Yael's Holy Land Reflections
Part of a Greater Whole
Jan 13, 2021
Recently, I attended an event recognizing volunteers who had just completed a training course to become emergency medical responders. The Fellowship partners with many medical facilities and organizations throughout Israel, and in this case we provided emergency medical kits and personal protective equipment to first responders, including those initiated on that day.
Selfless and Heroic People
At the start of the event, I met with some of the men and women who volunteer as emergency responders. One woman told me that she works full-time as an occupational therapist all day and took the first responder course in her spare time at night because she felt called to help others more than she already did through her profession. Another woman told me how a few weeks earlier she received an emergency call just as she was about to begin the Sabbath meal with her family. She excused herself from the table and successfully delivered a baby a few blocks away from her home. One of the men that I spoke with told me that he responds to no fewer than 100 emergency calls a month in the area of Israel where he lives.
I spoke with volunteers of all ages, each with their own professional and personal responsibilities, who committed to this important yet demanding work out of the pure goodness of their hearts. It became clear to me that these were some of the most selfless and heroic people that I had ever encountered.
When the time came for me to take my place at the podium and accept their gratitude for the equipment provided by The Fellowship, I hesitated for a moment. I felt completely humbled by the extraordinary men and women who sat before me. I felt that each one of them deserved to be standing in front of the audience, not me. I felt uneasy about receiving any honour while they were the ones truly deserving of thankfulness and respect.
Another Sort of Hero
The second message that 2020 reinforced in my heart is that, indeed, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Many of us didn’t know how we were going to overcome the numerous difficulties created by the pandemic - financial, emotional, physical, and otherwise.
We at The Fellowship did not know how we would meet the enormous increase in demand for lifesaving aid, but we knew that God would help us. Thousands of years ago Jeremiah said in the name of God, “call to me and I will answer you,” (33:3) and at times I felt like he was speaking directly to us during these days, reminding us how to get through them. I felt God answer our prayers in 2020 and I am encouraged that we will meet any challenge in 2021 because He is with us.
Praying for Miracles
However, just as quickly as I had those thoughts, I remembered the reason that I was there in the first place. I hadn’t come to the event as “Yael Eckstein,” but as the representative of Christians around the world who have partnered with The Fellowship to help the people of Israel. Our supporters give generously, many of them sacrificially, and all of them with faith in God and devotion to His children. It is this group — consisting of another sort of heroes — that I represented, and it was in their honour that I stood there on that day. I was merely the messenger connecting one group of exceptional people with another, in order to bless Israel.
This experience was just one more time that I recognized the amazing power of this sacred partnership. I know in my soul that on my own, I wouldn’t make much of an impact. Individually, most of us wouldn’t. But together, we can have an enormous effect on millions of lives.
So many people have felt helpless and powerless during the uncertain times that we are living through right now. But as I have learned, our power lies in coming together. When we work together, humbly and prayerfully, we are incredibly powerful. We can bring about dramatic changes for the better and be a source of abundant blessings. As we read in Psalm 133, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity… For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore” (v. 1-3).
As we continue this journey through unprecedented times, it is essential that we stick together. We each have a unique role to play in God’s plan, but we are united through our common goal. We are blessed to be part of something far greater than anything we could accomplish on our own. And if we each do our part and continue to work together, we will overcome any challenges and achieve extraordinary things.
With blessings from the Holy Land,