Oasis Newsletter

Oasis Volume 24, Issue 3

The Fierce Hope of Mothers and Teachers

By Avi Tekle

In Israel it would be hard to find more honorable titles than these two: Mothers and Teachers. This week I met three women who are both.

As a humanitarian mini-delegation from Tents of Mercy, we drove 3.5 hours to reach our destination. That’s almost the entire length of our small country. We were transporting classroom tables, dozens of laptop computers, headphones for “Zoom” classes, bicycles and other things we thought might be useful to a community starting over with nothing. Our visit was an outreach to a school established for evacuees from the south – the very people who witnessed and survived the atrocities of October 7th.

After we delivered the items, we were privileged to meet with those three teacher-mothers. They are the beating heart of this new school, responsible for 160 evacuee children. They are true “tigers and go-getters.”

As we sat drinking tea together, one of the moms began to share about her home in one of the Gaza strip towns. They owned a family farm and horses. It was a tranquil, dream-of-a-place to live until that dreadful morning when the attack began and their very lives suddenly dangled by a thread. Many neighbors and some family members died. Homes were turned into ashes.

We heard how, when the evil Hamas militants came, these women shielded their children like mother Grizzly bears. For hours that seemed like an eternity they physically held the bomb shelter door handles, making sure no Hamas demons would come in. Meanwhile their husbands went out with guns to fight and protect the area. These valiant mothers survived the atrocities that day and were later evacuated to a safer community (near the Arava, an hour away from the Red Sea).

Even after making their temporary housing feel a more like home, these moms knew that without creating routines for their rambunctious kids, they would be in for another disaster. So they put on their teachers’ “hats” and began a school for some 160-170 children, all evacuees of various ages.

Upon hearing them recount the life-changing experiences they and their loved ones went through, I wondered, “What could you possibly teach children regarding October 7th, to hate or create room for love? Do you prepare them for the worst in life or equip them with hope and strength?”

Just before leaving we had one last question we asked with a heavy heart, “So what will you do now? Where will you go?”

Their answer blew me away. “Of course we will go back, and we will rebuild.”

After a moment of silence, as we digested her words, we realized that hope is the single most powerful weapon one can possess during such a time as this – Fierce Hope.

Hope is the engine for restoration. I saw it in their eyes and heard it in their voices. From October 7th and onward, our soldiers have not been the only ones fighting this war, they are joined by the indomitable spirit of these mothers and teachers.

Passover opportunity for impact

As the winter storms taper off; the grey Sea of Galilee is full, red anemone flowers bloom on the Galilee hills and pink almond buds peek out from branch tips.

At this time we are also preparing for our annual springtime Passover holiday food outreach. This year we will be increasing our scope to reach 1500 families including hundreds which have been thrust into an unexpectedly difficult season because of the war. As we fill the warehouse to be ready for the outreach, we invite you to pray that God would touch the hearts of the recipients to receive not only a physical blessing but the seed of a spiritual blessing too. If you want to contribute to this outreach you can donate here: www.tikkunglobal.org/tentsofmercy

Oh Israel, Trust in the Lord He is their help and their shield

Psalm 115:9

By Guy Cohen

What does it mean to trust in the Lord, and what do we normally perceive as the source of our sense of security? What makes us feel safe?

In everyday life our sense of security might come from operating within a framework we are familiar with: where we live, daily routine, work and income. The way people treat us and whether we feel appreciated, understood and accepted by family and those around us can also be a part of our confidence and trust in others.

During biblical times a sense of security was dependent on the might of your rulers and how they provided for those under their rule.

For example how many battle chariots were in the king’s army? (Chariots were like powerful armored tanks in ancient warfare.) Another example of this is how people from many areas would migrate to Egypt, a center of both physical and spiritual wealth, for the provision it had to offer those who lived there. The account of Joseph and Egypt’s storehouse of wheat is only one example of the vast wealth of the area along the Nile River, and the exports of Egyptian wheat. Gold, copper, livestock and agriculture were part of the strength of Egypt that caused others to put their trust in her. When the Israelites were in the desert, they longed for the foods of Egypt, conveniently forgetting that they had lived there as slaves (Numbers 11:4-6).

During the rule of the Israelite and Judaic kings after Solomon, the people of Israel were either under Egyptian or Assyrian influence and later the rule of Babylon. Located in the middle of the Levant, at the crossroads between Egypt and Assyria; Israel continually found itself making alliances with one side or the other whenever they were at war. The two kingdoms often came to fight each other on Israelite battlegrounds.

In 2 Chronicles 35:21, Pharaoh Necho, King of Egypt, called the area of Megiddo “the house with which I have war.” Later in history we see Judah trusting in Babylon. Neither Egypt, nor Assyria nor Babylon were faithful to their alliances with Israel. They always came with their agenda which then led Israel to some form of destruction.

If we look to more recent history, whether the Greeks, the Romans or the nations where Israel was exiled in Europe, Asia and Africa, we always found ourselves to be outcasts. Throughout the centuries we see betrayal and broken alliances. Now that God has brought us back to Israel, the question is:

In whom should Israel put her trust today?

Can we stand on the promises in God’s Word that encourage us to trust only in Him?

” Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots because they are many,
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
Nor seek the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1 NKJV)

War Trials

By Leon Mazin

Even amid the welcome unity that came with the October 7th attack and the ensuing war, Israel is still experiencing internal strife and unreasonable hatred among people and political parties. In the last decades it seems that tension has been building within the believing community, while strife and discord have infected our nation as well. Our society has become riddled with violence, crime, corruption, debauchery, and the aspiration to reinterpret biblical morals to justify modern behaviors. (This tendency affects all countries, but that’s no excuse.)

I would like to ask all intercessors to pray for softened hearts, acknowledgment of sin, and repentance in the Jewish people.

Though we pray for deliverance, trials are part of life in this world and come in different forms. Here are three types:

  1. Trials and temptations sent by God, as with Job and Yeshua. These cannot be avoided. With all the agony of war that we have experienced these last months, are hearts are open to receive James’ words:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God...” (James 1:2-5)

  1. Trial caused by obvious sin, a transgression against God’s commandments. “If you do not obey the Lord your God … all these curses will come on you and overtake you”. (Deuteronomy 28:15)

“…but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”. (James 1:13-15)

  1. Trials brought about by conflict, often rooted in jealousy, a misspoken word, actions, or words that were misinterpreted. As a result, Satan interferes. (The word Satan means to stand against, to provoke, to tempt). If a person discerns and gives a succinct response, forgives, covers with love, and stamps out his own pride or ambition, the situation can be quickly managed, and the conflict will dissipate in the rays of the rising Sun.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want …” (James 4:1-10)

Thank you for your prayer support for the ministry of Shavei Tzion, the various humanitarian projects and music school; and especially for Shavei Tzion Congregation and the daughter congregations Or Hai in the Krayot and Netzer HaGalil in Upper Nazareth.

The new congregation, Or Hai, is going well, even though it started just one week before the war with Hamas. They asked me to organize a tour to the Sea of Galilee for water immersion for a group of new believers.

I am grateful to the Lord for our youth group which has grown considerably. For the last year and a half Shirlye and Ilya, our oldest daughter, and her husband, have been leading it. I am pleased to say that they are thriving. I appreciate your prayers for them.

The humanitarian aid project in Haifa and Nazareth is doing well and is a blessing for hundreds of people every month. Despite the war, our music school has grown to include a fine arts class with 15 new students and a new teacher.

I ask you to pray for us to weather this difficult period and to be good witnesses. Please pray for wisdom regarding various challenges. We continue to pray for you and your loved ones as well. Blessing to you in Yeshua.

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