Baptised in the bath

Aviel Sela, one of CWI's missionaries in Israel, was introduced to a Jewish believer who had asked for someone to share the gospel with her Aunt Bebe. Bebe wanted to speak to someone outside of the family about Jesus,

Bebe was born into a large Jewish family in a small town called Zhitomir in Ukraine in 1939. She was the youngest of seven children. When she was two years old the family fled Ukraine to escape the Nazis, however she became very ill on the journey and her spine began to rot. She survived but as a result started developing a hunch back.

After WWII Bebe and her family lived in impoverished conditions in a small one room apartment. She shared a bed with her brother for many years as her health problems grew worse. She faced much rejection as a child, but the worst came from her own father who would say in front of her: ‘It’s a shame that Bebe didn’t die on the journey when we fled the Nazis!’ He was always cursing at her which destroyed her confidence.

As Bebe grew older she learned to overcome the humiliation of her father’s verbal abuse and hard surroundings. Despite these factors, she completed her education and became a qualified engineer. She thought that if she was intelligent, people would respect and accept her. However, this didn’t satisfy her in the way she expected. Life’s frustrations and challenges resulted in bad decisions and deep regrets. She became pregnant out of wedlock, had an abortion and was left alone, with no husband or child.

In the 90s those in her family who survived the Holocaust, emigrated to Israel while she stayed in Ukraine. The loneliness became too much for her though, so in 1998 she travelled to Israel to join her brother in the hope that she could have some kind of normal family life. Sadly, he didn’t want any contact with her. Bebe once again found herself totally alone.

But this wasn’t the end of Bebe’s story. Her niece, a Jewish believer in Jesus, reached out to her and shared the gospel with her for the first time. For some reason Bebe didn’t want her niece to tell her more but asked her to find someone who could explain how she could be saved. By God’s grace, this wonderful privilege came to me.

I called Bebe and she told me that she was having dizzy spells and was very sick. I felt a real sense of urgency so shared the gospel with her.

I was overjoyed as she expressed her desire to receive the offer of forgiveness of sin through Jesus the Messiah. A few days later I visited her in her apartment. We had a wonderful time together following which I began visiting her weekly to study the Bible and, at her request, prepare her for baptism.

At the beginning of October, a pastor from Ashdod and I had the joy of baptising Bebe. Because of her physical limitations she couldn't leave her flat so we could not baptise her by immersion. Instead we had to pour water over her head in her bathroom using a saucepan. How beautiful!

All her life, for various reasons Bebe had faced rejection at every turn but finally she found acceptance with God and redemption through Jesus.


Saved from Suicide

CWI missionary in Israel, Igal Vender, was recently out sharing the gospel on the streets of Tel Aviv. There he met Alan, a depressed man in his late forties who, that very day, was planning on taking his own life..

Alan was divorced and the father of a 14-year-old son. He had emigrated to Israel 15 years previously and initially found work as a crane operator. Sadly, the construction company he worked for went bankrupt and he was left unemployed. For the next two years he was unable to find work anywhere. During this time, Alan turned to drink and five years ago his wife had enough of his drinking and divorced him. This resulted in him becoming homeless and living on the streets of Tel Aviv. Alan began stealing to pay for his alcohol addiction and eventually spent a year and a half in prison for theft.

I shared my testimony with Alan but he struggled to believe that Jesus had freed me from my old life. He thought I was making it up until I showed him some old photos of myself and even then he could hardly believe the changes Jesus had made in my life.
I read John 1:1-5 to him, explaining that those who turn to Jesus can have their lives turned from darkness to light. I reasoned with him: ‘If Jesus was able to change me, then surely he is able to change you too.’

Alan looked shocked and told me he couldn’t believe we were having this conversation. He told me that he had woken up that morning with thoughts of suicide. He had decided that if he didn’t meet someone that day who could help him, he was going to hang himself in the evening!

Equally shocked, I explained that our meeting was obviously God at work in his life. This was clearly a divine intervention, arranged so Alan could hear about God's love for us in Jesus.
That same day I took Alan off the streets and to my congregation’s rehabilitation house where I volunteer. My wife Milana bought new clothes for him while I took him to get washed and shaved. As he put his new clothes on, he looked up and began weeping.

I asked him why he was crying and he said it had been so long since anyone had showed him such love and he felt overwhelmed. I told him that we did this in the name of Jesus. He had loved us first and called us to love those whom we were once like.

Two months into his stay at the rehab centre, Alan was back on his feet again and working in a restaurant kitchen. It was amazing to see the change that the Lord had worked in Alan’s life. Since the time we first opened the Scriptures together, Alan had been enthusiastically devouring God’s Word.

On the first day of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, Alan came to me and said something that profoundly touched my heart. He said that he had lived for too long in the tabernacle (tent) that he had built for himself and wanted to leave it behind. He told me: ‘Igal, Jesus is changing me from day to day and I want to follow him.’

Praise God! Together with the pastor of my congregation, we prayed as Alan professed faith in Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.


Proclaiming peace in Paris

Thank you to all who prayed for and supported our Paris summer outreach team in August!

Over the course of the outreach over 25,000 gospel leaflets were distributed, hundreds of conversations about the Messiah took place and twenty four Jewish people gave us their contact details so that our missionary in Paris, Aurel Vidal, and his team of local volunteers could follow them up and tell them more about Jesus. Many Gentiles also stopped to talk, including one tourist who professed faith in Jesus having heard the Good News from our team.

While we had a core team of 17 missionaries, mission associates and international volunteers, a large group of local volunteers meant that the team actually numbered over 80 people. Every day we had around 25-30 people out on the streets sharing Jesus with Jewish people and anyone else who would stop to listen.

The September issue of The Herald features more reports and pictures from the outreach. If you want to hear more news about how God was at work through our team in Paris click here to sign up to receive it by email.





