Jennifer and Kevin Cable, Israel/Palestine
Working to re-open the historic Anglican church in Jaffa and strengthen the presence of Christ in the Middle East.
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The Middle East has seen a rapid decline in the number of Christians in recent years. Yet in Jaffa, St Peter’s Church is ready to be reborn, for resurrection to take place in a building whose doors have been closed for over 70 years, and for the gospel to be lived and shared in word and action. We know this vision will be challenging, but we trust that God will provide and we long to see the church in Jaffa, the launching point for Peter’s mission to the Gentiles, once again experience a new beginning.
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Jennifer and Kevin’s story
St Peter’s Anglican Church in Jaffa has been closed since the Arab–Israeli War of 1948, lying damaged and disused. We have been invited by the Diocese of Jerusalem to reopen and lead it. Both locals and the expatriate community have been increasingly calling for an Anglican presence and worshipping community.
Jaffa is a place of great biblical significance. It is the historic Joppa: the place from which Jonah attempted to sail to Tarshish, the port where the cedars of Lebanon arrived to build the temple in Jerusalem, and the place Peter received his vision to go and preach to the Gentiles. Situated near the historic port, the church is ideally placed to be a witness to Christ in the cosmopolitan community that makes up modern Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
Archbishop Suheil in Jerusalem (whose father served at St Peter’s until its closure) and the diocese have been working towards and praying for many years for the church to reopen. Our part in the journey at St Peter’s began when exploring sabbatical opportunities while in Israel in 2019, but our call to ministry in Israel developed over a long period of time prior to this. We have sensed God confirming that call every step of the way.
Kevin has been an ordained priest of the Church of England for 11 years, and was formerly a police officer. He speaks Modern Hebrew (though it does require improvement!). Jen has been a nurse for over 30 years, and has spent much of her working life working in practice nursing. She has been active in church all her life, after coming to faith as a teenager. Jen brings the experience of working in the secular world and as a vicar’s wife.
We believe God will use our experiences to provide a solid platform on which to build the church in Jaffa. We feel honoured and humbled to have been called to work with CMS in re-opening this church, which will re-energise and encourage the Christian community in Jaffa and beyond.
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