Medical ministry work is curtailed in Israel

By July 26, 2006

Israel (MNN) — The conflict in Gaza, war in Iraq and clashes in Lebanon — these issues are causing problems for ministry in Israel, says En-Gedi Resource Center.

En-Gedi provides resources to help Christians understand the Bible better, helping them study within a Jewish culture and historical context. En Gedi is asking people to pray for Shevet Achim, a close friend of En-Gedi. Director of En-Gedi, Lois Tverberg, describes the work of Shevet Achim. “Shevet Achim brings babies and children with heart defects from Iraq, Gaza and other Middle Eastern countries to Israel to have life saving heart surgeries.”

Shevet Achim workers go into these nations to find the needy, but according to Tverberg, the conflict around Israel has affected them. “Right now the borders are closed. In a time of war all of the borders are so tightly secured they don’t want Israelis to go outside of the country at all. The Iraqis can’t go into Israel and they can’t get out and so the borders are stopping them from doing some of their exploration to find children to bring in.”

Tverberg says Shevet Achim is a Christian organization reaching out to mostly Muslims. So, as they help, they’re doing more than surgery. “(The Patients) get to be friends with the nurses and the doctors and they’re cared for. They go back and they tell their whole clan about these people who are very different. Through Jesus’ command ‘love your enemies’ (they find out) that these people aren’t their enemies in the way that they thought they were.”

This presents an incredible opportunity to share the Gospel with them.

En-Gedi’s Executive Director Bruce Okkema says Shevet Achim could use the help of some Christian doctors, as closed borders have forced the cancellation of a cardiology screen in Jordan. “If there are cardiologists who would be willing to go to Jordan for a couple of days and do ultra sounds on these children who are waiting for surgery, that’s one thing that the Israel doctors can’t do right now.”

40 sick children are waiting for life saving heart treatment. Your help could not only assist these children physically, but ultimately help provide an opportunity for their entire family to experience Christ love and perhaps hear the Gospel.

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