007 – Enter through the narrow gate

Shalom from Jerusalem,

We thought we would ‘mix things up a abit’ and I (Maddy) would do the video this week. How has life been for me with the 3 kids, Isabelle, Lucy and Reuben?  I could answer that question in so many ways; Exciting, Intense, Scary (at times), Over-whelming, fun!, Different….
To sum it up it has been hard but good 🙂

We have been busy settling in. Learning the ropes of taking the Light Rail and buses everywhere with 3 kids in tow, finding our way around the neighborhoods parks and shops and of course meeting new people and making friends. The girls now confidently belt out a “Shalom” (hello) to passerby’s and “Toda” (Thank you) to shop-keepers and taxi-drivers. So the language is slowly getting learnt too which is fun.

The reality of living in Jerusalem, a HOT-SPOT for spiritual warfare, has made me up my game on prayer! It is such an important part of what we are doing here, and when it comes to parenting 3 little ones we need all the help we can get right?!  We truly appreciate all of your prayers, they make such a difference.

I really love this verse in the Bible:

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The days that I take the time to Pray and commit my worries to God, whether its a quick prayer over James as he heads out the door to work, or a prayer for Help and extra patience with the kids as I wake tired from a restless night with Reuben, those days….feel DO-able! and more peaceful and organised.

Prayer is like the magic password into a better, happier day! Do it!

So yes, settling in has had its ups and downs but the one thing that has kept us going, kept us motivated and excited to be here in this Land, is knowing that we are on the path that God has set before us.  Matthew 7:14 says “ For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to LIFE, and there are few who find it.” I am feeling the pinch of the super narrow road at the moment, but it leads to life and that makes every tough step worth it!

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading!


006 Galilee

Shalom from Jerusalem,

There can be up to 70 staff serving with Bridges for Peace at one time here in Israel. Many of these service roles are administrative and office bound as they coordinate efforts in Israel and around the globe. Because of the office bound nature of some of these positions an effort is made to get volunteers on an outing once a month where they may serve the community. I (James) was honoured to be invited to join a mixed age group of men for a one night stay over in Galilee!

Watch the video!

005 Memories


Shalom from Jerusalem.


There is a saying here:

“There are no young Jews, every Jew is 3000 years old”


What does this mean? – Watch the video to find out!


The jewish people are extremely deliberate with their culture & faith education system. Their attendance to thoroughly and religiously observing biblical feasts, laws and commands is to be commended.


The way their faith is practiced in a family setting facilitates the learning of every generation in a household as a normal and enjoyable part of everyday life.


The Jewish people can be great storytellers. And storytelling is a fun family part of meal times, especially friday night shabbat.


As Christians we need to know that the stories they put some of the greatest emphasis on are those of their greatest persecutions.


To name a few;

1 Hayman in the book of Esther

2 The Spanish inquisition

4 The English crusades.

  1. Hitler & the Holocaust


Jesus commands us to Love one another. As I have loved you so you MUST love one another…


If you tell a Jewish person you love them. You get this response “don’t tell me you love me, if you don’t know what causes me pain” – they are looking for a relationship, a real, true and meaningful love.

You see the unpleasant historical records that most christians have conveniently forgotten, or choose not to uncover or speak about, are the same stories strategically passed on to every jewish generation as a warning, a warning from previous experience.


Most of you will be well aware that Maddy and I have been lead by God, to Israel, for a season of volunteer service with the Bridges for Peace organisation.


Bridges for Peace is Christians serving Jewish people here in Israel. Through the food bank and the tonnes of food that is delivered each week to homes in need, through free home maintenance services, children support and free school supplies, to name a few. The jewish people that bridges for peace encounters experience genuine and impacting expressions of love, with no strings attached. What do we as christians get out of it? Through time and dedication, we hope to begin to heal the wounds left so tender and exposed by vivid memories of a horrific history of persecution.


004 – Walk around Zion. Psalm 48



Shalom from Jerusalem!

For those of you who aren’t video watchers, here is a brief summary of the content;
James took Izzy and Lucy to the Shuk (or market) on Sunday morning for a bit of a look around. We picked up some strawberries the size of small apples, Lucy was happiness filled.


A big thanks for your prayers and support, this really makes a difference! When you pray its like sustenance, like light to our path.


Trying to process thoughts and information down to a small bit of writing or video is really hard there is so much going on, and so much information we want to share.


Our goal has been to get this video out early week as we work on making it a regular post.

