AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s been 48 hours since the first attack in the city of Gaza. But the terror 6,000 miles away is hitting home for those here in the CSRA.
Dave Willis is a pastor at Stevens Creek Church, and he made a connection with a family currently in Israel while going there for a mission trip this past summer.
“The Pollack family–we actually had the privilege of meeting them when we were in Israel this past summer,” said Willis.
The Pollack’s are a family of Jewish Christians living in Israel. Husband Tuvia and wife Elisheva have three children: Efraim, Emunah, and Gideon.
Efraim is currently in the Israeli military, and Emunah is the family’s daughter who is almost of age to join the military–a requirement for every young man and woman in Israel once they turn 18 years old.
They first met in Israel, but the couple actually reached out to Willis and his wife Ashley because they listened to their podcast, called “Naked Marriage”.
Willis says the Pollack family were the first people he called when he heard about the attacks, and he says they immediately took cover.
“That first night they were hunkered down in their son Gideon’s bedroom, which they use as a bomb shelter. And it’s sad that they live in a reality where they have to have a room in their house they consider a bomb shelter just because of the imminent threats from terrorists,” said Willis.
Since the attacks, Willis has been in touch with the family and says no one has been harmed–including Efraim, who was not in combat.
“He’s not yet been in active combat,” said Willis. “He’s right now part of a patrol that’s on guard duty essentially. Where he’s guarding they haven’t seen action yet. But everyone in the military, and everyone in the country is just on high alert.”
The Pollack’s are safe, but they are still in fear, as the death toll is continuing to rise in the country.
“This war they’re experiencing right now, even by the Pollack family’s own standards and history is affirming this is something that really is unprecedented,” said Willis.
There are things that those here in the states can do, but Willis says the best thing is to continue to lift Israel up in prayer.
“So many are fearful to be able to speak out and share what’s going on for the fear of being targeted,” said Willis.
“But we who are able, we need to be a voice to the voiceless. And right now our friends in Israel they need our voice, they need us to stand up and support them. I call on our government leaders to get involved to bring peace, to support the land of Israel, to bring a swift end to this war, and to bring justice against the terrorists who have perpetrated this.”
Willis adds aside from prayer, there are a few organizations that are in need of support as they help the country.
Those include Samaritan Purse, Red Cross, and even businesses in Israel.
He adds that he and his wife are organizing a mission trip to Israel next June. If you are interested in the opportunity, you can visit their website here.