Saturday/Sunday, March 25-26: Dr. Hansen, Pastor EJ Buckardt and Peggy Magnuson flew from SeaTac to Tel Aviv, arriving at 1:30 PM Tel Aviv time on Sunday. We rented a Budget vehicle and drove straight to the Holiday Inn in Ashkelon where we stayed while working with Hands of Mercy in Sderot for the first three days. Dr. Mike Hyodo flew in from Kenya, arriving in the wee hours of Monday morning. He took a taxi to our hotel in Ashkelon and had a couple hours of sleep.
Food boxes for bomb shelters
Monday, March 27: We had a marvelous Israeli buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room before driving to Sderot. On our way out of the hotel we met up with several paramedics (Mogen David Adam, first responders to any crisis in Israel), who were having a convention in our hotel. Nice situation when you are in a rather dangerous area! God is good!! Arriving in Sderot, we met up with Ye’shi Reinhardt, founder and director of Israel Hands of Mercy, a ministry to victims of bomb attacks and other needy people of Sderot. We toured a warehouse facility where food boxes for the bomb shelters were being prepared for each home.
Asst. Mayor Mechael Absalem
Looking into Gaza Strip
Friendly IDF Soldier
Shelters attached to Apt.
We had an appointment with Asst. Mayor Mechael Absalem of Sderot to discuss the possibility of partnering with Hands of Mercy and the City of Sderot to offer a dental clinic for the needy. After lunch at the local soup kitchen, sponsored by Vice-Mayor Shaubi and Ye’shi, we visited some of the memorials on the outskirts of town where we had a good view of the Gaza Strip just one mile from Sderot. Here we met up with a unit of Israeli IDF who were patrolling the area. Just a couple of weeks prior to our visit there had been 222 rockets fired at Sderot over one weekend! These poor people are so traumatized! Almost every home has a bomb shelter connected to it.
Pastor interviews Silla
Tuesday, March 28: We drove again to Sderot where for most of the morning Dr. Hansen filmed interviews with about 17 different individuals who told their stories and discussed their dental needs. Most had massive work that needed to be done. At noon we drove to Kfar Saba, a town just north of Tel Aviv where we met with Rachael Friedman, who manages a dental clinic there. She had put together a budget for our proposed clinic and offered her help in any way she could, including covering us with her license. We did some filming in the clinic with Rachael’s patients and then had lunch with her before returning to Ashkelon.
Ye’shi serves coffee
Praying with Shoshanna Haziza
Rabbi Herzl Shaubi
Dr. Hansen visits Soup Kitchen
Wednesday, March 29: We checked out of the hotel, saying goodbye to our paramedic friends. In Sderot we had coffee with Ye’shi and then Ye'shi serves coffee went to Shoshanna Haziza’s apartment to film what it is like to live in a town where the bombs are constantly falling. Shoshanna’s apartment does not yet have a bomb shelter. She is seriously traumatized by these years of challenge. This was a precious and very emotional time. Afterwards we went to the office of Rabbi Herzl Shaubi, the Vice-Mayor of Sderot, to discuss partnering for a dental clinic. Both the Assistant Mayor and the Vice-Mayor were very warm and friendly gentlemen who wanted very much to help the people of their beleaguered city. We then again enjoyed lunch at the local soup kitchen where they actually serve a bowl of soup and a full meal to each person who arrives for help. What a good work this is!
Mike in Elah Valley
Jan Willem van der Hoeven
Leaving Sderot at about 1:00 PM, we drove to Jerusalem, stopping along the way at Elah Valley to show Dr. Mike where David had fought Goliath, and Mike found himself a stone to treasure. At 4:00 PM we met with Mr. Jan Willem van der Hoeven, founder and president of International Christian Zionist Center in Jerusalem. Mr. van der Hoeven is a personal friend of Prime Minister Netanyahu and a very warm and friendly gentleman from Holland who has been living in Israel for the past 40 years. Dr. Hansen shared his desire to share a word from the Lord with PM Netanyahu. This very cordial meeting lasted about three hours and then we went to find our lodging which was a small apartment near Ben Yehuda Street in the newer city.
Shooting “Warning” TV Program
Thursday, March 29: At 10:30 AM we met again with Mr. van der Hoeven who took us to the Mount of Olives where we filmed four television programs with him regarding his passion for Israel and the problems there. Then he drove us to the Hinnom Valley on the west side of the Old City which is being renovated as a beautiful park. He intends to use it as an amphitheatre to address large crowds in the future. We did some more filming here. Then he took us to an area below the south wall of the Old City which is the City of David where they are busy excavating David’s palace. Afterwards Dr. Hansen and Dr. Mike attended ahavat Yeshua, a Messianic church where several Messianic congregations had gathered to pray against the Arab's one million man "break the border" march scheduled for the next day.
