Books on examples of Jewish evangelism in Israel

Ok, taking a break from my European travel writing, instead going back to my focus on the Holy Land and things I’ve seen and experienced.

I’ve been to a couple of places where there were congregations of Messianic Jews worshiping together who had some books on the testimonies and ministry work that brought Israeli Jewish people (and also Arab people and other groups) to Jesus.  I have two books from these places which have some of the most heart warming stories of Israeli finding their Messiah.

Let’s quickly make up this map:-

david davis bookThe first one at the top, is David Davis Z”L (he died in 2017) who is a pastor of a congregation in Mount Carmel, who wrote about his life in this book from being an actor and moving from New York.

The second is in the extreme corner of the bottom of Israel in Eilat from John and Judy Pex at The Shelter Hostel, which is also a meeting place for local believers on Fridays.

dscf8621Some people are told its illegal to spread the gospel to people in Israel.   This is a lie.  Israel has freedom of religion, albeit with some restrictions, you cannot convince child to adopt another religious without parents permission, and you can’t coerce someone to follow another religion in return for a gift or bribe.

Conventional evangelism in say, Jerusalem tends to not work well and its socially frowned upon, as in walk-up giving out leaflets.  In Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) the number of believers is very small and congregations are probably limited to meeting in people’s houses.  The most common way people accept the gospel is through a Youtube videos which then results in people privately contacting the group like OneforIsrael for more information and a meet up.

I had a flash of inspiration the other day….

Maybe, revival of the Jewish people will happen at opposite edges of Israel and work its way back to the middle when Jesus will come back to Jerusalem!!

One the left, the blue symbols I’ve marked for “WhyMe?” which is from Tel Aviv based evangelist Jacob Damkani, and also for “Leave me alone I’m Jewish” by Pastor Ron Cantor also from Tel Aviv.   I’ve not seen these books but I need to get them soon.

Mount Carmel congregation https://britinjerusalem.com/2011/03/13/from-karmiel-to-mount-carmel/ 
The Shelter Hostel Eilat https://britinjerusalem.com/2015/07/31/come-stay-celebrate-the-story-of-the-shelter-hostel-in-eilat-israel-book-by-john-judy-pex/ and https://britinjerusalem.com/2009/12/23/journey-to-the-red-sea-%E2%80%93-part-two/ 

I’ll maybe write a part 2 to this part as theres some scripture that points to certain parts of Israel getting revival first.

Are Messianic Jewish/Palestinian Christian peace events motivated by Christ or something else?

Another one of these Jew/Arab meet ups happened again this month in Cyprus.   From someone uninformed what could be better than Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians get together for reconciliation and understanding they don’t agree on everything?

But, what happens which such event, only offers peace on one their own terms and uses manipulation of the other?

One of the Palestinian Christian leaders is a guy called Sami Awad, who was part of a group called “Zen Peacemakers”

According to a quick look up on Facebook, Zen Peacemakers is actually a Buddhist group.

Sorry, but peace only happens when you have real relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

P1040650 - Copy

This is a great Arabic speaking church in Nazareth I went to – completely full when I went, not enough seats, some standing! Also had English translation using radio headset.

I’ve seen some meet ups between Jewish and Arab believers in the holy land, I find it hugely heartwarming when it happens.   It seems to be easier to create peace in Galilee communities which Jews and Arab live quite close together.

In the four years I live in Israel I had Arab believers in my church and in other congregations I have visited.

I know in Bethlehem there are Arab believers that part of Steve Kory’s church who work together with their Israeli neighbours, and various home churches which operate discretely.  For Christians in the West looking into side with, these are some of your best bets for strengthening the body in these difficult places.

Until then, some of these fake peace groups are as about as convincing as McDonalds trying to combat child obesity.

Details here:-

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/28353/Default.aspx?utm_content=buffer5b6c6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=latestnews 

https://roshpinaproject.com/2016/02/13/in-cyprus-israeli-messianic-jews-agree-not-to-criticise-terror-supporting-palestinian-christian-leaders/

http://www.comeandsee.com/view.php?sid=1308

 

Hyper Hebrew Roots movement – 1. What my definition of HHRM is

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

What is Hyper Hebrew Roots? Its a word I’ve made up, but this is my definition of what it is. This is a modern religious movement of Christians who are fascinated by Israel and Jewish people, but are confused about the roles and how this impacts them. Christian Zionism and supporting Israel is great, and making friends with Jewish people, secular, religious and believers.

