A teenager in northern Israel who was bullied at school and abused by family members was on the verge of suicide until he found hope in Jesus at a Bible Society workshop for traumatised young people.
Amir (name changed to protect his identity) is from a large family in the Galilee region but his parents’ work took them away from home for long periods. During that time, Amir was severely disciplined by other family members.
As well as this physical and verbal abuse at home during the pandemic, he was bullied at school. Amir, a promising musician, saw his grades plummet.
‘I became lonely, angry and depressed,’ he said. ‘I was praying very hard for God’s intervention in my life, to find hope and comfort. But I felt God was absent and he was not listening to me. I planned to end my life.’
Amir was introduced to a two-day Scripture-based workshop that was helping people deal with trauma during the pandemic. The workshops take place thanks to the kind giving of Bible Society supporters.
‘In the workshop sessions I was surprised when, for the first time, I understood God’s love for me despite all the pain. I learned to face and deal with my pain and anxiety in a healthy way and how to forgive people who had hurt me, especially family members,’ he said.
‘I realised my value in the eyes of my heavenly Father. In the past I expected that God would act on my behalf immediately and in accordance with my plans. I was angry when he didn’t answer my prayers but seemed to help others.’
Amir added that he is now reading the Bible in a ‘new way’ and ‘praying for the Lord’s will to be done’.
He said, ‘I asked the Lord to forgive me for my suicidal thoughts. On the other hand, I am convinced that God wants me to surrender more of myself to him. I am hoping to learn more about wholeness in Christ – to accept myself as the Lord loves and accepts me.’
The hope that Amir, a gifted musician, has found in Jesus has also led him to put more effort into his music and songwriting.
He says that the Bible verse he particularly cherishes is Psalm 18.2: The LORD is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.’ (GNB)
In the Galilee region, the Arab-Israeli Bible Society runs many Bible-based programmes to help young people deal with issues including conflict and discrimination. These programmes are made possible by the generosity of Bible Society supporters.
Author: Simon Bartz, 16 June 2022
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