June Letter

Shirel and her Mom

Ps. 97:11-12
Light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord you righteous and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

We all want to live meaningful, godly, prophetic lives. At least I assume that we do. But a life that possesses these qualities is a life lived in tension. I will explain what I mean. We are all citizens of the Kingdom of righteousness; we are completely, fully there. Our treasure is stored there, our hope is sourced from there, and our deepest joy comes from there. We also live in the world, called to be the light, the hope, the loving touch of Yeshua. We are fully alive. Our bodies matter, our emotions matter, whether or not we had a good night sleep – all these things matter. With one hand we are holding on to something profoundly real, yet at the same time invisible, while with the other, we hold something very visible, yet not permitted to control us. There is tension. Both of our worlds are pulling; they’re pulling hard. Every human being dislikes tension. The moment we let go of one of our worlds — we don’t have tension anymore. We could become very spiritual, and disconnect from the reality of this present state of being. We could stop caring for the physical aspects of life, or about the injustices in our world. We could start seeing the solution for every problem only in prayer, fasting and waiting for divine intervention. Or we can go another way. Even as believers, we can become very “worldly”. Sometimes we care only about things we can touch and see and noticeably impact. We might become social activists or modern day hedonists and not think of our helplessness anymore, and not feel so utterly dependent on the grace of God. You see, with no tension, there is no deeper truth. Friends, don’t run away from the tension of these days. Embrace them both physically and spiritually. Respond in prayer and seeking the Lord, crying out to Him as deep calls unto deep. But also see what you can do. How can you pursue righteousness, peace, and the justice of the coming Kingdom today?

All of us all over the world are currently living in a dark times, and sometimes it seems like the world is only getting darker. But the light has been sown for the righteous and gladness has been planted for the upright in heart. Light and joy had to go into the ground as seeds, to die, to be buried so that they can come up at the right season. I believe the season is now. The light that shines in the darkness, the joy that surpasses all reason is going to come forth. It will mark us; it will brand us as the children of God.

I want to share a story with you today, and hopefully it will stir you to pray. For some of you, this is an update on a prayer journey we began together 4 years ago.

These photos are of Shirel and her mother Ruth (also known as Tanya). One picture was taken 5 years ago, and the other last Purim.

Shirel Prayer Update

A little over 4 years ago, Shirel was hit by car speeding through their residential neighborhood. Her father was with her at a time, but he was intoxicated and let go of her hand as she ran to cross the road to get to a candy shop on the other side. She was badly injured. Shirel had a severe brain trauma, and the doctors didn’t believe she would survive. Hundreds if not thousands of people all over the world prayed as her mother, Ruth, and those of us who stood with her in those days, were advocating and fighting for Shirel. There was a battle to keep her connected to the breathing machines while the medical professionals didn’t believe that she had any brain activity. Then there was a battle over Shirel having a surgery to reduce brain swelling, and then there were battles over other surgeries. Some very talented doctors operated on Shirel, and there were some who were not that great. One thing was absolutely clear to Ruth, to her family, to the community of faith, and to the doctors at Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva – Shirel’s surviving this accident and survival of all the medical crises that followed was a miracle. In addition, her ability to communicate, though limited, is acknowledged by all as a miracle. We were hoping and praying that the God that kept Shirel alive would also heal her completely. It hasn’t happened, yet.

Shirel is living at a care facility for severely disabled people. She is quadriplegic. She can’t speak, but she can smile or cry, she follows people with her eyes and she make a grimace when in pain. Her mother Ruth fought and won many battles on her behalf, and battled cancer in her own body at the same time (praise God Ruth is now in remission). As long as she was able, Ruth visited Shirel at the facility every day. During the corona crisis, the facility has been on a lockdown. Recently, some of the parents were welcomed back to visit their kids, but not Ruth. She is not allowed in Shirel’s room, and has one 30 minute visitation with her outside in the yard once a week. No reason is given, but most probably this has to do with Ruth being proactive and feisty and very involved. She is deemed “difficult,” because she asks questions, and demands services. But only Ruth can identify Shirel’s pain grimace. Only she recognizes when her child is suffering from painful muscle spasms and needs medication. She is requesting, begging, fighting. Ruth is advocating for her child without ceasing. The care facility wants Shirel out, Ruth is dreaming about taking Shirel home but she doesn’t have enough money to be able to care for her. A substantial amount of money for Shirel’s care should come from the accident insurance. The court hearing on their insurance claim hasn’t even been scheduled yet. Ruth changed lawyers two times and still her case doesn’t seem to be moving along. These lawyers serve other clients who speak better Hebrew, and who would bring larger legal fees. We see injustice. I am not talking about big, nation shaking injustice. Not about global issues. This is just one single mother, and just one child in overwhelming need. Yeshua will resolve every injustice when He comes. And I really believe He is coming soon. But I also believe He wants Shirel to be whole, to be healed, to be loved even now.

I want to remind our prayer partners of this story, of this family. Bring them forward for us to cry out to the Lord on their behalf. Please, pray together with us:

  1. For Shirel’s healing
  2. For Ruth’s health
  3. For the legal procedures to be expedited
  4. For opportunities and solutions for Shirel’s care so that she can come home soon
  5. Pray for others, for the “little ones” in your countries, the ones who don’t enjoy any privilege, the ones without a voice. Pray how can we become their advocates, while we still have the opportunity
  6. Please, pray together with me: Maran Ata! Come, Lord Yeshua!

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