It is important to us that we hear and deliver on what God wants us to say. Trying to quieten the mind and hear what Gods saying is really challenging at present.
What stands out at present is a really cool part of Psalm 48. Verse 12 & 13 are a command to walk around Zion, that is Jerusalem, and consider her ramparts, view her citadels. That is consider her walls, and view her fortresses & towers. These walls have so many stories to go with them, where do you begin?

We begin, by starting a season of living here, Zion, and serving Gods people, the Jewish Nation. No doubt over the coming months we will discover more intimately some of the stories and perhaps even make some of our own.

Until next week…

003 – Arrived in Jerusalem



Hello everyone, Shalom from Israel!

For those of you who aren’t video watchers, here is a brief summary of the content.

*The Successful journey

  • We were blessed with safe passage and provision
  • Pretty smooth flights considering 3 littlies with an awesome and relaxing overnight stop in Korea


*The apartment

  • Reality sets in, apartment living is different, noisy!
  • Blessed to have a nice warm easily accessible place



  • Jetlag with 3 young children (Plus teething baby on top of that= exhaustion!)
  • Everything in Hebrew with spatters of English
  • Frustrating not being able to read things
  • Learning the ropes of the public transport system
  • Adjusting body clocks to being 11 hours behind NZ


*Bridges for Peace

  • Induction, lots of info to digest
  • Attended the monthly birthday lunch, tired kiddies
  • James had his first (half) day and is excited about the year!


Goals for the week

  • Get this video/newsletter out!
  • Settle into life in Jerusalem
  • Fully unpack

Still to come is some interesting footage of this amazing place and stories about what God is doing here, as his banner to the nations (Isaiah 11:12)

002 – Confirmation & Preparation


Well, the big countdown is on and we head to Israel in approximately 7 weeks!


Why do we believe we’ve been called? It began roughly 18 months ago when James felt the Holy Spirit nudge him to pick up one of the volunteer applications for Bridges for Peace at the missions expo at Rangiora Baptist Church. Maddys initial response was limited in enthusiasm 😉 However, after praying and asking God to fill her heart with a desire to go there if that was where HE wanted them to be, she felt united with James in the conviction to serve the Jewish people in Jerusalem.


We sought counsel from our senior pastor and he advised that in order to confirm God’s will there are some things that need to line up and point in the same direction. 1. Our circumstances 2. Other (god-fearing) people 3. God’s word and 4. The Holy Spirit’s peace.


A couple of verses that have come up:


“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

– Genesis 12:1-3

It is truly a privilege to be called to serve and bless God’s chosen people in His chosen land and we believe we will be blessed through our obedience.


Consequently you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,.

– Ephesians 2:19 (NIV)


As fellow citizens of God’s people we are just beginning to realise the importance of knowing more about Jewish culture and history and also our history as christians and where we fit in.


They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.

– Romans 15:27 (NIV)


Just as this verse in Romans says, we are lucky enough to share in their spiritual blessings, so we owe it to share our material blessings. There are many ways to do this. We feel for us this means packing up our life in NZ and moving to Israel to be among them and bless them with service in Bridges for Peace. For others it means donating to an organisation or charity that helps the Jews, or simply dedicating decent prayer time to Israel and the Jewish people.  


We have been preparing for this journey for a few months now. Some of the serious milestones we’ve achieved include selling our house and moving in with parents to save for the trip. We’ve celebrated being mortgage free. We have no house, BUT, we are mortgage free. And we’ve had a season with both sets of parents.

To each of our parents, thank you for having us. Staying living with others for over 12 months has been an essential part of our ability to free any debt and save towards our needs while we are away.


We have been untying ourselves from all our local commitments including business, associations, clubs and committees and downsizing our material things. We have most of our stuff in a 20 ft container now and are almost down to living out of our suit cases (Almost!).


Getting to the point, as parents, of being at peace with the move to such a volatile location (especially with 3 young children) has taken quite some time and effort. We have spent hours reading books, bible studies and websites on Israel and have had experienced and Godly people speak with us and offer wise counsel.


It’s all a process and a journey and we shall keep you all posted.

Feel free to get in contact with any questions or thoughts.

Thanks for reading!
The Worthingtons

001 Intro – Leaving Home


Our family will soon set out on an adventure to the Middle East, our destination? Jerusalem, Israel. We are honoured to have been accepted as volunteers in the bridges for peace organisation.

Our opportunity is to grow in the knowledge of Jewish culture and serve this amazing people with any skill or resource we can offer.

Our challenge, as a young family, is to leave behind the comforts and familiarities of home and enter a new culture and way of life.

Join this adventure with us as we share the thrills and spills of the journey in a series of these short video clips. Worth a look.