The Bedouin are a people trapped in time. When they are told of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or Moses and Yeshua—they ask if they are still alive. They know nothing of our modern world or cities even just hours away.
Deep in the south of Israel lies a beautiful little town…Arad. It is a fairly “new community” by Israeli standards. But there is a growing community of believers there—both Jewish and Arab.
Surrounding that town are thousands of temporary tin shacks where Bedouin live in terrible poverty. Their children are born and raised in dust with little to no stimuli. They are minimally educated and grow up unable to read or write Hebrew or even Arabic.
Children at the Bedouin primary school of Al Ghazali, Rahat, Israel
They are a people trapped in time. When they are told of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or Moses and Yeshua—they ask if they are still alive. They know nothing of our modern world or cities even just hours away.
While Bedouin loyalty has historically been tribal, in recent decades the Islamic movement has flooded their villages and turned them into a radical community that is incredibly controlling of its people, devoted to Allah and inevitably hostile to Israel.
Violence against women is the standard. Those who escape it are the exception. Girls above middle school are no longer allowed to play sports and must cover their heads and take on the duties of a woman. Thankfully, there are still those alive who remember the days when they did not live under such extreme Islamic domination, and they want out. But time is of the essence. Those who grow up entirely in bondage are much more accepting of it as “just the way things are.”
Among the many relationships we have developed with believers in Israel over the years, is a group in the Negev desert who have spent over a decade reaching out to the Bedouin tribes in the Arad area.
These believers have found creative ways to reach into these closed, neglected communities. They offer not only food and clothing, but lessons in reading, writing (in Hebrew, English and Arabic) social skills, and even music! Most importantly, they offer a way out of Islam and into the truth of the Gospel (including their current efforts of recording an audio Bible in the Bedouin dialect for those who can’t read).
These are not short-term operations, these are operations that can change the course of an entire demographic; one that has an incredible impact on more than half of Israel’s land mass. The fruit is there. Those who have found redemption are being discipled—even if in secret. This is not just an outreach, this is a rescue mission—and we want to help them in this endeavor!
Will you come alongside us as we touch lives in southern Israel?
This month, add a special gift with your general giving to Maoz, and we will make sure that it reaches the lowliest of the low—bringing them hope, love, care, and the truth of their Messiah, too!
For the restoration of Israel,
Kobi and Shani Ferguson