Candles in the dark
One of Machaseh’s activities all the way since the beginning has been to receive and support women who suffer under domestic violence. Unfortunately we are under the impression that domestic violence is not as common among believers as elsewhere in the Israeli society.
Some years ago Machaseh produced a workbook dealing with marriage as it should be, but mostly dealing with the issue of what to do when the marriage is full of physical violence, emotional terror and spiritual abuse. How should a congregation deal with and take care of families where there is violent abuse in its midst?
The workbook relates to these issues from a theological, legal and practical perspective. The workbook was written in Hebrew, and is now translated into English, Russian, Arabic and Amharic. All the participants of the conference were invited to take copy in the preferred language.
The list of speakers was long. The author of the book presented it. Several people commented on how the book speaks into their specific socio-linguistic group. Leaders of the Messianic congregations in Jerusalem spoke about how to prevent such these disasters as well as about how to heal the wounds and damages.
What made the deepest impression however was the testimony of a lady who told about how she had been living in a marriage with abuse, daily cursing and yelling in addition to items being thrown around in the apartment – which she had to tidy up afterwards. She told about how the children had suffered, and that she had been thinking that “For the sake of the children I need to stay and try to survive within the marriage. After all, I am a believer.”
Now, many years after she broke out and after a lot of counseling sessions with Machaseh, she could stand and tell her story in front of people. And she could say she forgave. But it hurt to hear than one of her children had gone into a depression because of all this, a depression that became so deep so that in the end he committed suicide.
The message of the conference and the message of the workbook is: You must not ignore.
Jesus came with light, but even among believers, the darkness can be so deep and damaging that it destroys people. Most people don’t want to touch these problems. It’s unpleasant. But if God tells us we are not to hide ourselves when an oxen or donkey has gone astray, how much more should we pay attention when human beings are destroyed?
One local pastor led us in a prayer of repentance for the body’s neglect and silence in our community. People in the audience joined in this prayer. This was the exact purpose of the meeting, to pray.
The Macheseh team wants to wish you a meaningful and blessed holiday season.
May God fill your Hanukkah, Advent and Christmas with His perfect light.