The ink of the tattoos has faded over time. The skin of the forearms has grown old and wrinkled. Yet the chilling image is still visible – a serial number on the arm of a former Nazi concentration camp prisoner. Once there were hundreds of thousands of survivors bearing these numbers on their flesh. Today, seven decades later, only thousands of them remain alive. Every year, there are fewer and fewer of them.
The word “catastrophe” does not sound frightening enough to convey all the horror and all the pain, since many catastrophes occur every day. There is a special word in the dictionaries of the whole world for that specific catastrophe – the “Holocaust.” It was the “final solution to the Jewish question” developed by meticulous Nazi criminals who tried methodically to wipe out God’s people from the face of the earth, numbering each of their victims.
One of the tasks of the concentration camps was the destruction of the human personality. When instead of a name there was a number, instead of clothes there were striped pajamas, instead of love and compassion there was senseless slave labor and constant humiliation, it was easy to surrender, to lose all remnants of faith.
It is said that when British troops liberated one of the women’s death camps, most of the prisoners were already close to death from epidemics and unthinkable cruelty. The British prepared food for them and gave them warm blankets. Unexpectedly, lipstick showed up as part of a package of humanitarian aid supplies. Soon, the lips of these emaciated women, exhausted from disease and beatings, shone with the bright red color of victory painting over the gray hell of oblivion. Suddenly these women began to feel alive: real people again.
Today there are not many of these old women and men left, and those few get lost in our ever-rushing modern world. Currently many of these survivors live in the Jewish State of Israel, protected from anti-Semitism, starvation and humiliation. However, bitter roots of resentment and pain still corrode their hearts.
Our Ministry “Return to Zion” could not turn away from the pain of these survivors. Over the years we have developed a warm relationship with this community of people who lived through the horror of the Holocaust. Students of our music school often organize concerts and creative evenings for them. On Jewish holidays our team prepares festive events and banquets for them. Often partners from abroad participate, eager to contribute to the lives of these people. Just recently a group from Dallas lead by Neil Crabb joined us for an event serving Holocaust Survivors, with a genuine desire to serve them and to pray for them.
There was is just one main task and one desire in the hearts of all of us – to show God’s love to those who have already seen hell on earth, before they reach the end of their days. In this we welcome your prayers and support – join us in blessing this precious remnant.