Last week was a very special time in Israel, as we celebrated the nation’s 76 year of independence. What made this day even more special, was the fact that we were celebrating as a nation during Israel’s darkest time since the Holocaust. What has typified as Israel as nation has been its resilience and determination, and never has it been more evident than now. War is still raging against the terror organizations of Hamas and Hezbollah, as our hearts break for all the hostages still being held captive in Gaza, and for innocent lives lost among all peoples.

We invited all of our church members to join together for this day of celebration, firstly in honor of the Lord, and then in honor of our nation of Israel. We started the day with a time worship and prayers for Israel, after which I shared a message on Genesis 12:3 which states that God will bless those who bless Israel. Afterwards we shared in a time of fun as we held a Bible quiz with prizes for those who got answers correct. All in all it was the right way to start Independence Day, by placing Jesus first.

We then moved on to the next important phase which was the lighting of the barbecue fires and the grilling of meat! Our men took charge here, and armed with a leaf blower to stoke the fires, the barbecues were soon ready for the meat! At the same time our ladies were heard at work preparing the meat, salads, and side dishes, for which we were all very grateful.

We also decided not to be ashamed of the fact that we as believing Arabs were celebrating Israel’s independence day, and as such, we positioned our barbecues by the church’s front entrance for all to see. We were acting as witnesses to all who passed by, that Israel is still alive and well, and that we are a people striving to reconcile Israeli Arab and Jews, and to build bridges of cooperation towards unity in the nation, all in the name of Jesus. Amen!