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For the Joy of Zion

For the Joy of Zion - Israeli Guest Night

How are Christians from around the world serving in Israel and how are Israelis serving around the world? This became overwhelmingly clear after the opening shofar blast sounded for the last Feast Evening. But first Israelis were welcomed to this special night with a moving and artistically accomplished rendition of the national anthem “HaTikva” by Elihana Elia, supported by virtuoso violin play from ICEJ’s own Serguei Popov. Other musical features of the evening included two very different but equally moving performances: Israel’s possibly cutest children’s choir, led by Vesna Bühler, and a stunningly dramatic musical composition interpreting the resurrection of the dry bones in Ezekiel by Ruth Fazal.


Personal Addresses by Israel’s PM and the Jewish Agency’s Chairman

Two personal addresses had been specially recorded to address the Fest Pilgrims on this special evening. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his address by stating, “I am delighted that there is a Christian Embassy.” He also stood by Israel’s relations to Christians in the land, telling the audience that “Sometimes a profound truth is a simple truth. Here is a simple truth: Israel is the only country in the Middle East that protects the rights of Christians. Think of that. For thousands of miles around us, there is only one place Christians thrive. Right here in Israel.” He finished his address with deep-felt thanks: “Thank you for recognizing Israel. Thank you for always supporting Israel.”
Another personal address was given by the newly elected chairman for The Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog, “I want to thank you for your support. Your support has been enormous. (…) and we are partners with you, the ICEJ. (…) Together we have brought 140,000 new immigrants to Israel - I think it is an enormous achievement.”


Journey of Dreams – Joint Jewish-Christian Successes

The evening continued with moving highlights of Jewish-Christian cooperation and joint accomplishments. The ICEJ’s special effort in Aliyah moved the audience as they witnessed the trials and frustrations of a Jewish Ethiopian family, long awaiting an opportunity to immigrate to Israel before the family finally flew over Tel Aviv’s beautiful night-time cityscape to be reunited with their extended family in Ben Gurion Airport – all scenes from the ICEJ’s new documentary: “Journey of Dreams.” This was the beginning of a tour-de-force opportunity demonstrating to Israelis the impressive range of projects in which the ICEJ is involved, spanning aid work, public diplomacy and a unique home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa, a group of whom were actually present in the audience and received the entire arena’s standing recognition. The Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors also received gifts for 2 million and 1 million NIS from the ICEJ's German and U.S. branches respectively, presented by National Directors Gottfried Bühler and Susan Michael.
Israel in the International Arena.

Likewise, Israel’s efforts in the international arena and the country’s very tangible blessings to the world were also highlighted, as a CBN documentary under the time-honored Jewish endeavor for “Tikkun Olam” (loosely translated as “repairing the world”). The efforts of private Israeli citizens among refugees, for example, and the Israeli government’s responses to natural disasters around the world all underscored that Israel cares and does so with a global impact.

The Paradox of Operation Good Neighbor

The crowning jewel of these joint successes was delivered by retired IDF Colonel Marco Moreno, who headed up “Operation Good Neighbor” on the Israeli-Syrian border, an effort aimed at providing aid and humanitarian relief to war-struck Syrians. Moving scenes of young soldiers, trained to defend their country with force, but in this instance helping refugees reach safety in Israel passed over the screens. In one sequence, you see Marco Moreno in the Golan Heights, close to the border with Syria: “You can hear bombing as we speak. That means that tonight our soldiers, our brave soldiers will go and save lives.” Back in the arena, Moreno concluded, “It sounds like a joke: Christians and Jews helping Muslims, right? But it’s the reality”

Awards and Recognition

A prime function of this gala evening is to celebrate and recognize valuable contributions. This is why the ICEJ each year gives the Nehemiah Award to individuals who have served the Jewish people in exceptional ways. Because of the seminal move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, who originally sponsored the bill and legislation leading to the Embassy Act, was a most natural and worthy recipient of this year’s award.


The Cyrus Award

A new reward, directly related to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: the Cyrus Award, has also been instated by the ICEJ. This reward has been given to heads-of-state from nations taking the bold step to move their embassies to Jerusalem. These were highlighted by Mojmir Kallus, the ICEJ’s VP for International Affairs, who also mentioned smaller but very significant contributions from poor and minor countries around the world. The determination of local Christians in e.g. Tanzania and Albania to bless Israel is truly heartwarming and set an example of a different kind. Such quiet efforts are equally inspiring and worthy as some of the headline-making contributions.

