The over two years of living and ministering in the land of the Hebrew prophets, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the early church and 19th-century Protestant pioneer missionaries also served as a self-imposed and self-funded sabbatical.
But first . . .
|Israel Nature and Parks Authority|
The year 2009 marked the ministry's 200th anniversary, as well as the publication of Kelvin Crombie's Restoring Israel: 200 Years of the CMJ Story.
|Christ Church Jerusalem|
Church of England (Anglican)
To view a 10-minute video highlighting the history and current work of CMJ and entitled "Grafted Branches" (per Romans 11:24)," click here.
Completed in 1849 by CMJ, Christ Church in Old City Jerusalem is the oldest Protestant church in the Middle East. The Jewish symbols and Hebrew texts found in the church are reminders that the Christian faith is built upon the foundation of God's promises to the Hebrew patriarchs and prophets, and that His covenant purposes for Israel have not been canceled (Romans 11).
Christ Church is a founding member of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (est. June 2008).
In exchange for free housing, food, educational opportunities and a periodic group outing, I volunteered 40-hours per week as a front desk receptionist at the CMJ-owned and operated Christ Church Guest House.
A team of 10-15 international volunteers worked alongside paid local staff at the 30-room guest house. The paid local staff consisted of Arab, Jewish and Russian believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Currently, the guest house is #6 of the 48 B&B's/Inns in Jerusalem ranked on TripAdvisor.com.
|Voice in the Wilderness|
It is supported by, among others, Action International Ministries, Heart Cry Missionary Society and Zion's Hope Ministries.
Contact VIW if divinely led to volunteer or give financially.
|Volunteers for Israel,|
U.S. affiliate of Sar-El
It was volunteering on an IDF Army base on my third "tour of duty" with Sar-El that I celebrated my 40th birthday.
The 5-day, 40-hour work week (Sunday-Thursday) was mainly in the logistical, maintaining, catering, supply and medical services.
Last year (2010), 3,367 volunteered, with the most being from France (1,098) and the U.S. (1,045), and with 559 being non-Jewish (mostly Evangelical Protestant Christians), and with most being under the age of 25 (1,655).
Volunteers For Israel is the U.S.-based non-profit organization responsible for recruiting Americans to Sar-El. VFI seeks to "promote solidarity and goodwill among Israelis, American Jews and other friends of Israel."
|Francis Kyle on IDF Army base in the Negev Desert, 1 of 3 bases|
served on (non-combat) during 10 cumulative weeks (2009, 2011)
Most of the hosts lived in rural areas (my favorite) and hosted me for 2-3 nights. All except one wife were secular/non-religious Jews (along with her husband, they were "illegal" settlers in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank), and all except one couple were over age 55.
|Servas host in Ramat Gan, Israel, near Tel Aviv|
Overnight lodging with the host is free though it is up to the host whether or not he/she/they have the time, energy and interest to accept a request for hosting.
Though not required, many hosts also fed me and gave me a tour of area sites.
Or, for those with space and a heart for people, become a host. (Travelers are not required to reciprocate and become hosts.)
Whether as a traveler or host--and though Servas is a non-religious organization--opportunities abound to be an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
|Servas hosts in Arad, Israel|