26 January 2017

Where Hope Heals

In November, Your People My People hosted Springs of Hope for a meeting in Norfolk (UK) called 'Where Hope Heals'. Our hearts were moved by the passionate message we heard about the plight of the Yezidi people in Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the room as we heard the stories of the young Yezidi women and boys Springs of Hope is helping after they escaped from ISIS. Springs has been working to relieve their suffering and finding creative ways to heal the trauma.

The Yezidi’s have been living in refugee camps for over two years now. Forced to flee their homes as ISIS advanced massacring thousands and enslaving those that were useful to them. Your People My People organised a project to collect hats, scarves and gloves for the refugee children Springs of Hope is working with. We were overwhelmed by the response. Over two full suitcases, were collected and taken directly to the kids that needed them. Snow had already fallen on the mountains around the camps when the gifts arrived and the winter provisions were much appreciated.

Thank you so much for all your care, prayer and support of the people who are supported by Your People My People. You make a difference!

12 January 2017

Preparing the Bride - Arab Deborah Conference 2 Report

It seemed especially poignant that a beautiful bride dressed in white just happened to be outside having her pre-ceremony photos taken. Inside, 130 Arab Christian women from 13 different Arabic-speaking churches around Israel were worshiping The Bridegroom and preparing His Bride!

It had rained the night before and in Israel, the scarcity of water always makes rain a symbol of blessing: This was going to be a very special weekend. The Arab women had gathered at Yad Hashmona, a Messianic Conference centre nestled in the hills surrounding Jerusalem, for the second 'Arab Deborah Arising' women's conference.  Rania Sayegh, the organiser and Director of HOPE (House of Prayer and Exploits) in Nazareth, has such a heart to see these women set free and released to be powerhouses of change for the Kingdom of God.

Your People My People had the privilege of joining with a team of 33 women from 13 different nations, who came to bless and minister to the local women. During the pre-conference team preparation time, we were saddened to hear about the lies spoken over women in the Arab world. Much of this has filtered into the culture from Islam but is also prevalent in the churches and Christian families.  In Arabic culture, a baby girl is often seen as a curse. The husband may not even turn up at the hospital and neighbours do not bring sweets to celebrate as they would for a boy. These practices leave deep emotional wounds of rejection and abandonment.  In many cases, daughters will not be entitled to an inheritance even if they are in great financial need. Many struggle to forgive their father and brothers for leaving them in need. This hatred for women filters through the family, so it is not surprising to see women persecuting their daughter-in-laws and even their own daughters. The ministry team felt this was an area that the Holy Spirit was highlighting particularly and we prayed the Lord would bring much healing and deliverance from this spiritual oppression during the conference.

This was the second 'Arab Deborah Arising' women's conference and the women arrived expectant for God to do a new thing - knowing that so many testimonies of  healing and deep works of the Holy Spirit had been shared after the first conference.

One of the speakers from Norway, shared about creation and the forming of the man and women in God's image. She explained that God saw the woman he had created and exclaimed, "wow!" She very gently spoke words of life and acceptance over the women.



During another session, a speaker from Switzerland, shared about the importance of forgiveness and being set free from bitterness.  She explained the spiritual foundation as well as sharing practical steps to walk it out. Many women came forward asking for personal ministry, wanting to be released in this area.

Through times of powerful worship and empowering messages, the Holy Spirit began to minister. Each women had been given a booklet of prayers and proclamations concerning some of the issues that were being addressed. There was a time of corporate repentance and breaking of the power of the spirit of misogyny (hatred of women) over their lives and the lives of their families. Many were touched by the power of the Holy Spirit and received release and healing.  One lady, shared later that she had been struggling with an abusive husband for many years but after the prayer against misogyny, she felt that something that had been stuck deep inside, erupted like a volcano from her belly. It felt like something exploded and she felt such a release and sense of freedom.

It was a joy to see these women set free and released to be who they were meant to be in the Lord: loved and cherished as His precious daughters. Not weighed down by the lies put upon them by their culture. As the worship team lead the room in beautiful worship, some of the international team started to dance with some of the Arab women. Eventually, more and more joined in and a huge circle formed around the room as women who were already dancing invited and encouraged others to join them. This was also a breakthrough moment as dancing does not usually take place in Arab churches in Israel. But the women were so full of joy and the Holy Spirit drew them into intimacy with their heavenly Father who delighted over them.

Throughout the conference, the ladies learnt about Deborah and the other characters in her story recorded in the Book of Judges: Strong women of faith who the Lord used to bring about his purposes. Deborah arose as a warrior against the enemy, but, described herself as a mother in Israel. The importance of the role of mothers (both spiritual and natural) was highlighted as the ones who bring safety and peace to the land.  As a prophetic act, each woman was given a wooden tent stake as a reminder to protect the spiritual ground in their families. They were encouraged to write decrees and promises on the stake, to remind them when they returned to their homes.

During one time of worship, the leader led the women in praying for all Israel to know the Lord. For every knee to bow as they recognise him as Messiah. The room erupted with fervent prayer for every Arab, Jewish, Bedouin person to see his glory - for every people group living in the land.

There were also some Messianic Jewish women at the conference. One of the young Jewish girls was invited to share what the Lord had put on her heart about praying for the prodigal sons and daughters to return to the Lord. A young Arab girl joined her along with both their mothers and they prayed for each other and the young people in their communities. Other women surrounded them and as representatives of the Arab and Jewish people in the Land of Israel, they took tent stakes in their hands and Rania called everyone to stand. As they  drove them into a container of soil representing their nation,  they proclaimed "All Israel will be saved!" The crowd cheered and roared and shouted out and silver trumpets were blown. Together, mothers of the Land, both Jewish and Arab, crying out for the children to return to the Lord! It was so beautiful to witness this hope for the nation - women pushing in deeper to the Lord, taking spiritual ground for His Kingdom. Not political agendas but a revolution of love.  