Continue to Dream

These were just some of many highlights of an evening packed with excitement and events. Before the Feast’s final event the following day, the Prayer Service in the Old City’s Tower of David, ICEJ’s president, Dr. Jürgen Bühler, dismissed the Feast Pilgrims with one commission: “Dare to Dream.” We hope you will join us for next year’s Feast of Tabernacle under the theme “Beginnings.”

Chag Sukkot Sameach (Happy Feast of Tabernacles) from the ICEJ in Jerusalem.

A Preview of Prophecy

A Preview of Prophecy – the 2018 Jerusalem March

Imagine a Jewish family from Herzliya, a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, spending the holiday of Sukkot in Jerusalem for the first time. Then imagine that family seeing a multitude of Christians joining an Israeli parade. Add to this the Christians singing about their love for Israel as many of them joyously dance in the streets. Well, you might guess that the family from Herzliya would be visibly excited and moved by the annual spectacle known as the Jerusalem March, and indeed they were, as were thousands more.

A Valued Family Tradition

For other Israelis, the annual parade has become a valued family tradition, and we met several large families of Jews from all walks of life and all parts of Israel cheering the march on, collecting bouquets of miniature flags handed out by the Feast Pilgrims. We asked one Israeli dad what he thought about the internationals participating in the Jerusalem March, and a matter-of-fact patriotic answer came across his lips, “Israel does good for all the world, so all the world should show its love for Israel.” When prompted about her reaction to this surprising phenomenon of people from another religion celebrating Israel and Jerusalem, an Orthodox mother said, “No, it’s not strange. Jerusalem is the Holy City!”
 

The Perfect Antidote

The most uplifting response came from a family father, who immigrated to Israel from abroad. He stated that this outpouring of affection is a “good antidote” to the negative attitudes that he had to live with abroad. This year is his fifth time at the march, which he sees it as a preview of Zechariah’s prophecy fulfilled. 

Unity in Asia & Around the World

Halfway through FOT 2018, pilgrims have tasted the excitement and richness of the Feast but are still hungry for more intimacy with the Lord, more learning, and deeper understanding of Israel. The activities at the Feast arena amply supplied this. From the prayer time in the morning with passionate worship led by Sarah Liberman over impacting plenaries going deep into the Bible and making the scriptures jump out to informative seminars on Israel’s tech-sector and Israel’s challenges in lawfare. Continuing on to a blast of an evening where riveting Messianic Israeli music and the continent of Asia and the global church were in focus, making for a rich day.

Israel-Focused Insights
After morning worship and prayer, Peter Tsukahira delivered a superbly inspiring message, in which he achieved to make scriptures acutely relevant through speaking about the tribal nature of human conflict and God as the only unifying peacemaker. He used Elijah’s battle on Mount Carmel to illustrate the battle that modern-day believers find themselves asking, “Will you be among the ones who will restore the altar of the Lord in the midst of your people?” He ended by declaring about Jerusalem, “Here are your roots. Here is where your King laid down his life for you. Here is where He rose from the dead, and here, according to the scriptures, is where He is going to return.”

ICEJ’s own International Spokesperson, David Parsons, picked up the theological thread in his teaching on the suffering of the Jewish people, investigating the hopeful notion that the worst is past for Israel, i.e., that because of historical calamities that have already transpired, Israel “has received from the Lord’s double for all her sins.” (Is. 40:2) This judgment will now pass to the nations. 

Plugging into Israel’s Prospects and Challenges – Afternoon Seminar
Yet again, the ICEJ’s leadership assembled a concentration of accomplished speakers to give Feast pilgrims a real hand on what is moving in Israel. A new invest platform, “OurCrowd” was introduced. Recognizing that there is great interest investing in Israel but a reluctance to do the “deal picking,” OurCrowd vets more than 200 startups monthly before it recommends two to three to its global network of investors, which includes everything from private individuals to corporate giants like Google.
Although the OurCrowd investment initiative’s success is an effective counter to BDS, Dr. Kontorovitch and Calev Myers in their seminar highlighted the nature of the newest form of affront against Israel, Lawfare, as the attack of Israel and its policies through legal means. Lawfare has been one of the favorite tactics of the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement in their efforts to delegitimize Israel, and while the key players have changed from the Arab League to many European leaders and NGOs today, their goals have not. BDS is working to label every product created in the West Bank with what is for all intents and purposes “a yellow star” on Israeli products in the global market.

