Exploring the history of CMJ and their influence in Israel
Paul Calvert spoke with Dr. Garth Gilmour, the Executive Director of CMJ, about their work pioneering modern medical treatment in Jerusalem, and Christian education.
Paul: What is CMJ?
Dr. Gilmour: CMJ stands for the Churches Ministry among Jewish People.
It’s a ministry that has been in existence for over 200 years. It was founded in the East End of London in 1809, when a collaboration between wealthy gentrified British men and women, collaborated with Jewish believers in Jesus, to reach out to the Jewish population in the East End of London.
At that stage, the East End was desperately poor.
They had two aims. They wanted to serve them from a Christian perspective and help them integrate into British society, and they wanted to help them become more standing on their feet financially. They wanted to train them with jobs. In other words with good works.
At the same time they saw a people that had no access to the gospel whatsoever. They had compassion for them and wanted to take the gospel to them as well.
It was called the London Jews Society back in those days.
Paul: How did they come here to Israel?
Dr. Gilmour: In 1825 a doctor came over here associated with the ministry, in order to reach the people living inside the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. At that stage it was entirely confined within the walls of Jerusalem.
It was a place of very poor sanitation and lots of disease.
He was joined in January 1826 by a young missionary sent from London by CMJ called John Nicolessen. He was Danish, but had been recruited by CMJ and had a call to take the Gospel to the Jewish people.
Unfortunately within a month of Nicolessen arriving, the doctor was dead. He contracted the plague, which was well known here. About one third of the population of the city contracted this illness every year. Many of them died.
Nicolessen did the only sensible thing being a stranger in a land where he didn’t speak the language, didn’t know the people and had no contacts, he left.
In 1833, eight years later, the circumstances were such that he was able to return as a British citizen. He purchased a piece of land just inside the Jaffa Gate in the Old City on the slopes of Mount Zion, and he built the first Protestant Evangelical church in the Middle East, called Christ Church. It is still there today.
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Worship journey through the Land of God – Ascend Carmel Program
Earlier this spring almost 50 people from 14 countries arrived in Israel to join local Israeli worshippers, with their hearts ready for a divine encounter.
They did not come for a sightseeing tour nor a vacation, but to learn and listen to the voice of God as worshippers and prayer warriors.
Kehilat HaCarmel is a congregation and ministry site located in the Carmel mountains in northern Israel. It holds weekly Shabbat services, as well as multiple prayer and worship watches throughout the week.
Visiting prayer groups and tours from the nations often join the congregation for special times of teaching, worship, and intercession.
The Ascend Program is a study tour that embraces the heritage of biblical worship and empowers participants to live out their God given destiny.
Focusing on three key areas – musical worship, intercession and creative arts – the program welcomes you on a three part journey based on a biblical pattern.
It begins on Mt. Carmel and in the Galilee with entering into the presence of the Lord and presenting oneself before Him. In the second part of the program, the participants travel through Jerusalem and the surrounding desert to study the life of King David.
Learning what it means to live a pure heart lifestyle which brings them to the third part, based on Matthew 5:8:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
The third section focuses on walking in spiritual authority and the impact of our lives on others and furthering the kingdom of God.
This unique high-quality time in the land includes study sessions, workshops, meetings with local leaders and of course times of prayer and worship. While traveling to various prophetic destinations in Israel, the participants connect with many ministries and houses of prayer.
They are often greeted or hosted by local worship and ministry leaders, who readily dedicate their time to be of service to the visitors. What a special way to connect with the Israeli body of believers!
Sarah Liberman, worship leader and director of the program, stresses that worship is not just about talent, but about the position of the heart, which is why musical ability is not a requirement to apply.
The Ascend Program has been meticulously designed and planned to serve the attendees, it represents the highest quality of training and introduces visitors to the best of what Israel has to offer.
Nevertheless, what truly makes the endeavor extraordinary is the fact that it is all about the hunger for the presence of God.
Anyone who loves to worship the Lord is welcome to attend and can expect life-transforming moments with God during this 10-day journey through Israel.
This article originally appeared on FIRM and is reposted with permission.
Estera Wieja, born and raised in Poland, moved to Israel in 2010. She is a journalist and in 2018 joined the staff of Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM) in Jerusalem.
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Pioneer work among the Bedouins in the Negev
Barnabas Israel in an NGO based in the Negev that provides humanitarian aid and educational support to Bedouin families from unrecognised villages. God is love, and we believe in LOVE as a verb, and its impact through actions is what drives our everyday tasks.
Barnabas Israel is part of a larger organisation called Barnabas Fellowship of Churches, based in the UK and established in over 10 countries around the world mainly planting churches.
For those who are less familiar with the Bedouin community is important to note that they are a minority within the Arab community, and they make 3,5 % of the total Israeli population. Previous to the formation of the State of Israel they lived in the Negev as semi-nomads. Around 3 decades ago the government encouraged Bedouins to relocate to 6 towns situated in the south, but many of them refused to do so. These are the so called unrecognised villages. They are spread throughout the Negev, and hardly have any basic services such as health care, electricity, drinking water and education. They are isolated from civilisation without being able to build any further and have very limited access to public transport. Many live in extreme poverty and do not feel a part of society.
They are mainly Sunni Muslims and very devoted. Their places of origin can vary from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.
Even though many of them are Israeli citizens, some come from the West Bank originally.
The local NGO’s main focus is on a specific tribe originating from Egypt that has settled in the Arad area.
The complexity and variety in the backgrounds, together with later interchange of marriages make it challenging to pinpoint an accurate origin to the tribes scattered in the Negev.
