Despite the restrictions and lockdowns, Joseph’s congregation steadily grew from nothing to several dozen in the first year.

Somehow, the pastor manages to make everyone who links arms with him feel like a close family member. The neatest part about this young Hebrew-speaking congregation is that the growth is not from those migrating from other congregations. Most of the congregants were brought to the Lord by the pastor himself, or by the ones he brought to the Lord and then raised up to do the same.

We first connected just before COVID hit. This pastor was sharing about his vision to plant the first Hebrew-speaking Ethiopian congregation in the country. “It is time,” he said. “My people immigrated decades ago from Ethiopia and many of us know Hebrew better than Amharic—some of us don’t know Amharic at all. We need a congregation that will address the needs of the younger Ethiopians who have spent most or all their lives as Israelis.”

Kobi Maoz Maoz Israel