There are 320,000 Bedouins in the Negev (southern) desert in Israel. Most are practicing Muslims. 90,000 live in villages scattered throughout the region. Though practicing Muslims, some are from Jewish ancestry. You can read more about that below.
In the eyes of other Israelis, including Jews, Arab Christians and Muslims, these people are the “bottom of the barrel.” They live in extreme poverty and are socially a complex and dysfunctional segment of Israeli society. To the Lord, and to us they are precious souls who are trapped in darkness.
Our work with these “Bedouin” people began in 2017. We are now partnered with another ministry that has been serving the Bedouin community for over a decade.
The Lord continues to open doors for us to share the Gospel with the Bedouins, and help them in various ways. You can read of our various outreach initiatives below.
We’ve begun one-on-one discipleship with those who have come to faith in Jesus-Yeshua as Messiah, and Lord.
One of many stories that we’ve heard:
One of the women attending our group Bible study confessed to us that she had a dream. In it, a man in white called her name and showed her two windows. One window was where He was and the other was engulfed in flames. He beckoned her to come to Him and not succumb to the flames.
We were able to explain to her what the dream meant and that the man in white was Jesus/Yeshua. We were also able to pray deliverance prayers for her husband, who was tormented by demons. We pray that God gives them both the courage to embrace Messiah and not be afraid to abandon their Islamic traditions. We want them to know the truth, so the knowledge of the truth will set them free!
The impoverished Bedouins live on pennies a day, yet many believe in working and not receiving handouts. They long to see their children educated and hard working. They have a vision for bettering themselves in order to be productive members of society.
These people are some of the “least of these” that Jesus/Yeshua talks about in Matthew 25:40. “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
Their lives and situations are truly complex. If you ever feel led to visit us in Israel and reach out to these people with us, we welcome you here!
A Bedouin attorney in Be’er Sheva was sent to an private Catholic school in Israel for studies. He said it was very difficult for him, but it was the best thing his father could have done for him. It changed the trajectory of his life. There are many such schools throughout Israel, except for in the Southern Negev area. One of the dreams we have as a ministry working in Southern Israel, is to provide hope for future generations of Bedouin like this attorney, by praying and partnering with others who have the desire to see these people come out of hopelessness of the Islamic culture that they’re now prisoners within.
We hope you’ll link arms with us towards seeing a better future arise for the Bedouin people in Southern Israel (many of whom are actually Jewish in ancestry – read about that below).
2017 – Relationship building, Group Bible Study Classes, Food & Clothing Distribution
2018 – Relationship building, Eye Clinic and Children’s Summer Camp, Group Bible Studies, Food & Clothing Distribution
2019 – Relationship building, Food & Clothing distribution, Evangelism and Discipleship, Group Bible Studies
2020 – Relationship building, Food & Clothing distribution, Financial Assistance , Eye Clinic, Lanugage Education, Evangelism and Discipleship
2021 – Relationship building, Food & Clothing distribution, Financial Assistance, Bible Story Telling/Fun Day, Evangelism and Discipleship
2022 – 2023 Relationship building, Food & Clothing distribution, Financial Assistance, Women’s Bible Studies, Bible Story Telling/Fun Day, Evangelism and Discipleship, Opening of a 2100 sq. ft. facility in partnership with Barnabas Israel to house food, clothing, household goods used in our outreach efforts to 180+ families per month (over 1000 people). The warehouse space also functions as meeting space for Bedouin outreach, discipleship and office space.
2024 As of 2024 the number of impoverished families we’re serving in the Bedouin community is over 300. We continue with Relationship building, Food, Clothing, Household Needs distribution, Financial Assistanace and Group Bible Studies and Activities. This year we have two new initiatives:
1. A Counseling Resource for husbands & wives that we believe will be used by God to enhance their lives both financially and spiritually.
2. The establishment of a Business Initiative for the Bedouin women who are neglected, abandoned and living without hope, in extreme abuse and poverty.
LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL & JUDAH IN ISRAEL?
Before moving to Israel I was involved with a very fruitful ministry that was reaching the Lost Tribes of Israel in various places around the world with the Gospel. You can visit the WORLD-MISSIONS page to learn more.
Imagine my surprise when I started meeting the impoverished “Bedouin” people here in Israel, discerning in my spirit that they were actually from Jewish lineage and finding out this was indeed true!
There are truly hidden Jews in Israel. Thier identity has been stolen from them, but God knows who they are and He wants them to know their Messiah!
Some of the people we’re in regular contact with have parents who were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death.
The Abu-Judah tribe is one of the main tribes that we’re reaching out to. The Skeikh’s (tribal leader) first wife is from the Mukhamra tribe from Yatta, which is close to Hebron. They’re not Bedouins. They’re from Jewish origin and know that. The woman recalls that when she was a child the older women would light Shabbat candles on Friday night.
People from the Mukhamra tribe still hold many Jewish traditions, including purification rituals that are different from Muslim customs. Also when they bury their dead they leave a niche on one of the sides of the tomb, which is reminicent of how Jewish people buried their dead, leaving a niche for a memorial candle. When they are sick some bind cords around their hands and foreheads like wrapping tefillin, which is also a Jewish custom.
These people converted to Islam just 200 years ago to have an easier life and acceptance among the Muslims around them. It’s really an issue of survival. Mukhamra means “the wine maker”. This name reveals their Jewish origins. In Islam there are no wine-makers, as they don’t drink wine! This woman (the Abu-Judah Sheikh’s first wife) has 10 children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren. There are others from Abu-Judah who have married into the Mukahmra tribe and therefore there are many more descendants of the tribes of Israel and Judah living within the Abu-Judah tribe.
The family of a woman we’ve led to the Lord (a single mother of seven children) and are actively discipling, is from the Samoa village in the southern hills of Hebron. Samoa is the biblical priestly town of Eshtamoah. It is known that people coming from there are from Jewish origin. In that village there are still massive ruins of an ancient synagogue.
We are also working with people who are remnants of the Jews from Khaybar. In Islamic history Muhammad slaughtered the Jews of Khaybar in Arabia. Sadly, until today when Muslims chant things against Jews and Israel they use the phrase “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya yahud.” “Oh Jews remember Khaybar.”