After much prayer and petition of our God, we are excited to announce the planting of the Asheville Church, in Asheville North Carolina! In the Spring of 2011, we will send a team from the East Triangle Church to join the small group of brothers and sisters already living in the area, to strengthen and build upon the work that God has begun.
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am sending this letter to announce that this summer, Marie and I will be leaving Israel to relocate to the United States.
This decision comes after much prayer and advice from many people, and ultimately we feel that God is leading us in a new direction. We are excited for the new opportunities, although we feel great sadness to be leaving the churches in Israel and Palestine.
The last year and half has been very hard for our family and for the Church in the Holy Land. Because I am Palestinian, Marie has not been able to get residency in Israel, and for the last year and a half she has been denied even a visa to remain in the country. As a result of this situation, she has been unable to study, work or even leave the house in many cases. Despite the work of two lawyers and many friends trying to help us with this battle, we set our hearts to stay in Jerusalem. However, the Israeli Ministry of Interior has continued to block the residency application. This has affected Marie and I, and the Church as well. We feel convinced that God is leading us to the United States.
It is painful for us to step down from leading the Jerusalem Church of Christ, which we love and cherish with all our hearts. However, we are faithful that this decision will give the Jerusalem and Bethlehem churches new opportunities to grow and flourish.
I have been honored and humbled to serve as a minister for the Jerusalem Church for the last 7 years, and we will take away with us many great memories. We will continue to support the Jerusalem Church wherever we end up.
Please pray for my immigration; if it is God's will, we are planning to be in the States by September! We still don't know where God is taking us in the US, so please keep us in your prayers. Also, we want to send our deepest thanks to everyone who has been praying and supporting us throughout this long process.
With these things in mind, please know that the Jerusalem Church (which also oversees the Bethlehem Church of Christ) is in search of a new minister to move in and lead the church. We are also excited to announce that the new minister will be leading a mission team, which will be coming to support the church during this difficult transition.
Jerusalem Church of Christ
2000 years ago Jesus issued the Great Commission from the Mount of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem: "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). At that time, the call went out from Jerusalem. Today, however, we are putting forth the call for disciples to go to Jerusalem and preach the good news to the people of the Holy Land.