News from Israel
May 26, 2004

Aziz Sara reports on church developments in Jerusalem and the West Bank:

"The Church is two congregations, one in Jerusalem and one in Bethlehem. We still consider each other one group. We are 20 disciples altogether. Our services are different from the US way. In Bethlehem we meet on Fridays. In Jerusalem it is more of a Bible Talk. Together, I would say we have around 30-35 in attendance.

"We had around 5 baptisms last year; this year, two so far. The Church here had no people leaving the Church in the last 2.5 years. However, we had many people going back to their home countries which made the Church growth not obvious. It is hard to get baptisms here since we dealing with Muslims and Jews."

Jeff Fisher reports from Tel Aviv:

"I hope this letter finds you happy and well. Things in Tel Aviv are going quite fine despite Israel's daily appearance in CNN's Headlines.  The disciples are all safe and healthy thanks to God.

"As summer approaches, it is starting to get hot here. We have occasional Hamseens--which are desert heat storms that blow in a fine reddish dust and a heat that is not so pleasant. In reality though, we are use to it now, and it has become a way of life. Jerusalem is a bit cooler as it sits up on a hill (what they call a mountain here!). Josiah is doing great. He is saying more words now, and getting around great.  Davene is advancing in her Hebrew to the point that I feel she has passed me up. (She has all the brains in the family!)  I will be finishing up my second semester at the University soon and then I will have more time to take extra Hebrew classes in the summer.

"The group here in Tel Aviv has been going through the letter to the Philippians.  It is so rich with examples of sacrifice, unity, sharing, and unselfishness.  It has been good to read and study it together, chapter by chapter.  The guys here had some great fellowship with a few of the guys in Jerusalem playing soccer the other day.

"God has blessed us with a new couple from Russia.  When they moved here, they were not quite sure which city the disciples were located in, so they ended up residing in a city quite far from the church. Thank God through mutual friends, we finally found out about them and they have now been fellowshipping with us. They are trying to get out of a one year lease in their apartment so they can move to Tel Aviv.  Please pray that God will open the door for this.

"Please be praying that God will open our eyes and mouths, so we can find the hearts that hunger and thirst for Him. Philippians 2:1-5

"Pray for us even as we continue to pray for you."

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