We need to pray!

We left our house after 5:30pm and headed for the house of Abu Muhammed, the family we have been visiting in the village. This time, I did not forget the guitar! When we arrived at the family’s house, they were clearly waiting for us.

As we settled into our seats in the salon, a young man named R* sat next to Bishara. Bishara began to ask him about himself, and quickly noticed that R was not functioning at 100%. We have noticed that far too many of the young men in this village suffer from psychological or mental challenges, perhaps caused by the drugs they use. Bishara asked R what was wrong, and R explained that he hears voices in his head. Bishara offered to pray for him, and R allowed him to do so. Bishara encouraged him to not be afraid, but to trust that Jesus can heal him.

When we first sat down, the children were being loud and rambunctious. There was a great deal of movement and noise in the room, and no one seemed able to focus. Bishara was having trouble knowing how to start, so he turned to us and said quickly in English, “We need to pray.”

We started praying silently, and as we did so the atmosphere in the house calmed down quite a bit, allowing Bishara to begin sharing the story of Noah. He explained how God must punish sin, but how He made a way of escape for Noah and his family through the ark. Directly after this story, Bishara again told the story of Jesus. Jesus came to offer us a way of escape from the eternal punishment for sin. But like Noah, we must enter the ark. The ark does us no good if we refuse to accept it.

After the stories, Bishara again prayed with the family. We then got the guitar out and played a few songs. They seemed to enjoy the songs, and we promised to bring more next time and teach them the words.

Lubna then got out a box of craft materials and gathered the children around the table to do a small art project. While she was doing this, I was able to stand and chat with an older son and another neighbor who had come to listen. As we were talking, I learned that this neighbor works in landscaping and spent several years in prison.

He asked me how I found the life in Israel. I tried to explain that life here is hard for me, much harder than in my home country, but that I came here to share about Jesus and the gospel. I was hoping to impress upon him how important the message of Jesus is to me. I’m not sure I was able to get my point across very clearly, but I pray God translates for me and helps him to understand the point of what I was saying.

*name withheld to protect identities of those involved

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