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Biblical understanding about Israel
Willem Glashouwer, Jos van Westing and I returned last Monday from a wonderful and exhausting week in Nigeria, where we participated in the inaugural C4I West/Central Africa Regional Training and Leadership Conference. We praise God that He is raising a new generation of Christian leaders in Western/Central Africa, who are called and committed to stand in the gap for Israel and the Jewish people.
The three-day conference was held in the city of Ikom, which is about 200km north of Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, and very close to the Border between Nigeria and Cameroon. This location is where Christians for Israel was born in Nigeria in 2008, and it offers a secure location free from any political or religious controversy. From this safe haven, the vision is to bring the C4I message in a powerful way into the cities and towns of Nigeria and West Africa.
The participants were encouraged to reflect on the story of Ruth clinging to Naomi, and the tragic choice made by Orpah, was a powerful reminder that the Gentile church needs to make a decision to stand with Israel, and walk with her on her journey home to Bethlehem. “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die” (Ruth 1:16)
We were also reminded of the seventy whom the Lord Jesus taught in the relatively safe region of Galilee, and sent out into the towns and cities to prepare the way for His journey to Jerusalem (Luke 10). We sense we are living in the days when the Lord is preparing to send His servants into the cities and towns of the nations, to prepare the way for the King of Kings to return to Jerusalem and reveal Himself to His people Israel.
The conference had been organized superbly by Brother Elemi Samson (C4I Coordinator for West and Central Africa, and Chairman of Christian People for Israel, Nigeria) and his team in Nigeria. Brother Elemi is perfectly suited to this position. Elemi grew up in Nigeria, Holland, USA and UK, works as a businessman in Europe, Africa, Middle East and USA, and has extensive experience in international Christian ministry. We are delighted he is called and equipped to play a key role in the development of the C4I ministry in this region.
Brother Elemi was ably supported by Wofai Essien (Secretary, Christian People for Israel, Nigeria) and his team. Thank you, brothers and sisters, for all your work!
About 80 delegates attended the conference. Most were from Nigeria, and of these many were already connected in one way or another with C4I. In addition, there were small delegations from C4I Cameroon, Ghana and Burkina Faso. Unfortunately our colleagues from Liberia and Sierra Leone were unable to attend.
The conference contained a number of different, complimentary elements:
Each participant received a Teachers Toolkit, including powerpoint presentations, maps and background information, and a copy of the books Why Israel?, Why End Times? and Times of Restoration.
After the conference, the leaders of the C4I branches in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana met for half a day on practical and strategic issues.
One issue that came out clearly was the importance of dealing wisely with money. This is a major challenge in Africa. C4I cannot and will not become a vehicle for others to obtain wealth or fame. Those who are called to the C4I ministry in Africa must be deeply committed to our Mission, Vision and Values, and prepared to devote themselves voluntarily.
On the last day, Willem and I were privileged to be interviewed on CRBN (Cross River Broadcasting Network). On arrival several hours later at the airport, we saw ourselves being interviewed on the large TV screen in airport!
We are grateful for all that the Lord showed us during these precious days, and for the wonderful people He is raising up to take the C4I ministry forward in Western and Central Africa. It will not be easy. There are many practical and spiritual challenges. But we know we are walking in accordance with His purposes, and trust in the Lord for His guidance.
”Oh the depth and the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!”