“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” – Psalm 133

Frank's oxygen support is being reduced, he is up and taking a few steps, and, most importantly, he says "the Lord has been
pointing things out and it's a great time to be able to grow!"
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SHEVET PRAYER - Our co-worker Amar has worked to bring a lovely newborn girl, Besan, to Sheba Medical Center from Gaza and she will be arriving today. Please be praying for her journey which is just beginning:
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Today I walked in to find the ventilator tube taken out and Frank breathing on his own. Even the nurses seemed relieved and surprised, as one told me that a majority of their COVID patients on ventilators do not recover.
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We ask you to pray for our friend and coworker Frank in the United States. He contracted the coronavirus while waiting for permission to come join us again in Jaffa, and is currently on a ventilator in the ICU:
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SHEVET SUNDAY - LIFE FROM THE DEAD
Alaa was well enough to return to his family in Gaza this week following his near-death experience in the hospital in Israel:
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SHEVET PRAYER - HOW TO SHARE OUR LIVES
Exciting news for our community this week: the birth of Lindsay and Amar's second child, a healthy boy called Qais!
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SHEVET SUNDAY - HOPE WE CAN BE CHANGED
Alaa’s now doing so well that doctors in Israel are asking us to return him to Gaza! He still needs six more weeks of IV antibiotic treatment in hospital though, and I wrote his doctors tonight asking them to keep him in Israel until the job is done. I’d like to share the message with you, both for prayer and also reflection on our own lives as we enter another year. Why are we here, as unlikely intermediaries between Muslims and Jews? And what kind of people do we need to be in order to fulfill our role?
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SHEVET YEAR-END: WINDOWS IN HEAVEN
Only $83,873 of 2020 commitments still remains outstanding. Praise God!
I believe he again is honoring before his people Israel the commitments that we make in his blessed name. In Hebrew they call this kiddush hashem, the sanctification of the name of God.
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Alaa from Gaza is getting stronger every day (his words not mine!).
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Alaa asked me if I wanted to take a picture and he stood up. I took my camera and started recording because he was walking on his own. This is really a miracle!
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SHEVET PRAYER - HEALING IN HIS WINGS
It is surreal to see Alaa awake, talking, and being transferred out of the ICU today!
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Five Christmas babies! The first pictures have just come in of the new emergency two-month-old Kurdish babies as they reached our Jaffa house this evening:
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Alaa is breathing on his own and speaking. The first thing he did was raise my hand to his lips and kiss it.
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When I saw Alaa today he was waking slowly, moving his hands, and very responsive:
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Alaa's eyes open now when he hears us speak. I encouraged him in different ways, not to give up, but to hold on. I spoke to him about his future, about his beloved wife and son who are waiting on him. All of his family. All of us in Shevet Achim.
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Today against all odds the ICU doctors were able to remove the ECMO device, and Alaa's heart is now working again on its own:
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Alaa is in critical condition and on life
support (the ECMO device) for four days now. Medical staff report very slight improvement in his heart function, and will perform another echo on Sunday. Meanwhile his uncle says Alaa is responding when spoken to and opening his eyes.
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Prayer update from Alaa's bedside
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Pray for all these precious families, and for our community as we walk alongside them through the valley of the shadow of death.
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UPON THIS ROCK MAY WE STAND
It has been a week full of events which have crashed heavily into the lives of many people, shattering hopes and changing the lives of families forever.
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Shevet Achim communities help children from Gaza, Iraq and Syria come to Israel for open-heart surgeries. The first community formed in 1994 in response to the plea of a mother who came to Israel seeking life-saving treatment for her son at a cost of $64,000:

“Will you help us?”

Few of us have the resources to respond to a request like that. But we found if one person will hear that question–and then pray, give whatever they have, and share the child’s story–our Father will form a rescue community that unites all kinds of people around the shared goal of saving a child’s life. And doctors and hospitals in Israel are ready to partner with us and take more than half of the costs on themselves.

Here are some of the families of children who are asking the same question today: “Will you help us?”

How it Works:

Each of these children is invited for heart surgery in one of Israel’s largest hospitals, the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, or Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. If God gives you the faith to intercede for one of these boys or girls, you can apply to become a local leader. When approved you’ll be given your own page on this website through which you can call together friends, family, and neighbors, to join you in meeting the financial goal. Everyone agrees that a child’s life should be saved–you’ll find yourself partnering with people you never would have expected! You’ll share with them regular updates on your child’s progress, including updates sent from the Shevet Achim community in Israel. And you’ll be invited to come and personally meet your child while he or she is in Israel for surgery.

Here’s how you can get started.

And here are the stories of the children now in Israel: