Pioneer work among the Bedouins in the Negev
Barnabas Israel in an NGO based in the Negev that provides humanitarian aid and educational support to Bedouin families from unrecognised villages. God is love, and we believe in LOVE as a verb, and its impact through actions is what drives our everyday tasks.
Barnabas Israel is part of a larger organisation called Barnabas Fellowship of Churches, based in the UK and established in over 10 countries around the world mainly planting churches.
For those who are less familiar with the Bedouin community is important to note that they are a minority within the Arab community, and they make 3,5 % of the total Israeli population. Previous to the formation of the State of Israel they lived in the Negev as semi-nomads. Around 3 decades ago the government encouraged Bedouins to relocate to 6 towns situated in the south, but many of them refused to do so. These are the so called unrecognised villages. They are spread throughout the Negev, and hardly have any basic services such as health care, electricity, drinking water and education. They are isolated from civilisation without being able to build any further and have very limited access to public transport. Many live in extreme poverty and do not feel a part of society.
They are mainly Sunni Muslims and very devoted. Their places of origin can vary from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.
Even though many of them are Israeli citizens, some come from the West Bank originally.
The local NGO’s main focus is on a specific tribe originating from Egypt that has settled in the Arad area.
The complexity and variety in the backgrounds, together with later interchange of marriages make it challenging to pinpoint an accurate origin to the tribes scattered in the Negev.
Around less than a decade ago, the door opened to establish a kindergarten amongst one of these families called Abu Juda. The message has been spreading ever since. It started off as a project geared towards children, but since 2013 it became a family oriented work through an extensive process of building trust and getting to know the families on a one to one level. Through doing so, we decided to focus on the pillars of the family: the women who are neglected and wounded. The pioneer work amongst them started through Hebrew, Arabic and English lessons.
Given their deprived intellectual development it is an ongoing challenge to share the Gospel with a people group that is bound by fear and constraint.
Since June 2017, we partner with a Christian humanitarian aid organisation delivering food to families, and miraculously we receive second hand clothes from all kinds of sources. The warehouse is located in the Artist Quarter in Arad.
Our work is a partnership with the local Congregation in Arad, who are “behind the scenes,” providing hands on support as well as prayer and encouragement.
Our women’s program has been running since 2013, where in the context of “Crafts making” they hear christian principles and get to learn and experience God’s Love.
In the afternoon, there is a children’s club where they receive assistance with their homework as most mothers are illiterate.
Barnabas believes it is highly important for this people group to come to the Lord, given the fact that the patriarchs of our faith were Bedouins. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were Bedouins as they are the were initial inhabitants of the Holy Land. Not only that, but also there are hardly any organisations that focus on reaching out to this people group in the area. Embarking on a pioneering venture is not always easy, as there are no parameters, formulas or people who have paved the way before us. There are no books written on how to reach this people group, so as we develop on a daily basis, it is somehow writing the pages of a new book.
Engaging with this minority group can be an extensive process, and that is when the Lord’s grace comes to live through the workers and the volunteers ability to do so.
Due to their primitive culture, they tend to be hostile and dubious towards newcomers, however we have witnessed through hardship and endurance that the team visiting can be the “event” of the week.
It is a joy to share that those who have met Lord through the work need to be in our prayers. As the body of the Messiah, we want to invite you to partner with the Holy Spirit in HIS love, passion and purpose for the salvation of this minority group.
It would be a joy for us to spend time with your community sharing the breakthrough stories the Holy Spirit has performed:
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not.” – Luke 15:7
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about the work. Also, we are open to visits and can expand on the details of our every-day work.
Find us at: barnabasisrael.org
Barnabas Israel is a ministry of Barnabas Fellowship of Churches International (BFoC), a network of Christian churches and projects that operates in a number of nations. Barnabas Israel is a non-profit organisation which is recognised as an amuta by the Israeli authorities; it is funded mainly by Christian churches and individuals. It exists to provide aid to Bedouin people in the Negev Desert in Israel.
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Christians respond to latest Gaza escalation
ICEJ Donating Another Three Bomb Shelters, Protective Vests
After Israel absorbed over 700 rockets fired from Gaza over the weekend, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem sent a delegation to the western Negev region on Monday to assess the updated security needs of the local Israeli communities and how best to help them prepare for any future escalations in the area.
The Christian Embassy has already donated over 75 portable bomb shelters to the Gaza periphery towns and villages, and today the ICEJ ordered another three bomb shelters for the region. The ICEJ also is donating 20 protective vests for Yatar volunteers from the Negev who risk their lives working alongside the regular security forces to keep everyone safe during times of tension. In addition, the ICEJ delegation viewed all-terrain firefighting equipment as well as brand new specially-designed ATV security vehicles which Christians have recently donated to local Israeli communities through ICEJ.
