Jews and Arabs as Brothers in Christ
Having the privilege to spend a few days at the Lake of Galilee, on the very shores where Yeshua brought people together, where He fed, healed, taught, guided and united those that followed Him, we were tremendously blessed to be able to soak that wonderful atmosphere with our fellow Arab brothers at the Pastoral Retreat for Jewish and Arabic leadership.
It was an opportunity to walk in Yeshua’s footsteps and to sit just at His feet as one new man in Christ, having all walls of separation removed, His love uniting us as brothers of the same Heavenly Father.
As a senior pastor, I had the opportunity to speak to our fellow Arab and Jewish pastors from all over Israel and share what God is doing through our ministry in our region, as well as nationwide.
Getting to hear from our fellow Arab pastors how the Lord is moving in their midst, in their communities, among the Arab speaking believers, it is so encouraging and uplifting to see God’s powerful move across the land of Israel today.
Unity was flowing during our time together, and it felt as though God was releasing a very special anointing when we came together, without anything separating us, just to be together as brothers. Putting aside all the differences and focusing on the Lord, His plans and purposes for His kingdom.
My first ever experience to be at this unique pastoral retreat was 25 years ago, and it was an incredibly difficult and complex time in Israel — it was during the second Intifada (Palestinian uprising). Terrorist attacks and suicide bombings were happening almost daily.
Our family lived in Jaffa, side by side with the Arab community. As the news dealt more and more with these hate filled attacks, I noticed fear started to creep into my son, Sason, who was only about 5 years old at the time. It came to a point that he would shake with fear just seeing Arabs.
That was when I felt we needed to change something. Hatred and fear cannot rule our lives. That’s when I decided to take 5 year old Sason, and we came up to the Galilee to this Reconciliation retreat for Jewish and Arab pastors and leaders.
It was the first time little Sason found himself playing, swimming and chatting with Arab kids who became great friends to him.
If there was ever a moment that changed Sason’s life as a child, it was this very retreat where he came face to face with his fear, and instead, the love that he encountered took the sting out of that fear.
It transformed Sasson’s outlook on Arabs completely, helping him even during his IDF military service and all the way through today, being a youth pastor and a young father, who teaches Jewish and Arabic youth, and brings his little daughters to this retreat, so they get a chance (just like he did) so meet other Arab kids and make friends with them.
That is how impactful this specific retreat is, not just for us as Jewish and Arab pastors who come together to build each other up, but also for our families and kids, who experience the power of God’s love between Jews and Arabs when they become brothers in Christ.
Only Jesus can unite us in such a powerful way, there’s no other path or solution for age long animosity, hatred and fear, except for Yeshua’s love.
There’s a transformative power in the love of Christ when Jews and Arabs come together to worship Him as brothers.