What is the link between St Andrews, YoYo and Jerusalem?
By Joanne Hastings
In terms of my UK background, I was located in York before coming to Israel. My church is a village church there, not far from the Archbishop’s palace, called St Andrew’s Church. Just before coming to Israel I was an intern youth and school’s worker with a Christian charity called York Schools and Youth Trust (YoYo for short), working in most of the schools of the city to help bring the Christian faith alive for students of all ages. I plan to stay in Israel as long as the Lord wants me here. Right now, it looks like this may be up to around August of this year, as I may continue my studies with the London School of Theology at the end of September. This is not confirmed yet as I am waiting to hear if I will be granted funding.
“I have been in Israel now just over a year and in that time have had the privilege of experiencing life as a volunteer at each of CMJ’s three centres here. I am currently at Christ Church. Volunteering in Jerusalem, in particular, has been on my heart ever since I first came to know CMJ six years ago when I spent a summer at Beit Immanuel through the influence of my brother-in-law, who volunteered with CMJ in the ’90s. Israel has quickly become one of my favourite places in the world to be. It is a place where I have found myself face to face with the heart of my Maker many times, as I explore the land and see the words of Scripture come alive in a new way. There are fantastic opportunities open here to those who come to volunteer with CMJ, to explore, to have fun, and to work hard in a team that enables sharing of the gospel and discipling of believers. Each centre’s team quickly becomes like family and the environments foster growth. Being in Israel has also opened doors of opportunity for me to share Scriptural truths about Israel at my church. Moreover, I am continually able to share about places of Biblical significance with my family and friends, bringing things to life for them with pictures. The times I have had in Israel over the last six years of my life, all but one of which have been with CMJ, have indelibly shaped me in the best way, bringing me closer to the Lord and to His body in a way I could never have imagined.”
I would be very grateful for prayer that the Lord would continue to draw me closer to Him, filling my mouth with His words and guiding my feet to walk in His paths, and that He would open the doors He would have me walk through before me, to bring glory to His name.
Be blessed! Joanne Hastings