Furthermore, Mr. Myers drove home the point that looking at Israel’s actions under a microscope would distort the image. This is especially true when looking at the population exchange that took place in 1948. Finally, he shed light on the truth of the situation, which is that Israel provides for over 1 million Palestinians in the West Bank, and without the state, those people would be left without livelihood. Israel is in fact the standard of corporate social responsibility rather than the apartheid state that BDS would have people believe it is. 

Near to Far East - Evening Celebration
Hebrew sound waves by Shiloh Ben Hod and Jamie Hilsden’s Miqedem brought contemporary Israeli music solidly planted in scripture – providing a musical experience with a distinct Israeli flavor, praising God in the language of scripture. Insistent and powerful, Miqedem’s tunes unleashed the deep wellspring of joy and victory, and following was Sarah Liberman who delivered an equally crowd-rousing performance with quiet heartfelt testimonies and prayers in between songs, “He is the source, he is the vision, He is not only that, he is the God of miracles” inviting the crowd to join in the song. 

Peace in the Middle-East
The evening’s emcee, ICEJ’s VP for International Affairs, Mojmir Kallus opening remarks concerned the growing number of Christians coming to the Feast, “This is the glory of God. We are coming together from all nations. Not to fight but in peace and unity to worship the only true god – The God of Israel.” Calev Myers then took the stage speaking a constructive and uplifting message on Israel, musing, “What would happen if I could see a miracle, like what we read in the Bible (…) What would that do to my faith? But I am here to tell you this evening that we are living the dream. The reestablishment of Israel is a modern-day miracle. (…) In the mind of God, the miracle that you see today is greater than the Exodus from Egypt.” He concluded that in order to support Israel, “we shouldn’t be anti-Palestinian. In order to support Palestinians, we shouldn’t be anti-Israeli. We should look for solutions that benefit both sides of the conflict,” thus underscoring the potential of peaceful business cooperation. 

The Wisdom From the East - Nathaniel Chow
The ICEJ’s mission is connecting the Church with Israel. The Feast of Tabernacles brings the church to Israel. And speakers from different continents have addressed the Feast this year in their own languages. The evening’s Chinese-speaking pastor, Nathaniel Chow was preceded by a vocal ensemble from Taiwan, who stepped onto the stage with great joy and pride, singing “Zai Jhe li – The spirit of God is here.” They sang in Mandarin with grace and unmitigated joy, lending a unique Asian voice to the many international contributions at the Feast. Preaching the connection between receiving the glory from God and unity in the body of Christ and with God, Nathaniel Chow shared about his unique and ongoing journey to learn more about God’s glory, which was impacted significantly by his first visit to Jerusalem 17 years prior. He finished with a call for spiritual unity in Christ to transcend political differences between Chinese groups and between what he labelled “chopstick” and “fork” nations. This evening’s ended in a final Ruth salutation, “Your God is my God – your people is my people.”

 

Watch every evening of the Feast of Tabernacles on demand

Aid tour to the Gaza border

Delivering protection and showing love and solidarity

On Tuesday a group of 50 Feast pilgrims from many countries including Australia, Singapore, the US, the UK, Fiji, Germany, Sweden and Ireland joined Nicole Yoder, director of ICEJ Aid, and Rabbi Shmuel Bowman, director of Operation Lifeshield, on a bus tour to the Gaza border. The purpose of the tour was to show Christian solidarity with Israelis living in the South under the steady attack of rockets, burning kites and balloons. Thanks to the donations of Christians from all over the world, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) has been able to build 65 much needed bomb shelters in numerous communities bordering Gaza in the past 12 years. In addition, six quickly maneuverable firefighting trailers were delivered this summer.

Protection and Prayer
Rabbi Shachar Butzchak and his family welcomed the Christian visitors at the synagogue of Moshav Maftechim. The ICEJ group and the excited and grateful recipients witnessed the delivery of a steel shelter donated by ICEJ Switzerland for the protection of the residents who gather three times a day for prayer in the synagogue. When a rocket alarm sounds, locals only have 12 seconds to find refuge before the rockets make contact.

