17 March 2012

Purim Parcel Bomb Déjà Vu!


Ami's injuries healing
The Purim holiday in early March this year, was not without concern once again for the Ortiz family.  Some of you may have heard the story of Ami, a 15 year old boy back in 2008 who unfortunately opened a Purim gift basket left at the door of his family’s apartment, only to find himself being hit by a blast from the bomb inside, filled with metal shrapnel.  The Ortiz family are Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus.  Investigations revealed the attack was because of their faith, Ami’s father, David, being the pastor of a Messianic congregation and active in winning Arab and Jewish people to faith in the area where they live.  Ami suffered injuries to his face, eyes, arms, legs, chest and internal organs.

This terror attack drew interest from Christian communities around the world as Ami’s struggle for survival went global, and his story of rehabilitation was shared over many long months, long surgeries, and many ups and downs.  Various miracles amazed the doctors as Ami made progress, not the least of which that he had survived at all!


Ami doing much better today!
Four years on, and the effects of the attack and all that followed has not greatly diminished.  The physical and emotional scars are still visible - such is the experience of people who have experienced terror and violence at the hands of others.  Once again, during the Purim celebration this March, another gift was left of the doorstep of the Ortiz apartment.  This time the family had taken precautions, and video footage revealed someone in a Purim mask placing the brown box at the door, ringing the bell, and running back down the stairs.  Immediately things swung into action – police were called, the bomb squad came, as did two fire trucks, and other believers in the area were phoned and warned to be cautious.  The street was shut off, neighbours were evacuated and a fire truck lift was used to carry those in the apartment down to safety.   Once everyone was well clear, the bomb squad moved in, and using a mechanical robot, detonated the package.

Bomb Squad at the Ortiz apartment
The bomb squad also lifted themselves up through the window with the robot and when they saw the box, they were very alarmed and they called out to the others from the window, saying it wasn't like a traditional Purim gift package and it was suspicious. They told everyone to get back. They sent the robot into the hallway, and destroyed the box which turned out to be filled with food products, which was a relief not only to us but also to our neighbours who had also been evacuated from their apartments.”  wrote the Ortiz family in a report they released.

The ordeal lasted 3 hours, and no one is sure if it was a bad joke to scare the family, or just the wrong gift delivered to the wrong door by a group delivering to needy families with children attending a primary school in the area.  Media and security services felt it was unlikely to be the latter, but if it was a mistake, it was an inexcusable one.

Please pray for the believers in Israel.  There are many people around the world who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus, and this is just one story.  Pray for their safety and protection.  Pray for the seeds they plant and the soil they sow into, that it produces good fruit for the Kingdom.  Pray for their faith so they are strengthened and encouraged, knowing that they are not alone.

Your People My People also works to support and promote ministries in Israel that support victims of terror and their families.  If you would like to be involved in a practical financial way, please click the DONATE ONLINE link at the top left of the page after selecting your currency.  Thank you.