Around less than a decade ago, the door opened to establish a kindergarten amongst one of these families called Abu Juda. The message has been spreading ever since. It started off as a project geared towards children, but since 2013 it became a family oriented work through an extensive process of building trust and getting to know the families on a one to one level. Through doing so, we decided to focus on the pillars of the family: the women who are neglected and wounded. The pioneer work amongst them started through Hebrew, Arabic and English lessons.
Given their deprived intellectual development it is an ongoing challenge to share the Gospel with a people group that is bound by fear and constraint.
Since June 2017, we partner with a Christian humanitarian aid organisation delivering food to families, and miraculously we receive second hand clothes from all kinds of sources. The warehouse is located in the Artist Quarter in Arad.
Our work is a partnership with the local Congregation in Arad, who are “behind the scenes,” providing hands on support as well as prayer and encouragement.
Our women’s program has been running since 2013, where in the context of “Crafts making” they hear christian principles and get to learn and experience God’s Love.
In the afternoon, there is a children’s club where they receive assistance with their homework as most mothers are illiterate.
Barnabas believes it is highly important for this people group to come to the Lord, given the fact that the patriarchs of our faith were Bedouins. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were Bedouins as they are the were initial inhabitants of the Holy Land. Not only that, but also there are hardly any organisations that focus on reaching out to this people group in the area. Embarking on a pioneering venture is not always easy, as there are no parameters, formulas or people who have paved the way before us. There are no books written on how to reach this people group, so as we develop on a daily basis, it is somehow writing the pages of a new book.
Engaging with this minority group can be an extensive process, and that is when the Lord’s grace comes to live through the workers and the volunteers ability to do so.
Due to their primitive culture, they tend to be hostile and dubious towards newcomers, however we have witnessed through hardship and endurance that the team visiting can be the “event” of the week.
It is a joy to share that those who have met Lord through the work need to be in our prayers. As the body of the Messiah, we want to invite you to partner with the Holy Spirit in HIS love, passion and purpose for the salvation of this minority group.
It would be a joy for us to spend time with your community sharing the breakthrough stories the Holy Spirit has performed:
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not.” – Luke 15:7
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about the work. Also, we are open to visits and can expand on the details of our every-day work.
Find us at: barnabasisrael.org
Barnabas Israel is a ministry of Barnabas Fellowship of Churches International (BFoC), a network of Christian churches and projects that operates in a number of nations. Barnabas Israel is a non-profit organisation which is recognised as an amuta by the Israeli authorities; it is funded mainly by Christian churches and individuals. It exists to provide aid to Bedouin people in the Negev Desert in Israel.
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Christians respond to latest Gaza escalation
ICEJ Donating Another Three Bomb Shelters, Protective Vests
After Israel absorbed over 700 rockets fired from Gaza over the weekend, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem sent a delegation to the western Negev region on Monday to assess the updated security needs of the local Israeli communities and how best to help them prepare for any future escalations in the area.
The Christian Embassy has already donated over 75 portable bomb shelters to the Gaza periphery towns and villages, and today the ICEJ ordered another three bomb shelters for the region. The ICEJ also is donating 20 protective vests for Yatar volunteers from the Negev who risk their lives working alongside the regular security forces to keep everyone safe during times of tension. In addition, the ICEJ delegation viewed all-terrain firefighting equipment as well as brand new specially-designed ATV security vehicles which Christians have recently donated to local Israeli communities through ICEJ.
“Hopefully, the ceasefire reached last night will hold, but the terror militias in Gaza are notoriously unpredictable and untrustworthy,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “However, our team’s visit today has confirmed once more that our humanitarian investment in these vulnerable Israeli communities is comforting families and saving lives.”
Elan Isaacson, chief security officer for the Eshkol Region, told the ICEJ team that, “after 18 years of experience and all the bomb shelters which groups like you have placed around the region, the number of people killed and injured from the Gaza rockets is substantially down.”
Tamir Idan, mayor of the Sadot Regional Council, also hosted the ICEJ team in Kibbutz Alumim before heading off to an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the latest escalation in rocket fire from Gaza.
This article is a press release by the ICEJ and is reposted with permission.
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[Prayer Alert] Rocket barrages and Israeli air attacks
As I write (about 6:15pm), once again there are rocket barrages and Israeli air attacks taking place along the Gaza border area, as well as cities beyond, such as Ashkelon, Rehovot, Netivot. There is a sense that this sudden escalation is connected with the Israeli Independence Day this coming week, which for the Islamic and Arab world is the Day of Catastrophe. Also, the Eurovision, a major European music festival, is scheduled to be hosted in Israel in a couple of weeks. As this weren’t enough, the month of Ramadan begins for the Muslims tomorrow (Sonday) — a month that generates strong religious feelings and threatens jihadi actions against unbelievers. The government of Israel following the elections last month is not yet formed, and the Prime Minister still remains in a dual office as Defense Minister. Israel seems to be in a position of greater weakness in the current situation, wanting calm for the celebrations, with many tourists coming for the Eurovision event (which, personally, I would not mind seeing canceled anyway). PLEASE PRAY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE BELIEVERS IN THESE BORDER AREAS ON BOTH SIDES; FOR REPENTANCE TOWARDS SALVATION FOR BOTH JEWS AND ARABS; FOR THE ISRAELI GOVT TO ACT RESPONSIBLY TO DEAL WITH THE ON-GOING ACTS AGAINST ITS CITIZENS AND BORDERS; FOR BELIEVERS TO HONOR THE NAME OF THE LORD YESHUA/JESUS IN OUR THOUGHTS, WORDS, ACTIONS, PRAYERS.
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.