“Our friends in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv invite us to have some rest and quiet from the alarms. But it should be the opposite: They need to come here to be with us, when we are hurt and it is difficult,” said Rabbi Butzchak who is also part of the first response team for the security of his community. “Yesterday we had six fires caused by balloons sent from Gaza. When people come and see it with their own eyes that´s the best.” “You had the courage and dared to come,” he continued. “Thank you for coming, God bless you!”

“I pray almost every day for the protection of Israel. It is good to meet people who cope with security issues on a daily basis with full commitment,” Jill from the UK was impressed.

“It was a special moment,” described Liane Rasch from Germany when describing her experience of the shelter delivery. “Because of the shelter they can live with a deeper feeling of security now.”

Fighting Terror and Fires
From a spot just 1.7 kilometers away from the border with Gaza, the group got to see a demonstration by the firefighting trailer of Kibbutz Kissufim. “This trailer contains 700 liters and works with high pressure. The idea is to get quickly to the fire to extinguish it or contain it until the fire fighters arrive,” explained Ilan Isaacson, head of security of the Eshkol region. “Everything has to be done very quickly. Therefore, the first response units and security officers in our 32 communities are not only responsible for first defense until the army arrives but they are also trained medics and fight fires.”

For the Lean family from Australia, it was eye opening to stand at the Gaza border and to meet locals. “We got connected with the struggles and the reality under which the people live here every day. It was impressive to see their heart and joy and their connection to God despite it all. We will share it with our friends!” they promised.


Watch every evening of the Feast of Tabernacles on demand

Dare to Dream BIG!

This full day at the Feast of Tabernacles was packed with everything from humble prayer, explosively dynamic worship and inspired teachings from the word of God – all in the marvelous city of Jerusalem.

God’s Sovereign Faithfulness and Grace for Israel – Morning Plenary
At the Feast’s first morning plenary, Daniel Yahav gave a message about Israel that only a native of Israel can deliver – consisting of both hope and reality. He referred to Israel’s amazing history through the millennia, “It’s exciting to hear the words that God spoke with Abraham 4,000 years ago, recorded by Moses 3,500 years ago.” The reality is, however, that God has guided the Jewish nation very much in spite of itself, i.e., by grace, and that believers should have God’s sovereign works as their main focus as they rejoice over the miracles performed for Israel. He drove home his message on the sovereignty of the Lord by stating, “God is not waiting, and He is not dependent on the nations or the UN. Our God is God. He created heaven and earth, and He has decided that this land is the inheritance of the people of Israel.”

The Pulse of Israel’s Local Body - Afternoon Seminars
Getting to know local believers and the situation on the ground is important, and the best source for this is to connect directly with the people of the land. That’s why the ICEJ organized a panel discussion with three Messianic leaders from three different cities in Israel: Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Ashdod. The open and frank discussion gave examples of how to share faith and show God’s love in direct and practical ways. Praying for healing continues to gather momentum both among believers going out to pray and the ones who are being healed. 

ICEJ Headquarter Tours

Groups of pilgrims made a special visit to the International Christian Embassy headquarters to take a look behind the scenes of the ICEJ. The Headquarters here in Jerusalem is a beautiful and unique historical building tucked in the middle of a Jewish neighbourhood. This is the place God has chosen to do his work through a diverse staff from all around the world to bring His comfort to His people. As the visitors came in the gate, they were greeted by one of the ICEJ staff members and were able to enjoy some refreshments in the succah set up on the property of the Embassy. Many of the visitors came in large groups, so they divided into smaller groups according to their language. ICEJ staff gave tours in many different languages explaining the extraordinary miracles God has done through His ministry here in the land of Israel and around the world.  

A Breakthrough Year for Israel - Evening Celebration
An all-star line-up of speakers and performers from Israel and around the world, set the tone for another festive and insightful night in Jerusalem. On the performance side, the evening opened with the powerful pulses of Eddie James’ young performers, who drew energy from the powerful Bible Scriptures they declared with determination for the promises about Israel. With kicks, powerful pumps and superior rhythm, the dancers and singers had everyone in the audience on their feet before the final crescendo of a loud shout for the Lord as they dropped prostrate on the scene to show their humility. 

They were later followed by the smooth jazzy sounds of Togo’s French-speaking worship team, who got the audience going in a different groove. The Togolese group did their thing so well that the audience joined them by dancing onto the stage with their national flags. 

