Trained Texas Baptist Men volunteers headed to Israel Oct. 8 after the nation erupted into warfare the day before, preparing to provide meals both for Israelis and Palestinians.
Hamas surprised Israel with a barrage of at least 2,200 rockets Oct. 7, as well as ground troops invading southern Israel. Israel responded by shooting missiles into Gaza, where Hamas is based.
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TBM volunteers, working in a secure location, will cook meals for Palestinians and Israelis in affected neighborhoods.
“Our volunteers have been training for five years to serve food in Israel in the event of any type of humanitarian crisis,” said Mickey Lenamon, executive director/CEO of TBM.
“Everyone on that team feels called to serve. So, now we are all called to meet needs in rocket-ravaged neighborhoods.“
RELATED: Check out more about TBM training in Israel.
John-Travis Smith, who coordinates TBM ministry in Israel, said: “People caught in the middle of this conflict are hurting. They’re scared. And they’re hungry. TBM is seeking to meet their physical needs and provide a reminder that God loves them.”
The deployment is the latest in a growing partnership with Israel’s Emergency Volunteers Project. Since 2018, TBM and EVP have trained volunteers to provide meals during crises and disasters. TBM volunteers previously served Ukrainian refugees in Israel shortly after Russia invaded their home country.
“This is an incredibly difficult situation,” Smith said. “Please pray for peace. Pray for the safety of families living in the middle of a war. Pray for TBM volunteers who are deployed to help those in need.”
TBM is working in Israel at the request of EVP, because the Israel-based group learned about TBM expertise in disaster feeding responses. EVP has trained TBM volunteers in food preparation consistent with cultural expectations within Israel. All of the volunteers now headed to Israel have already been to Israel for food preparation training.