Praise the Lord that this week Sierra Leone announced it will open an embassy in Jerusalem, rightly recognising it as Israel’s capital. Sierra Leone will become the first African nation to do so. Pray President Julius Maada Bio, who made the commitment this week, will have the courage to follow through with the move. The leader said that efforts are being made to strengthen the relationship between the two nations. This is poignant for two reasons: firstly, many will be aware of Sierra Leone’s very difficult history, not least because it suffered a devastating civil war between 1991 and 2002. Although the country recognised Israel’s independence, it also broke down during the Yom Kippur War. Pray that this will be a new era for Sierra Leone. That Sierra Leone’s future will not be defined by its past, but by this new dawn marked by its blessing of the Jewish state.

Secondly, Sierra Leone is leading by example in a way that we hope other African nations will follow. There is no other nation on earth that Sierra Leone could best prioritise its bilateral relations with than the nation of Israel – not simply because Israel brings the potential of investment and innovation, but also because it is a relationship connected with Bible blessing. This is our heart for the United Kingdom also and all nations of the world. We pray for a softening of the stubbornness that has rejected Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and a bravery to get in line with what the Bible says.

Israel suffered two fatal terror attacks this week. A mum-of-three, Batsheva Nigri, was shot and killed by two terrorists in a drive-by shooting on Route 60 in Judea and Samaria. The preschool teacher was with her 12-year-old child, who survived. The Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, the armed wing of Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority, took credit for the attack. Outrageously, the terrorists claimed that murdering an Israeli mother in front of her child was “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation.” There is nothing ‘natural’ about such an act of evil. Attacking innocent civilians is a heinous act on all accounts and a war crime according to international law and there is no justification for it. Pray for the family of Batsheva Nigri, that they will be comforted. One of her daughters paid tribute to her mum, “You’re the most special woman in the world. I am jealous of all the angels that are lucky to have you with them in the heavens. I love you, I promise you will always be in my heart, and my kids will know what a lioness mum I had.”

The second attack took place when two Israeli men, a father and son, visited a car wash in the Palestinian Authority-controlled village of Huwara. Apparently, the terrorist heard that some Israelis were in the neighbourhood and murdered them at the car-wash. Pray for the family of the victims, Shay Silas Nigrekar, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, who were residents of Ashdod.

Let’s be clear. These victims were targeted because they were Israelis and because they were Jews. Another tragedy was avoided this week, when an Israeli bus driver was injured when a brick was hurled at his vehicle. He had only entered the Palestinian village of Hajjah in northern Samaria to refuel his bus. The 51-year-old confronted by local residents who then assaulted him, hurling a brick that penetrated the windshield and struck him in the head. Praise the Lord that he was able to be treated successfully. Also this week, an IDF helicopter flying low over the Palestinian city of Tulkarm in Samaria was shot.
This again shows the dangers that Jews face in being in the “wrong place” at the “wrong time”. But let’s be clear, they have done no wrong. We must remember that Judea and Samaria is the Jewish heartland. The Jewish people live. This is the land that God gave to them. This is the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time, for them to dwell. We must pray for their protection and we must stand for their right to live peacefully in their historic homeland.

Thank you for praying with us today.

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
Deuteronomy 32:43