An urgent appeal from Julia Fisher

Julia Fisher
Julia Fisher

It's only a few months ago that Rami Ayyad, an Arab Christian, was murdered in Gaza. Manager of the Bible Society bookshop in Gaza City, he was tortured and shot last October by a member of Hamas. His crime? He believed in Jesus.

Just recently news has come that Ami Ortiz, the 15 year old son of Messianic pastors David and Leah Ortiz was cruelly injured when he opened what looked like a gift of food kindly left on the doorstep of the family's apartment in Ariel, Samaria. But it wasn't a gift, it was a bomb that blew up in Ami's face and almost killed him.

I say almost, because despite early predictions by the expert medical team who have cared for Ami, he has survived and despite his injuries, looks set to make a good recovery.
Words such as 'miracle' have been used by his family many times over recent days as Ari's limbs, organs and eyes have been saved. Whilst the doctors and nurses have been treating Ami, many in Israel and beyond have been praying that what some intended for evil, God would use for good.

I have never met Ami or his parents, but I know others who know this family well and respect the work they are doing in running a Messianic congregation in the heartland of Israel. But that is not all they do; David and Leah, as well as working amongst the Jewish community (which includes a large orthodox contingent in Ariel where they live) have made every effort to share the Gospel message with local Palestinians (who are Muslims). In both situations this is dangerous work and clearly they are paying a high price for their courage and perseverance.

To date we don't know who planted this bomb; there is speculation that it could have been Orthodox Jews who are angry about their 'missionary' activity. Equally it could have been planted by a Palestinian group, angry that David and Leah are reaching out to Muslims. What we do know is that whoever planted this bomb intended to kill David and Leah Ortiz.

So how should we Christians in the West react to this story? I suggest we should take it seriously and stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel once again. A few months ago you gave generously to support Rami's widow Pauline and the work of the Bible Society amongst Palestinians. Now it's time to show this Messianic Jewish family that we care for them and want to show them our love and concern by giving what we can to help them rebuild their lives and their apartment.

If you would like to send a donation, then please make your cheque out to The Olive Tree Fund and send it to me, Julia Fisher c/o Kingdom Faith Church, Roffey Place, Old Crawley Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4RU.

Thank you. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.