There are so many adjectives one could use to describe living in a place that changes daily, if not hour-by-hour. At the risk of beginning on a negative note, let’s just say that great” or “awesome” are not always at the top of the list.
When our family moved to Israel in 1994, I was excited and challenged by the prospect of living in a new place with a new language and culture. I was so sure that I would adapt and would pick up the language immediately.
Things don’t always work out the way you plan. I learned every word and rule of grammar at Ulpan, but even after almost 10 years, there are times when it is still difficult for me to speak Hebrew. I have relied on my children—who caught on more quickly—many times over the years to talk and translate for me.
Still, five years ago God opened the door for me to have a ministry to children here in Israel. I began three weekly Bible Clubs for children of believers in three different cities. The first Bible Club was in English. After about two months, I started a club for Hebrew-speaking children. I knew that I didn’t have all the language skills I needed, but I yearned to share the Lord with them and wanted to step out in faith. The first year could probably have been categorized as a comedy show! The children who attended were so patient with me. It has been such a blessing to see these children weekly and encourage them in their walk with the Lord.
As we have expanded our ministry here to working with teens, I still feel the frustration of trying to communicate. But it has grown easier and I will continue working and teaching because there is such a need to encourage this generation of Israelis with our faith in Yeshua. As a mother, I know this personally.
Raising our two sons, Daniel and Gabi, here in Israel has been a continual challenge. From the start I did not understand their assignments or school projects. It made me feel like an ignorant immigrant—left out of what they were involved in and what they were learning. Now that both boys are grown up and in the army, I feel a deeper tension: Where are they stationed? What is happening in their lives on a daily basis? My husband Efraim and I pray constantly for them, knowing that the Lord is protecting them. Yet, I still feel the lack of knowledge and control in their lives.
Every bombing and every killing brings sadness to my heart and makes me more and more conscious of the need to preach the gospel to others. In my ministry I try to encourage the children that the Lord is our protection. We trust God as we travel around ministering, knowing that nothing happens outside of His will. We sometimes need to change our plans or routes, but I will continue to make the name of Yeshua an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people here in Israel.