Change Region:ICEJ

Shiloh trauma center caring for children

ICEJ AID

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
Posted on: 
4 Aug 2013
Shiloh trauma center caring for children

In searching out ways to bless and support the neediest in Israel, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem often is taken to places where the worst tragedies strike. One of those places is Shiloh, which holds a central place in biblical history.

Some 3,500 years ago, Shiloh was the village where Joshua divided the land among the twelve tribes of Israel and where the Ark of the Covenant came to rest for nearly four centuries. Until the death of Eli the High Priest, Shiloh was the place of pilgrimage for the feasts of Israel three times each year. It was also the place where the great prophet Samuel was raised to hear the voice of God.

You can find Shiloh easily by just following the directions contained in the Book of Judges (21:19), which says it is “north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah”.

Today, tel Shiloh is an important archaeological site and some exciting new finds were just uncovered dating back to the time when the Tabernacle stood there. However, the area has been in the Israeli press in recent years for other reasons, namely that Shiloh’s residents have suffered through five different murderous terror attacks in recent years, claiming the lives of seven of its citizens. Two died in roadside attacks, one in Jerusalem, two at school, one while doing guard duty in another community, and one while on army duty. This does not include the large numbers of people from Shiloh injured and traumatised in terror attacks.

So the place that once was the spiritual center of the Jewish people today is home to a different kind of center – a therapeutic one.

Eleven years ago, long-time Shiloh resident David Rubin was driving home from Jerusalem with his three year-old son. Out of nowhere, gun shots were fired and instantly they were both wounded – David was shot in the leg and his son had a serious head injury. After the child was miraculously saved, David realised that he still suffered from a psychological trauma. That episode sparked the educator and book author to open the Shiloh Israel Children's Fund.

What started out as a general rehabilitation complex with conventional modes of therapy (speech therapy, to name one) soon became a psychological, post-traumatic center for children deeply impacted by terror. With the use of art, music and movement, as well as interaction with animals, the children learn to open up again, express themselves and speak about what they are going through. Rubin hopes in future that the center also will provide hydrotherapy, which will require more investment.

In representing compassionate Christians from around the world, the ICEJ wants to be sensitive to the serious problems facing these traumatised children and thus we have begun supporting the work of Rubin’s center.

The children’s center serves the surrounding region, not just Shiloh. Some of the children at the center have lost a family member or friend to terror. A number of them have lost a teacher. Many know someone who has been hurt or frozen with fear. Last but not least, there are plenty of children who did not experience terrorism, but because of the uniqueness of Shiloh’s setting, they fear what could happen.

As opposed to adults the way children react to terror is often misunderstood, as they usually do not know how to verbalise what they feel. They have nightmares, wet their beds and become aggressive. Often the anxiety they experience goes way beyond what their parents can handle. The therapeutic center also offers workshops for parents and teachers, so they can help the children deal with their struggles.

ICEJ AID has become a sponsor of the Shiloh therapy center so that these traumatised children can grow and develop in an environment of care and understanding. We hope Shiloh will again be a place where children are raised into prophets.

Please partner with ICEJ AID in caring for these young, innocent victims of terror.

 

Share this: