by Linda Montez
What happens when you visit a Survivor? What do I say? What do I do?
“…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of [Adonai] speaking through you.” Matthew 10:19 How comforting for us today to know God speaks into us as well, supplying our words. So just go. Don’t worry about what to say. If God is calling you to visit the Survivors, just go.
In October I entered my first hostel in Akko. In the lobby, we met 2 ladies who greeted us, “Shalom.” Conversation ensued in Russian, and our translator introduced us as having come from America. Soon we found ourselves following a very sweet lady ushering us toward the stairs and up to her room.
Instantly we loved her. She saw our guitar and asked us to sing. Because I’d started to cry, I asked our translator to explain that I wasn’t crying because I was sad. Simply my joy overflowed into tears to realize we could love them as HaShem does. I sang into her eyes and couldn’t look away, as her gaze into me didn’t blink. I only imagined how Elohim may be speaking to her in one of the most precious occasions I’d ever experienced. All those months of praying for someone I hadn’t yet met, now realizing a new depth of the love HaShem had been growing.
She asked us to pray for her grandson enduring cancer, and I felt a rush of warmth in my heart. What a privilege for us. I told her, “We love you. HaShem called us from across the world to come visit you. You’re my sister.” And I meant every word.
For 5 days we visited Survivors, encountering wonderful, inspiring conversation. Listening to personal accounts of the Holocaust, we saw an amazing gratitude. True testimony to the power of HaShem to give life where there’s been death. Happily we presented quilts from friends in America as gifts, though unexpectedly we received tasty treats and flavorful teas ourselves.
Beyond the borders of our different countries, beyond any declarations of our governments, Adonai gave us a love for these Survivors. At times I felt as an ambassador. To greet, to listen, to love and laugh and cry—my heart danced. Worry had no room to reside.
May you be blessed to serve these beloved of God.