Recently I received a phone call from the pastor’s wife in a northern village close to Karmiel. She called me to ask the Musalaha women to pray for them. This village is mixed, with Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouin. There are traditional churches and Evangelical churches for the Christian community, and there are many tensions between the different religious groups, the different denominations, and within the denominations. This woman demonstrated a courageous act of trust in calling me to partner with her in prayer.
We organized a prayer walk of Israeli Jewish believers alongside Israeli-Palestinian believers in this village. It might have been a strange sight to those who saw us, Israeli Jewish outsiders coming into their neighborhoods walking alongside Israeli-Palestinian believers. We walked through areas of the village praying for mercy and peace. We stopped to read scriptures as we walked.
We heard the story of how a local Evangelical minister and his wife are ill, and as a result, their church has closed. We met with a woman in the village who shared of her personal struggles as a single mother. We also visited an Evangelical church that has recently split and is suffering through this experience with gossip and rumors. Hearing the needs of the Christians in this village helped us know how to pray for them. This was a moving time of fellowship and spiritual intercession together, as we partnered as sisters in the Messiah.
A time of prayer between believers of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds might sound commonplace. It should, but in our context, this is often not the case. This experience affirms that our lives are intertwined, and we can support each other, across cultural and ethnic divides. This is part of Musalaha’s calling. It takes courage, effort and conviction from our women, but the time and prayers invested can move spiritual mountains.
By Hedva, Musalaha Women’s Department