Here's what I did yesterday... I went to Ashkelon, and met some incredible people. True, it was raining - both rain drops and rockets, but it was one of the most beautiful days ever. (Did you know that 125 Grad and Kassam rockets have been launched into Israel since Saturday?)
The Lifeshield shelter pictured above was deployed this past Thursday at a special school for developmental and learning disabled children in a poor neighborhood in Ashkelon - a generous gift from dear friends in Eastern Michigan. Until now, the children, teachers and therapists of Moriyah School stayed indoors when Hamas threatened Southern Israel with rocket attacks. The school principal Ronit and Mordechai the security guard watch over their charges like parents of a large family. Twenty minutes after I snapped this photograph, a Grad rocket hit Ashkelon. I was in my car in a nearby parking lot when the deep-wailing siren blared. I looked around at the other drivers to see their reactions, and they returned their glances with smiles of confidence and faith in protection from most High. This response was not surprising given recent reports by several reputable military analysts, including Dr. Reuven Pedatzur of Tel Aviv University that "the Iron Dome system can not protect communities near the Gaza border." (Opinion, Haaretz, Nov. 13, 2012). So it seems that in the absence of any other strategy to stop the terrorists in Gaza, the best defense policy is prayer and Lifeshield shelters.
Well, following a delicious falafel lunch at a sidewalk snack bar in downtown Ashkelon, I headed south (yes, toward Gaza) to visit Bat Hadar. We're delivering a second Lifeshield Bell Shelter to an alternative school there at the end of the month, so I decided to speak with the locals. Eti is the Director of Operations and Program Coordinator at the Community Center, and she told me that clubs and activities are continuing (when given permission by the IDF), however many parents call her concerned and frightened about sending their children to programs. I was inspired by her dedication and spirit to keep her community vibrant and alive during these difficult times.
Blessings from Israel.
To donate to Song For Israel's Bomb Shelter Project, please click here. Thank you for blessing those less fortunate in Israel.