One of the most common features I used to notice when travelling to northern Syria were shepherds leading large flocks of sheep. Sometimes these flocks would block the narrow country roads for several minutes. Also not uncommon was the sight of little children driving these large flocks.
In the book of Isaiah, often referred to as the fifth gospel, we are foretold about the inauguration of the Kingdom of God that would be ushered in by a child. With the birth of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, we are reminded of God’s plan that “a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). The fulfilled promise emphasizes God’s awesome value of our ministry among children in the Arab world.
As I witnessed the events around me in Palestine and Israel, and as I see the adults in our region hurl bombs, fire rockets and unleash violence on each other, the victims are often innocent children. This is not the world God intended for these children. Rather, He said through the surrounding verses in Isaiah: “The wolf will live with the lamb, then the leopard will lie down with the goat, The calf and the lion and the yearlings together… and the infant will play near the cobra’s den…they will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:6-9). Then comes the even greater promise that “a little child will lead them.”
That prediction of Isaiah was borne out by the astonishing value Jesus placed in all his teachings about the value of children: “Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14) in our work through Enduring Love, ministry to these children are a PRIORITY.