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By Harald Eckert (Chairman Christians for Israel international) and Drake Kanaabo (Chairman Christians for Israel Uganda, Regional Coordinator - East Africa)
Within 10 days, from June 21 to June 29 2014, we visited six different countries in the eastern half of Africa: Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. The main purposes of this tour were -
a) To strengthen the Christians for Israel network in this part of the world.
b) To present the vision of prayer for Israel in general and of the Global Prayer Call 2015 in particular.
In Zambia, South Africa (one of the nine provinces) and Swaziland we connected with the core Christians for Israel leadership team that had already been set up within the last two years. The procedure in those three countries was quite similar:
• the C4I leaders invited other leaders for a special meeting. Between 10 and 30 pastors/leaders came to those meetings, at which we both shared on the Christians for Israel vision, the local leaders reported on the current development of Christians for Israel in their nation, and Harald then shared his vision for prayer for Israel being strengthened within the praying body of Christ in Africa and introduced the Global Prayer Call (GPC).
• A number of key contacts, including the local leaders, stayed on for a meeting at which an extended Christians for Israel core group was formed with different assigned tasks and responsibilities. In this way, an extended provisional team has been established in each of these nations, under Drake’s overall supervision.
Uganda of course was quite a different situation, since this is the home base of Christians for Israel Uganda and East Africa. We met at length with the 50-60 Christians for Israel leaders there, plus staff and family members. Building on the dynamic developments of the last six years, our discussions were much more visionary and concrete. We were strengthened in our conviction that Christians for Israel Uganda has an apostolic mandate for the wider region.
The next phase was a challenge. Instead of going to South Sudan, we ended up in Nairobi, Kenya! When we arrived at Entebbe airport for the flight to Juba, we were informed that the flight had been cancelled. We were told to fly to Juba via Nairobi. But, to the surprise of everybody involved, when we arrived in Nairobi, the Kenyan authorities demanded a visa from Harald for South Sudan. It seems that the rules have been changed recently. We could not go to South Sudan. Only a few days later we found out that during the days of our planned visit there had been much unrest, as the Ugandan army had moved in to appease the situation in the capital Juba. For the C4I team in Juba of course this was a big disappointment. They had worked extremely hard to set up very significant meetings. Drake will travel within soon to visit and encourage the team. Harald hopes to have the opportunity to visit South Sudan in the near future.
The positive surprise was that we could spontaneously connect with part of the C4I team in Nairobi, Kenya. Pastor David Juma (the leader of C4I Kenya) and his leaders where very encouraged by our spontaneous visit and the things we shared around the table with his elders. He felt that this was an encouragement from the Lord to breathe new life into the Christians for Israel work in Kenya.
The final station was Addis Ababa , the capital of Ethiopia. In one way this could be called the highlight of our tour. One of the reasons for this was the fact that Willem Glashouwer’s recent visit to Ethiopia in April 2014 had left a deep impression. The young Christians for Israel team in Ethiopia is “on fire”. Within their very limited means, they have adopted a very professional approach to laying the foundations for the Christians for Israel ministry in Ethiopia.
The two of us had a great sense of the historical, biblical, spiritual and political almost unique significance of Ethiopia within the African continent. Putting these two dimensions together the two of us where touched by a great sense of potential and purpose as for Ethiopia. This was confirmed to us by the meetings. In the morning we preached at one of the 200 “full gospel churches” of Addis (over 2,000 in all of Ethiopia) with about 800 to 1,000 atendees. The conference in the afternoon was attended by 200-300 persons.
Drake shared his testimony in connection with Christians for Israel. Harald had 3 messages:
a) Times of restoration
b) Prayer for Israel
c) The nations and Israel.
The response was overwhelming. And the young Christians for Israel team was strengthened.
To sum up:
• During the whole tour we had a great sense of God’s precise timing, almost apostolic anointing and a
great urgency and blessing to move things forward.
• The friendship and teamwork between Drake and Harald developed excellently.
• All the teams on the ground seem to have a high potential to spread the Christians for Israel vision and
mission to the church in their countries and to a varying degree also on a national/government level.
South African Team (25-06-2014)
Swaziland Team (25-06-2014)
The Zambian Team (22-06-2014)