Discipleship Report – Intensive “IDF-Style-Commander-Course” Session
By Valerie Yanay
In August we had an intensive 2 week session of discipleship for leadership candidates, roughly modeled after an IDF “commanders course.” Six young Israeli women signed up. The three ladies on the staff were able to interact with them very closely. Each day a different student led the daily devotional and had the responsibility of taking care of administrative details. There were some who succeeded easily, and others for whom taking a turn as “commander,” was more difficult. Each young leader in her turn had to organize food, practical things like arranging transportation to the ministry time on the streets of south Tel Aviv. We also visited Tiferet Yeshua Congregation where the young women led a session of ministering to the children. It was really good. They taught the kids about what the Lord had laid on their hearts.
Daily one of the young ladies would wake up with me at 5:30 to milk the goats, and the others would serve in the field tending the growing vegetables and preparing new ground, removing older plants and harvesting. God spoke to them through His creation.
After the morning fieldwork, we met for worship. Each day, the worship was very strong. God worked in each of us as we experienced healing and rededicated our lives; and as we prayed for our congregations, families and towns. We also had open worship nights – including a visitor from the rehab center with whom we had shared when he was still on the street many months ago.
One of the ladies shared how God healed her heart to be able to love others. Another one of the ladies is an Israeli Arab believer from a Muslim background. She had struggled with her identity. One Friday I had no one to help me make the Sabbath challah bread, and so I asked her to do it. At first, it was hard for her because Sabbath bread seems like a Jewish thing and she is Arab, but she told me later that night that suddenly this simple act brought her healing. It helped her understand that she belongs to the God of Israel, and that she is now connected to the people of Israel, similar to how Biblical Ruth felt – like family. Others experienced healing of being able to receive the father-love of God.
We also had a joyful open day on the farm with fellowship, where we invited neighbors and heard positive reports from others who live nearby regarding the combination of agriculture and discipleship.