Welcome to our first CMJ TODAY newsletter. Your generosity and giving enables CMJ Israel to continue to thrive as it seeks to fulfill its calling in these exciting times. In addition to keeping you informed on the various CMJ projects and ministries, these newsletters will enable us to share with you and give you an insight into God’s ongoing goodness, faithfulness and blessings.
Our mandate now, just as it was nearly 200 years ago when CMJ first came to this land, is to work out the promise contained in Romans 1:16: We are not ashamed of the Gospel; it is the Power of God for Salvation for all who have faith in him – first the Jew, and also the Gentile.
It is thanks to God’s grace and your love and support that CMJ Israel can continue its commitment of nearly two centuries to represent the love of Jesus in practical and tangible ways to all the people of this land. We also serve local believers so that they may be empowered and equipped to share the Gospel effectively in their communities.
“AT THE CROSSROADS” 2018
This year, the 4th “At the Crossroads” bi-annual conference took place in March. This is a unique gathering that is held at Christ Church Jerusalem. Nearly 200 delegates came from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Iran and Kenya.
They worshipped and prayed together in their own tongues which included Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Hebrew, and English, sharing their testimonies about the blessings and challenges of following Jesus in their respective countries.
Inspired by Isaiah’s vision that the Middle East will be a blessing, Muslim-background followers of Jesus met with their Christian and Messianic Jewish counterparts to worship and pray together and to strategise on how to effectively be agents of change in their war-torn regions.
We’re grateful to the donors who gave generously to enable some of these believers, who would otherwise not have been able to come, to attend the conference.
Here is a quote from one of the delegates:
“I just want say this event was a turning point in my life! Really it was!! Just to be in the City of our Great King Jesus! Such an honour.” C. from Egypt.
This past June CMJ Israel’s Christ Church partnered with GAFCON Australia to help host almost 2,000 delegates from 50 countries in Jerusalem. This was the most significant international gathering of Anglicans in 50 years and a joyous celebration of ten years of growth. CMJ Israel’s staff were on hand to participate and to volunteer where needed.
Christ Church Guest House
The New Guest House Manager
CMJ Israel is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Dilcher as the new Director of the Guest House at Christ Church in Jerusalem. Paul will take over the position from Vida Butterfield, whose term ends in September. Paul has a strong background in ministry and business. We are equally pleased that his wife, Karin, will assume the responsibility of Volunteer Coordinator at Christ Church. The Dilchers join us from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The outgoing director, Vida Butterfield, has completed five years as the Christ Church Guest House Director. During her tenure, Vida made many improvements to the facilities, invested in professional development for staff, raised the level of food services and continued to increase ministry opportunities. We wish Vida and her husband, David, the very best as they return to the UK. They have been exemplary in their Christian witness and professional service and an asset to our ministry. We shall miss them greatly.
We are also bidding farewell to Dan and Neva Handley who have been invaluable in their service as Volunteer Coordinators and a great support, often ad hoc, to the Guest House management team. We wish the Handleys well as they return to the US this autumn to be with their family to welcome a new grandchild. They, too, will be sorely missed.
Open for Business
This past spring, we completed some much-needed upgrading of the dish-washing area and built new meat and vegetable preparation rooms which serve the dining room. The renovation and furnishing of the salad preparation area are scheduled to begin in August at an estimated cost of USD 13,000, for which funds still need to be raised. Once that is completed, the refurbishing of the dining room will begin.
Situated in the same compound as Christ Church, the Guest House is an integral part of CMJ’s hospitality ministry in the Land and remains a special respite for local visitors and pilgrims. It continuously strives to provide excellence in quality and standard of service, which have earned it the number one rating by Trip Advisor of the sixty-three listed Jerusalem B&Bs.
Both the dining room and the Coffee Shop are open seven days a week to serve visitors and locals and have become a landmark in the Old City. Recently an Israeli gentleman (and avowed atheist) told one of our staff members that the dining room, Coffee Shop and courtyard are like an “oasis of peace” where he and his wife often go.
Service Unto the Lord
The Christ Church Guest House continues to be a blessing to the many local residents and pilgrims who find refuge in the midst of the Old City of Jerusalem.
"Recently, an Israeli couple stayed the night at the Guest House and, because of their religious observance, the staff knew the couple would not be able to eat the breakfast that Christ Church serves. One of the volunteers went to a local kosher restaurant and bought the couple a kosher meal that they would be able to enjoy. The food was kept wrapped and separate from the other foods served to ensure that the kosher requirements were maintained. That morning, when the couple went to the dining room, the volunteers presented them with their special breakfast. With tears in their eyes, the couple thanked the staff for their thoughtfulness adding that no other hotel that did not cater to religious Jews had ever done anything like that. When asked why the Guest House would go out of its way for folks like them, several volunteers were able to use the opportunity to share about their faith in Messiah and why they choose to serve the Jewish people, in Israel."