Overcoming terror - step by step...

In one short moment of time, life changes forever for a victim of terrorism. Not only for the person at the scene but for their whole family. The long term impact of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, is quite simply, devastating.

Your People My People is deeply concerned for these people, whose lifelong struggle to put the pieces back together, is soon forgotten once the news headlines move on. Therefore, we were very happy to hear about individuals and organisations in Israel who are reaching out to this broken group of people and gently, with the compassionate love of the Father, helping them to take steps towards regaining some sense of normality and healing in their lives. 

Overcoming fear, is often a major hurdle for these victims. On a recent trip to the Dead Sea with a group of female terror victims, fear was defined as: 'False evidence appearing real.'  This false evidence shouts at these women, the fear that everything is a potential threat, a 'death threat waiting to happen'. As they were driving along a quiet track past a few camels, chewing the cud, minding their own business, one of the women asked the driver to go really slowly, fearing the bus would overturn and the camels stampede and kill them all. This irrational fear of impending death impacts all areas of life.
One of the ladies was particularly afraid of a planned Jeep trip with a tour guide through the beautiful desert landscape - She was afraid they would fall over the edge of a cliff. She expressed that these irrational fears only started happening after she experienced a terror attack. The other members of the group and the volunteers talked with her and helped her to take a step towards overcoming her fears. One of the aims of these trips is to show the participants that there is always a choice - to take captive or to be taken captive - when they choose to be taken captive by fear, the fear will grow and become more powerful and paralysing. After the Jeep trip, this woman was surprised it had been so much fun and called out, "I am brave, I am brave!" Prior to the trip, some of the women had been experiencing panic attacks - fear was stealing their joy - so the laughing smiling faces at the end were a blessing to behold. It was a time for God to show them that they don't have to be fearful, that he has not given them a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind.

Trips like these, away from the pressure at home, allowed these ladies to relax and unwind a little. One of them, usually strong and stalwart, who never speaks of her husband, allowed herself to be vulnerable and shared her story with one of the organisers. She shared how she and her husband had never been on holiday, not in all their 39 years of marriage. Her husband decided to ask his boss for a weeks leave to take his wife away  - the leave was denied but he insisted and booked a five-day holiday at the Dead Sea. It was a wonderful time, they were inseparable and walked around hand in hand. Many times they were mistaken for newly weds. They returned to Jerusalem in time for the Sabbath. The next day, her husband left a few minutes earlier than usual as he was anxious to have a few minutes with his boss before the start of work. Usually he would stay to listen to the six O'clock news before heading off for the bus. At 6am there was an announcement that his workplace was on strike but he had already left home and caught his bus. At 6.02, the bus he was on, blew up in a terror attack and he was killed. This widow broke down in tears as she finished her story. She shared that her family had broken apart since the incident - the whole family is still devastated and incredibly affected by this tragic loss.

Another woman, sharing about the anniversary of her daughter's murder, asked "How can the world go on as normal? Why doesn't all the world cry out with rage?"

One beautiful, young girl who came on the trip, was injured 6 years ago. She has not left her home, except for visits to the doctor, hospital and physiologists, in all that time. She often has to wear incontinence pads and she is not able to eat normally. Her diet is limited to courgette, carrot and pumpkin with a little chicken, twice daily. She decided to go on this trip to the Dead Sea. The Arab sous chef at the hotel, cooked her special food twice daily - he even prepared food for her to take and eat on the way home. Tears of joy were running down this girl's face as she prepared to go home. She had come on this trip, she hadn't needed to wear an incontinence pad, she had been on a Jeep trip, she had been given food that she could eat, she was able to digest it and did not end up in the emergency room. This might seem like a small step, but for her it was a giant leap!

Sunrise over the Dead Sea
There were many more stories of small victories from just one trip to the Dead Sea. For these women, knowing they were not forgotten, that together they can face and overcome their fears and look with a glimmer of hope towards the future is a huge victory.

Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. 
Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth. 
I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert…to give drink to My people, My chosen. 
This people I have formed for Myself – they shall declare My praise.
Isaiah 43: 18 – 20

If you would like to help us sponsor more trips like this to reach out to victims of terror please click DONATE and write 'Victims of Terror' in the notes section.