Caspari Center celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Throughout these 30 years of ministry in Jerusalem, from our beginnings in a small flat on French Hill until today, the vision has remained the same: To strengthen the local body of believers in Jesus (Yeshua) in Israel. For 30 years we have provided study resources and educational programs to help local congregations raise up a new generation of believers who will stand firm in their faith, witness, and service for Yeshua.
On November 15, 2012, the Caspari Center celebrated its anniversary with a book launch and lecture evening at our ministry center in Jerusalem. Over 100 people were present to mark the occasion, 30 years to the day after the center was inaugurated in 1982.
It is natural on an occasion like this to take a fresh look at our work and ministry and to try to identify some identity markers that have formed the ministry in the past, continue to define what the Caspari Center is today, and give us a trajectory for the future.
The first such identity marker is that the academic study and teaching of Scripture and history go hand in hand with the calling to share the gospel and to build up the body of believers.
The center is named in honor of Carl Paul Caspari – a Jew from Germany who came to a living faith in Jesus/Yeshua and was baptized in 1838. He became a professor of Old Testament in Oslo, Norway, and served as chairman of the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel from 1866 until his death in 1892. After his death he was described as a “loveable scholar, a humble Christian and a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” Although internationally known for his scholarly research, he always had a heart for reaching people with the gospel, and especially those from his own people. We hope and trust that this dual focus on academic studies and outreach in the work of the Caspari Center is a fitting tribute to his memory.
The second identity marker is that Caspari Center, through our courses and publications, is a platform and meeting place where believers can listen to each other and engage on issues that are vital for our growth as believers and as a body in this land. This is expressed in our involvement in the development of Messianic theology, which is very much an ongoing process of dialogue, one where new and exciting perspectives are brought forth. This is also expressed through our involvement in reconciliation work among Messianic Jews and Christian Palestinians.
The third identity marker is that the Caspari Center is a partnership. There are countless individuals, mission societies, ministries, churches, and institutions – both international and local – that make our work here possible. It is incredible to know that there are so many across the globe who share a common purpose with Caspari and who carry this ministry through their prayers, their time and work, and their financial contributions.
The last and perhaps most important identity marker is that Caspari Center is a movement organization. That is, we are part of a larger movement in this land. And it is an honor to be able to work alongside congregations and organizations to help strengthen the body of Christ in Israel. As we work to train teachers and leaders for children’s and youth ministry, and as we work to strengthen immigrant congregations around the country, we are taking part in what God is doing among his people in Israel today. The growth we have seen in the movement over the past 30 years is a true testimony to God’s faithfulness to his people.
During the inauguration service for the Caspari Center in 1982 those who were gathered sang:
Great is thy faithfulness,
Great is thy faithfulness;
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided;
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
What the future holds we cannot know, but no matter what happens we do know that God is faithful, to this ministry and to his body in this land. And we hope and pray that you will stand with us in prayer and support in the years to come, so that we can continue to see the fruits of this ministry that God brings forth.