By Christine Darg,
This week has been a thrilling time of great rejoicing here in Jerusalem, as we and our team have celebrated God’s appointed Feast of Tabernacles called Sukkot (booths) in Hebrew and forging ever new ties between Christians and Jews.
The humanitarian ministry is a way of showing appreciation to our Jewish benefactors, who are the roots and trunk of God’s olive tree, and there could hardly be a more worthy charity in Israel that reaches out to all the peoples of the Land than Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency services!
Our Moveable Feast of Tabernacles has taken us from booth to booth and from tent to tent as the Jewish people remember living in the wilderness and sleeping under the stars. We have rubbed shoulders with God’s people, with rabbis and the beautiful diversity of the nations all coming up to celebrate in the City of the Great King.
But particularly moving and a highlight for our group this week was the privilege and honour of dedicating two new ambulances on behalf of the UK Christian Friends of MDA in a ceremony held at Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, that commemorated and symbolically replaced the two ambulances that were destroyed in the 1948 Hadassah convoy massacre. Rev. Mark Maddeley, president of MDA’s UK Christian friends, said he believed that the gift of these two miracles on wheels was a redemptive gift from British believers to the land of Israel.
The massacre took place on April 13, 1948, when a convoy bringing medical and military supplies and personnel to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed by Arab forces.
Seventy-eight Jewish doctors, nurses, students, patients, faculty members and Haganah fighters, and one British soldier were killed in the attack. Dozens of unidentified bodies, burned beyond recognition, were buried in a mass grave in the Sanhedria Cemetery. The Jewish Agency claimed that the massacre was a gross violation of international humanitarian law, and demanded action be taken against a breach of the Geneva Conventions. The Arabs claimed they had attacked a military formation, that all members of the convoy had engaged in combat, and that it had been impossible to distinguish combatants from civilians. An enquiry was conducted. Eventually an agreement was reached to separate military from humanitarian convoys.
In my remarks at the dedication service I remembered the Book of Job and the sufferings of the Jewish people and quoted the long-suffering Job as saying in verse 2,
I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
And indeed, God’s purpose in bringing back the Jewish people to their own land and restoring them is something that no nation, not even the Iranians in our day, can thwart.
Job also said in verse 5,
My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Indeed, walking the Holy Land during these miraculous days makes us rejoice to say that we SEE the Lord working and restoring the land and it is marvellous in our eyes.
Additionally, in verse 12 of Job 42,
The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.
And the Lord is determined to bless his people more as he restores their fortunes before our eyes! The gift of the double ambulances seemed to be a fitting token of God’s redemptive care of his people and of Christians being part of the very lifeblood of Israel!