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Vision for Israel serves needs of those whose lives were shattered on Oct. 7

Barry Segal and Vision for Israel provide humanitarian aid (Photo: Vision for Israel)

Vision for Israel is an Israeli NGO that was established nearly 30 years ago by Barry and Batya Segal and has long been a leader in distributing humanitarian aid to those in need, both within Israel and in many other countries around the world.

On Oct. 7, when Hamas invaded and attacked Israel on the Gaza border, the organization became busier than ever before. Barry shared with ALL ISRAEL NEWS his personal story and what Vision for Israel is doing these days to serve

Segal said he woke up early that morning and was taking a shower in his Jerusalem apartment when the air raid sirens went off. His wife Batya and their daughter went straight to the safety room that all Israeli residents are required to have. However, Segal told them that he was in the middle of a shower and couldn't join them. At that point, there was a massive explosion coming from the street outside of their building and later, when the family went outside about a half hour later, they found a massive crater in the street about 400 feet from their home.

Kibbutz Be'eri, located on Israel's southern border with Gaza, was one of the local communities devastated on Oct 7, when Hamas terrorists and their allies massacred at least 1,200 people, including women, children and elderly, and took about 250 hostages back into Gaza.

Segal and the Vision for Israel (VFI) team visited Be'eri at a later date. He said by the time they arrived, the bodies of the victims and the terrorists had already been taken away but they entered a home that was burnt, vandalized, and totally destroyed “with blood everywhere and bullet holes in the ceiling.”

At first, he said he thought that whatever had taken place there might have been an isolated incident but when he and the team visited other parts of the kibbutz, he saw the same scene repeated over and over again.

“So we know that [in this community alone] about 130 people were murdered, 30 of them were babies," Segal said. "They even put live babies into the oven and cooked some of them, and others they decapitated. It's just the most demonically inspired attack I've ever seen and I can't compare what the Nazis did back in World War II which was despicable and very satanic, but I would say that this exceeded the type of brutality the type of nonrespect for any human life in any form and in any way.”

Segal met a young man in one of the homes he entered who told him they were standing in his mother’s home and that she, thankfully, had survived the attack. He was searching for her purse and told Segal that she had survived by locking herself in the safety room and that she had crawled out through the window when IDF soldiers arrived.

Segal noted that Hamas terrorists killed indiscriminately that day, whether they came across a Jew, Christian, or Muslim. In addition to Thai workers, they murdered and kidnapped several Arab Bedouins without respect for religion, race or ethnic background.

(Photo: Vision for Israel)

VFI responds to the massacre on Oct. 7

Among the first organizations to respond to the attack on Israel on Oct. 7, VFI's first move was to provide supplies to the medical first response teams of ZAKA, Magen David Adom ("Red Shield" in Hebrew), which provides national emergency services, including ambulances, and others. Because these emergency teams were working in areas where active combat operations were still taking place, the most pressing need that VFI was to meet was to provide body armor and helmets.

The Vision for Israel team next began to assist the residents of Sderot, the largest town close to the Gaza border. Sderot has been under rocket attack dozens of times over the years and was among the many communities that were mercilessly attacked on that 'Black Shabbat' of Oct. 7.

(Photo: Vision for Israel)

VFI volunteers also visited the nearby Kibbutz Nir Am, which was temporarily turned into an army base, providing food and other necessities from day one. Large quantities of food were purchased, packaged for individual families and delivered by VFI to communities in the south that were affected by the Hamas attack, and also in the north, where the Israeli civilian population was, and still is, under fire by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.

However, another crisis quickly developed. Tens of thousands of Israelis living in communities close to these hostile borders were forced to evacuate and move closer to the center of the country because rockets began raining down on their homes. These internally displaced families were often expected to evacuate on short notice, taking little or nothing with them. VFI, therefore, stepped up to provide clothing and other life necessities. Elderly civilians, including Holocaust survivors, were among this group.

Segal said that when the war began, Vision for Israel's goal was to alleviate the suffering and provide for those with bonafide needs. This included thousands of food parcels for needy families, as well as hygienic products for soldiers in the field. VFI also provided camping gear for soldiers, such as field mattresses and sleeping bags, as they were operating in the winter weather and would otherwise be sleeping on the ground with perhaps only a blanket to cover them.

VFI has also purchased an ambulance to be used by medical first responders – it was their 7th. In addition, VFI funded the construction of 45 bomb safety shelters that were later placed in communities along the northern and southern borders. VFI has placed 155 such shelters since the summer of 2021.

(Photo: Vision for Israel)

Vision for Israel is based on the Word of God

Segal explained that the State of Israel was not prepared for the brutal Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists, which resulted in the deaths of more Israelis than were murdered in terror attacks from 2000 to 2017 combined. However, because the VFI team reads the Bible and knows the end-time prophecies, in a sense they were prepared, he said.

Vision for Israel is meant “to be the hand of support that comforts those who have been troubled by the horrors of war, poverty, and terror—throughout their entire recovery process,” Segal said.

He said he could identify with what Oskar Schindler said at the end of the movie, “Schindler’s List,” when he realized that if he had sold his personal property, such as his gold watch and his Mercedes automobile, he could have saved many more lives.

Segal said he personally wants to do as much as he can to help his nation and said his daily prayer is: “Lord, just let me be in the right place at the right time to help others. That’s how I feel, God I want to do so much more, we want to do as much as we can, as fast as we can do it – as effectively as we can do it, as kingdom-like as we can do it – as being an expression of God’s compassion and love for Israel and His people."

"Lord help us, and I feel like no matter what we do it’s not enough, what can we do more, how can we get it out faster? So that’s the situation we’re in, exactly right now. We pray every day. I pray nearly every day ‘Lord help me to be at the right place at the right time in all things,’” Segal added.

Segal described being in the south and facing toward the Gaza Strip. He said he prayed against the demonic spirits of Hamas for the release of the Gazan civilians from Hamas control and for a release of God’s love and His spirit over the hurting people of Israel and the Middle East 

“And that there just be great revelations and dreams and supernatural encounters – that people will come to know and see Yeshua, Jesus in this situation and the mighty hand of God pour out His spirit in this situation..."

"I think that’s  how we should be praying," he added. "not only for the protection of our armed forces in Israel and not only for those that are suffering as a result of war but to pray that there will be an outpouring like we've never seen before in the nation of Israel for the Good News of His kingdom.”

VFI's long-term commitment to Israel

Segal said the organization Vision for Israel was founded by him and Batya in 1994 and has since set up operations in several countries around the world, with Israel being the primary focus. Other nations that have benefited from VFI include Turkey and Syria, which were struck by massive earthquakes in early 2023. Segal led a team of VFI volunteers to distribute humanitarian aid to those affected by the devastating situation, and he said VFI is ready to carry out similar work "wherever and whenever there is a need for it."

VFI seeks to not only meet physical needs but also emotional and spiritual needs. This includes providing medical equipment to individuals who have special needs, having special days with the Holocaust survivors, or holding events with terror victims. Sometimes, Segal said, it also means providing treatment for someone who suffered trauma from rocket attacks, or helping with needed home repairs, or purchasing an appliance, such as a refrigerator or washing machine, for example.

Vision for Israel provides a group bar/bat mitzvah (coming of age) ceremony for the children of families that suffered from terror attacks. One such recent event at the Western Wall in Jerusalem was followed by a banquet, with more than 60 boys and girls participating.

VFI is not just committed to helping Jewish-Israelis, Segal added.

“We’re here to help both Jews and Arabs alike.”

Click here to learn more about Vision for Israel and how it is changing lives and blessing Israelis during wartime.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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