DEDICATION AND BLESSING
Upon opening our doors, we were overwhelmed by the needs facing many families who live in this community. Our faith was again challenged as we sought ways to most effectively reach out and provide relief. As the ministry increased, we quickly outgrew our small facility, forcing us to find ways to expand the usefulness of our spacious garden areas. To develop the front, our volunteers and staff began the laborious task of shoveling by hand, over ‘seven metric tons’ of volcanic rocks, in preparation for a cement surface.
Upon completing this massive task, the heavens opened with torrents of rain. Always a great blessing in Israel, these downpours "blessed" us with rivers-of-mud, which caused immense damage to boxes of clothes and household furnishings. Overwhelmed with discouragement, we cried out to The L-RD! Almost immediately, the rain paused long enough for us to pour a thin layer of concrete. Soon, our front gates were erected, followed by a huge, freestanding tent to house our expanding ministry. Looking back, we see the L-RD aiding us through many miracles, while building our faith to overcome these enormous early challenges.
With the tent complete, many new friends came from the surrounding community to share in our grand opening celebration and ‘Chanukat Bait’ (dedication). A moving ceremony with special blessings were provided by Vice-Mayor and Rabbi Herzel Shaubi. It proved to be a very joyful and historic event, soon followed by the gift of many boxes of clothing to us from ‘The Joseph Project’, their new Sde’rot affiliate. What a joyful time with our new friends, in anticipation of our L-RD’s abundant future blessings!
THE STORY OF TENTS OF VICTORY
OVERCOMING THE DARKNESS
Amid intense rocket attacks during the 2009 Gaza War, our staff bravely moved from Jerusalem to Sde'rot! The offer of an old abandoned city building was welcomed, despite the volumes of trash and waste material which needed to be cleaned from its premises. But with new changes in the city government, the facility was suddenly reclaimed, leaving our ministry homeless. Facing this huge disappointment, we began to pray. Soon the answer came with an offer to rent a small, run-down old house, just a few steps from the busy open market and city center. While moving in, we were touched by the warm welcome offered to us by our neighbors, very curious as to why we would move from Jerusalem to this very hazardous, war-battered community.
Our faith was tested over and again by the rocket attacks on our city from Gaza. Many times we dropped our work to run for shelter – then only a small, worthless, square of cement-ceiling in front of our refrigerator. We learned to pray a lot while cleaning, painting and building shelves in this old house, anticipating a thriving compassion outreach center. As we reached completion, the blessings began to flow. Many boxes of clothing and household items were donated by ‘The Joseph Project’ and other relief organizations to fill our empty shelves.