Before the fall of the Shah’s regime in 1978, I was asked by the Israeli authorities to be ready to leave the country at a moment's notice, in case the political situation would get worse. I was an Israeli citizen, and thus potentially in danger if the regime were to become militantly islamic.
A few years earlier in the 1973 ‘Yom Kippur’ war between Israel and her neighbours, my uncle had lost his nephew in tragic circumstances. He had been declared "missing in action" since the first days of the war, and it was only many months after the war that we received the news that he had been killed in the Golan Heights in the first days of the war. This news devasted my uncle and aunt that they determined to do all that was possible to avoid my enlistment in the Israeli armed forces, which is mandatory in Israel.
Thus it was that at the age of 16 I ended up by myself halfway across the world in San Diego, California, enrolled in an international High School. I had relatives there, and one of my cousins had become a believer in Jesus. Through his testimony and that of faithful friends who persevered in teaching me from the Bible and encouraging me to study for myself, God took hold of me, and I was converted, and later baptized. After I finished high school, I continued into university and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in computers and business administration.
Upon graduation I traveled to Israel to rejoin the family and to take on my mandatory military duties. As I already had a degree and was older than than the average draftee, I was to serve in my profession rather than as a combat soldier. My uncle and aunt's wish was realized! Later I became an officer in the Israeli military and rose to the rank of Major. Though I intended to pursue a career in the military and retire with a pension at the age of 42, God had other plans for me. When my superior officers learned that I had been ordained an Elder in the church I attended, Grace & Truth Christian assembly, I was given the choice to either leave the military or resign my Eldership. My wife and I prayed and thought through the two choices but only one of the two made sense to us. I left the military! By God's grace I began to work the following week as a civilian, in the same base but with twice the salary.
As a civilian in the military I continued to work in various positions both as systems analyst and project manager. At the same time, I served in the church as Elder. In addition I was asked to be the chairman of the Israeli board of HaGefen Publishing. God in his goodness gave my wife and me many opportunities to serve Him.
On my second date with my wife-to-be I discussed two things with her. First, I outlined for her the five points of Calvinism. She had no idea what I was talking about! Secondly I told her that no matter how or when, I fully intended to one day study at the Westminster Seminary in California. In God’s sovereign timing , it was 11 years before my dream could be realized! But when the time came, we both resigned from our jobs, took our savings, packed up our two little girls and moved halfway across the world to study at Westminster Seminary in California.
While studying at the seminary, I had the privilege of serving as an intern in New Life Presbyterian church, the same church where I had been baptized almost two decades earlier. This training and practical experience prepared us for the work of the ministry in Israel. In May 2005 I graduated from Westminster and the Institute of the Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS) and prepared to return to Israel. It was clear to me that I would serve the Lord in a full time position, notwithstanding the pressure from my previous employers to return to my previous job. The door was opened to work with CWI in Israel, and in April 2005 I accepted the post of CWI Israel Field Director and director of HaGefen Publishing. I was already familiar with the work from the years I had served on the board, and it had long been near and dear to my heart. We believe that God has used all of our experiences over the past three years to prepare us for the task ahead. I will also continue to serve as an Elder of Grace and Truth congregation.
OnJuly 5th we left the USA to come back home to restart our lives and to begin the work of ministry to which God has called us. This time we arrived home with three children - during our stay in California the Lord had blessed us with a lovely little son whom we were now delighted to introduce to our family and our friends.
We are grateful for the three wonderful years that we had in the USA. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us as a family. And now we look forward to doing the work that the Lord has prepared for us among our people, and to serve in advancing the Kingdom of God among the people of Israel.