26 January 2013

A Tale of Three Women

While in Israel, we had the privilege of meeting with some beautiful, courageous women.  You probably wont find them on the cover of a magazine, or read of their exploits in newspaper headlines, but these three Israeli believers are beautiful and courageous nonetheless.  We were touched by their stories and asked if we could share them with you so you could pray for them.  They said yes…

Yohana* is the mother of three lovely children, and wife to an emotionally abusive husband.  She is a gentle and kind believer, working part time for a local congregation.  She knows the members by name, being sure to send a card with words of encouragement to each of them on their birthdays.  Everything she does is with a servant heart, a desire to help and encourage everyone she comes into contact with.  Sometimes Yohana finds herself more than discouraged by her situation at home.  She makes every effort to model her faith to her children and train them in Godly living, yet she finds herself thwarted and undermined by their father at every turn.   “The place I most lose my testimony is at home with my husband’, she confessed, frustrated by her inability to maintain what she considers to be a Godly attitude within her circumstances.

Yohana has seen God bring healing to her marriage in years past.  She desires deeply that her husband will return again to his faith and that their children too will have a love for and relationship with Yeshua.  While she is praying and contending for her miracle, she continues to be the strong, kind, woman of encouragement, who takes every opportunity to serve, and every opportunity to be a shining example of what the love of God looks like when modeled by a woman of faith.

Naomi* is a single mother of a teenage son, Ben*.  Naomi’s husband was physically abusive to her and their son, before their marriage finally ended some years back.  She too has kind, servant heart, and works for a local city ministry.  Naomi suffered much heart ache as she watched Ben grow up into a depressed young man with little motivation for life.  Out of desperation, Naomi determined to find a way to help him.  She knew he had become reclusive and detached, sitting at home every night on his computer, refusing to interact with her or his own friends, and how detrimental and destructive these patterns had become, so when she heard of a boarding school that had a reputation for helping struggling young people like Ben, she took a financial leap of faith and enrolled him for his final few years of schooling.  “At first it was not easy.  Ben was angry with me for ‘sending him away’.  I had to drive him many miles to the school each week to make sure he went and pick him up each weekend to spend at home.  But now, after two years, Ben is not the same person he used to be.  Before, he didn’t care about anything.  Now he is doing well academically and getting good grades.  He even takes the bus to the school each week by himself and when he is home, spends time with his friends, going out and being a normal young person again.  He is so much happier in himself!”

12 January 2013

Holocaust Memorial Day 2013: Build A Bridge

Read Blanches Story
Imagine waking up to find that the neighbours you have known all your life and even sat next to at school, now walk past you without stopping, now forbid their children from playing with yours, now spit at you and even attack you.

Imagine having nowhere to turn, that the walls are closing in and that there is no escape. Imagine that you have done nothing wrong, yet you are to be punished nonetheless and no one will stand by you.

On Holocaust Memorial Day – 27 January 2013, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust are asking us to remember and stand by those who were forced to live through these experiences.
"The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 is Communities Together: Build a Bridge. We are asking you to remember those communities which were destroyed during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. By taking inspiration from the past, celebrating difference and ensuring respect for all you can Build a Bridge in your community and help to create a safer, better future." Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT)

The Memorial Day on 27th January is an opportunity to remember the terrible history of the Holocaust and also to consider our role in our own communities today. Let us be bridges to reconciliation and understanding within our communities, committed to never let anything like the Holocaust ever happen again.

Check out the HMDT online bridge where you can pledge your commitment to Build a Bridge in your community. Click the link under the picture to write your name on the Bridge.

The following Survivor story highlights the importance of the community standing together with those who are persecuted. Without the bravery and kindness of her neighbours and friends Blanche would probably not be here today to share her story:

"...One day at school, the headmaster called me into his office and said, ‘You know there’s a war on?’ And I replied, ‘Of course I do.’ By then I was ten and knew what was happening. He went on, ‘Well, [your friend] Mona’s mother came to see me today and said you have to go back to their house this afternoon. Your mother and father are there as well.’ So I went back to Mona’s after school. My mother was sitting crying and my father was pacing up and down, looking worried. Mona’s mother said, ‘Don’t worry, Blanche, you’re going to stay here with us for a few days. We’re going to hide you because we've heard that all the Jews are going to be rounded up.’ That was in October 1943..."     >> READ MORE

Your People My People partners with Helping Hand Coalition, helping Holocaust Survivors in Israel. If you would like to join with us to offer aid and dignity to these Survivors in their final years CLICK TO DONATE

05 January 2013

Vision For A Mission

Eyal is an Israeli believer, living and studying with an outreach training facility in the Midlands.  His passion to share the gospel and to learn effective ways to communicate his faith, brought him to the UK to attend a programme of study designed for those with a heart to reach out with the good news of Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah.  Your People My People has been assisting Eyal with some of his expenses during his studies and has been excited to share with us his reports along the way.

When a Jewish person comes to faith in Yeshua, it is not always well received by their family, so when Eyal shared the following news, we understood his excitement:  “It means a lot to me to give all my life to the will of our God.  Every morning I meet with a group for prayer and we have been praying especially for the people in Israel, my friends and family too.  My mum has already shared with me that when I go back to Israel to visit, she will come with me to my Congregation!”

Face painting for the children
Eyal has been involved with 10 day team trips to serve in Congregations in the UK.  During the summer they worked with one church to hold a Holiday Club for children, showing the Lord’s love through drama, puppet shows, singing and dancing, telling Bible stories and doing crafts together.  The children were from believing and non-believing families and Eyal was able to have deep conversations with them about how much Jesus loves them.  They took time as a team to learn how to serve the Congregation they were working with that would bless them, ministering to the elderly and also going out into the city streets to share the gospel.