The Mother’s Day Celebration was a very wonderful and joyous time spent with mothers and women from all over the Holy Land. This year we had over 750 women in attendance, 134 of them came from Bethlehem, Ramallah, Zababdeh and other places from the Palestinian territories. As we do every year, we had unique gifts given to all of the women who attended the Mother’s Day Celebration. One of the gifts was an olive wood cross with the Lord’s prayer written on it. The other gift was a special Bible provided by the Arab Israeli Bible Society along with a magazine published monthly.
The event started with a word of welcome from Rose who is the visionary behind it. She then asked a few of the pastors in presence to stand up to open in prayer and ask God to move in a powerful way. This was followed by a special song about the mother. The lyrics was written by Haneen, Rose’s daughter, the music was composed by a local composer, Waleed Khlief, and it was sung by the very talented Mervat Ashqar. Rose then shared a small devotion about God’s blessings to women, to which women were attentive and very responsive. This was followed by a time of worship led by Nizar Francis. There was a festive atmosphere of freedom during the worship, one that many of the women in attendance never experienced before. After worship, pastor Nizar Shaheen, who helped Rose bring to life the Mother’s Day Celebration 19 years ago, stood up and shared the message. He also invited those who are new, or that had not yet made a decision for the Lord, to take a bold step and give their life to Him. The pastors stood up again and prayed for those who came forward for prayer as Nizar Francis led more worship songs. Of course, as with almost every Arab gathering, there was food at the end.
We received a lot of positive feedback from the women who attended the event, both frequent and new comers. They loved the gifts a lot, especially the Bible. One of the women went home after the Mother’s Day Celebration was over and her husband saw the Bible she brought home. He loved the Bible so much that he wanted one for himself. The woman called Rose who is in charge of the celebration - she was still at the venue where the event was held - and asked her if there were more Bibles; she wanted to come get one for her husband. The Bibles were all taken by the women who attended the event. But one of the young ladies who helps with the celebration every year offered her own Bible to be given to the husband.
Rose also received several texts expressing how joyful they were to attend the Mother’s Day Celebration. These are some of the texts she received (translated):
Thank you, Rose, for the smile that you put in the heart of every mother and for this gathering of lovely people. I congratulate you and all those involved in the Mother’s Day Celebration and pastor Nizar Shaheen who was a light to all the mothers. Thank you, and I know that saying thank you is not enough. Even my husband was very impressed that such a wonderful event exists in Israel.
A woman from Kfar Sme’i
I wish that we can celebrate mother’s day ten times a year, why only once?! It was such a wonderful and joyous time for us all. My heart was refreshed. It was a special day, different from any other day in the year. It is such a joy to come to the Mother’s Day Celebration, it’s as if it’s a wedding, even better! I wish I could write more and more in newspapers and on the internet how beautiful it was. Thank you for everything, we trust that the Lord will reward you for your efforts. You made us happy, you lifted up and we were greatly blessed by you. My words fail me.
Dina from Ramallah
We thank the Lord for you and all the work you put into the Mother’s Day Celebration. Your love shines through the ministry you do for our women and people. We pray that every year you’ll continue to bring joy into the women’s hearts. We appreciate you a lot!
One of the women leaders wrote to Rose expressing to her how wonderful the Mother’s Day Celebration was to them. She said that the ladies enjoyed it a lot and were blessed a lot as well. And when they would home they brought this blessing to their children and families. They also visited some of the women who attended the event in their homes afterwards and saw tangible change in their lives. One of the ladies they visited and prayed with in her home said that she was blessed greatly especially during worship. She said she felt like it is a heavenly wedding!
There are other stories we are not able to post here, to read those you can sign up to our newsletter here. We are so thankful to everyone who partnered up with us in prayer and supported this event financially. It is such a wonderful thought to have partners with us plowing, sowing and reaping the fruit in God’s Kingdom! God bless you all!
Rose welcoming the women to the 19th annual Mother's Day Celebration
Dina Katanacho who is the director of the Arab Israeli Bible Society which donated over 700 special Bibles and a monthly magazine to all the women in attendance
Rose sharing a small devotion about the blessing
The pastors praying for the event (Left to right: pastor Khalid Dalleh, pastor Andrew Abu-Ghazaleh and pastor Nizar Shaheen)
Mirvat Ashqar singing a special song about the mother written specifically for this celebration
Nizar Francis leading worship with the band (Ehab on keys, Majd on guitar, Rami on the oud, Suhail as back vocalist, Bolus on percussion and Shadi on drums)
There were over 750 women in attendance
Pastor Nizar Shaheen sharing the message
Cutting the celebration cake