Welcome to the 2024 Missions Emphasis Days, our month of February, where we focus on a global cause and celebrate our 30 CLA missions partners. Our focus for Missions Emphasis is the land, people, and ministries of Israel. This direction was set months before the Gaza war and current events, but I see the sovereignty of God in it. These uncertain days of political upheaval, rocket fire and with the memory of the October 7th massacre and hostage taking – people are open to Christians as never before. This is a spiritual moment in history, and God is inviting CLA to play a role, praise God for His opportunities. May we rise to the challenge.
In the past CLA was catalytic to planting a permanent Gospel witness in the heart of Jerusalem. Our first guests from Israel, Wayne & Anne Hilsden will remind us of this great story. King of Kings Assembly is now one of the largest and most influential churches in the nation. Praise God. We celebrate the ongoing spiritual fruit of this past legacy. But we cannot simply remember the past. We must push forward with new moments of spiritual influence for the next generation.
Today we have an opportunity to further solidify the work of Christ in Israel for generations to come by helping FIRM (Fellowship of Related Ministries) also purchase property. Next week we will introduce Michael & Vanessa Mistretta who quarterback this ministry. It is a vital bridgehead bringing together the Christian churches, ministries, and outreaches to Israel in a beautiful way. It champions unity, coordinates followers of Christ, and deepens the expression of God’s love in the land of Jesus’ birth. They have a unique opportunity to purchase property in Jerusalem. Like the past, we need to help them lay down a stake for the decades to come.
Additionally, I am thrilled to report a new partnership will be announced this month (first one in five years). Ilya and Janet Bantseev will be introduced as new CLA global workers. You will be excited to hear about their work. In November we purchased a $70,000 van for them to carry out their ministry. You will hear how that van is being used and how it will continue to make an impact. We raised $41,814 for this project in the fall. This month we will raise the rest.
In February CLA Missions will launch a social media presence to allow our church to better follow and understand what our 30 partners are doing in ministry. Watch for it. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (now X).
Here is my ask for each individual or family. Can you help us with this important Israel project by contributing a single / significant offering to our Israel appeal? Would you pray about this? If each person does their part, we will be able to raise $300,000 for this legacy project. I believe this is “storing up treasure in heaven” and is excellent stewardship towards a vital and strategic mission. You can give here. Thank you!