God’s perfect timing

Even when we think that we are running late, we can never be late for one of God's divine appointments. This was the case when CWI's Director of Ministry Richard Gibson met Natan and Lev on the Paris underground.

I was running late on the way to an outreach location with another team member when Natan leaned over the train aisle, pointed at our shirts and asked what they were all about. I explained we were in Paris to tell Jewish people about the Peacemaker and, guessing Natan was Israeli, asked if he could read what was on our shirts. Natan read out 'MiHu' and we started speaking in Hebrew.

I reasoned with Natan that as God created all humanity in his image, then there must be a single solution to the mess the world is in. This solution is the same for Jewish people and for Gentiles, whether they be Israelis, Arabs, Christians, Muslims or Orthodox Jews. I shared that we were in Paris to tell people that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world.

Natan had never read the New Testament but was very keen to take a Hebrew language version, promising that he was serious and wanted to read it. He then asked me to repeat everything I had just told him to his Jewish French-Algerian friend Lev, who didn’t speak Hebrew! Shortly afterwards, Lev gave me his phone number and said he'd be happy for Aurel Vidal, our missionary in Paris, to visit him and tell him more about Jesus in French. Natan also gave the team his contact details but was on his way to the airport to fly back to Israel later that day.
Please pray for Natan as Igal Vender meets with him in Israel and pray for Aurel Vidal as he gets in touch with Lev to tell him more about the Saviour.




Three former addicts baptised in the Jordan

At the beginning of the year Kyle, a homeless Jewish addict, approached Igal Vender on the street asking for money for food. When Igal told him he had Good News to share and instead invited him for a meal at a local café, neither imagined where it would lead…

Kyle wanted to know why I would bother trying to help a homeless man like him. I explained that it was because of the One who lives in me and who transformed my own life – Jesus! I shared my testimony with Kyle before we opened the Scriptures and ate together. Kyle listened carefully to what I was saying before I prayed for him and we went our separate ways.

When I got home, my wife Milana and I committed to praying regularly for Kyle, not knowing if I would ever see him again. Two weeks later however, as I was walking down the street, a man approached me and asked how I was - it was Kyle!

This time round Kyle opened up about his own life. He is a 41 year old Russian Jewish divorcée who emigrated to Israel 15 years ago. In Russia he had a responsible job as a chief engineer but when he arrived in Israel the only job he could get as a non-Hebrew speaking immigrant was sweeping the streets. His inability to find a good job caused depression and he turned to drink. When his wife divorced him eight years ago, he began living on the streets. At this point in his life he stopped heavy drinking but turned to hard drugs and spent three years in prison. Kyle opened his heart to me, weeping as he recounted his life story. I gave him a big hug, told him that God cares for him and how Jesus could change his life.

Kyle told me that he didn’t trust people but when we first met he could sense there was something different about me. He also said that when I prayed for him he was overwhelmed by a sense of peace – something he had not felt for a long time! I offered him a place at the rehab centre I volunteer in and he gratefully accepted the invitation.

A month later we were studying the book of Ephesians at the rehab. When we finished Kyle approached me, declared that he believed Jesus had died for his sins and told me he wanted to repent and ask Jesus to be Lord of his life! Here was the answer to months of prayer right before my eyes. We prayed together as the other men in the rehab centre watched on.

Around the same time, two other men in the house also professed faith in Jesus. Over the months that followed, Kyle, Cyril and Greg grew in their faith as we studied the Scriptures together and they began serving in the rehab as well as in our church. Praise God, they even began joining us reaching out to other homeless people and addicts on the streets of Tel Aviv, sharing the Good News of Jesus the Messiah and the way he had transformed their lives. In June, following baptismal classes, we travelled to the River Jordan to the place where John the Baptist was baptising Jewish people two thousand years ago. There all three were baptised! Please pray for these three men as they continue to grow in the Lord and as they reach out to others around them.


October CWI missionary tours
Bookings now being taken


More Jewish people than ever are discovering Jesus as their Messiah. Lives are being changed as the gospel is being shared!

The story of Jewish people coming to faith in Jesus will bless, encourage and inspire your church. Don't miss the opportunity to have a CWI missionary visit to share this good news with your church! CWI missionaries will be visiting churches in the UK in October and November.

The following CWI missionaries will be visiting churches in England and Wales in October and November:

North-West of England
6th - 21st October
Igal Vender (Israel)

South of England
14th – 21st October
Aurel Vidal – (France)

14th-24th October
Bogi Kozma (Hungary)

Northern Ireland
2nd – 14th November
Asaf Pelled (Holland) and Aviel Sela (Israel)

CWI Director of Ministry Richard Gibson is available for meetings in the North of England, Grace Lan for meetings in Scotland, and Philip Amos and Andreea Prismon are available for meetings around London and the South East on an ongoing basis.


How to book a speaker...

If you would like a CWI missionary to visit your church or group please contact our Speaker Specialist, Helen Thompson, on 01865 887830 or by email to to arrange a meeting.

The Autumn meetings are filling up so please get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!




Celebrating 175 years! - DVD Now Available



A big thank you to everyone who joined us to commemorate our 175th Anniversary in Oxford at the end of January!

It was an amazing day of celebration and fellowship, and a wonderful time of thanksgiving for God's goodness to CWI over nearly two centuries.

The day kicked off with CWI's CEO Rev Joseph Steinberg delivering a passionate message on the opportunities and challenges facing CWI, highlighting the importance of continuing to do the one thing the mission was set up to do - telling Jewish people about Jesus.

The DVD of the event is now available to purchase from our Head Office for £10 +P&P. If you would like to buy a copy please contact us by email to or by calling us on 01865 887830.

Click here to read more and see photos from the Anniversary event…





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