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March 2008 - A Purim Gift Explodes In The Home Of A Messianic Jewish Family


Ami Ortiz, a young man in a lot of undeserved pain!


Purim is a Jewish holiday in which gifts are commonly given. Its celebration stems from the events found in the Bible's Book of Ester and the deliverance it describes. And as most know, a Messianic Jew is a Jewish person convinced of Jesus as the Messiah, who yet retains much else of the Jewish customs in their faith. Messianic Jews are usually not well regarded in mainline Jewish society within Israel, as you might guess. They frequently face subtle and sometimes overt prejudice from their Jewish countrymen, and it can be said that they are persecuted for the name of Jesus. 

A young man from an Israeli Messianic Jewish Pastor's family, a 15 year old boy named Ami Ortiz, the youngest of 6 children, was badly injured when he found a Purim present on the entry of his family's 3rd story apartment in Israel. He brought it inside their home, and opened it. It exploded in his hands. It blew out some of the walls of the apartment. It shattered car windows on the street three stories below. It was powerful and deafening and packed with shrapnel - screws and such. It left him down on the floor and strangling on his own tongue, by report, but luckily a 1st floor neighbor who was medically trained came upstairs and found him, and re-established his airway using a tracheal incision and a straw.

Doctors receiving him found thigh muscle so damaged that they might have to amputate his legs. He had shrapnel and damage to his eyes and looked like he would be blind. He had one lung full of shrapnel, which quite likely would need to be removed. Both his intestines and kidneys had taken damaging shrapnel, and required surgery. His tongue required surgery. His neck had deep cuts. He had lost skin on a great deal of his chest and front side were 2nd and 3rd degree burns. He had shrapnel damage to his feet and had lost toes.

The explosion and injuries occurred on March 20th, 2008. This is April 10th, 2008, and I'm writing this in faith about a boy whose life is not yet assured, but who has received prayer from around the world, and has healed in a way that his doctors are saying is a genuine miracle. And his doctors are familiar with explosion wounds - they should know!

He was placed in a induced coma right away so that he would not move around too much. He was on a breather as well. But, operation after operation has gone well, and organ by organ and limb by limb, his recovery has been astonishing so far. Certainly the doctors have great skill, and must be doing a fine job. But even they say it is more.

Shrapnel was removed from one eye. It and the other are healing. Doctors say he will see now. His legs muscles have healed very well, and it appears he will regain their use, and that no amputations need to occur. (A couple of his toes are gone for good, however.)  His left lung still has shrapnel, but has not required removal. He is awake now, his breathing tubes are out now. He has tried to get out of bed and go home, but his legs aren't able yet. He is undergoing skin grafting, and that sort of treatment poses a great risk for infection and is extremel painful, and the same for the open areas missing skin, yet so far it has gone well. His hands have tendon damage, but surgery for repair has gone successfully, and healing has progressed with remarkable quickness.

Even the family dog - very traumatizeed and partially deafened - seems to be recovering. It is still hiding out quite a lot, but seems to be regaining its confidence.

Ami has received prayer to Jesus from all over the world. He could use yours and mine as well, at this particular date and juncture. Yet, already his survival and recovery thus far seems a miracle to his doctors, Israeli doctors, who are familiar with explosion wounds and their treatment. It is as if the powerful explosion was deflected away from his body for the main part. Imagine, cars three floors below have their windows blown out - apartment walls are blown open. Yet, so far, Ami lives. Let us pray for the glory of Jesus and for the good of the Ortiz family, especially Ami. And let the Jewish people consider this case, if they wish, of a Jewish believer in Jesus. Powerful is our Lord and Messiah. Merciful is our Redeemer.

A picture of Ami with mother and dad after some years of painful but patiently endured healing...very remarkable healing!

**** April 17, 2008:  Ami Ortiz reported to have walked around his room for the first time.  Doctors reportedly anticipating about 1 to 1 1/2 years of recuperation.  Find more at www:// 

****April 20, 2008:  Ami Ortiz has had 6 small pieces of metal removed from his eye, but now sees 20/20 a report says.  It also says Doctors are calling it a miracle.

****In July, 2008, Ami, struggling with pain still, was able to participate in his class's graduation ceremonies.  He was popular there, and had his picture taken with many classmates.  Some of them lined up to be in pictures with him.  His story has caught quite a lot of attention in Israel and around the world.  His mother apparently seldom leaves the hospital when he is there.  They thank everyone for the support, and asked what they should pray for concerning him, Ami answered "The pain."  Major nerves still are healing.  But Praise Jesus, they are indeed healing.  

 *****On Sept 30,2008, Ami's family posted that Ami's hand pain is still pretty intense, and Ami still wears a pressure suit sometimes, but that he goes to basketball practice after school, where he works out seperately, but with increasing agility and strength.  It sounds like he expects to be able to play basketball pretty well again, and his recovery continues, but so does the pain, so lets keep praying for him.  He is apparently doing most of the things that he used to, but again, with some pain.

****Aug 9, 2009  There are now so many sites offering news on Ami Ortiz that I will probably leave off speaking of this amazing, widely acknowledged, and continuing great deed of God.  Just search 'Ami Ortiz' to learn the latest from many sources.  Thank You. 

*****O.K. Just Once More (maybe):  There is a youtube video titled 'Ami Ortiz Update - Bomber Caught On Video' which informs that the bomber has been caught, his name is Ya'akov (Jack) Teitel, he is a conservative Jew from (arghhh!! ) the United States who belongs to a certain group which apparently highly opposes Messianic Jews.  He was caught on the Ortiz's apartment video system.  The FBI apparently helped crack the case as there was not too mush support in Israel from the government. 

There is also some footage of Ami Ortiz playing ball, and he's not just trying, he's looking pretty good actually.   He says he has no hate for the bomber (thank you God, as it may be impossible to enter heaven with hate in your heart.) 

Ami's Mom points out that there is an organization you can donate to that was very helpful to them.  You can go to youtube and get that name.  Also, she said that Ami's injuries are recovered thanks to much prayer.  She says he was supposed to be blind, for instance, but instead his vision is 20/20 .  Praise be to Jesus and the Holy Father, and let all the Christians who prayed (and all of the Jews I suppose) note that prayer to our God has power.  Amen.

Update June 2012:  Ami Ortiz is reportedly attending a college in the upstate portion of New York, USA, and is on, or trying to make, the basketball team.  That means that he is probably pretty athletic, which tells us, again, the power of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for healing.  But still, 'good job!' to Ami for his patience and strength in enduring the long months of pain as he healed.  And perhaps you still have great pain?  I don't know. 

  It appears that Jack Teitel, the apparent bomber, will  face 2 counts of murder by agreement with prosecutors, but may or may not be judged fit for trial due to mental soundness.  That's the latest news that I have noticed.  Thank you, and may Jesus bless you for your interest and prayers on behalf of this young man.  Dan Curry   Deeds of God 

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