"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could start some churches in Israel?" I thought, as I looked across Jerusalem. How do you open that door? What would it take? "Lord, is that your plan?"
A few months later I was in a meeting in Indianapolis and a co-worker took me aside. He told me that in an inter-denominational mission meeting he had met a man with a friend who lived in Israel. This friend was interested in planting churches, but didn't know how. He also needed supervision to get started. Did we have anyone in the area who might give that oversight?
Contact information was exchanged and as I was to be in Jordan shortly thereafter. I contacted the person in Israel, and Pastor Nabil and I planned a meeting. A pastor living in Jordan took us across the Jordan River into Israel in his car and we met Pastor Nabil and his family. We were impressed with them immediately, especially after Pastor Nabil handed us a printed sheet outlining his vision. It was so identical to ours, we knew the Lord was "opening that door!"
Pastor Nabil was born and reared in Nazareth, running the same streets as a child that Jesus had. He had a heart for people and a deep desire to "Bring Jesus back to Galilee"(his words). He holds two degrees from Asbury Theological Seminary. Within a matter of months he was officially serving under the direction of Impact Middle East. In a year he had chosen five "disciples" and he and they had been trained in Community Church Planting. After 18 months eleven home fellowship groups had been established in Galilee, mostly in the Nazareth area. This ministry is primarily targeting Israeli Arabs, of which there are thousands in Galilee. Each week over 100 people are meeting in these home groups.
Jesus is coming "home" to Nazareth in the hearts of many new believers in Jesus.