Upon this rock may we stand

Dear praying friends,

Our new German coworkers Sebastian and Sabrina are about a month into the fullness of life at Shevet Achim. As we, the three Europeans, discussed the idea of a “hot Christmas,” away from everything we have been familiar with at this time of year, Sebastian described it as feeling like living in a parallel universe. Life in one place moves forwards, at the same time as life is moving forwards for other people, each of us experiencing something completely different at the same point in time.

And yet,

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 

Thank God that amongst every thing which happens, we have this great hope:

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:4 

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. Yet, let us remember Jesus. To begin our reflection and prayer I will share a link to a song with beautiful words to focus onto Him.

There is no other, so sure and steady…Upon this Rock may we stand. Jesus is better than all of our sorrows, and better than every victory. May we believe it. 

song 2Many of you will remember meeting Lawi, who came from Kurdistan last year with his father, hoping for a life-saving heart surgery. The doctors here found that Lawi’s condition was inoperable, and so this wonderful, talented young artist (pictured below with a sample of his artwork) returned to Kurdistan without surgery.

laweLawi’s condition deteriorated over the year, and this week God in His great mercy took Lawi to be with Him. Lawi had a special place in all of our hearts. Please pray that his father, mother and sister would know the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

In Hadassah hospital this week two newborn babies died following heart surgeries, and we ask for prayers for their families. Ahmad’s story was told in the Shevet Sunday letter; the second child was Saif from Hebron. Whilst recovering from his BT shunt surgery, surrounded by both his parents, Saif passed away early on Wednesday morning. Our Jerusalem coworkers returned the family to their home in the hills of Hebron that same morning for burial:

returning homeHis spirit we trust is with our Father in heaven. May these parents know the Comforter during this time of grieving.Over at Sheba hospital this week, beautiful three-year-old Zain had a long, difficult surgery. Over the course of the following two days this happy, joyful sweet, smiling boy deteriorated in the ICU, losing brain activity until he also eventually died yesterday evening.

zainFor me, this echoed the memories of the loss of 16-year-old Kurdish Mustafa last winter time. He too was a delight to all who met him, happily entering the operating room, after which point the lives of everyone who knew and loved him were changed forever by his death.Even so, let’s look to Jesus, and bring these families before Him.

He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. 

Amen, and in times of sorrow may we remember Him.

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

Georgia for Shevet Achim