Every year on Independence Day, a special award ceremony for outstanding Israeli soldiers is held to honor 120 outstanding officers and soldiers, chosen — after a stringent screening process — for demonstrating excellence in both their posting and personal character.
This year, Mark Lampert, a believer who attends a congregation in Beersheba, was one of the recipients of this award, given at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. Kehila News Israel (KNI) spoke with Lampert to find out more.
KNI: Congratulations, Mark!
Thank you! I was so surprised by this and still am so amazed that I was one of the 120 soldiers chosen out of all the battalions in Israel. It is such an honor.
KNI: When did you know you were going to get an award?
I was told a few months before that in the screening and selection process my name had been put forward to be a recipient.
KNI: Who selected you?
All those in command over me: my captain, the commander, the platoon leader, the battalion leader — all of them know me and know that I am a Jewish believer in Yeshua.
KNI: Did you have to do anything special in preparation?
On top of doing all that I normally do in the army, I had to appear before a committee. They asked me to tell them why I deserve the award. They wanted an explanation for why I work so hard and why I give my all. I told them that I do everything for God.
KNI: How was the ceremony?
It was very special. It was on Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day). We were invited to the residence of President Reuven Rivlin. The whole ceremony was televised and live-streamed. It was a very grand occasion.
KNI: What did the award entail?
It is called the Presidential Award for Excellence. I got a certificate and two special badge pins for my uniform. One is the award pin and the other has the number of the year of the modern State of Israel — 69. In front of everyone there and for all to hear, they spoke of all I have contributed and my hard work. All the very important people in the military were there including the IDF Chief of Staff and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the other recipients from other battalions across Israel. It was very special!
KNI: Has the award changed anything for you?
I continue to do everything for the Lord, just as before, and I feel this is important for the people I come into contact with every day. They know me and know that I follow Yeshua. I am grateful that my life can be an example for the Lord. I feel that this award is such a blessing and a real honor. I thank God. I am so grateful for this opportunity that was unexpected and so special.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord , not for men.”