Stephen’s Gate Ministry (SGM) was established in 1989 by a pastor working in the Holy Land. His goal was to reach the local population using mass media. Today, Stephen’s Gate Ministry operates media, teaching, and community outreach ministries that share Christ and strengthen the Church to impact society with the love of Christ. With no political or denominational affiliation, SGM serves churches and individuals from all backgrounds.
The Christian media materials that SGM distributes have helped Christians grow in their faith and have also impacted the lives of people outside the Christian community. One girl came to learn about Jesus because of the materials received from SGM. Her mother was strongly opposed to the girl’s interest in Christianity, but she continued in her search for truth. One day, the girl’s mother developed a serious medical problem. The girl woke up one night after having a dream that Jesus put his hand on her mother’s leg and healed her. She got out of bed and to her surprise found her mother walking around. The girl asked what had happened.
She said, “Jesus has healed me.”
Media Outreach, SGM Israel
Visiting Poor, Elderly, Orphans, SGM
People in the West Bank and Gaza suffer from poverty, sickness, and hopelessness. Because of the current conflict and political issues, most of these people are forgotten; nobody visits or helps them. Even the aid organizations sometimes cannot reach them. “We visit houses which look like caves,” said Brother Karam. “We see families with ten or more members that live in one room, and we meet sick people that do not have the ability to visit a doctor. We see sad people, each one living with his own story and his own problems, probably without any hope for the future for they think that their future is the same as their past and present. Our mission is to give these people hope and tell them that tomorrow can be better if they decide to live with Jesus.”
SGM’s relief team goes out each week in the West Bank and Gaza to look for and visit these families in their homes. They pray for them, tell them about Jesus, and give them food packages, medicine, and other necessites. Many people have accepted Jesus through this outreach. The relief team stays in touch with most of the families, praying for them and helping them as needed. In 2011, SGM hopes to visit 80 families per month and increase that number to 100 per month in 2012. Your gifts will be used for transportation and staff expenses as well as food, medicine, diapers, clothes, shampoo, towels, and many other basic necessities based on each family’s most urgent needs.
Evangelistic Discipleship Tours, SGM
Across the Arab world, Muslims have been taught that Islam is the true, last message from God to mankind, that Mohammed is his last true messenger, that Christians and Jews are infidels, and that the Bible has been corrupted. Visiting and learning about the Holy Land and its biblical sites are evangelistic opportunities to reach Muslims, change their minds about the Bible, and point them to the Savior.
SGM has been leading these “evangelistic tours” for two years. The results have been beyond expectations. Some have given their lives to Christ. Some have moved from hating Christians and the Bible to seeing a different side of Christianity. Others, particularly nominal Christians, have come to realize through the archeology lessons that their forefathers were disciples of Christ, giving them a new understanding of their Christian heritage.
Those participating in the tours are from many areas including Gaza, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jericho. Both Palestinian and Israeli Arabs participate. In 2010, approximately 1,000 people participated in these one-day trips, of which 30-40% were Muslims. In the coming year, SGM hopes to conduct 40 evangelistic tours, exposing 1,000 people to an explanation of the biblical significance of historical sites and sharing with them about the life and work of Christ.
In the coming year, SGM hopes to conduct 52 evangelistic tours, exposing more than 1,500 people to an explanation of the biblical significance of historical sites and sharing with them about the life and work of Christ. Twelve of these trips are discipleship trips specifically for youth. Getting Muslim youth away from their families to a place where they can open their minds, consider for themselves the validity of the Bible, and hear stories about Jesus is a very powerful experience. The average cost for one group tour is $2,175. By giving toward this project, you can provide a life-transforming encounter with Christ to a Muslim or nominal Christian in the Holy Land.
Ministry Office Building, SGM
Jerusalem is divided into two parts: the Jewish part and the Arab part. SGM is primarily focused on ministry to the Arab side of the city where the majority of the city’s Muslims live. However, the SGM office is located in the portion of Jerusalem controlled by Israel, and the team travels all throughout the area to serve the Arabs in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The separation between the people of Israel and Palestine is growing all the time. Checkpoints make even the simplest trips time-consuming and difficult. The West Bank is surrounded by a high wall that was built after the second intifada. Commuting between some places is simply not possible for some SGM team members or volunteers. For example, SGM has one staff member in Bethlehem who cannot go to Jerusalem. Transporting people and materials from their main office to the West Bank is getting harder all the time. SGM’s ministry requires ease of transportation to distribute media, visit the poor, and to carry out the discipleship tours. Because of this challenge, SGM hopes to establish an office in the West Bank to be the headquarters for its work in the Palestinian areas. SGM feels that now is a strategic time to register an organization and purchase an office in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority, being a new government, is busy building the country and trying to mark the borders with Israel. For now, they are not focused on Christian activities. The Arab Spring has added to the contentious political and religious climate in the Holy Land, thus the team hopes to move quickly while the doors are still open.
In addition to serving as an office and headquarters, the new site will house a film and recording studio, a gathering room for discipleship, a duplication center for the media ministry, and a storehouse for relief items.
SGM has already raised $50,000 toward the project. Partners hopes to contribute toward the remaining need.