Monday, August 25, 2014

Israel Caring for all Children

 Posted by Jonathan for the Shevet Achim community in Jerusalem 

"This surgery is risky." How many times have we heard these words from our partner doctors in the last few weeks? And all who've been with our community for more than a year know the cost those words may carry.

Thank God for the courage the doctors still find to go forward when they know a child has no other chance to live. And looking at the pictures crossing my desk this evening, I praise him for the favor he's showing the Syrian and Iraqi families who've turned to Israel for healing through heart surgery for their children.

13-year-old Dawod from Kurdistan is so eager and bright that he's won all our hearts during his five months here. It gave Archie and me pause when we found him still on a mechanical ventilator a day after his surgery on Wednesday, and an ICU doctor mentioned concern about our deadly enemy: pulmonary hypertension. Praise God--tonight Dawod is already home with us at Prophets Street!

Then there's Sozdar, also from Kurdistan, northern Iraq. We asked for your prayers before Monday's surgery. How would her body react to the shock of a heart repair after 18 long years?

Praise God, she's home tonight too.

Then there's Masa, the little four-year-old cherub from Syria. We delivered her back to her refugee family in Jordan this week, after a final hug from cardiologist Akiva Tamir, the one who insisted on taking her to a high-risk surgery rather than give up on her life.

"What a beautiful sight it was," Kristina writes in Masa's farewell blog, "to see this small girl from Syria in the arms of this seasoned Israeli physician. Their embrace represents all that God is doing in this land to bring restoration and healing--to fulfill His Word in making Israel a blessing to all the nations of the earth."

And what about Rozheen, rushed into the ICU on arrival in early June on the brink of death? Agnes and Rebekah sent her and her mother off with kisses Thursday on a flight home to their family in Kurdistan:

"When Rozheen first arrived," Kirsten writes in her farewell blog, "She refused to be anywhere but the arms of her mother, and sobbed when people simply looked at her. After her second surgery, Rozheen was a completely different girl. She has discovered that she can use her legs to walk, her mind to explore her surroundings, and her mouth to smile at all the wonderful joys she is now able to enjoy."​

How rich the mercies all these children have found in Israel this week! Please continue to pray with us for baby Ahmed from Syria, slowly improving but still in isolation in his own ICU as the hospital invests tremendous resources in the fight for his life. How good to again see an anonymous refugee child treated as if he's made in the image of God.

Not all the stories we hear about Israel these days are so positive. To finish this week, please take a look at "There's something very ugly in this rage against Israel," surprisingly written by an atheist/"very lapsed Catholic," in a publication that started out as the journal of the UK's Revolutionary Communist Party. Here's the key quote:

This is where we can see what the new anti-Zionism shares in common with the old anti-Semitism: both are about finding one thing in the world, whether it’s a wicked state or a warped people, against which the rest of us might rage and pin the blame for every political problem on Earth.

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