John and Tikvah Joseph, Jerusalem, Israel
I wake up almost every morning to Jerusalem sunshine, on the other side of the world from quaint Queen Anne. I met a girl in Jerusalem on New Year's Eve at midnight 2005 and a year later married my Tikvah Sunlight, a Jerusalem born, Israeli Jewish believer, now living together here in Israel.
For more than six years, we've been shining the torch of God's light in Jerusalem's 24-hour houses of praise, worship, dance and prayer, and most recently from the top floor of the Jerusalem Prayer Tower, located in the worship capital of the world.
How did I arrive here? After graduating from SPU in 1999, I ran a medical insurance business and became a worship pastor at the Fairview Church off Lake City Way in North Seattle. At the same time, I also co-served as a youth pastor for a Korean congregation in Kent, Washington, and taught piano on the side, leading praise and worship concerts in Puyallup.
Then God's call took me to Jerusalem permanently in 2005. It was my seventh trip to Israel in 14 years, and I began volunteering for a 24-hour facility of praise, instrumentation, and intercessory prayer.
A couple of months later on New Year's Eve at midnight, I met my wife-to-be, who was also bringing in the New Year with praise and worship in the prayer room of Succat Hallel (i.e., Tabernacle of Praise).
After a warm Israeli summer courtship, Tikvah and I were married a year later in my Appleton, Wisconsin family home. It was December 13, 2006, a Wednesday — the day of the week the Lord created the sun. I was able to give her the golden menorah pendant necklace I had bought 12 years earlier in Jerusalem, long before we met while she was serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. Our marriage has fashioned us into “one new man” spoken of in Ephesians 2:11-22 from Jewish and Gentile worlds through Yeshua, our peace.
Interestingly enough, we are both the 12th child in our respective families. I am 12th out of 16 natural brothers and sisters, and Tikvah is the baby out of 12 siblings in a Jewish religious family. Both our father's names were Joseph and both passed away in 1991. Our birthdays are a day and year apart from each other.
Together as singers, musicians, and artists, we daily coordinate and lead praise and worship with dance in the Jerusalem Prayer Tower, a 24-hour facility by appointment in the uppermost floor of a downtown Jerusalem business tower. Here we intercede with locals and internationals for the Jewish nation's return to the Lord God and His Land of Israel, that they would know his heart and receive Salvation — Yeshua.
—John Joseph '99