“Hopefully, the ceasefire reached last night will hold, but the terror militias in Gaza are notoriously unpredictable and untrustworthy,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “However, our team’s visit today has confirmed once more that our humanitarian investment in these vulnerable Israeli communities is comforting families and saving lives.”
Elan Isaacson, chief security officer for the Eshkol Region, told the ICEJ team that, “after 18 years of experience and all the bomb shelters which groups like you have placed around the region, the number of people killed and injured from the Gaza rockets is substantially down.”
Tamir Idan, mayor of the Sadot Regional Council, also hosted the ICEJ team in Kibbutz Alumim before heading off to an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the latest escalation in rocket fire from Gaza.
This article is a press release by the ICEJ and is reposted with permission.
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[Prayer Alert] Rocket barrages and Israeli air attacks
As I write (about 6:15pm), once again there are rocket barrages and Israeli air attacks taking place along the Gaza border area, as well as cities beyond, such as Ashkelon, Rehovot, Netivot. There is a sense that this sudden escalation is connected with the Israeli Independence Day this coming week, which for the Islamic and Arab world is the Day of Catastrophe. Also, the Eurovision, a major European music festival, is scheduled to be hosted in Israel in a couple of weeks. As this weren’t enough, the month of Ramadan begins for the Muslims tomorrow (Sonday) — a month that generates strong religious feelings and threatens jihadi actions against unbelievers. The government of Israel following the elections last month is not yet formed, and the Prime Minister still remains in a dual office as Defense Minister. Israel seems to be in a position of greater weakness in the current situation, wanting calm for the celebrations, with many tourists coming for the Eurovision event (which, personally, I would not mind seeing canceled anyway). PLEASE PRAY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE BELIEVERS IN THESE BORDER AREAS ON BOTH SIDES; FOR REPENTANCE TOWARDS SALVATION FOR BOTH JEWS AND ARABS; FOR THE ISRAELI GOVT TO ACT RESPONSIBLY TO DEAL WITH THE ON-GOING ACTS AGAINST ITS CITIZENS AND BORDERS; FOR BELIEVERS TO HONOR THE NAME OF THE LORD YESHUA/JESUS IN OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS, ACTIONS, PRAYERS.
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.
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Messianic believer interviewed on Israeli English TV about Passover
Messianic Israeli leader, Ron Cantor, was interviewed this week in the studio of i24 News, which is Israel’s 24-hour news channel in English. i24 News reaches Jewish people and evangelicals all over the world. The interview was about how Messianic Jews celebrate Jewish holidays.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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This Passover/Easter weekend, there are some 1 million Jewish followers of Jesus in the world. I’m one of them. Here’s why.
Add in the 30,000 Jewish believers who live in Israel, and the many others who live in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, and there are now about one million Jewish followers of Jesus in the world today.
That’s an astonishing number, especially when you realize that in 1967 there were fewer than 2,000 Jewish believers in the entire world.
I’m grateful to be one of them. Yet, I’m constantly asked — especially by Jewish people — how in the world this is possible.
“Dude, how can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus?
I love this question. I was first asked it in November of 2002. I had just released my first novel, The Last Jihad. I was doing a telephone interview on a hard rock radio station in Rochester, New York, the city closest to where I grew up in Upstate New York. And the radio host, a guy who called himself “Brother Weese,” asked me this very question.
I’ve been happily answering it ever since.
A nine-minute version of story of my spiritual journey — how I was raised by a Jewish father and Gentile mother, and how I came to believe that Jesus is, in fact, the Jewish Messiah, foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets — was recently released online by a ministry called, “One For Israel.”
Several years ago (2015), I recorded a longer and more detailed version. I’m including it here in case you’re interested.
- My spiritual journey — part 1 — how becoming the author of The Last Jihadtriggered people asking me a critical question
- Part 2 — how my Jewish grandparents escaped from Russia, my father’s Jewish upbringing, my mother’s Gentile heritage, and how they met
- Part 3 — my mother’s spiritual journey
- Part 4 — my father’s spiritual journey, and then how I came to faith
- Part 5 — how I learned I was Jewish, and then my crisis of faith in high school
- Part 6 — the conclusion of my story, and so what? Why should any of this matter to you?
My hope and prayer is that as you listen to the story, it will encourage you in your own faith, and that it will be something you can share with family and friends to help and encourage them, as well. Thanks, and on this Passover / Easter weekend, may the Lord deeply bless you as you open the Bible, read the Holy Scriptures, and seek a personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This article originally appeared on Joel C. Rosenberg’s blog, April 20, 2019, and is reposted with permission.
Joel C. Rosenberg is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of 10 novels and five non-fiction books, with more than 3 million copies sold. He is also the Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.com), a non-profit educational and charitable organization he and his wife launched in 2006 to mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, according to Genesis 12:1-3.” He and his wife have four sons. They made Aliyah in 2014 and now live in Israel and the United States.