We Caught Them! (Oh, and Happy Sukkot)

Shani Ferguson
By Shani Ferguson

Happy Sukkot!

Can I start with some great news? Just as we—and many around the country and the world prayed—all six of the terrorists who escaped Israel’s high-security prison were caught virtually without resistance. They never got the chance to meet up with Hamas and plan new terror attacks. And while Hamas tried to make helping the escapees an Arab vs. Jew scenario—it was IDF Bedouin trackers and Israeli-Arabs who were instrumental in locating their hiding places. 

The prisoners were caught weak and hungry which explained why Israel had no intelligence on the escape plans—because there were none outside six guys digging a tunnel and flushing the sand down the toilette. Every prisoner was photographed in their sad state upon capture and their images were published. Hamas, knows the impact of images on the morale of their followers, and “photoshopped” the prisoners’ faces when they were caught. Like the photo below.

This week, families are turning their attention to Sukkot (Feast of Booths). I helped build our sukkah at home (see our video with Ari, Kobi, and the kids) and then boarded a plane to Dallas, TX for an annual international worship leaders’ roundtable at Gateway Church.

1. Concerning Hamas and Gaza:

Rumors from the Prime Minister’s office are hinting that we could experience another operation in Gaza within a few weeks. The last round of attacks from Hamas in Operation Watchman on the Walls was a traumatizing experience for many Israelis due to the constant barrage fired on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (where the majority of Israel’s population lives). Though the IDF caused much damage to Hamas, it did not succeed in significantly disarming the terror group or truly achieving a quiet for Israeli towns down south.

Egypt—which borders Gaza and is also sick of Hamas’ terrorist activities—actually gassed at least one of their smuggling tunnels and killed several terrorists who were in there. You didn’t hear about it, because Israel didn’t do the gassing. Sadly, few people care when Arabs kill Arabs.

  • Father we thank You that You are the protector of Israel.
  • We know that You will not slumber nor sleep and that You have dominion and control over everything happening today.
  • We thank You that the escaped terrorists were found and put behind bars. Keep them there. Forbid that others should escape.
  • We ask for blessings and protection for the individuals and their families who helped locate and bring them in.
  • We pray for Israel’s leaders as You have asked us to do—give them wisdom and confidence to lead Israel in heavenly wisdom.
  • Civilians in Gaza and civilians in Israeli towns near Gaza are in danger because of the agenda of Hamas. Deliver them.
  • Shut down the educational system that inspires hatred, victimhood, and terrorism in young children.
  • For those Arabs who are simple pawns in Hamas’ agenda and want to escape to another country to live a normal life—provide them a way.
  • The Arab people are a deeply spiritual people. Many have come to You through dreams and visions. Only You can reach into the hearts of men hundreds of feet below the ground. Show Yourself to more of them.
  • Expose the terror schemes planned from the Jordan River to the Sea, from the Sinai Desert to the Mountains of Lebanon. Deliver this region from the rule of terror.
  • Abraham prayed for the righteous in Sodom. As nations, economies and governments collapse  all over the Middle East, we ask You to protect the righteous in Israel and across the region.

2. Pastors and Ministry Leaders: 

Israel is a difficult place to live in a time of peace and provision, but especially in a tumultuous and demanding season. Many Israelis have been stretched physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially this past 18 months. As the pandemic drags on, we should concern ourselves with the spiritual, emotional, and mental health of those who have dedicated their lives to spiritual service—pastors, ministry leaders, and their teams. 

There is no doubt the pandemic has had an impact on ministries worldwide. Israel is no exception. There are an estimated 20,000+ believers in Israel, a nation of 9 million people. That means believers in Israel make up only .002% of the population! Most congregations in Israel number between 50-200 people. Real estate and property tax in Israel is incredibly high and therefore causes a disproportionate overhead for congregations across the country. That is why most pastors and congregational leaders in Israel work full or part-time jobs to support their families.

  • Father, we thank You for the pastors and ministry leaders who have partnered with You and Your plan for Israel. Continue Your work in them and through them as they minister to your people in Israel. (Philippians 1:6)
  • In any area where they feel discouraged and hopeless, speak life and encouragement into that situation. 
  • We pray for unity in congregations throughout the land of Israel. Lord, let any divisive plans of the enemy be extinguished in the name of Yeshua. 
  • Help those struggling financially or with the health of their ministry or congregation to stay strong in You and not compromise so that You will be represented as the perfection You are on earth.
  • We ask You for fresh, creative ideas in ministering to the needs of the Body of Yeshua. 
  • As these pastors, ministry leaders, and lay people pour their time and energy into serving others, give them creative ideas on leading their families well.  
  • Help children of pastors and ministry leaders to seek You for their calling. Help them not stand in the background or feel like the ministry has taken their parents away from them. Even at a young age, let them seek You for their purpose and calling.
  • Guide and direct teachings and messages. Help them to hear Your voice and to lead in what to teach their congregation and ministry.
  • Refresh them in Your presence. We pray for the things on their hearts concerning their family, finances, and ministry—as they pour out, please  pour into them. (Proverbs 11:25)
  • We pray for protection—over their health, mind, home, family, and finances.
  • For those who are single and in ministry, we ask You to provide a godly spouse. Lord, Covenant is Your idea. You have the perfect timing for bringing spouses together, unified in You, their purpose, and calling.
  • Holy Spirit, we welcome You into congregations and ministries in Israel. Empower and anoint pastors and ministry leaders to be Your witnesses throughout the land of Israel. (Acts 1:8)

If you’re not already getting this weekly prayer letter, you can subscribe at MaozIsrael.org/pray

Your fellow intercessors,

Kobi and Shani Ferguson
and the entire Maoz Israel Team

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