There was also unexpected fruit. Yad Hashmona conference centre has a lovely restaurant that opens to the public for a late breakfast on Shabbat.  After enjoying her meal, one secular Israeli Jewish woman carrying her granddaughter, was drawn to the conference room by the sound of the Arabic worship.  She was amazed and loved what she saw. "What is this?" she asked, "it's so wonderful, are they here every week?". One of the ministry team was able to share with her about Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, these Arab women knew and loved.

There was so much more that would take too many pages, and weeks after the event, testimonies were coming in from women who had been touched and healed at the conference and had seen breakthrough in their homes.

The weekend ended with a prayer tunnel for all the local women to walk through. The international team prayed and blessed all the Lord had done throughout the weekend as each woman passed through. Many were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love they felt. They soaked it all up like sponges. "We felt so much love." shared one woman. "I can't believe what the lord has done in my heart", shared another lady,  "we have gone to a different level."



We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who invested in sponsoring some of these women to attend the conference.  We know that for them, this conference was life-changing and they were so thankful to be able to attend.

In the words of one of the women:  "Continue on with such conferences that are so important for women. You are doing a great service to every woman who is broken on her inside and this work is not taken for granted.  So, continue because there are many women who are mistreated, abandoned, crushed, filled with bitterness and sadness, pain and ridicule."

And the final word from Rania: "We are so grateful for all of you who are standing with us in relationship, love, prayer, and encouragement. For you to share with us, to witness, and hear the testimonies of the Lord's plans and purposes established in our region is important to us.  The HOPE staff, the local Arab women of the land, and I are so grateful to our global family! Without your relationship, without your prayer support, and generosity, we honestly would not be able to witness His plans nor see the desire of His heart manifest among our women in His land! Thank YOU! Richest Blessings be released for you and your households!!"

"The Lord has done great things in our midst, I believe we have witnessed a historic moment among and for our women in September."

Rania and her team, are busy right now planning a follow-up conference for about 100-110 women from 23 Arab churches that will take place in February. "We believe as Arab women are moving forward with the Lord corporately; possessing the land of our hearts and rising up to know their true identity in Christ," shared Rania, "It's time to get trained and equipped for the battle -to stand as an intercessory power in the land and be positioned with authority, is key." 

Immediately after the women's conference, Rania is inviting 100-130 Arab young people from all over Israel for one full day of training, worship and ministry. "The Lord is raising this young generation to rise up as an army of worship and prayer in the land" shared Rania.

We believe these conferences have a life-changing impact in the lives of these Arab woman and youth. This is changing the spiritual atmosphere over the Land of Israel! 

Rania needs to raise $10,000 (around £8,000) to cover both the women's and youth events in February. If you would like to help support these events in February, please go to our donate page and note your gift is for "HOPE". 



05 January 2017

How Can Life Go On?

27th January, is Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). It is the day to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. This date also marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps. HMD is an opportunity to honour the survivors of these regimes of hatred and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to educate our choices today.

HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own. It’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

We may be fortunate enough to not be at risk of genocide in our own country. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process.

How can life go on? is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has produced some really good material to help individuals and communities mark this important memorial.

“The aftermath of the Holocaust and of subsequent genocides continues to raise challenging questions for individuals, communities and nations. HMD 2017 asks audiences to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime.” HMD Trust

FREE RESOURCES


The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website features a wealth of free resources to help you mark Holocaust Memorial Day. This year, resources highlight the theme for HMD 2017: How can life go on?

•  Life stories and films of Holocaust
    & genocide survivors
•  Template activities for marking
    HMD in 10-30 minutes, 1-2 hours,
    and a whole day
•  Downloadable exhibitions
•  Logos and posters
•  Extensive resources for teachers –
   assemblies and lesson plans

Explore HMD free resources: hmd.org.uk/resources



ORGANISE AN EVENT


Over 5,500 local activities took place for Holocaust Memorial Day last year – in public spaces, libraries, schools, universities, cinemas, prisons, workplaces and many more. Holocaust Memorial Day Trust provide free resources, advice and information about how you can hold an activity to mark HMD

ORDER YOUR FREE ACTIVITY PACK
To order visit hmd.org.uk/activitypack
or email enquiries@hmd.org.uk

The free Activity Pack contains a set of posters, a sheet of stickers, and a sample of the ‘About HMD’ Booklet (available to order in quantities of 50) – which are great to hand out at events.




MARK HMD ONLINE


Commemorate HMD by sharing the life stories of survivors online:
hmd.org.uk/lifestories

In January, the Holocaust Memorial Trust will launch an online film and opportunity to mark HMD online.



TAKE PART IN AN ARTS PROJECT


Mark HMD 2017 in a creative way by taking part in this year’s arts project. A dedicated microsite is the home for public submissions and an opportunity to reflect on this year’s theme: How can life go on?

                                                                Contribute your response and share your thoughts with
                                                                the world:  hmd.org.uk/arts


MARK HMD WITH A GIFT


Your People My People supports 'Shalom Homes' for Holocaust Survivors in Israel. Click THIS LINK to find out how the Shalom Home network is bringing hope and support to hundreds of Holocaust Survivors across Israel.

Mark Holocaust Memorial with a gift for Holocaust Survivors 
Your gift will make a huge difference to an elderly Holocaust Survivor!