Jess Wilmot flew over to Israel to be a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding just as the attacks started. Here she reflects on what it was like to be in the Holy land surrounded by such pain.

I flew into Israel on October 1, with just a backpack and a pocketful of faith. I was invited to be a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding and I was excited to celebrate the happy couple. Believing God had asked me to go, I booked my flights, booked onto a tour, led by my friends who were getting married, and was ready for an adventure! Little did I know quite what would unfold.

On October 7, while some of the wedding guests and I we were driving to Capernaum, we heard the news about the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel. Shocked and heart broken to hear such horrific news, we decided to respond by worshipping Jesus on a boat called “faith” on the Sea of Galilee, remembering how this was where Jesus walked on water and slept in a storm.

We responded by worshipping Jesus on a boat called “faith” on the Sea of Galilee, remembering how this was where Jesus walked on water.

After shaking all night having heard the news and the military planes above our heads, I woke up the next day with a supernatural peace. A peace beyond my own understanding. It was extraordinary. As soon as I looked into Jesus’ eyes, I was captivated and moved. I knew I was in the eye of the storm and that he was my protector. A profound reminder that death has no sting or hold.

I clearly heard him say to me to rest into peace even in the midst of the war around us. There was an option to go home early, but I felt he encouraged me to get to the wedding and that breakthrough would come after that. It was the most surreal moment of being in the midst of a war with 33 people who had flown in to attend the wedding on October 10. I remembered that a year ago to that day, I had been standing on the Gaza border declaring and praying over Israel “love not war”, as I picked up the remains of two bullets to take a photo of them in the shape of a heart. Here I was a year later praying the same prayer in the Holy land.

In the midst of war, faith becomes very real and trust has no borders. The reality of devastation so close to home, death knocking on the door, uncertainty feeling tangible, makes one really consider one’s priorities and helpline. I was deeply moved by the power of the Word, the weapon of a melody to God’s heart and the power of looking into God’s eyes when everything else feels like it’s falling apart.

Jess wilmot at wedding

Jessica at the wedding in Jerusalem

The honour I felt to be in the country for such a time as this was real. Psalm 122:6 says to pray for the peace of Israel. The fact I was there to pray and intercede was a privilege. Being there to celebrate the love of two friends in marriage felt paradoxically profound. I was adamant to stand in love in the midst of so much chaos, pain and war as a prophetic declaration over the nation.


The fact I was there to pray and intercede was a privilege.

My cancelled flight home became a miraculous new route. I watched as meticulously thought out and beautiful plans flew out the window daily as we heard reports of more and more devastating news in the nation. I was deeply inspired by how the wedding couple navigated such deep grief of a dream and channelled the Israeli resilience of not giving up and taking steps forward no matter what was thrown at them!

We were in and out of a bomb shelter during the wedding rehearsal. But the actual wedding day was incredibly peaceful, with no sounds of a rockets or sirens. It was the most unforgettable wedding I have ever attended. A visual picture of “beauty from ashes”. The whole experience felt like a picture of God’s heart for his bride. That no war will stop him pursuing her with love. His love always wins.