The goal was to give a group of single mothers in Jerusalem a much needed break from their daily grind and to show them how much they were loved and cared for. The staff of CBN Israel prepared a two day weekend funded by generous donors where the women could enjoy time with their kids, each other and the Lord. The weekend began with several hours of fun in the sun at a swimming pool located in a beautiful forest in central Israel. The mothers talked, the children played and everyone enjoyed some light snacks and refreshing popsicles!
Later Friday evening, the group was checked into a hotel and then treated to a sit down dinner. As one single mother picked up a plate before dishing up her meal she gasped, “Ah! I didn’t have to make this food myself! This is so wonderful!”
After the women and children were physically fed, it was time for some spiritual food. The evening meeting began with songs of praise to God and then an elderly woman took her place at the front to speak. “You may think the worst things only happen to you”, she said. “But remember, God is with you and He WILL bring you through this”. The words held weight coming from this widowed, single mother who held this status for many-many years. She identified with the women in the room but had learned to overcome the struggles they shared in common. Like a group of young soldiers listening intently to an experienced general, every mother present seemed to glean something from the buffet of wisdom before then that night. After the message was over, many of the moms approached the “general” to have a personal exchange of conversation and to share their appreciation.
The next morning was Shabbat. The group was well rested and rather ecstatic about being in a hotel. For these women who work hard to pay rent and feed their little ones, the thought of dining out or enjoying a vacation is often nothing more than a wish or a dream. For the staff of CBN Israel, seeing the ecstasy of these often exhausted mothers only added to their joy in giving.
The shabbat schedule was full of more times of worship, anointed messages and enjoyable experiences for both the women and their children. In order for the moms to be able to spend some time alone with the Lord and to share more personally with one other, the staff of CBN Israel treated all the children to an innocent movie in a near by theater followed by a meal at McDonald’s.
In the evening meeting, the ladies were encouraged to do something out of the ordinary. Each mother and child were given one helium balloon per family and a card to tie to the end of it. They were encouraged to write down what they felt the Lord wanted to set them free from in their lives. For some, it could be unforgiveness towards the man that left them. For others, it could be fear of the future. When the women were ready, they released the balloons into the air and watched as they vanished out of sight along with the burdens they wrote down.There was a time of prayer that followed and more worship to the Lord.
The sun set over the hills around Jerusalem, displaying colors of red and pink in the evening sky. It was time for the women and children to head back to their homes. Endless exchanges of ‘thank-yous’ and appreciation were expressed by the mothers who had been so refreshed by all that took place that weekend. One woman shared, “this group has become a real place of community for us single mothers and we are reminded every time that we are not alone”.
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, June 27, 2018, and reposted with permission.