, radical Islamic jihadists blew up the Bible book store in Gaza, run by the Palestinian Bible Society. There is a concerted effort to intimidate and silence evangelical believers in the West Bank and Gaza. Let us, therefore, not cease to pray.

Here are excerpts from an email I received yesterday from a dear friend who works closely with our brothers and sisters in Gaza:

"Rami was targeted because of his heart for lost Muslims and was told that he was being 'watched.' Rami was one of the most gifted of the young leaders at the Bible Society. Saturday night he finished his work and then locked the doors of the Bible Society. One young woman from Gaza put it this way: 'He locked the doors and headed home. His earthly home was about 15 minutes away, but instead he was taken to his Heavenly home.' Rami was kidnapped and finally killed Saturday night. He was stabbed repeatedly and then shot. The Islamic terrorists threw his body from a car at 2 AM on Sunday morning. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility yet and Pastor Hanna says the details are still sketchy. One thing is clear, this dear brother would not be intimidated by threats, harassment, persecution, and even death. He stayed strong until the end and will be given a martyrs crown in Heaven. His funeral was today. He is with Jesus right now. Pastor Jack Sara in Jerusalem says that this is the first Palestinian martyr that they know of. The believers in Gaza have been experiencing all out persecution since Hamas took over the Strip. It looks like Islamic Sharia law is just around the corner in Gaza. Please pray for his sweet wife Pauline. Obviously, she is devastated. Pastor Hanna and the believers in Gaza have rallied together and are at her side. This is difficult since the Christian community in Gaza is laying low because of continual threats."

"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."
-- Revelation 2:10

Rami has received his eternal crown.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Excerpts from The Jerusalem Post story (October 7, 2007): "Despite the recent ruling by the Chief Rabbinate that Jews may not participate in any Christian events, Rabbis Shlomo Riskin and Benny Elon spoke in support of the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) on Sunday night at the Haas Promenade. Organized by Rev. Robert Stearns of the group Eagles' Wings and Dr. Jack Hayford of The Church on the Way, DPPJ united over 150 nations and more than 150,000 churches worldwide in prayer....'Our best friends in the United States are Christians, offering love, friendship, and partnership. We would be foolish not to take advantage of it, especially during these troubled times,' said Riskin. Both Riskin and Elon credited the Christian community with not only helping Israel survive, but also vanquishing the threat of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and of radical Islam. MK Elhanan Glazer, representing the Christian Allies Caucus, also praised the mutual effort against external threats to Israel, saying that 'Christians support Israel because we have the same Book, the same God, and we both love that God more than all the oil in the world.'....Former Israeli ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon stressed the extreme importance of reaching out to the Christian community, saying that they 'strengthen our faith.'"

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Press release from the Palestinian Bible Society (Gaza City, Gaza, October 7, 2007): "The Palestinian Bible Society announced today that Rami Ayyad was found dead near the Bible Society Bookshop in Gaza early this morning. Rami was kidnapped last night by an unknown group directly after he closed the doors of the bookshop at around 16:30. A day before, Rami noted that a car with no plate numbers had been following him. News of his kidnap was reported to the main office after his family received a telephone call from him at around 18:00 saying that he had been taken by a group of people and will return home late that evening. Another phone call was made carrying a similar message. The director of the Bible Society had informed the Police in Gaza of the incident. At 6:25 this morning, news was received that Rami's body had been found at a location near the Teachers Bookshop in Gaza were he had spent most of his time running the bookshop. Signs of bullets and knife stabs could be clearly seen on his body. Rami 26, leaves behind two young children, and a pregnant wife. The funeral is expected to take place at 16:00 today. No group or party has claimed responsibility. The Bible Society in Gaza has received previous threats and vandalism. However, the support from the community has been very well noticed because of the humanitarian role that the Bible Society has been taking the last four years in the strip."
Please pray for:
* Rami's widow and children -- for God's supernatural peace and comfort
* the leaders of the Palestinian Bible Society -- for courage in the face of jihadist attacks and for wisdom and boldness to know how to communicate the good news of Christ's love and forgiveness to all the Palestinian Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank
* all the believers in Gaza -- for courage to love their neighbors and their enemies, just as Christ commanded
The Joshua Fund is in contact with local evangelical leaders in Gaza. We will post more information and prayer requests as we get new information. We are looking at additional ways to assist the Palestinian Bible Society financially to help them use this tragedy to proclaim the gospel far and wide. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to "OPERATION EPICENTER" to help Palestinian Christians bless the people of the West Bank and Gaza in the name of Jesus, please click here.
[Photo: Rami Ayyad and his nephew]