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Tur'an Update - November 2022

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

Please find the latest update from Pastor Ziad and our twin church, Tur'an Baptist Church, in Israel.

Dear Friends,

I hope this email finds you well. Two days ago, on November 19, I had my 44th birthday. I thank God for a blessed year. Despite all of the challenges we faced I can stand now and give God praise for all that he has done and given to the church, my family, and myself. I am reminded of the verse from Psalm 65:11,

"You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance."

I am happy to share a quick update about what God has been doing in Tur'an. Also, as the season of giving approaches, I wanted to give an update regarding the building project.

The Kids and Youth Ministry

This autumn after the Summer camp we thought that we wanted to restart our weekly children's ministry. Most of the children are from preschool to 3rd grade and are not a part of families that attend our church. Their parents love to send their kids because they know that their kids are safe here, will receive good Christian teaching, and they respect us. We have this meeting every Tuesday for one hour. Randa is the one who does the planning and the teaching for the class each week. It is hard work, especially with the lack of volunteers from the church, but we have already been able to see the fruitfulness of this ministry. Already, around 25-35 come each week.

Wednesday from five to seven in the evening is our meeting for 6th - 9th graders. This meeting, in the end, turned out to consist mostly of 5th and 6th graders from the kid's camp. Still, the ones who come each week have been enjoying their time and learning from the Bible. Josh and Michael have done a great job leading this with Emil and some other young adults who are helping them. This age group is not used to sitting and listening to teaching, so discipline and respect have been a challenge. Still there are around 20 coming and we are glad they want to come.

Young Adult and Adult Meeting

Fridays from 6-8pm; our meeting for young adults has been going steadily. Everyone loves to use the new downstairs room. It allows for a more intimate setting for worship and a dedicated space to sit around the tables and study God's Word. The teaching has been about prayer, forgiveness, and how to study the Bible. Next year we plan to start a study on the Gospel According to John. The groups averages 12-15 each week.

For the Saturday church service we are beginning to see people return after the Summer. God has been leading us through a series on teaching about the role and work of the Holy Spirit. We began the series with the theme from Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts." Your continued prayers are appreciated for all of these meetings, that we would continue to be faithful in making disciples and fellowshipping with one another.

Baptizing Matta and Michel

This past summer was amazing in the life of my son Matta. He experienced many new things in his relationship with God. With our encouragement, he decided that he wanted to follow Christ in baptism. On October 29, it was my privilege as a father to baptize Matta. Michel was also baptized. He is a recent convert who has been attending our church since the pandemic. He has a great love for the Lord and a passion to learn God's word. Please pray for Matta and Michel to be stable in their faith, stand strong against the world/Satan, and commit themselves to their calling.

Church Building Project

I recently shared the church building project with everyone, and asked each one to pray about supporting. At the time of sending that message our thinking was to begin the project at the end of summer. We ran into some delays. Different companies gave us quotes, and we are still looking for the right company to take on this project at a fair price. Still, the cheapest quote we received for the first phase of the project will likely cost more than the estimate that the engineer originally gave us. The original thought was a total of 500,000 shekels (£120k) for the first phase, but the companies are saying it would be as much as 600,000 - 700,000 shekels (£145k-170k).

During this time, the municipality and Catholic Church came to us with a request to have the Christmas Market in our parking lot like we did a couple of years ago. As a church, we saw this as an opportunity for outreach and to be a witness in the village. So we thought with the project delays and this opportunity to host the Christmas Market, that it would be good to begin the project in January of 2023. Please pray that God would help us to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to many of our neighbours at the Christmas Market. Please pray that God would give us wisdom and provision for the Church Building Project.

As the end of the year approaches and many of you consider where would like to give. We would like to ask you to prayerfully consider partnering with the Lord's work here in Tur'an by giving toward this building project. Our goal is to raise 200,000 shekels (~£50k) before the end of the year. This may seem like a big number, but we know we serve a much bigger God. Thank you for your prayers and support.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving time and/or a blessed start to the Christmas season. May God bless you, your families, and the ministries he has called you too.


Ziad Farraj

Pastor at Tur'an Baptist Church, Israel


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