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Biblical understanding about Israel
Christians for Israel is delighted to announce the establishment and appointment of three new C4I teams in Africa: South Sudan, Rwanda and Zambia. Christians for Israel has been established as a non-profit organisation in each of these nations, and each national affiliate has executed an Affiliation Agreement with C4I International.
The Lord is raising and equipping men and women of great calibre to lead Christians for Israel in each of these countries.
With the creation of these new teams, Christians for Israel is strategically placed to make major inroads into the way the churches in eastern and southern Africa think about Israel and the Jewish people. We sense that there is a unique window of opportunity to influence the millions of Christians in these nations who – often untouched by replacement theologies which are so entrenched in the West - are open to understanding God’s word, sensitive to God’s eternal faithfulness towards Israel, and are thirsting for Biblical teaching and historical information.
The development of Christians for Israel ministry in southern and east Africa is being coordinated and supervised by the C4I East Africa regional office in Kampala, Uganda, under the dynamic leadership of Evangelist Drake Kanaabo.
C4I - South Sudan
South Sudan became an independent state in July 2011, following decades of civil war. It borders Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Congo, Uganda and the Central African Republic. The capital is Juba. Although politically independent, and rich in natural resources, South Sudan is still struggling to establish economic independence from Arabic-speaking northern Africa. It seems that Islamic forces, heavily sponsored by oil-rich states like Saudi Arabia, are making determined efforts to gain economic control over the infant state South Sudan. The Christians in South Sudan are well aware that they form a kind of watershed between Islamic northern Africa and central/south Africa.
The people of South Sudan appear to have a natural affinity with Israel and the Jewish people, which they regard as symbolic of their own struggle. Many South Sudanese (even non-Christians) proudly display Israeli flags in their cars. Yet there is little knowledge about the historical realities of modern Israel, or the Biblical foundations of Israel and the relationship between church and Israel.
In the 1960s, as in many other African nations, Israel actively supported South Sudan, especially in the fields of agriculture and infrastructure development. Following independence in July 2011, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan quickly announced his intention to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel, and even to establish an embassy in Jerusalem. He visited Israel in December 2011. Israel has established an embassy in Juba.
South Sudanese Christians identify themselves with Cush of the Bible, son of Ham (see Genesis 10:6). Some regard the prophecies of Isaiah 18:7 regarding Cush as having a special application to the people of South Sudan and the surrounding nations in the days of the restoration of Israel:
At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty:
from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers—
the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty.
The C4I leadership team in South Sudan comprises Mr. Amule Robert (Chairman), Pastor John Sebit (Vice Chairman), Pastor Isaac Gaga (Secretary), Ms. Milly Pita Alinda (Treasurer), Mrs. Jane Amule (Assistant Secretary), and Mr. Alinda Gilbert Ezra (Director of Training).
An office has been established in Juba with the assistance of the Ministry for Religious Affairs. The team is planning to organize seminars and conferences in different cities and provinces. Their first priority is to acquire audio-visual equipment in order to be able to provide C4I teaching programs in English and Arabic languages.
Another priority is to organise educational tours to Israel, in partnership with the South Sudanese government, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local churches.
In due course, C4I South Sudan hopes to become a gateway towards the Arab-speaking Christian communities in northern Africa.
C4I - Zambia
Zambia is a huge nation in mid-south Africa. It is strategically placed, as it neighbors with many other countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country.
The population is concentrated mainly around the capital city Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest. It is one of the most highly urbanized countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Following British colonialization, Zambia became independent in 1964. Under its 1996 constitution it is a Christian country, and approximately 87% of the population call themselves Christians.
Zambia severed diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973. These were restored in 1991, when the new government publicly apologized for the countries mistreatment of Israel and the Jews. Since then, healthy relations have been restored between the two countries.
There is also a small Jewish community, composed mostly of Ashkenazis. Notable Jewish Zambians include Simon Zukas, retired Minister, MP and a member of Forum for Democracy and Development and earlier on the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and United National Independence Party. Additionally, the economist Stanley Fischer, currently the governor of the Bank of Israel and formerly Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was born and partially raised in Zambia's Jewish community.
The C4I leadership in Zambia comprises the energetic team of Mr. Melvin Mulema (Chairman) and Mr. Mando Chulu (Vice-Chairman), both young pastors involved in many projects in Zambia and the region. They have already commenced making many strategic connections across the spectrum of Zambian society – churches, government, army, schools etc. They have good contacts with many of the tribal chiefs in the country. They plan to expand their activities with seminars and conferences across the country.
C4I Zambia hopes to be a bridge towards the neighboring countries in the region such as Malawi, Zimbabwe, Congo, Angola, , Namibia, Mozambique and Swaziland.
C4I - Rwanda
Rwanda is a small African country bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Having been ruled by the Belgians since the 19th centrury, Rwanda gained independence in 1962.
Following the tragedy of the genocide in the mid 1990s, Rwanda is recovering and developing. The population is young and predominantly rural.
The majority of Rwandans are Catholic, but there have been significant changes in the nation's religious demographics since the Genocide, with many conversions to Evangelical Christian faiths and Islam. As of 2006, Catholics represented 56.5% of the population, Protestants 37.1% (of whom 11.1% were Seventh Day Adventists) and Muslims 4.6%. 1.7% claimed no religious beliefs. Traditional African religion, despite officially representing only 0.1% of the population, retains an influence.
The C4I team in Rwanda will work closely with the team in Kampala to develop the ministry in the coming period. Rwanda is strategic because it is so closely connected with Burundi and Congo, and can open the door to other French-speaking countries in the region.