Training for Life
Three months of studying the word of God, asking important questions, praying, fasting, worshipping, traveling around Israel and sharing the Gospel came to an end in December for the 31st group of students of the Lech L'cha Discipleship programme. "God worked in amazing ways throughout this programme and we were privileged to see during these three months, the amazing change and growth in the hearts and lives of nineteen young people," shared one of the staff. "Please pray for them as they are sent out to serve the Lord wherever He may lead them and that they would be a light to the people around them."
These past two years have been difficult for Lech L'cha, a discipleship ministry for young Israelis, but they have adapted and creatively navigated the changes the pandemic thrust upon them. For the students too, their path to this decision to go deeper in their walk with the Lord has been different to previous students. Most of Lech L'cha's students come after their compulsory national military service. This is usually a time of difficult transition and the pandemic only increased the difficulty. A recent article by FIRM (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries), put it this way:
"Many of today’s young adults in Israel finished high school online. They never got a traditional graduation with their peers. Then, they had to begin their mandatory army service. But because of the restrictions, they were not able to visit home often. Their entire world would have changed anyway, while joining the army, but the pandemic just made it more uncomfortable and unnatural. Statistics show that many young adults from believing homes struggle with, or even abandon their faith during their military service. Now, it is like someone completely stole their normal lives.
"Over the last two years, young Israelis started to build up resilience and grit. And at a time like this, more than ever they need mentors and wise leaders. Who will show them the way?
"The mandatory military service in Israel is often a time when young Israelis have to figure out who they are and what they believe. This service plays a significant role in shaping the identity of the Israeli people. Unsurprisingly, upon completing their army service, many of these young men and women pack their bags and go on what one may call a journey of self-discovery. This is a vulnerable time also, if not more so, for believers. Every young person should be grounded in community with a strong support system to help them navigate the challenges and social pressures." - FIRM (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries)
At this moment in their lives, when they have so many questions about identity and life and faith. And often carrying trauma from military life, Lech L'cha provides a safe space for these young people to work through issues and experience a fresh connection with Yeshua and a renewed grounding in the Word of God. The three-month programme is residential, so deep friendships are built as they explore their faith together. The programme encourages daily times of personal devotion and a lifestyle of prayer. The classroom times delve deep into the Bible with a variety of teachers coming in to share on different subjects, alongside corporate times of worship.
“Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.” Isaiah 38:19
The 32nd programme will begin in April. We pray for the staff as they prepare and ask the Holy Spirit to be working in the hearts of the new intake of students.
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