Wednesday, July 30, 2008


UPDATE: As many of you know, on March 20th of this year the family of Israeli Pastor David Ortiz was targeted for death because of their faith in Yeshua (Jesus) and was viciously attacked in their home in Ariel. A bomb disguised as a Purim package of candies and other treats was delivered to their home. Their youngest son, Ami, opened the package and was nearly killed by the blast. Miraculously, he survived, but his injuries were horrifying.

It was a story covered around the world. The Joshua Fund at the time immediately alerted our prayer network, as did many other ministries throughout Israel and around the world, and we have continued to lift up this dear family in prayer in the months that followed. In April, I asked Pastor Ortiz to speak at the Epicenter conference in Jerusalem to share what happened, how the Lord had rescued Ami, and the miracles that have been happening. I also asked him to share how many Israelis who do not believe in Yeshua were outraged by this brutal attack and were coming to Ami's hospital room to show their support. [To watch Pastor Ortiz's talk at the Epicenter conference, please click here and go to the video archive section.]

The police have ruled out Palestinian terrorism. They now believe this was an attacked perpetrated by religious Jews, possibly Ultra-Orthodox, who despise any Israeli who believes in Yeshua. The case is not solved. And if Ultra-Orthodox are involved, this certainly shouldn't been seen as an act supported by most religious Jews. By no means. But please pray that the police will aggressively pursue this case, solve it soon, and bring the guilty party or parties to justice.

Meanwhile, please pray for Ami, Pastor Ortiz, his wife, and their other five children. They are model Israeli citizens. David and his sons serve in the Israeli army. They pay their taxes. The kids have attended Israeli schools. They are involved in reconciliation efforts between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. They love Israel. They love Yeshua. And they deserve better. No one in Israel should face such persecution or violence.

A Joshua Fund team had the privilege of visiting the Ortiz family yesterday and it was a real blessing. I'm home, hard at work on my next book. The deadline is September 11th. But visiting our brothers and sisters in Ariel were John Moser, our executive director; Cheryl Moser, our office manager; Jeremy Grafman, our director of special projects; and a family from Virginia who are supporters of The Joshua Fund and doctors by profession.

What follows is an update on Ami's condition and their visit with our team, written by Leah Ortiz, Ami's mother:


Ami lost 25 pounds (12 kilos) in the weeks after he was injured. He was in an induced coma for 8 days, and then it took him 2-3 weeks until he was able to eat solid food. Praise the Lord, he has gained back all the weight he lost and his appetite has come back full force to what it was before the incident. You'd be amazed, and maybe slightly alarmed if you could see how he piles his plate with food – and it's still a mystery where it all goes to because at 6'3", and approximately 147 pounds, he's very slim. The dieticians want him to gain another 7 pounds or so, and I think he'll be happy to oblige.

Ami receives many visits from believers who are touring Israel this summer. They've come to bring him gifts, and to pray for him. The last group we had was from The Joshua Fund in the U.S., and among the small group, was a Doctor from Korea and his Iranian, ex-Muslim wife. She was able to tell Ami about her battle with breast cancer. She said that every time she looks in the mirror and sees her scarred breast, she says thank you to the Lord for having saved her life. She said that it is a sign between her and the Lord.

Praise the Lord for these powerful witnesses – if he already treasures them, when he is able to look back at this terrible incident, and recalls these stories of bravery and accomplishment, he will have a rich storehouse from which to meditate and remember.

Ami's older brother is still staying with him in the hospital, and I have returned home, only staying over when necessary. We were given the chance to move into a different hospital room with a lot more space. I guess we have a bit of seniority on the floor now, as several of the long term patients have been released to Out Patient status. Ami will also be released, God willing, in two to three weeks, and will continue to receive therapy as an out patient. Ami is looking forward to starting the new school year on September 1st, and we will have to take it day by day as he will also have therapy in the hospital a few days a week, and so he will studying in school, and also in the hospital's learning center. He still has many physical challenges before him as well, including the limited use of his hands, but we're learning to take one day at a time. We'd appreciate continued prayer for this important step back to normalcy. Ami is feeling a little relief from the pain, but it still plagues him and is holding him back a bit in his progress. We appreciate your continued prayer for every detail of his recovery.

We've been impressed by the Lord to pray about some opportunities to expand the ministry in Ariel and to become more visible as believers in our area. We believe that this is what the Lord will do as a result of the attack in March and we have some possibilities before us that we're praying about.. This is what was given to us from the very beginning of this ordeal -- Isaiah 54:2, 10 -17

"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. "O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, y
our foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. In righteousness you will be established: tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; Whoever attacks you will surrender to you. "See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame, and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD.

David (my husband, not the king!) pointed out that the weapon and tongue is on the same level of destructiveness, and both will be stopped, they won't accomplish what they have purposed to do. We certainly had a weapon forged against us, and it has not accomplished it's purpose. It was meant to destroy us, but it has multiplied us.

The tongue of those who have distributed fliers in all the cities of Israel with pictures of the local believers, including names and addresses, and stating that Messianic believers are not Jews, that we masquerade as such and are stealing the Jewish soul of our nation, will be refuted by the Lord.

Refute means to prove wrong by argument or evidence: show to be false or erroneous.

What beautiful promises. Let us be encouraged that we are in His hands, no matter what circumstances befall us.

The police are more active now in their investigation which is encouraging. We will keep you updated on any progress.

Thank you for praying, loving and encouraging us every step of the way.

In the Messiah,