13 August 2015

Masters of Reconcilliation

Your People My People is always encouraged to hear good news stories of what God is doing in Israel, and when we heard about 13 Arab and 11 Jewish pastors, all graduating their Masters degree together, we are excited to share it with you too!

Arab & Jewish MA Graduates

The graduation ceremony at Israel College of the Bible this year was particularly special, marking 25 years  since it was founded in the coastal city of Netanya.   Dr. Erez Soref, President of the College, who gave the formal address to the graduates wrote:  “This past week we had the final week-long course of the first-ever senior pastors' MA.  In this unique program we served and trained 24 of the leading pastors in Israel - 13 Arab evangelical brothers and 11 Messianic Jewish brothers. Throughout this year, it has been incredible to experience the blessing in getting to know each other, and tasting heaven in the love and unity among these precious brothers. We were able to discuss difficult and painful issues in a spirit of love and forgiveness. We learned to be transparent with each other in challenging and personal issues, sharing hearts. While all this was a wonderful, inspiring, and very meaningful secondary gain, the main thing has been a fantastic opportunity for renewal, and a positive spiritual, ministerial and academic challenge and encouragement for all participants. We have concluded this year with a few days of discussing various leadership issues, praying for each one, washing each other's feet, and taking the Lord's supper.”

Graduate Address
In our Western society, someone who wants to become a pastor, vicar, or church leader, will normally go into formal study and training first, and emerge ordained for the ministry.  Not usually so in Israel!  Very often a mature believer will find that younger followers of Yeshua have gathered around to learn and be discipled, and they are already pastoring a small congregation before they know it.  The fact that Israeli pastors are seeking more formal opportunities for Bible study and learning is a testament to their hunger for the things of God and their desire to grow and mature into strong and wise leaders.

Is it possible that this kind of study can be made more widely available to Israeli Congregational leaders?  Is it possible that Jews and Arabs can study in the same classroom together with a common purpose?  Is it possible that Arab and Jewish Israelis can live in unity and peace with each other, serving Yeshua/Jesus as One New Man?  “With God all things are possible!”

Your People My People loves to invest in discipling and training up pastors and leaders in Israel.  Would you like to join us in this important venture, to help see the Body of Messiah grow and mature?  If so, click one of the Donate options at the top left of this page ~ thank you for being a part of what God is doing in Israel!

Graduate Class

06 August 2015

The Singing Daughters of Zion

Springs of Hope has been reaching into their local community for over ten years, assisting and giving hope to families and individuals who have been irrevocably changed by a terrorist act.  Many of these families have lost loved ones.  Others have been fortunate to survive yet carry the great scars such encounters leave behind, both physical and emotional.

Last month we had the opportunity to catch up with Ahuva*, the founder and director of this amazing work and she shared the wonderful things God is doing, particularly among the women she has faithfully served:

“We recently had a leisurely Jerusalem Day brunch with 15 of the widows and bereaved Mothers, sitting in a restaurant perched above the city, green, and quiet, with tablecloths and rosemary in pots and tubs on and around the table. It was a hot day, the desert wind blowing in yet the ladies were chilled and relaxed despite the heat. Some of them began to sing songs about Jerusalem, it was one of those ‘Roni, Roni , Bat Zion’ moments ( Rejoice oh daughter of Zion, shout in triumph)! The Middle East is in turmoil but here they were in a place of peace and joy, delighting in their beloved city and in life. A sense of peace and serenity despite the turmoil all around. Healing is part of their life experience.”

A few weeks before, Ahuva had taken a humanitarian trip into Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). This journey back into Abraham’s land had an deep impact as she witnessed the enormity of the fallout from the incredible degrees of terror experienced by the Yazidi and Christian people fleeing ISIS.  Ahuva also met other people who had suffered for years under the regime of Saddam Hussein:

Yazidi Refugees
Iraqi Refugee Camp
“It was incredible to share of this journey with the ladies as we ate. As I shared and showed some photographs, I was able to tell them that it is because of them and on their behalf I was able to go to this region. They became excited. Four of them came from Iraq, one from one of the towns gassed by Saddam Hussein which I had visited. One came from a northern town close to the Syrian border, where we had been in the Yazidi camps, another from a town, very close to the camp from where the Yazidis had recently fled when the massacre began, another from Baghdad. They began pouring their stories out, stories of their families and community. They were in tears that we are able to return there and offer help. Around the table on this hot dry morning they began to say prayers of blessing and thanks.

“This is a joint journey,” continued Ahuva.  “I am able to physically go there, but I carry them. Not as dead corpses exiting Iraq but as women to whom the breath of life has been given and now want to return that life to the land and former neighbours so very dear to them.  When I mentioned the very vague and still dim possibility of one day them meeting the Yazidi women in a safe place outside Israel, they were like little kids, ready to pack their bags and go. Who knows, maybe the “one day” will become reality!”

Your People My People has worked with Springs of Hope for several years and endorse Ahuva’s closing thoughts to us, “I hope that you will continue to be part of this exciting journey.  We so value all the kindness that you have shown over the years. The help, the aid, the prayer, the care, carrying us so that we can carry others. You have shown the true meaning of redemptive love.  We welcome you to join us, and the singing daughters of Zion as our journey continues back the way many of them came.”

If you would like to financially bless the work of Springs of Hope, please use the Donate options at the top left of this page, and note your gift is for ‘Springs’.