Mission in Israel
Mission in Israel
Mission goal of EBF
Primary mission of the Christian Church is to go into all the world, preach the Gospel and make disciples (Matthew 28,19-20). Church planting is a natural way to enable this to happen. EBF-supported indigenous missionaries are starting new churches and the Indigenous Mission Project is seeing significant fruit in changed lives and transformed communities.
The growth of the project is possible with the faithful assistance of our partners. Thank you sincerely for your constant prayers and financial support.
The IMP was launched in April 2002 in Moldova as the response of the EBF to the needs of nations which are open to the Gospel. Currently we are jointly supporting over 65 church planters in 24 different nations of Europe, the Middle East & Central Asia. The detailed list is on the EBF web site www.ebf.org
The IMP is growing steadily and new churches are being regularly planted in this part of the world. Recently EBF Executive approved several new missionaries. Some of them are from Israel.
Mission in Israel
The first call to do mission work around the world began in the Holy Land with Jesus commissioning his disciples to be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. 2000 years later and after the gospel has arrived to all corners of the world, there is a tiny number of faithful believers who still witness for Christ in the land where it all began.
The Association of Baptist Churches in Israel (ABC) takes seriously the charge of Jesus to be His witness in the Holy Land. The ABC was founded in 1961 when three Baptist Churches decided to form an association, and grew to 9 churches in 1999 and consists of 19 churches today with around 1000 believers and a community of 3000 people. From the 19 churches, 15 churches are Arabic speaking, 2 Spanish, 1 Filipino and 1 English speaking. There are also 8 church plants.
Rev. Ashraf Abishai leads the Association in planting new churches and equipping new leaders for ministry. He came as a young man from Egypt to Israel in 1990 and God used him in many evangelistic meetings held by the ABC churches. The result of this was to invite Br. Ashraf to join the outreach ministry in the ABC.
Rev. Ashraf says: “It has been, and will remain, our privilege and responsibility to carry out the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of the lost. The aim is to encourage all ABC churches as well as our various partners to have a heart for this work and to reach out to those in our communities. One aspect of our work is to run home groups in areas where there is no evangelical ministry. When these home groups grow, they later become churches.”
Rev. Ashraf visits a different church or church plant every day of the week. Together with a team of indigenous missionaries from different ABC churches, they preach the word of God in different towns and villages in Galilee, telling the good news about Jesus. “Growing this way, the ABC churches are one family although independent in nature. It is like the son, who, although he leaves his father and mother and becomes joined to his wife, he still remains part of the same family; holding its name and bearing the joyful fruit of this family”, says Rev. Ashraf.says Rev. Ashraf.
“We have been growing very fast in the last 10 years, therefore we have a great need to train pastors and leaders. Lately, a center for training leaders in ministry was established in Nazareth”, says Fuad Haddad, the chairman of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel.
The story of ABC multiplying in 10 years is amazing”, says Bader Mansour, an executive within the ABC. “It is a story about a small group of people, without lots of training and with very little resources – but with a great zeal for sharing Jesus with others. We are strongly witnessing God moving within our midst and blessing us with lots of new souls coming to know Christ”
The experience of IMP confirms that indigenous missionaries are the most effective in church planting ministry. They know their people, culture and language, and that contributes to their good success.
The ministry of church planting is both exciting and demanding so it needs a lot of support and requires financial provision. IMP still needs supporters who will continue to pray, give and get involved personally…
Baptist leaders of Israel ask for your prayers, support and co-operation so that they can continue to multiply, and keep being salt and light in the Holy Land, where Christians today are a very tiny minority