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Values & Vision

In January CWI missionaries and regional field staff gathered in Oxford for two days of training and fellowship, at which they shared their plans and strategies for the coming year. It was a great time of encouragement at which our CEO laid out the values and vision to which CWI aspires. Here Joseph presents those values and that vision so you can pray for us with better understanding.

I want to begin with a thank you. We were greatly encouraged and humbled by the response to the appeal letter we sent out in December. As a result of your generosity, our income for the month rose by a staggering seventy two per cent! Although we are grateful for your generous response in December we still have a long way to go before we are able to balance our budget. However, we are encouraged to know that, as we share our needs and opportunities, our wonderful family of supporters is willing to pray and to give so that we can tell Jewish people about Jesus.

In this Herald you will read a number of accounts of how our missionaries are busy telling Jewish people about Jesus You will also find tributes to Ray McCabe, for many years an exemplary missionary to the Jewish people and always a member of the CWI family. The void left in the lives of Ray’s family by his parting is immense, as it is in ours. Please hold Nel and the family in your prayers in the coming days.

I would like to share with you the values and vision I presented to our staff at the beginning of the year.

The Values    
When we gathered together in Oxford, I first spoke to the staff about the values which we, as a Society, are aspiring to in 2015. I hope these will be as much an encouragement to you as they are for us.

Focus: keeping the main thing the main thing.
Since the war in Gaza last year, the increase in anti-Semitic activities has been staggering. As a result, some Christians who are sensitive to the concerns of Jewish people might be tempted to shy away from sharing the gospel with them. Yet, CWI exists to share the gospel with Jewish people. We will seek to create opportunities to lovingly and sensitively share the good news of Messiah Jesus with Jewish people. Our focus, therefore, is to ensure we spend our time doing what we are supposed to be doing – sharing Jesus with Jewish people!

Courage: for such a time as this.
Mark Twain once wrote, ‘It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.’ It takes a very real moral courage to inform someone that they are in need of God’s salvation, especially when that person is Jewish and ideologically, culturally and religiously opposed to Jesus’ claim to be Messiah. Yet this year we intend to courageously but sensitively share the one name ‘under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12) Courage is about trusting that God will work through us as we do what he has called us to do.

Discipline: practice makes… better.
‘A disciple is not above his teacher,’ Jesus said, ‘but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher’ (Luke 6:40). In the practice of almost everything, it is only through doing that we learn. The more we play an instrument, the better we become; the same goes for sport, DIY repairs, etc. The same is also true of the work of an evangelist – the more we practice the art of sharing the gospel and answering objections, the more skilled we will become in sharing Jesus with others. That is why, this year, we have recommitted ourselves to focus on the work of evangelism with a view to seeing Jewish people become disciples of the Messiah Jesus – the more we do it, the more useful we will be to the Lord.

Perseverance: when the going gets tough.
In the difficult work of mission among the Jewish people, there is a need to remain faithful to God’s call. Over the years I have seen many missionaries to Jewish people grow weary and even somewhat anti-Semitic as they have sought to share the gospel with what often appears to be little resulting fruit. And yet we know that God is faithful and when we persevere in faith, trusting in his work, he will surely deliver those he has called, Jewish people included. It only takes a little reading to see that in the past the Lord has brought thousands of Jewish people to saving faith, and he continues to do that today. For example, it is immensely encouraging to compare the number of Jewish believers in Israel today with the number that existed when I first visited the land in 1984. The testimony of Jewish believers in Jesus is being heard throughout Israeli society today and CWI will persevere in unashamedly sharing the gospel with Jewish people.

Accountability: to each other and our CWI supporters Paul reminds us that each of us will give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:12). But if CWI is to inspire others and grow a community of believers committed to mission work among the Jewish people, accountability is vitally important now. Our reports and prayer requests in the Herald are essential and enable you to be involved in this work through your prayers, mission participation and giving. Perhaps you could encourage others in your church to read our publications and subscribe to the Herald? As we move forward, I want to be clear about our future mission strategies and goals so that you can pray and participate with us in sharing Jesus with Jewish people.

The Vision
After we had looked at the values we are aspiring to this year, I presented the strategy we will be putting in place over the next six to twelve months. That strategy involves mission work based around people, projects, and partnerships.

People: CWI has always worked to equip individuals and place them in the midst of Jewish communities to share the gospel. And we will continue to do so as we find gifted
individuals whom God is calling to serve as missionaries. But there are many other ways in which we can quickly make an impact with the gospel.

Projects: In my first seven months as CEO I have had the privilege of working closely with our Israel Field Director David Zadok and the ministry of HaGefen in Israel. I have attended a couple of their board meetings and met with a number of local evangelists. David and I are currently exploring ways in which we can expand HaGefen’s evangelistic work in Israel and we already have two or three projects that are in need of support, one of them being the development of a gospel ministry among Holocaust survivors. We will let you know more about these projects as information becomes available.

Partnerships: The work of a missionary to the Jewish people can often be lonely and discouraging, as I mentioned earlier. But CWI missionaries sometimes minister in areas where other Jewish missions operate, so I am keen to establish good partner relationships in locations where there are also others working among the Jewish people. With partnerships in mission we can also more easily expand our ministry opportunities. As an example, CWI has had a work in Budapest for many years and another mission, Jews for Jesus, is also working there. So in July of this year, CWI and Jews for Jesus will partner together in a joint evangelistic outreach to Budapest. Even better, you are invited to participate! Look for the advert in this issue of the Herald or on our website and keep an eye out for more opportunities to participate in future evangelistic projects.

This article was first published in the Spring Herald 2015

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