A Trip to Israel

Published on 08/07/17

Sent out July 24, 2017

Dear Partners in Ministry,

Why Israel?

As you know, we (Deb and I and our supporters) are endeavoring to join our God in a global and urban church planting movement. That is to say, we hope to minister to the 10 main civilizations in strategic urban centers globally in order to minister the gospel to the world outside of those centers. At the top of the list of global civilizations is, of course, the Jewish civilization. This is why I was pleased for the opportunity to travel to Israel in March of this year. While there, I was able to watch two of my children run in the Jerusalem Marathon, sip coffee in the cafes of Jerusalem, walk completely around the walls of old city Jerusalem, and travel to Palestine to visit Sami and Firial Barham, missionaries with Baptist Mid-Missions.

Arriving Early

Having a son who works for an airline, Deb and I are able to fly cheaply. However, doing so means that our flying dates must be flexible. As a result of this, I arrived in Jerusalem several days before any of my scheduled events. This allowed me walk the city of Jerusalem and get a non-pressurized sense of the city and its people.


What a Race!

One of the original reasons to travel to Jerusalem was for me to run in the Jerusalem Marathon—chronically sore feet prevented this from happening. However, my son, Rob, and daughter, Linda, did run the race, and I was pretty excited and proud to see them round the bend and head for the finish line.


The Walls of Jerusalem

While Rob and Linda stayed in a hostel inside the Old City, I stayed several blocks away in another hostel. Together we toured the Old City, the Wailing Wall, and in fact, ended up walking all the way around the walls of the Old City.


A Trip to Palestine

A highlight of the trip was traveling to Palestine to visit and learn from missionary Sami Barham. Sami and his wife, Firial, are endeavoring to make Christ known where few indeed know Him. I have heard some express skepticism that a Christian work could even exist where this dedicated family labor. Sami is certainly not backing away from the task. Actually, it is his desire to establish a Baptist civilization in northern Palestine (a Christian church which ministers to the whole community, covering the full diversity of the city’s needs). Sami and I also had long, serious discussions about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict—he gave me much to think about.


Dear Father, Please give Sami and Firial strength and victory. Please help them establish a place for your name, where your name is abused. It is in Jesus name that we pray. Amen

Being with Sami and Firial and visiting and walking Jerusalem will help us minister the Great Commission to Jewish and Palestinian communities. Recently, back home in Boston, I met a man who was reading a book in Hebrew. I was able to immediately engage him in conversation about Israel/Palestine and his worldview, which rejected terrorism, but had no basis for doing so (if no God, then no basic for morality). Deb and I have befriended this Jewish man, and we are planning to have him in our home for dinner and a deep conversation.

This is Great Commission ministry.

Pray for us,

Bill and Deb

Praise & Prayer

Thankful for a life of ministry

1. Deb and I are very thankful for our co-workers, Toby and Susan Stevens. Toby is now our pastor, even while I remain a mentor of his—an interesting relationship.

2. We are looking forward to a year of reporting to our supporters and raising new support. This will also allow us to spend additional time with Deb’s parents in Iowa.

3. An IBC member recently commented that we have exceptional interns this year. Actually, we have had many excellent interns. We are very thankful to God for His provision.

4. We are indeed thankful for a very busy and productive trip to China.

5. God continues to teach us and equip us for more effective ministry. We love our God and are thankful for the privilege we have of serving Him.

Support Needs

Monthly Support We need more than $1,000.00 a month of new support. Since the IBC has called a new pastor, they have ceased to support Deb and me. Also, we will need more money for ministry expenses (the IBC paid a large portion of this). In order to care for this need, we will be reporting back to our supporting churches throughout this coming fall and next spring. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a meeting this fall or in the spring of 2018.

There is obviously room for new supporters to join us in this blessed ministry. Would you consider getting the word out to any Great Commission Christians who might be interested in joining our financial team?

Actually, we are not alarmed about our lack of support. Having experienced God’s provision for 40 years, we, with excitement, look for His provision.