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Naama's Story  

We are seated in comfortable chairs in a comfortable conference room. But I have rarely been less comfortable.

Seated next to me at Jerusalem's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is Dr. Ayelet Levi-Shachar, a woman we have come to interview. She is the mother of a vivacious 19-year-old daughter (a triathlete, no less) named Naama. On October 6, Naama traveled from home to a Kibbutz in southern Israel, where she spent the night.

Early Saturday morning that kibbutz was attacked by Hamas. She was hit in the leg with shrapnel. When Naama resisted capture, she was dragged by her hair, thrown into the back of a pickup truck, and driven into Gaza—still wearing pajamas—where she presumably remains captive.

In measured tones, Ayelet shares what it's like to go to bed each night not knowing where her daughter is or how she is faring. She tells us of her other three children who still need her to do ordinary things like make school lunches. She reminds us that she still has a medical practice with patients who need her attention. All this, while flicking through photos of Naama on her phone, which she shares with me. 

The longer Ayelet talks, the more painful her reality becomes. How am I supposed to hold a microphone up to her face, lock eyes with her, and not cry? No matter how gently I phrase my questions, merely asking feels like I'm jabbing a knife into her already bleeding soul.

Ayelet's eyes speak the worst of her agony. And in the end, there is no way to hold back emotion—for her, for me, for every person in the room.

Not many will have the opportunity to sit down in person with the families of Israeli hostages. But that doesn’t mean believers can’t make a difference.

You can! Here's how: Go to bringthemhomenow.net. Look at the faces you see—like Naama's (there are more than 130)—and pray for them by name. Pray for their safety and release, their families, their salvation, and an end to the war.

I dare you to get uncomfortable.

Enough that you’re fired up to pray. 


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.

—Psalm 122:6


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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