written by Grant Crooks
The Jaffa community shared tender moments this morning during our devotional time together. After the security alert yesterday, we all affirmed our hope in the Lord’s steadfast love and offered praise and worship with the words ‘It is Well With My Soul’. Our Father is the source of unwavering, undeserved, relentless and boundless love.
Our hearts ache for the families in Gaza who are affected so negatively by recent events in Israel, and were reminded by Jonathan that the mission of Shevet Achim started in service to these people. Our study in Hebrews 13 began with verse 1, ‘Let brotherly love continue’. Lest we skim over this passage, we were reminded by our Palestinian brother, Amar that his Arabic translation for love here is Thabt – describing a love that comes from deep within, that is firmly established and unmovable. I took this message to mean that we are to love our brothers as the Lord loves us – unwavering, undeserved, relentless, boundless.
With that message on our hearts we moved into our daily tasks. We are local leaders for both Neena in Jaffa and Rahaf in Jerusalem and were so excited to see that both children in Jaffa this morning. Rahaf has come down to prepare for admission for her heart surgery tomorrow. Events transpired quickly and we were able to join with Rahaf’s Father, Abu Rahaf, Akram – transporting them to Sheba and completing all the tasks for her admission. Our team was sent off with a powerful blessing, a prayer in Arabic from our brother Amar and the whole community wrapping us in love, waving goodbye. Rahaf is a bundle of energy – only slowing down for a brief nap during the van ride to the hospital. At all other times she is on the move.
It was a bittersweet to leave Rahaf and her father at the hospital, but we reassured them that we would be returning in the morning and that we have shared with hundreds of friends around the world who will be praying for success with this surgery tomorrow. We know our actions fall far short, but our prayer is that we were able to show even a dim reflection of the Father’s love, wrapping this sweet family in Thabt. We pray that this sure hope reaches deep into the hearts of Rahaf and Akram, bringing healing and hope to the whole family.