To Bind Up The Broken Hearted
---------- Idan's Testimony ----------

I was born in Tel Aviv, in 1984. My father's parents came to Israel from Yemen. My mother was born in Beit Shemesh, and her parents came to Israel from Morocco. I grew up in a traditionally Jewish home.

About ten years after my parents married, my father came to faith in Yeshua. For a few years, my mother tried to convince him that a Jew could not believe in Yeshua as Messiah. When she realized that he was a "lost cause," she divorced him. My father was like a firm foundation for my family, and when he left, everything started to crumble. I was eleven at the time, and my older brother was seventeen. He started using drugs, joined the "mafia" and experienced trauma after trauma.

I had been a top student. But when my family started to fall apart, I became very inwardly focused, and my studies suffered. I could not talk to anyone about my problems. To dull the pain, I started running with some wild kids. For excitement we stole bicycles and cars and raced them. We were looking for anything dangerous or adventurous as an escape. My younger sister also became depressed and angry. Our family troubles were too much for my mother to manage; eventually she had a nervous breakdown. Our family trauma divided us, driving us further and further apart.

I decided to go live with my father, who had since remarried another believer. After living there for a year, I calmed down a lot, and received much healing. I worked hard every day with my father on his farm in the desert. Our brief reunion was interrupted by my induction into the Israeli army. Near the end of my training I broke down, emotionally and physically. I was desperate for help and phoned my father every day. He poured a lot of love and strength into my heart - It was like God gave me back my father. But it also broke my heart, because I realized how much I had missed my father's love for so many years. God used this time to draw me to Himself, because I realized how broken I was, that I needed more.

One day I felt like my body was on fire and that all the pain I had suffered over the years was coming up out of me. I had no idea what was going on. I just felt this powerful force flowing in my body. I went away to be alone, and tried to regain my composure. But this was stronger than me, and so I called my father because I was scared. My father reassured me that this was God; he encouraged me to let Him complete His work, to let Him heal me. I broke down, and God washed me completely. I just cried and cried.

Afterwards, I felt like a new person - I still didn't exactly know what had happened but I felt clean and empty. I returned home for Shabbat and again I felt the fire on my body, this time I started to pray. The Holy Spirit fell on me and I received Yeshua into my life. The rest of my time in the Army went really well. It was like I was on a honeymoon with Yeshua. Before I was released, I gave Yeshua my life, and asked Him to guide me.

He led me to Revive Israel, where I have been part of the discipleship training center for two semesters. Now God is really using me to bring His light and love into my family. I know they will all come to Yeshua.

 


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Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Daniel Juster: Zionism & Justice
Eitan Shishkoff: The Harvest
Martin Shoub: Champion of the Forgotten
Betty Intrater: O Little Town of Bethlehem