Psalm 137:4-6 (Msg) “Oh, how could we ever sing God’s song in this wasteland?”
This was the question Ahuva* had an answer to as she watched the group of secular and Orthodox Jewish women, all terror victims, pray together during the Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year) celebration a few months ago.
“Bless us all with a year of peace.”
“Bless our children that they might come and go in safety.”
“Bless us that this year we will learn to love the Arabs and not hate them.”
And all gathered echoed another hearty, “Amen!!”
This is not the kind of exchange one would expect to hear from those whose lives have been changed forever by personally experiencing a terrorist act. Yet this is the kind of response Ahuva is beginning to see with the women she works with in Israel.
|Orthodox women praying at the Kotel|
Ahuva runs an organisation dedicated to helping terror victims recover from their traumatic experiences. She reaches out to this broken group of people and gently, with the compassionate love of God, helps them to take steps towards regaining some sense of normality and healing in their lives. This year, Ahuva was able to provide special events for these ladies during the fairly long Feast and celebration season which is part of the Jewish calendar. It was her delight to report, “We have been awed to stand on the side lines over the past weeks and watch the kindness of God, drawing these women back to the land of the living. Those, who even last year wept with loss and grief, who went to ‘sleep’ for a month to avoid appearing before God with joy during the Feasts, have this year been singing a new song!”
When Your People My People learned of Ahuva and the work she is doing, we knew it was a vital ministry and one that we support wholeheartedly. The organisation arranges trips for these women, to go away together for a few days, away from the pressures of home and the reminders of the trauma they experienced, to relax and unwind a little. Ahuva also has regular informal gatherings where the ladies come and work on projects together, like learning to make soap, or creating a special meal for the holidays with the help of a trained chef. Through these times, the women build relationship, learning to trust once again, helping and encouraging one another by a shared sense of pain, yet desiring to move forward into hope and life. Ahuva facilitates the opportunity for the women to experience the love of the Father through all the events she organises, and she is seeing victimised people begin to heal as they walk together through grief and sadness. It is as though they are moving from the ‘wasteland’, to Zion, from those who could not sing, to those who are finding the song of joy!
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!
Psalm 126: 1-3