As a couple walked outside the walled compound in Jerusalem, they heard young children’s voices and peals of laughter. Sounds of pure joy drifted into the street. The couple stopped to listen. Surprised to hear a mixture of languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, and English, their mouths dropped open in disbelief. Meanwhile, swings creaked, and balls bounced. Birds perched on power lines, waiting to return to the feeders. What a contrast to the tension the man and woman felt only feet away!
Jerusalem is one of the most diverse and divided cities in the world. It has faced intermittent violent conflict and anxiously knows that a missile alert could sound at any moment. All of us have heard “Pray for the peace (shalom) of Jerusalem,” but how can that happen? A variety of believers in Messiah work hand in hand, training up children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
This ministry partner in the heart of the city provides an environment of love and unity for 64 children, ages four months to six years, as a beginning to this peace. Little Hearts Preschool provides a safe and caring refuge for children from Arab, Jewish, and international communities. By sowing seeds of peace into the soft ground of these formative young ones, the school believes this pattern will follow them throughout their lifetime.
One secular Muslim family sends their child to Little Hearts even though they live a great distance from the school. When asked why they chose this school, the mother said, “The first time I met Jewish people was when I went to university. While I was there, I realized that many things I had grown up believing and understanding were not accurate. I want my son to know how to live here in unity and coexistence. I want him to have Jewish and Christian friends, not only those like us.”
Little Hearts creates a family of acceptance as they work, play, and learn together in an inclusive and peaceful environment. As a faith-based preschool providing exceptional Montessori education, they actively make a difference in the lives of children through a nurturing atmosphere that models unity amongst differing faiths and cultures. All the teachers share the same faith in Messiah, and the children hear Bible stories every week in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
The peace or shalom of Jerusalem indicates not just the absence of war but wholeness, hope, unity, security, and harmony. It is something complete and permanent, reflecting prosperity, health, and fulfillment. This peace is a true inner tranquility.
Little Hearts is teaching truth, brotherly love, and kindness in Yeshua to all the descendants of Abraham. It models real shalom. It plants and nourishes true love that is the only thing that will conquer the hatred toward this city. Could this be a beginning of the healing of the great Arab/Israeli divide?
The impacted couple outside the wall finally moved on to their destination, pondering what they heard only moments before. The wife remembered someone quoted to her, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” She decided she was going to investigate this Lord and this love.
You can support the beginnings of peace in Jerusalem by showing desperate women and their unborn babies the love of Jesus. Help mothers in Israel choose life by supplying them with baby clothes, essential baby gear, and counseling.
Header photo © Little Hearts Preschool.