Stories of Hope Amidst the Chaos

For those who have been praying for Marike (pictured), the Dutch believer who was stabbed on a bus last week, we are happy to report that she is smiling again and on the road to recovery. Not only that, but hundreds of Jewish and Arab believers met together on Saturday to worship the Messiah together in unity, and yet more Israeli new believers were baptised at the weekend, publicly declaring their faith in Yeshua!
These are very dark and difficult days for Jews and Palestinians alike, but, as the Psalmist said, “If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you”. (Ps 139:11-12) The light is still shining in the darkness, and the darkness will never be able to overcome it.

Marike Veldman back at home, and on the road to recovery

As the terrorists were shouting “Allahu Akbar” and stabbing her, Marike kept calling out in Dutch: “Heere Jezus, Heere Jezus! – Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus! Help me, help me!” Marike is sure that prayer has saved her life.[1] She called out in prayer in the midst of her attack, and thousands of people from all over the world have joined in praying for her since then.
She is pictured above in Hadassa Medical Centre in the Ein Kerem neighbourhood of Jerusalem, being well taken care of, but we are delighted to report that she was released from hospital yesterday.
On Saturday, four days after the attack, we are told that Marike was finally able to sleep, although she is still very sore. She is healing well physically, but the emotional healing will be a longer journey, for which she will need God’s grace and help. Her family are with her, including many of the children she has cared for over the years. Some have even traveled from overseas to be with her at this time. She is thankful for all the many prayers said on her behalf, and says that she really feels the hand of the Lord. We spelled Marike’s name wrong previously, sorry about that. Evidently God heard our prayers regardless – praise God for preserving the life of this saint! (Photo: Alfred Muller)

Hundreds of Arab and Jewish believers meet together to worship in unity

Meanwhile, the violence continues up and down the country, but God is still powerfully at work among us. Every year, Arab churches meet up with Messianic congregations to worship the Lord together as “one new man” in the Messiah in a forest in the north of Israel. This year, the event was particularly meaningful in amidst the horrendous events that can so easily breed distrust and alienation between the two communities. It was all the more important to stand together in unity, and refuse to allow the enemy to sow division the body of Yeshua. It was suggested that each Messianic congregation could “adopt” an Arab Church, and vice versa, for the leaders to meet to pray together, to plan activities together, and to share the gospel together. (Photo: Jacob’s Hope)

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The Body of Messiah continues to grow

Seven more new believers from one congregation were baptized as a public sign of their new faith in Yeshua the Messiah last Friday. One of them was a man who picked up the New Testament on Yom Kippur, began reading it and did not stop all day! He came to one of our team towards the end of the day with a multitude of questions, and decided with great excitement to accept the Lord into his life. His wife had already made that step in a slower process of several years, and she also was baptized alongside him on the same day. When asked if she was excited, she said, “Yes, but my husband is even more excited than I am!”
So for those who joined us in prayer for Jewish people to come to faith on Yom Kippur, we already know of at least one person who did! God is at work here in Israel, even in these difficult times. He is never off duty! He neither slumbers nor sleeps. Hallelujah!

[1] Nederlandse verpleegkundige in Israël: Gebed heeft mijn leven gered (“Reformatorisch Dagblad” – Dutch Reformed Newspaper)

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