By: Kayla Muchnik

Nazareth is the city where Jesus grew up and it once boasted a Christian majority. But now it is predominantly (69%) Muslim. Nevertheless, a Christian minority (30%) remains and they currently are facing the many challenges of the Coronavirus crisis, like everyone else. Government-mandated quarantines for the elderly and the closure of businesses has caused economic and emotional suffering for many. Our ICEJ AID team visited Nazareth just as Israel began to lift restrictions.

We met elderly Christian residents, many with health challenges, who were greatly in need of encouragement and extra help. On this visit, we were able to assist twenty Arab Christian families with boxes of groceries and food coupons. Despite their hardships, each home offered warm hospitality with cake and coffee. However, the most precious part of our visit by far was the prayer and worship time we shared together in three languages – Arabic, Hebrew and English!

One older couple thanked us for the gifts with tears and smiles. It lifted them amid a difficult time: The father has cancer, the mother recently underwent hip surgery and can only walk with crutches, the daughter’s husband is out of work, and a nephew was recently diagnosed with a serious illness as well. Their faith remains strong and was strengthened even more to have brothers and sisters come alongside them with encouragement, made possible through the generosity of Christians from around the world.