Twelve years ago I was expecting my first child. My husband and I were already settled in Israel and loving every moment in the Holy Land. But as motherhood approached, I started to have doubts about our choice to live in a country surrounded by enemies. A place where terror attacks happen all too often. A country where security is not a given and safety is not to be taken for granted.
I wondered what I would do when rockets are launched at Israel. Would I be able to get my baby to a bomb shelter in time? Would my children feel safe to go outside and play like regular children?
What kind of life was I giving my child?
Like every other parent in the world, I want the best for my children, and above all, safety. I wondered if my husband and I should pack up and move back to America. I questioned if God truly wanted us to bring up our children in such a vulnerable environment.
I prayed over my question and received my answer: “Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). I realized that I was going to raise my children in the safest place in the world where God Himself would protect us. I started to see my situation through eyes of faith and trust in God. Ultimately I chose faith over fear and I have never regretted my decision.
Not far away from me, another mother-to-be named Mona, worries about the baby she is expecting. What kind of life will her child have? Mona, along with her husband, Osama, and their two year old, Malak (pictured above), were forced to flee their home in Iraq when ISIS gave them the choice to convert – denying their Christian faith – or die. The family fled immediately to Jordan with nothing but the clothing on their backs.
Like all persecuted Christians taking refuge in Jordan, Osama is not allowed to work, leaving this once well-off family with no money for bare necessities. The future of this family is uncertain and potentially dangerous as Christians continue to be persecuted across the Middle East.
As a mother, my heart cries for parents who can’t guarantee the safety of their children.
Over the past few years, organizations have raised millions of dollars to help persecuted Christians. However, few have found a way to get the funds to those in need without it falling into the hands of ISIS or Al Qaeda.
Praise God, The Fellowship found a way.
Because we are here on the ground in the Middle East, our staff was able to explore new channels to get funds directly to those in need. We found Father Kahlil Jaar in Jordan and we knew that God had sent us the perfect agent to help us give aid to persecuted Christians. I am so grateful that we have been able to provide food, shelter, and medical care to these victims.
Twelve years after I made the decision to raise my family in Israel, my children are thriving in their homeland thanks to God’s protection, the Israel Defense Forces, and support from Christians and Jews around the world. Living in Israel, I feel like I’m in the womb of God; there may be terrorists and danger all around us, but God protects Israel, His children, ensuring nothing happens to us.
As I watch my children laugh and play, I pray that all children will have the same sense of security that my children enjoy. While Christians are being persecuted across the Middle East, it is the children who are most vulnerable. For their sake and for the sake of all persecuted Christians, we are taking lifesaving action – and we will not rest until our work is done.