Do you remember the ISIS refugee baby Sulaiman, and the agonizing 53-day wait for his permission to enter Israel in time for his emergency heart surgery?
And the surgeons at Sheba also took precious Dina, with her severely cleft palate, in for successful repair of the hole in her heart today:
Friends, it is one of the great privileges and joys of our lives, to be chosen by God to participate with his people Israel as they bring healing to their humble neighbors. Which is why we will not give up on bringing the neglected heart patient Mohammed to Israel from Kurdistan. Our coworkers Nate and Colin were with him tonight in his home; click on this video to hear the appeal for his life:
Mohammed’s application to enter Israel was denied today for the third time by the interior ministry. We have no choice now but to pass his appeal on to God and, if he allows, directly to the people of Israel.
The hearts of some Israelis are scarred and hardened toward their neighbors, after decades–no, millenia–of conflict. And like many of us, traditional misunderstanding of what it means to be the people of God tempts them to devalue their neighbors.
But the word of God has lost none of its power, and the Torah and the prophets couldn’t be more beautifully explicit in their vision of Israel as a people chosen to be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth. We can be confident that the word of God will prevail.
For insight into the hearts of the people of Israel, let me end tonight by urging you to read carefully this story of an Israeli woman whose grandparents were killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem in 1948. Despite wall-to-wall opposition from her family, she couldn’t resist an inner calling to donate one of her kidneys to a three-year-old boy in Gaza:
And that was before the staunchly right-wing family found out that the recipient would be a Palestinian from Gaza.
“I wanted to do something big — and what is bigger than saving a life…” [Click here for the rest of the story]
Friends, there is no greater joy for the people of Israel (or for Christians who’ve been grafted into their story) than to step out into their God-given destiny. Let’s bless and pray for them now, and continue to speak truth to them about who they are called to be.
Jonathan for Shevet Achim
“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133).