On this blog and our other blog we told you about the Jewish tradition of celebrating the events of the book of Esther during the holiday of Purim. One of the customs of this event is to give gift baskets to friends and to families in need. This year one family that is associated with our church here in Jerusalem received a Purim basket from someone. The problem is when their 15 year old son opened this basket it exploded and destroyed their house and critically injured the son.
The miracle is that the son is still alive but the tragedy is that people here are justifying this act of terror as an "act of self defense". The father of the son (who has been threatened because he leads a Bible Study with Messianic Jews) is calling for the grace and mercy of Jesus while many (but certainly not all) in the Jewish community say the attack was justified. One Rabbi said that the whole building would have been blown up if Jews weren't living there. On the local news, they said, "Wherever there are missionaries, there will be anti-missionaries" and they acted as if this is okay.
This weekend we took an offering to help this family repair their home and tonight Sara and I received an email calling on all across the globe to pray for Ami Ortiz (the boy seriously injured). Also this week we heard of another person from our church who is friends with "our dear Martyr Romi" who was kidnapped in Gaza for declaring his faith in Christ.
Let this serve as a reminder to all of us who are comfortable in our Western cities and our Christian nations. Living for Christ comes at a cost that we must be willing to pay. Let us join together to pray and let us not become so complacent that our faith is routine and safe.