Reflections from Our Israel Tour: Arab and Jewish Brothers Together in Ministry

Contrary to popular belief, Jews and Arabs coexist peacefully in many settings in Israel. Those on our recently-completed Israel tour witnessed that firsthand in several ways, but never more impacting than a stop we made in Nazareth.

Known Biblically as Jesus’ boyhood home, Nazareth is predominately Arab today. There, we stopped to visit Pastor Saleem Shalash, an Israeli Arab Christian whose ministry is worldwide, but also very local. He pastors Home of Jesus the King Church, a congregation whose acts of service bless Jews, Arabs, immigrants, Holocaust survivors and anyone else in need. They also boldly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ at Christmas and throughout the year.

It is always inspiring to share time with Pastor Saleem, but this was no ordinary meeting. Pastor Saleem was joined by a dear brother in Christ, Pastor Israel Pochtar, a Messianic Jewish pastor from Ashdod (about 2 hours away)! At times, Pastors Saleem and Israel minister together, and each has shared the pulpit in one another’s respective Arab and Messianic Jewish churches. On this day, we were blessed to have them both in one place!

A few days following our visit to Home of Jesus the King Church, Pastor Saleem traveled to Dubai UAE for a ministry conference and who accompanied him? Pastor Israel! Can you imagine a Jewish pastor in the heart of an Arab country, sharing the love of Jesus with a Christian Arab brother? What a fantastic witness to the unity of the body of Christ when brothers dwell together in harmony! Check out their onsite report from Dubai:

Simply amazing! The Lord is doing miraculous things through these men of God!

But that’s not all! While in Israel, we also met Pastor Zayid Bouranni, a Palestinian pastor in Bethlehem who also has a dynamic ministry. All three of these men (along with others) are sharing the love of Jesus in Israel and the Middle East! To meet them personally, to hear of their ministries, and to pray with them was truly inspirational. The work of the Kingdom of God is going forth in mighty ways. Please pray for these men, their families and their ministries.

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