Do not Limit the Holy One of Israel
Setting stage for the evening’s main speaker was a Nigerian soloist, bursting forth with praise to our God with power and elegance. Her song burst forth in power and grace which transformed the arena into a majestic throne room for God. Preparing the way for Pastor Enoch Adeboye, also from Nigeria, he humbly invoked the Lord’s anointing for the evening with a simple hymn, complementing the majestic with genuine child-like affection for our Creator Father, “Holy One of Israel, we worship you – we bow before You.” He encouraged the crowd to revive their faith in old God-given dreams and exhorted them to work hard for them while under no circumstances offending God or limiting the Holy One of Israel. He also explained that sometimes God doesn't fulfill our dreams, because He has something bigger and better for us. He encouraged that crowd to dream a dream that is so big that can only be possible if God makes it happen. Adeboye testified about his journey of faith and dreaming with God, and said, “You know your dream is from God when people laugh at you. And then you can tell them, just wait and see.” He confidently and humbly stated that, "God is not a joker. Whatever God says he will do...he will do!"


Watch every evening of the Feast of Tabernacles on demand

We Serve a God You Cannot Outdream

The first night in Jerusalem literally started with a blast, as the shofar sounded from the main stage in Pais Arena, calling God’s assembly to attention. The audience was ready to celebrate and each nation was excited to see its particular national flag ascend to the main stage. The loudest collective cheer and shouts sounded when Israel’s flag joined the host of nations, demonstrating the powerhouse of Christian love and support that the ICEJ can draw upon in its work for the Jewish nation.

Following the parade of nations and celebratory worship, ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler took to the stage to address the Feast Pilgrims. He drove home two powerful points in an expert manner: namely, the amazing reality that God has brought about in Israel and how diverse and multifaceted modern Israel society is today. This was cause for wonder over God and deeper appreciation and understanding of what makes up modern-day Israel.

The Feast’s “Dare to Dream” theme was underscored by reviewing the amazing path that Israel has traveled from a beleaguered pioneer nation to a modern nation state, even to the amazement of those Israelis who have witnessed the nation’s history from its inception 1948. Psalm 126, “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream,” underscores that this is an amazing God-powered reality that has been brought about by the Lord as Israel’s fortunes have been restored. This is a personal encouragement for Christian believers to align their plans with God’s plans and dream dreams that give room for God’s power and faithfulness to be displayed.

Based on Exodus, chapter 28, Dr. Jürgen Bühler then went on to give a profound yet accessible introduction of the mosaic that makes up Israeli society today. Using the priestly breastplate as a model for Israel’s twelve tribes, the audience were introduced to twelve population groups, each unique in their own way and spanning an astonishingly broad spectrum of religious, ethnic and secular groups. He suggested that Christian’s adopt one of these modern-day “tribes” for prayer.

Dr. Jürgen Bühler also mused on the fact that even this nation’s atheists are unique. They do not believe in God, yet in the words of famous author Amoz Oz consider themselves “Atheists of the Book.” They do not believe in the spiritual, yet 40% of Israel’s atheists fast on Yom Kippur – the day of atonement.

In this manner, Dr. Jürgen Bühler caught the audience’s attention and used the Bible and past and contemporary history to give a highly effective lesson on where and what Israel is today.

With a great conclusion to the first night at the Pais Arena, many pilgrims left with a great expectation for what God will continue to speak to them during the rest of the week.


Watch every evening of the Feast of Tabernacles on demand

All the Elements of the Story

Bonds of Brotherly Unity

A fundamental instrument of Christian brotherly unity is the sharing of the Lord’s Supper. Amplified meaning is added when this act takes place at what could have been the historical site of Calvary and when it is officiated by brothers who have overcome their mutual antagonisms. To capture this unity, the communion is officiated jointly by one Jewish Messianic and one Arab believer.

Before the delivery of the morning’s sermon, Birlie Belay, a Jewish Messianic pastor of Ethiopian descent and Naim Khoury, an Arab pastor from Bethlehem, served the crowd of over 2,000 at the Garden Tomb grounds Monday morning. Pastor Belay highlighted God’s faithfulness by recounting the history of the lost tribes of Ethiopia – 2,500 years before returning – “We are here because of God’s word.” On his part Pastor Khoury proclaimed the covenant-keeping God and the covenant He has with His chosen people. 

