Last week, Heart to Heart Israel, an organization which supports Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national ambulance, EMS and blood service, received a substantial and life-saving gift of two ambulances from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization. The dedication ceremony was held at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“These donated ambulances will make a big difference in helping to save lives in Israel – one of the most conflict-ridden areas of the world,” stated Franklin Graham, President and CEO of BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse. “Our prayer is that by providing these ambulances, lives will be changed both physically and spiritually.”
The ambulances will be stationed in Israel’s northern Galilee and Golan Heights regions, an area made up of a diverse population. “MDA are the first medical emergency responders in Israel servicing 8.4 million people throughout the country,” noted Jonathan Feldstein, Director of Heart to Heart Israel, to Breaking Israel News. “We are proud to say that we help all Israelis, including Jews, Arabs, Christians, Druze and anyone else in need of care.”
Heart to Heart Israel supports the work of MDA by encouraging Christians to play an important role in saving lives. MDA is Israel’s only government sanctioned, but not financially supported, paramedic, ambulance, and blood-banking organization.
“Unfortunately, the past three months have seen continuous terrorist attacks through stabbings and car rammings,” noted Feldstein to Breaking Israel News. “There were now rockets fired into Israel’s northern cities from Lebanon, landing just where these ambulances will be working.”
The dedication ceremony touched all who attended with heartfelt speeches given by Graham and Feldstein. “We want to dedicate [these ambulances] to the glory of Almighty God,” said Graham. “And so I just pray that, as these ambulances go, that God will be with them and that God will use them. And those who will be driving them, who will be caring for the sick in the back, that God will have His protection over each and every one.”
Feldstein noted that one common tradition for both Jews and Christians at this time of year is the giving of gifts. “Scripture affirms not only that the bond between Jews and Christians is inseparable, but essential. Our celebration today affirms that as well,” he stated. “At this season of giving and receiving, your gift to Israel is truly precious.”
In the spirit of giving gifts, Feldstein presented Graham with two. The first, the Beacon Award, was granted to note the ministries life saving commitment through the donation of ambulances to Israel.
The second was a one-of-a-kind picture of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. The print was made on a special piece of stone from Capernaum salvaged during a construction project there. This unique piece of stone is thousands of years old, dating back even “before Jesus lived in this Biblical fishing village on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,” shared Feldstein.
“We are eternally grateful to Rev. Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse for their remarkable gift of two ambulances,” said Feldstein. “By blessing Israel with this, you help ensure the Scripture of Genesis 12:3 is affirmed. Not just that Israel be blessed, but that through Israel, all the families of the world be blessed.”