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Good news from West Africa

BRANCHES - West Africa

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8 Apr 2013 (All day)
Good news from West Africa

About three years ago, we in the leadership of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem received a prophetic word from the Lord that He would open for us ten new branches in Arab/Muslim nations. Soon after this prophecy, doors of ministry began opening for us in several Muslim-majority countries in North Africa, and soon thereafter in the West Africa.

 

In November last year, we inaugurated a new ICEJ branch in Sierra Leone, which is about 60 percent Muslim and 30 percent Christians. Then in February of this year, we dedicated two more new branches in Senegal and Niger.

Senegal and Niger are both countries where more than 90 percent of the population is Muslim. The Christian communities in these nations are small minorities of only five percent in Senegal and under 0.5 percent in Niger. However, the Body of Christ in both of these nations has freedom to preach the Gospel, to plant churches, and to build up their people in the Word of God. The churches there are growing and this was wonderful to behold during a recent speaking tour which I took through the region.

Senegal

In Senegal, all the local Evangelical leaders came to witness and bless the inauguration of the new ICEJ-Senegal branch. The heads of the Pentecostal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist and Brethren churches attended the teaching seminars and worship meetings, eager to receive our vision and our message concerning God’s plans for Israel. They truly see the importance of the Church to bless and pray for Israel and they came together in unity to work with our ministry to accomplish this end.

Our regional representative for Western Africa is Rev. Abdou Maiga, who is also our national director in Senegal and a well-known preacher and Bible scholar throughout the region. As we set apart to carry out the duties of an ICEJ national director, it was clear that he had already done excellent preparatory work by meeting with all the denominational leaders of his country beforehand. As a result, our new board for ICEJ-Senegal is led by the head of the Pentecostal churches nationwide, Pastor Raphael, while all the other denominations were also represented as members.

It was such a joy to fellowship, pray together and spend time with all these powerful ministers and to see how they took ownership of the vision which the Lord Himself has given for His Church concerning Israel! We now have veteran ministry leaders serving as ICEJ representatives in all ten provinces of Senegal, impacting the people with our message.

We also had a meeting with the office of the President of the Parliament, to share our vision and purpose as a ministry and how we want to be a blessing to the people of both Senegal and Israel.

  
Niger

In Niger, the Holy Spirit did much the same as in Senegal as Rev. Maiga was able to lay the groundwork for a successful visit there well ahead of time. The Evangelical body in Niger was well represented in our meetings as the key spiritual leaders participated in the teaching seminars and the service inaugurating the new ICEJ-Niger. Our God-given vision of connecting the churches with God’s purposes for Israel went deep into the hearts of these Christian leaders.

What an honour it was to set apart with prayer and the laying on of hands Pastor Soumanaas the new national director and Rev. Ali as the board chairman for ICEJ-Niger. These leaders will run with the vision and teach others! But the Lord had planned for us to reach out not only to the Body of Christ, but also to the government leaders of Niger.

 

In just four days’ time in Niger, myself and Rev. Maiga met with the Foreign Minister of Niger, Bazoum Mohamed, along with the Speaker of Parliament Hama Amadouand with the Minister of Interior Abba Moro.
 

Many of these government figures were Muslims and we made clear that we represent a global Christian ministry headquartered in Jerusalem and that we believe fully in the Bible and in the resurrection of Jesus. So it was refreshing to be warmly received by these government authorities, and we had very good and meaningful discussions with them.

Surprisingly, they all voiced the same message of wanting to see peace, reconciliation and good relationships with all religions and peoples. These leaders in Niger have a strong readiness to help their nation develop and prosper. Herein lies an open door for Christian ministries to go in, work together with the local body of Christ, and to do good!

The arenas of agriculture and water resources would be ideal areas for believers to bless this nation and contribute to the well-being of the more than 16 million people of Niger! What a picture! The local Church blessing Israel, preaching the Gospel and doing good as they assist their own people in getting up on their own feet! With God all these things are possible!

 

Finally, the Lord works in ways that sometimes astound us! The last meeting we had in Niger was with the Head of the Islamic community, Sheikh Omar Ismael. We shared with him our belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus and our faith in the whole of the Bible and how we as ICEJ are a Christian ministry connecting people to Israel. He in turn told us how in Niger the mindset is one of peace and tolerance – that it is different than radical Islam! During our conversation, he also expressed his view concerning freedom of worship, saying: “If someone says he is worshipping God, why should we hinder him”.

Please keep the body of Christ in Niger and all the people of that nation strong in your prayers! They want to move forward and not to go backward. 

 

Ivory Coast
In addition to these two new ICEJ branches established during my recent 10-day visit to West Africa, we also had a very powerful new beginning for our ministry in the Ivory Coast, following a long and sad civil war in that nation. ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Jürgen Bühler joined us from Jerusalem at this stage of the trip, and together we saw a whole nation open for us once again. It was once more the perfect timing of the Holy Spirit!

It was beautiful to watch as the Lord used our ministry as an instrument to unify the body of Christ, which had been torn apart by the recent civil war in the Ivory Coast which ended last year. All the denominational leaders came together under the headship of Rev. Dr. Jean-Baptiste Nielbien, chairman of the Evangelical churches in the Ivory Coast, and put all their spiritual weight behind our ministry. There are more than four million Christians in the country and each of the leaders present have hundreds of local churches and pastors under their care, giving them great influence in their nation.

During the meetings, we set apart Rev. Kra as our new national director and Dr. Nielbien as chairman of our new board in the Ivory Coast. As in Senegal and Niger, the grace of God brought in strong and recognised Evangelical leaders to oversee our work there.

Doors also opened for us to meet with senior government leaders in the Ivory Coast, as we were received by Madame Jeanne Peuhmond, the Special Advisor to President Alassane Quattara, along with Deputy Foreign Minister Claude Dassys, and the Governor of Abidjan, Pierre Djédji Amondji. They all welcomed us warmly to their country.

The Deputy Foreign Minister told an interesting story concerning the relationship between his country and Israel. The first president of the nation, Houphouet Boigny, had made what he described as a “covenant” with Israel – this is the word he used – and as a result the nation had become the most prosperous in West Africa. For this reason, the current President, Quattara, deliberately made his first state visit after his inauguration especially to Israel, in order to re-establish that covenant. That is quite amazing for a Muslim leader!
 

Lastly of note, during our stay in the Ivory Coast, Jürgen and I also filmed three shows with “Light of the World”, a program broadcast on the Christian television network LM-TV, which reaches 48 countries and over 200 million people all across Africa.
 

Time for the nations

Now is the time to come alongside God concerning His purposes for Israel and the nations! Get involved, keep on praying and stand with us financially according to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit in your heart. When we pray and work together, the doors will open for our ministry!

Partner with us to reach more nations with this important message:

 

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