Heaven-bound and Christ-centered Message
The morning’s preacher, Pastor Hervé Datro of the Ivory Coast, gave his address in French to the excitement of the large delegations from francophone Africa – 300 from the Ivory Coast alone, the nation which currently houses the ICEJ in Jerusalem.
He stirred the crowd by listing the dreams and getting straight to the Word, preaching a key chapter in John, reflecting the power of communion. “Our big dream is of Heaven, not of earth. (…) Without Jesus your dream cannot be accomplished.” Echoing Pastor Khoury’s purposeful declaration of the “God who keeps His covenant with Israel,” Datro pointed out the debt Christians owe the Jewish nation: “I dream of the Heaven. I dream of the restoration of the House of David (…) I am because Israel was.” 

“Because I want to live for the Glory of Jesus” – Juha Ketola
The demand to participate in the services at the garden tomb is so great that a second service is necessary later in the day. The second part of the morning’s double-header involved a declaratory and victorious sermon by Juha Ketola. He managed to achieve a combination of excited joy and humble contemplation as he underscored the choice between living a life in the flesh or in the Spirit. He explained that God has the power to set us free to live the spiritual life of freedom with grateful hearts for the power that lives in us, freeing us from the doomed battle against our own shortcomings and fleshly desires. In conclusion, Juha Ketola instilled his listeners with a new sense of hope and purpose through his own genuine joy and deep understanding of spiritual realities.

Testifying of the Resurrection Power of Jesus
The garden was filled with believers from all around the world, but each one carried a dream and testimony of the power of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ in their hearts. Rebecca Smith from Pennsylvania shared, “My dream has come true! The Lord brought me out of prostitution and addiction and has given me the ability to go back to rescue more people just like me. He left the 99 for the 1, so I need to continue to go back for the one. He allowed me to rescue 10,000 and my dream is to create more homes for more people.” A group of close friends from Zimbabwe said, “Our dream is that the Lord will bring a Godly government to Zimbabwe and that he will download a burden for Israel in us in order to take back to our nation. He is coming soon and we want Zimbabwe to be blessed. We want to have an embassy of Zimbabwe in Jerusalem!” Many more dared to dream a new dream with the King of Kings, and we look forward to hearing more about what our God will do this week!

 

 


 

Spiritual Wellspring at the Shores of the Dead Sea

Watch the Latest Recap Video From Ein Gedi!

A Feast of Joy – Happy Birthday, Israel!

Whether you are a Feast veteran or a brand-new arrival in Israel, Ein Gedi is the place to be at the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles. The excitement, expectations and blessing that is part of this modern-day classic is unrivalled. The banners of Christian pilgrims from nearly 100 nations all over the world are raised high, and the chatter of so many of the earth’s languages fills this arid but spectacular setting on the shores of the Dead Sea, supplying a sudden outpouring of spiritual precipitation.

After a day with sunshine, floating in the buoyant waters of Dead Sea and relaxing at the Ein Gedi Spa, pilgrims gathered under the rising full moon that marks the beginning of all the major biblical feasts. The spectacular open-air scenery was the perfect setting for an evening filled with worship, music, prayer, and enjoying the presence of God in fellowship with the global Body of Christ.
Emceed by David Parsons of the ICEJ, this year’s feast was opened by a loud Happy Birthday shout to Israel from the thousands of pilgrims assembled before the Ein Gedi stage.

The Precious Power of Water in the Desert
This year’s musical talent was unique and included artists such as Roy Fields and his 18-year-old daughter Joy, Elihana Eli and her band, complemented by ICEJ’s Serguei Popov playing a powerful violin in combination with a captivating dance performance and solemn reading of the Word of God from Psalm 63, underscoring the contrast between God’s living waters and the “dry and weary land.” This was followed by the offering which was a time of much joy, dancing, and excitement to give back to the Lord! Barry Denison shared about the impact of the ICEJ’s work in the land and commended the pilgrims for coming up to Israel as representatives for the nations and thanked them for their generous offering.