Having coffee with David Bedien
Shooting TV at Lone Tree Memorial
Friday, March 30: We met with Mr. David Bedien, Bureau Chief of Israel Resource News Agency, a conservative newspaper. We met in Ephrata, a village south of Jerusalem where we had a wonderful cup of coffee and a pastry. David shared that Ephrata has been under siege time after time in the last few centuries but is now thriving. This is where David kept the ark of the covenant before finally moving it to Jerusalem. There is is buried near here, the Maccabees fought here, etc. We met with one of the survivors of the last siege and toured the memorial facility. Several programs were filmed regarding these historic times and Israel’s current situation.
Second Messianic Gathering
In the early evening Dr. Hansen, Dr. Mike and Pastor EJ again attended the ahavat Yeshua congregation ("love of Yeshua").
Ariel shares testimony
We had dinner later with Ariel Keren Or. Ariel is a Hebrew roots teacher who was born in 1965 in Brazil to a Jewish family. He met his Messiah at the age of 17 and was disowned by his family. He made aliyah to Israel when he was 24. He teaches the Hebrew language to immigrants to meet his living expenses and also travels six months of the year to many nations, sharing God’s truth. Ariel shared with us about God’s mercy when he had a heart attack in 2010 while teaching in the upper Amazon in Brazil. He was dead for 5 hours before the doctors were able to revive him. He was stabilized in the next few weeks and then flown back to Israel. Two months later the doctors pronounced him as fit as a 17 year old man!
Dinner with Taysir Saada
U.S. Aid Project Sign
House of Zaccheus
Pastor under the Sycamore Tree
Saturday, March 31: After breakfast, Dr. Hansen led us in our Sabbath devotions. We then drove to Jericho, located in the West Bank and under the Palestinian Authority, where we had an appointment to meet with Mr. Taysir Saada, a Palestinian gentleman born in Gaza who had at one time been a chauffeur and sniper for Yasser Arafat during the early years of the PLO and Fatah! He is now a beautiful Christian developing his ministry called “Seeds of Hope” among the showing us his offices, which were very beautifully done, he took us next door to a restaurant owned by another Christian Palestinian. We were served a wonderful feast that reminded me of Carnivore’s Restaurant in Nairobi...excellent food. We were joined by two other couples who had appeared on the wrong day for their appointments with Mr. Saada. God had something in mind as both of these couples were Christians and one of the couples works for the U.S. Federal Government in the Department of U.S. Aid. Interesting to learn that aid is being given to the Palestinians but not to the Israelis. Mr. Saada took us to see the House of Zaccheus, which has been well preserved. It is cared for by Coptic Christians. We saw the Sycamore tree that Zaccheus had climbed in order to see Jesus passing by. We were also able to see the Mt. of Temptation where it is claimed Jesus met Satan during His 40 day trial before entering His ministry.
Lunch overlooking Bethlehem
Sunday, April 1: This is the day we must leave Israel, so before leaving the apartment, we packed and checked out. At 10:00 AM we met Mr. Saada at the entry to Bethlehem, which is also in the West Bank under Palestinian Authority. Mr. Saada took us to Immanuel Evangelical Christian Church where we were blessed to participate in a wonderful worship service with about 300 Christian Palestinians. Dr. Hansen was able to meet the two pastors. They are under persecution and expect to be shut down at any time. We were privileged to take communion with these precious people and to observe the christening of a newly born baby girl. The pastor pictured above oversees several Christian churches in the area. We felt so very blessed! Mr. Saada has written a book called “Once An Arafat Man”, which he generously gifted to each member of our team.
Dr. Mike at Jaffa Waterfront
After leaving Bethlehem we headed toward Tel Aviv where we drove into the southern part and looked for old Jaffa. We found some of it along the waterfront. Old Jaffa is where the well and the home of Simon the Tanner is located. Driving Dr. Mike at Jaffa Waterfront through Tel Aviv on the way to the airport was a little depressing, as the city is much like every other large city in the world...very secular and full of sin. It is known as the homosexual capital of the world! Dr. Hansen took this time to discern the spirits ruling this city. God must deal with it.
Praise God for an eventful and blessed mission trip into Israel! Sderot is located one mile from the Gaza Strip and is the most bombed city on earth. In the last seven years they have suffered over 8,000 rocket attacks. The needs are overwhelming. We spent three days in Sderot in harms way to evaluate the situation and bring you this report. I would like to start a WMI dental clinic there on a permanent basis, but I need your help. We need $20,000.00 on a monthly basis to make the vision for a dental clinic in Sderot a reality. Would you please consider partnering with us in this effort to bless the desperately needy people of Sderot, Israel?
God bless you,
Dr. Hansen and Team
© 2012 World Ministries International