We have had a special time with the dear mothers and fathers who are grieving the loss of their sons and daughters who have been killed in action while serving in the Givati Brigade of the IDF. There were about 400 parents in attendance for the opening ceremonies Thursday night. During the ceremony, the letter from Vice Prime Minister Ya'alon was read to the parents. They were very touched by that letter.
Dr. Vineyard spoke at the ceremony, expressing our support to Israel because of what the Bible says about God's chosen people.
Then our group sang to the parents, and following that the officer who was the Master of Ceremonies honored the friends of Givati Brigade with a verybeautiful plaque. I was humbled and honored to receive a plaque recognizing our friendship with Israel. The plaque reads: "Presented by the Givati Brigade to David & Jolene Sloan in Appreciation for their Generous Gift for the Givati Family Vacation June 3-5, 2010 Blue Bay Hotel Netanya, Israel".
On Friday morning after breakfast we all loaded up on six buses and went to visit the beautiful coastal town of Caesarea, which is just about a 15-minute drive from where we're staying. After spending all morning sightseeing, we went to a beautiful park and had a wonderful picnic. After lunch we went to a museum, then returned to the hotel.
Later tonight we will have Shabbat Dinner with the families.
Thank you for your prayers for our group. We will finish up the event Saturday with lunch, then we will have more meetings with our friends here before I return home to Ukraine on Monday, Lord-willing.
This post can also be found on my blog In Support of Israel.