Identity and value in a fractured land


A troubled minority anchors its hope in Christ

Israel, a nation divided

Conflict and violence have characterised Israel for generations. The Arab Israeli Bible Society (AIBS) serves a community which is a double minority: Arabs who are citizens of Israel, and Christian instead of Muslim. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict of the last 13 years has sharpened the divide between Jews and Arabs and is traumatic for this minority trying so hard to belong. The programs run by the AIBS are crucial to helping them find their true identity and worth, as well as God’s peace and hope.

A sense of never belonging

Aya (name changed) is a 21 year old Arab Israeli and shares her story.

“I am from a large Christian family in the north of Israel. I graduated from high school several years ago and am not currently working.

My whole life has been full of change and painful circumstances. My family moved several times, and I did not have a stable place for learning or to make friends. I was bullied at my last school. This constant change affected me both emotionally and academically.

The spread of COVID-19 has added to my anxiety, distress and lack of confidence. Especially at a time when I am praying hard for a job and a better life.

When I heard about the Arab-Israeli Bible Society sessions on ‘Inner Healing’, I signed up. The sessions helped me understand that God wants to help me deal with my trauma, anxiety, self-esteem and stress. He wants me to forgive others for the past, to forgive myself and to be healed.”

Finding her value and identity in God

“In the past I expected that God would act on my behalf immediately and according to my plans. Now, I am reading my Bible in a new way and praying for the Lord’s will to be done.

I have realised my value in the eyes of my Heavenly Father, after bringing all my pain and issues to the cross. I am hoping to learn more about wholeness in Christ. To accept myself as the Lord loves and accepts me. Please pray that I will have an opportunity to develop my skills in serving the Lord through hymn writing and music.

I want to hold to the Lord’s promise in this verse I cherish: ‘The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.’ (Psalm 18:2, NIV)”


Prayer for Israel from the AIBS

Dear Lord,

We pray that you will use these difficult times to encourage people to look up to you and seek your mercy. Please bring peace to our country and give wisdom to our leaders.

Thank you Lord for the growth of the trauma healing sessions for young people. We praise you that many people open up in these sessions, and that we have a great opportunity to offer them your word. Please give us your wisdom, God; we need it.

Dear Lord, please bless the efforts of AIBS as we seek to empower families to be godly. We pray specifically for the women we have met in our workshops who are frustrated, and suffering in a patriarchal society. Empower us to offer Christ as the head of the family and the way for building a godly family.

Amen.

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