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In August 2013, I travelled "down-under" for meetings with some of our teams in Asia and Oceania. First stop over was a meeting at Hong Kong airport with our friend Tony Tam, businessman in Hong Kong. Following our meeting last November in Kuala Lumpur, Tony has been preparing the way for us to connect with churches and theological seminaries in mainland China. Tony has just completed a short visit together with Willem Glashouwer to Zhong Nan Theological Seminary in Wuhan. We believe the Lord is opening the doors to China to strengthen and support the many Christians whom the Lord is already preparing for His work in the days to come.
I was privileged to visit the C4I office in New Zealand, and to have meetings with C4I New Zealand and Australia teams. I was deeply impressed with the talent and experience of the wonderful people whom the Lord is gathering to be part of this ministry of Christians for Israel. Chairman Graeme Lee, with years of experience in national politics and Christian ministry, has been leading the C4I New Zealand branch with his board of experienced Christian leaders since the untimely passing of our dear friend Henk Kamsteeg in 2012. Since then the ministry is growing to become a powerful witness into the church and nation in New Zealand. It is wonderful to spend time praying and strategising with the C4I New Zealand board and to meet Adrian and Peter, two new additions to the team, as well as some of the Pacific Island leaders who are starting to connect with the ministry.
|Meeting with the C4I New Zealand Board
Left to right: Denis Smith, Graeme Lee, Andrew Tucker, John Gummer, Graham Simpson
We were joined for one day by Ian Worby and Eric Belcher from Australia. C4I Australia is blessed to have Ian Worby at the helm. Ian has been the pioneer and leader of UCB Australia for the last 13 years. Ian and his wife Mandy (who is also actively involved) share a deep passion for Israel and the Jewish people and have been leading tours to Israel for years. For them it was a natural step to take on the leadership of C4I Australia at the end of 2012. Together we are now developing a strategic alliance between Christians for Israel and UCB which we hope will bring the message of Israel into the homes and hearts of hundreds of thousands of Christians across the country. Ian is being ably supported by Eric Belcher. Our vision os to develop a team of C4I representatives in all the states and territories in Australia.
At the time Ian and Mandy took on this role in late 2012, our administrator in Australia Rob Klaassen had been diagnosed with cancer. I am sad to say that Rob passed away two weeks ago in Perth. We are deeply grateful for all he and his wife Joy have done for Christians for Israel over recent years.
| Andrew Tucker with the Hon. Rev. Fred Nile MLC at NSW
Parliament House in Sydney, Australia
It was a privilege to be able to speak in Melbourne at the Beth Weizmann Centre and in Sydney in the Jubilee Room at the New South Wales Parliament House, the latter at the invitation of the Hon. Rev. Fred Nile MLC. About 100 people attended each event, and I felt there was great interest to hear more about the historical and legal background of the modern state of Israel. I was able to share some of the materials prepared by Tomas Sandell and the European Coalition for Israel, of which C4I is a founding member. As Australia is currently a member of the UN Security Council, it has a unique opportunity to play a leading role in relation to the quest for peace in the Middle East. The question of Jerusalem, the settlements and Palestinian statehood play a crucial role in this.
My message was basically - the Palestinian refugee problem is one of the worst human rights tragedies of the 20th century. However it will not be resolved by granting the Palestinians statehood. On the contrary, in the context of the rise of extremist Islamic jihad groups throughout the Middle East, to create a new Islamic state on Israel's doorstep which is governed by the PLO will be a potential disaster for both Jews and Arabs. Instead, the international community should be doing all in their power to respect the rights granted to the Jewish people after WWI, defend the existence of the democratic Israel (the only state truly governed by the rule of law in the region) within secure boundaries, and encourage cooperation between Arabs and Jews. These sentiments were reflected in a speech which Rev. Nile gave in the NSW Parliament several weeks later. Go to the press release
In Singapore I spent time with the C4I prayer team and met with several pastors and Church leaders involved in teaching about God's faithfulness towards the nation of Israel. C4I Regional Coordinators Wilson Ng (from Malaysia) and Kenneth Khoo (Singapore) and I met with Trevor Fong and Gladys Soh of Omega Tours, to prepare for our first tour to Israel from Asia in November this year. I had a few precious hours with Siew Fong and her husband working on the Why Israel Training website we hope to launch in early 2014.
I thank God for what He is doing in our generation to restore His people Israel, and prepare His harvest in the church.
Executive Director C4I International