No Greater God Than Our King
For the grand finale of the spectacular night, Daniel Kolenda entered the stage praising our Lord. He led the crowd in declaring the name of Jesus in their own language, and then in Hebrew. A spirit of holy concentration and reverence settled on the crowd as Daniel Kolenda mentioned, “We could not ask for a more beautiful cathedral – full moon and open skies.”
He continued to speak to the audience about the revival of old, God-given dreams, preaching to reclaim them based on God’s faithfulness and what He did for the Jewish people in 1948, when the nation of Israel was revived. He even hearkened back to the return of the first Babylonian exile, illustrating what a fantastic feeling it must have been for those toiling in a land desolated by the Babylonians, when for the first time in 70 years the formations coming over the hills were not enemies but fellow Jews returning home from the Babylonian exile.

In a powerful gesture, he asked the crowd to turn on their cell phone lights as a prophetic symbol to reflect His glorious light to the world. He exhorted the crowd not just to think of their visit to Israel as the place where Jesus once walked, but where He is walking this very day.

Healing and Freedom to Dream Again
Daniel concluded the evening with an alter call and a time of healing. Looking around many had raised their hands in need of healing, so Daniel prayed for many to be healed from all sicknesses in Jesus’ name! Then asking the crowd to test out their healing, many were rejoicing in their newfound freedom and healing. One particular older woman in the crowd began picking up her feet and set them down, and bend down to see if she still had pain in her legs and back. Amazement enveloped her face, as she turned to the people standing by telling them that she was healed! Ms Astri from Norway explained, “This is my 60th time to Israel, and I knew it would be my last. My legs and back have been in pain for several years, but God just healed me!” Many others were healed, delivered, set free, and filled with a new hope to not give up on their God-given dreams. Thus, the first night of FOT 2018 completed with new experiences, fresh spiritual input, an outpouring of blessing in healing and dreams coming alive again.

Read the Latest Word From Jerusalem Magazine

I WANT TO READ THIS MAGAZINE!

We invite you on a grand journey through each page of the September/October edition of the Word From Jerusalem.

The path Israel has traveled over 70 years is one of the greatest miracle stories of our time. Dr. Jürgen Bühler demonstrates some of the deeper, surprising regional trends in the Middle East and how Israel's standing is changing for the better (pp. 4-6).

Israel is a strong nation with a strong economy, so one might ask, “Why should Christians still give to bless Israel?” Barry Denison addresses this question by taking us through the word of God to explain the biblical importance of supporting the Jewish people. (pp. 8)

The road to reach Jerusalem for the remainder of Ethiopia’s Jewish community has been a long and hard-fought effort. The ICEJ’s TV Department ventured out to capture and share unique moments of insight and background into the journey of Aliyah for the Jewish community in Ethiopia today. Read more about this moving documentary called "Journey of Dreams." (pp. 14-15)

Explore many more topics ranging from Gaza troubles (16-17), updates on the Haifa Home (18-19), the Arise Summer Tour (10), instability on the northern border of Israel (23), and much more. Enjoy the journey as you read each of these articles displaying God's hand moving powerfully here in Israel and in the nations.  

I WANT TO READ THIS MAGAZINE!

A Fresh Start in South Africa

In early December, when summer begins in South Africa, I made my first overseas trip as ICEJ’s VP for International Affairs. My purpose there was to strengthen the local team and meet with many old friends of the Embassy. South Africans were among the founding members of the ICEJ and the country has always played a key role within the ICEJ by supporting our work and sending people to work in Jerusalem and volunteer at the Feast.

In recent months, we had to make some changes in the South African ICEJ branch, so I decided to go to answer any questions in this regard. I introduced the new team, led by the National Director Vivienne Myburgh, daughter of the late Johann Greef and former head of the South African branch. Meetings were organised in Durban, Cape Town, Nelspruit and Pretoria. There was a lot of goodwill, healing, willingness to move forward, and a friendly time of fellowship after the meetings. One of the highlights was a lunch for all former board members and founding members, including the first Executive Director of ICEJ Jerusalem, Johann Luckhoff. It was a good time of restoration.

We also met with local representatives of the Jewish Zionist Federation and with the Israeli ambassador. I appreciated the level of trust and cooperation our people had with these organisations. The Jewish community in Cape Town even organises an event specifically for their Christian friends. It was there that we witnessed the historic declaration of President Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The visit marked a new beginning for the branch by establishing many new contacts in different segments of South Africa’s diverse population. I have no doubt that the new team will be able to quickly restart the work and bring back South Africa to the place it deserves, as one of the strongest supporters of Jerusalem.

 

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