CMJ Today - Jan/Feb 2019

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2019. As we look back to 2018 we marvel at God’s faithfulness and favour and give thanks for the many friends across the world who continue to stand with us, pray for us and support our various ministries.

Joy to the World!

The much anticipated 2018 Christ Church Christmas celebration exceeded all our expectations with a record number of visitors close to 3,000. Despite running out of the large quantities of mulled wine, hot soup and special homemade cookies local groups and tourists kept on coming throughout the evening.

Christ Church Christmas

Meaningful conversations

The Heritage Centre Museum was equally packed with many Jerusalem residents enjoying the history, fellowship and friendship of the staff. Conversations went on well into the night, sometimes lasting as long as seven hours.

A local couple later wrote to CMJ that they had gone to the Christ Church event not only to be part of the celebration but also to help tell the good news of the Christmas message.  They added that the beautiful lights, wonderful music, food and festive mood coupled with the gracious hospitality of the staff made for a very special evening. Multiple languages could be heard throughout the campus as people mingled, making new acquaintances and rekindling old ones.

And for those who came for the first time “Next Year in Jerusalem” took on a much deeper meaning and it is our prayer that they will, indeed, return.

Through the eyes of a child

I am four years old and I am in the EY2 class [Early Years 2]. When I started Preschool at AISJ [Anglican International School Jerusalem], I walked through the big gate feeling a bit afraid and shy.  When my parents were talking to my new teachers, I saw the other children smiling at me but I couldn’t understand some of them because they were from different countries and spoke different languages. But then we started to play and we had a good time laughing and building Lego houses.

AISJ Preschool Children

Warm and caring staff

Our teachers also speak different languages like English, Hebrew and Arabic and they love to hear about our families and the countries where we come from. They also help us learn words in each others’ languages so when we have roll call, in the morning, we can say hello to each other in different languages. It’s a lot of fun!  It’s very nice when our families come to see how we are learning and they hear us speaking to each other in other languages.

I also love to sing new songs. For our graduation, last year we learnt “What a Wonderful World” but we changed some of the words to ‘together we are family yet each of us unique’. We also loved the words about the blue sky, the colours of the rainbow and people shaking hands and saying ‘how do you do’.

AISJ Teachers

Every day AISJ accomplishes the impossible!

Founded in 1962, the AISJ is located in Jerusalem on Prophets Street in one of CMJ’s historical buildings and listed in the top 100 historic buildings in Jerusalem.

In a report by the Visiting Team for accreditation by the Middle States Association, the Chair of the team concluded with the following statement:

“If I were to sum up your work here in Jerusalem in a brief phrase I would say this.  Every day you accomplish the impossible. AISJ possesses the most important qualities of a successful school; mutual respect, trust and collaboration. They are in your Mission and, most importantly, woven firmly into the fabric of life here at your school. Every day AISJ community members accomplish the impossible; peace in a time of war, tolerance where there is intolerance, calm in the midst of chaos”.

A true statement to the vital importance of principled education within a culture of respectful coexistence.

To some local families sending their children to AISJ represents great financial sacrifice.  Would you prayerfully consider partnering with AISJ in prayer and with your financial support?  AISJ welcomes gifts and scholarships specifically designated for them.

More than a Guest House

Situated near the Mediterranean beaches of Tel Aviv, close to Old Jaffa (Joppa in Acts 10:5-23) Beit Immanuel is a peaceful, quiet oasis. And it is certainly more than a Guest House. Led by a winsome, fluent Hebrew-speaking Brazilian manager, the vibrant and dynamic team’s deepest desire is to provide quality hospitality while showing the love of God to Arab and Jewish Israelis and the many foreign guests who visit year-round.  

Beit Immanuel

Visitors are fascinated by the historic heritage of Beit Immanuel; its famous 130-year-old Banyan tree is featured in one of Israel’s most important novels “Tmol Shilshom” (1945, The Day Before Yesterday), by Shai Agnon, winner of the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The building was once the residence of Baron von Ustinov, the grandfather of Sir Peter Ustinov, the famous British actor. The German Kaiser Wilhelm II stayed in the premises when on his way to Jerusalem in 1898. Later, in 1926, CMJ used the building as an English high school where, for the first time, Jewish and Arab girls studied together until the 1940s.

Thousands of guests, mostly Israelis, visit the historic building each year. They come as individuals and in diverse groups of medical professionals, kibbutz residents, teachers, retired Defence Force officers, Police officers, workers from the electricity company, the Rotary Club and various other organisations

Recently, the Mayor of Tel Aviv visited Beit Immanuel with a group of city employees specifically to see its Heritage Centre’s glass slide presentation. The historical slides date back to between the 1880s and 1930s and are shown through a Magic Lantern projector which was built in 1905. On arrival, the Mayor announced that he only had three minutes to visit. An hour and a half later the group was still there, enthralled by what they had seen and learnt. At the end of the presentation, the Mayor announced to his colleagues that, without the help of the various Christian missions, Israel would not be where she is today. For several weeks after that first visit, the Mayor returned and, each time, with a different group of city employees, including his own family.

Beit Immanuel Guests

Guests refer to Beit Immanuel as a “quaint jewel” in the busy hub-bub that is Tel Aviv. We invite you to visit, stay a while with us.

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