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Making Disciples through Restoration

By Tal Haroni

Then Jesus came to them and said,

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…’” Matt. 28:18-19 

 

Our country has been torn to pieces, suffering from loss of life, emotional trauma from October 7th, families needing to evacuate from their homes, and constant fear of rocket attacks. While we see the return of some of the hostages, some returning to their communities, and a temporary ceasefire, we are moving into a time of rebuilding and restoration. Especially now, as our country is experiencing war, we want to provide young people with the tools to stand firm in their faith and reflect the image of Jesus.

 

In two weeks, we will host young believers from the city of Ashkelon for five days.

 

Ashkelon has had the most missile alerts since the beginning of the war. For about two months, the city has endured continuous rocket attacks from Gaza, making it challenging to maintain daily life. The young people who come to us have experienced sleepless nights, living under constant stress and anxiety.

 

The youth group is led by two graduates of our program. They themselves experienced a miracle on October 7th when terrorists entered their village. Since then, they have been living with one of their parents in the city of Ashkelon.

 

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’” Mark 4:38

 

We want to provide a resting place, a safe space for these young people. But we all know that true peace comes from within, and that’s what we want to give them. This discipleship training is not only a place free from the pressure of continuous rocket alert sirens but to give them a resting place in the Lord, and to help them be disciples of Jesus even when it’s tough. 

 

So, how does one make disciples?

 

Just before ascending into heaven, Jesus gave us a task – to make disciples. How did Jesus make disciples? He invited them to follow Him, spent time with them, dedicated time to teaching them, and answered their questions, but most importantly, they spent time with Him. The disciples lived alongside Jesus for three years; they witnessed how He dealt with anger (Mark 10:14), how He coped with sorrow (Matt.36:37), what brought Him joy (Luke 10:21), and what troubled Him (John 11:33).

 

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

 

After Jesus left this world, people recognized His disciples. Though they were simple people, it was clear that their confidence stemmed from being with Jesus. Jesus’ disciples changed the world and the way of faith, turning it into what we know today. They were the continuation of Jesus. And, so are we. 

 

This is the core of our discipleship program. We welcome our disciples into our homes to live alongside us. When you live in close proximity with others, nothing remains hidden. The disciples witness our daily struggles, observe our parenting styles, and see how we handle relationships with friends and family as well as crises and pain.

 

I remember when I was just a young believer, I joined a community of believers for discipleship. I struggled with many questions, coming from a non-believing family; there were basic things I needed to learn. I saw how believing parents and older siblings behaved in faith, and I learned how Jesus sees and relates to me. I didn’t know what to do as a believer, but through discipleship and the time spent with others who already were grounded in the faith, I learned to make decisions that honor Jesus in my life. And today, I am grateful for the opportunity to offer others the same transformative experience.

 

We have prepared a program that includes worship, prayer, fellowship with other believing youth, farming, and time to hear our life stories. 

 

Please join us in prayer that this training will be a time of healing, internal renewal, rebuilding, and restoration as they build the foundation of their faith and draw closer to the Lord. That they will discover the depths of his love and hope that is found only in Him. Let these be days of revival that leave a lasting mark and forever shape their walk with the Lord.

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