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Under the Burning Skies

July 10, 2021
Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets
Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets being fired into Southern Israel.

This night was not a common spring night for the Holy Land. More than 1,000 missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Jerusalem’s Day was a starting point for a new confrontation.

We feel pain in our hearts for all the Israelis, but most of all for olim families living in the South of Israel.

In 2020, we welcomed fifteen of them in kibbutzs Zeelim, Gvulot and Ein Hashlosha in the Eshkol area. The fire hasn’t stopped for two days. And they were hiding in the shelters every time they heard the sirens:

“We heard the alarm at 3 a.m. and immediately entered the shelter. But in general, everything was calm. All the people of Israel are in the same situation now and we are waiting for the fire to stop”, said Alexei Rakitin from kibbutz Zeelim.

So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Exodus 2:25

According to Kristina and Alexander Gegenava from kibbutz Gvulot, on hearing the alarm this night, they and some other families hid in the shelter located near their house.

“The whole of Israel was awake. It was unusual, but we had no panic attacks, we had all the guidance and felt safe together”, added Kristina.

We try to support all those families but it is the Ivanovs from kibbutz Ein Hashlosha that is our focus now. We have already written about that place, which is frequently mentioned in the news as being attacked from the Gaza Strip because of its challenging location. We have told you about the strong and happy people who live there. Today this is especially important to know how they feel after two terrible days and still remaining on the fire border.


Photos taken of a home in the Eshkol Regional Council that was directly hit by a rocket during the recent bombardment by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza

“I, my husband Valentine and two our sons—Petr (3 y.o) and Alexander (2 y.o.) made aliyah from St. Petersburg in July, 2020”, said Svetlana Ivanova.

Kristina and Alexander Gegenava with son and daughter

“We knew enough about that place. It was a well-thought decision. We feel safe here but nevertheless are always on the alert expecting to hear the alarm. Before this dangerous period, we heard it once within two-three months. This week was different.

All started at 6 p.m. on Monday and continues up to now. We are sleeping in a special room and when we hear the alarm or see flashes in the sky, we have just two seconds to get to the shelter. I work at the kindergarten while Valentin works night shifts at the factory where he rides to by bike every evening. In such moments, I don’t know how I can help him. I just believe in Israel its army and our G-d.

I and our sons are waiting for him at home and praying. I am reading fairytales to them and thinking to myself that all will finish soon and we will return to our normal life!”

Christians for Israel will support this family who lives on the small kibbutz near the Gaza. First Home on the Homeland program and Jewish Agency provide psychological aid for all these families. We will overcome this crisis if we are together!

We are very grateful to you! It is important for us to feel you are near!

Now we are praying for all of Israel in the hope for the fire of the skies to end, for the smoke to clear and for the sun to shine on the olim, on the land and its beautiful people. Please, pray with us!


Because of generous supporters who give to causes like Aliyah and First Home in the Homeland, olim can find safety and security within their true homeland. If you’d like to participate in what God is doing around the world—bringing comfort to His people and returning them safely to the Holy Land—please prayerfully consider giving today! See the back page or donate online at myaccount.c4israel.com.au

Elena Kovarsky

Elena Kovarsky is Director of JAFI's First Home in the Homeland program.

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