By Canon Daryl Fenton
Director, CMJ Israel
COVID-19 has been with us almost two years now. Looking back on early 2020, there are many things we may wish we had done differently had we been armed with the information that we have today. Many of our ministries that rely on Christian pilgrimage – such as Shoresh Study Tours and the various guesthouses – seem to be in a frustrating cycle of preparing to reopen until another wave of coronavirus restrictions halts proceedings once again. This prolonged closure has caused financial strain on CMJ Israel’s infrastructure. If the country is unable to emerge from this cycle, hard decisions will have to be faced here at CMJ Israel. Above all we ask that you hold the ministry in prayer as it goes through this period. Please pray for God’s provision and for his wisdom as we navigate these testing times.
Despite all of the above, I cannot stress enough how aware we are that God is at work through the ministry here. Our Heritage Centres both at Christ Church and Beit Immanuel have continued operating, hosting hundreds of Israelis a day. Some of the most incredible moments of sharing our heritage in the past years have come during this time of covid.
Our Mercy Fund has inaugurated a number of new programs, including working to help the impoverished Ethiopian community, as well as assembling a team of social workers and lawyers to help minority communities to navigate the intricacies of Israeli bureaucracy. The Heritage Centre at Christ Church is excited to open its new exhibition on the history of Messianic Judaism soon, and the church has been steadily seeing an increase in participation in its online services.
We have taken advantage of the lack of tourists to conduct much needed repairs on the Christ Church compound, thanks to the faithfulness of our supporters. These long overdue renovations enabled us to work to preserve historic buildings as well as upgrade our facilities. Similar work will begin at Beit Immanuel soon.
Perhaps most unique of all
is the plan to launch an Arabic discipleship website later this month. It will be the first time that Jewish roots teachings will be made accessible in Arabic to the wider Middle East. We are praying that it will become a powerful tool of both teaching and even reconciliation in a region beset by much strife.
Thus, despite the undeniably challenging times, we are encouraged to see the growth of many ministry initiatives as well as the launching of others. We are grateful to be able to witness the power of the gospel in motion and are thankful for all the friendship and support that is given to us from the USA. As always, we covet your invaluable prayer coverage in these times more than ever.
The Rev. Canon Daryl Fenton has been executive director of CMJ Israel since 2019, after having served in the same capacity for CMJ’s USA branch. Cn. Daryl serves the North American archbishop, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, as Canon for the Middle East.