On Israeli Soil
Finally, after twenty months, on November 1 Israel reopened its borders to tourists and on that date exactly Herman and I placed our feet on Israeli soil! Partly due to our contact with Ria, Albert, and Silvia of the Yad L’Ami Foundation, our trip was impressive and unforgettable! Together with Silvia, we visited several Holocaust survivors. Ziva from Belarus loved to receive visitors from Holland and not only because of the stroopwafels and the cheese we had brought with us. She looks radiant with us in the picture.
We went with Ria to the Gaza Strip for a day. It was great to be able to hand out teddy bears to children in a kibbutz near the border! And it was heartbreaking to see and hear how the people there live with the constant threat of missiles. We cried when we heard the stories of beautiful, brave people; men who would like to give their lives for peace. Fathers who struggle every day with the question: Should I leave this area and live somewhere else with my children, or should I stay and defend my country?
And it touched us deeply when we saw the tears of a tough man working in security, tears of sadness and pain, but also of gratitude, he told us. Gratitude and joy because we had come to listen to his story. And through this man’s words, our hearts were filled with gratitude again! Gratitude because God had brought us there and that we could be there to comfort and encourage His people!