In our last prayer letter, we encouraged our communities to be a light during this difficult, dark time. We saw many people respond to this and join alongside us in our call to prayer and action. Even with the current challenges, we are continuing with our programs, meetings, teachings, and more. As we have often noted during times of crisis, some choose to retreat to their own national group and toe the party line. Others seek to meet all the more eagerly in order to pray for and support one another.
We have seen both of these responses from our participants. We will share more about their responses and our continuing programs in the coming weeks. This time, we take a look at a second prayer walk our women did, this time in Al-Jadeida. It is important to remember that no matter how good or how bad things look, prayer is an important and essential part of our ministry.
A few weeks ago, 20 Palestinian and Israeli women met in a small village of about 20,000 people in the northern part of Israel. This village is not well known. You won’t find many famous people coming from there. There isn’t even a sign from the main road pointing in its direction.
Meet Al-Jadeida and its close neighbor Maker. These two little villages have been in the news lately because of the violence taking place there. Whole groups of people have been relocated to these villages from low-income neighborhoods in Acco and Gaza. Al-Jadeida is 97% Muslim and 3% Christian. Organized crime has taken hold, and the local municipality has all but stopped the city services, including withholding funds for education.
For the few evangelical families and the local Catholic and Orthodox churches, this is unacceptable. This has been the subject of prayer for some time now. As a result, we were asked to come and pray with the local women’s group.
We visited on a lovely, albeit hot morning. We had no physical weapons of protection, but we came armed with hope, faith, and boldness. We walked through a neighborhood in two groups and prayed for the municipality to be cleaned and to remove any that wouldn’t bend the knee to God. We prayed near the churches, Orthodox on one corner and Catholic on the next, that there would be unity among the believers.
When we prayed near the school, two young men were connecting a radio from a car. Two of us went over and started a conversation. Both boys went to the school and were surprised to know we were praying for them and their school. They allowed us to pray for them.
Walking around the corner, we noticed a man in a wheelchair who beckoned to us to come into his yard. We spoke with him and his daughter who was obviously Muslim. They asked us what we were doing, and when we told them, they thanked us for coming.
The daughter-in-law of one of the local women opened her door to find us praying outside her house. “Please come in and pray for me,” Mary asked. She asked that we pray that her husband will no longer be abused at work, that she would be able to pass her driver’s license test (she has been trying to do so for four years), and that she would be able to find work. We also met the patriarch of the family who has been having Christian meetings in that house since he was married, 58 years ago. What a heritage!
Musalaha was invited into this situation and we look forward to returning and seeing some change. If Israeli and Palestinian women seek God together, praying for change, we believe we will be the change we wish to see, and that we will witness this in many other contexts, too.
By Hedva Haymov
Musalaha Women’s Department