Christian Witness to Israel (CWI), one of the oldest missions bringing the good news of Jesus to Jewish people, has marked its 175th anniversary.
The special anniversary event, held at St Aldates in Oxford on 27 January, featured several of CWI’s international team of missionaries. These included Igal Vender, who works with Jewish homeless and drug addicts; and Aviel Sela, talking about his work with Holocaust survivors. They, and others, showed how their work is making a difference to the lives Jewish people.
Rev. Joseph Steinberg, chief executive of CWI, stated: ‘For more than 175 years we in Christian Witness to Israel have remained resolute in our single focus: to tell Jewish people about Jesus. Jewish people all over the world need Jesus and we are excited that God is continuing to transform Jewish lives by his power and love’.
The anniversary event also featured presentations by key figures from CWI’s past and present, including Mr Steinberg who provided an insight into CWI’s existing work and future aspirations.
Former chief executive John Ross gave an overview of CWI’s history, from its formation in 1842 and work during the Holocaust — including the ‘Houses of Refuge’ in Chislehurst that provided homes for Jewish evacuee children rescued through the Kinder-transport initiative — up to the present day.
He also spoke on CWI’s current work among Jewish people in Israel, France, Holland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the USA and the UK.
The anniversary event culminated with a special message on Jewish mission from Rev. Simon Ponsonby, pastor of theology at St Aldates, Oxford, and a celebration service to give thanks for God’s work in Jewish lives through CWI over the past 175 years.
According to CWI, there has been a ‘marked increase’ in the number of Jewish people being converted to Christ. Over the past two years, CWI’s international team of missionaries have reported 60 Jewish people coming to faith in Jesus, a significant increase over previous years.