Recently I have seen mention of “Hyper Grace” – Christians who believe in Grace but feel forgiveness and confession of sins isn’t needed.   Grace is needed but not by compromising our need to deal with our sins.

When I see some Christians who love Israel and Jewish culture changing their worship and teaching to something new and unknown this can concern me.

I use the Hyper Hebrew Roots Movement as a separate thing from traditional Jews, Messianic Jews and Christian Zionists. Christians who are opposed to Christian Zionism who I disagreed with do have used some legitimate concerns about the Hebrew Roots movements, so I thought I’d share my criticism as someone who supports Israel.

Warning, I need to state I am completely against antisemitism and any hostility to Jewish people and nation of Israel.   These criticisms are intended to people of Christian audience who may have confusion over their faith background or for who get into some unusual teaching without discernment. So, why on earth would a Christian like me who loves Israel and Jewish people who served the Jewish people talk about this on his blog?

This because all niche ministries in the Christian world can have some bad stuff.   It is necessary to educate people who may get swayed by them kindly but firmly with patience. The HHRM phenomenon is not Christian or Jewish, it is a big man-made heap of religious confusion. HHRM is characterised by the three or more of the following:-

  • Pretends to have understanding of Hebrew and Jewish traditions and practices but often getting them wrong
  • “Sacred names”, a rigid compulsion to only refer to God and Jesus by certain words only
  • Unkind words to former churches, Christian friends and pastors
  • Defence of criminal actions by teachers of questionable doctrine (certain bad teachers are going to jail for fraud)
  • Legalism
  • Frequently gets into fights and quarrels
  • Has unusual religious clothing
  • Rigid ideas about food (not necessarily about kosher)
  • Denial of the Trinity
  • Paints the whole church as ‘pagan’ and lost
  • Lacks discernment
  • Does not go to any church or congregation at all
  • Lives in solitude and doesn’t mix with others believers, won’t let their kids mingle with any other kids
  • Little understanding of New Covenant and Jesus’s death and resurrection
  • Believe someone can be saved without Christ
  • Cultish behaviour
  • And in extreme situations, apostasy

I love:-

  • Christians who support Israel
  • Dialogue between Christians and traditional Jews
  • Getting to know Arab people who consider Israel their home, as well other ethnic groups in Israel such as Armenian Christians, Bedouins and Druze
  • Evangelism, this needs to be done sensitively with bad ways Christians have treated Jews previously
  • Supporting Israel in prayer and in physical needs
  • Learning Jewish foundations of Christianity
  • Learning Hebrew
  • Discovering Jewish history in other countries (I went travelling around Morocco in March, a country that once had 250,000 Jews)
  • Finding out about biblical history

In Israel, I love the Jewish people, I particularly love the Messianic Jewish communities. In my opinion to me they are the benchmark of what I see are the right way for Jewish people worldwide to know Yeshua, the styles of teaching will often vary greatly though.    My Israeli believer friends are completely far and away from the odd teaching I see from the HHRM movement.    In short, HHRM is an embarrassment to both Jews and Christians.

There are builders or tradesman there are people who will do terrible building work or take people’s money and disappear. Sometimes the ministry world is like that, there are bad people can take advantage of vulnerable people.   So rather than blame the whole movement, I need to highlight some bad practices that crop up for the purpose of keeping my brothers and sisters in Jesus safe and show examples of scripture.

I’m going to talk more about what I have seen over several posts here.

1. What my definition of HHRM is 2. Popular but highly sketchy names in the movement – 3. Holidays, Shabbat, keeping & eating4. Sacred names5. Do believers need to keep Torah?6. Bad teaching that leads to apostasy7. what do real Jewish believers in Jesus think of this movement?8. How we can help people in HHRM

Lance Lambert, author, speaker, prophet and British gent in Israel 1931-2015

Got a message today to report the sad passing of Lance Lambert, a British man who was a well known author on theology and Israel in prophecy.   The interesting thing was I was at my parents house last week and found and old book of his that fell out of a shelf.

lance book2 lance book1

lanceLance was someone I got know very well personally.   Quite a few young people in their 20s and 30s doing volunteer work for various Christian organisations got to have bible study or get-togethers at his house.   Not only was Lance a worldwide renowned speaker and author he was very hospitable, but as a single man who never married who had a few health problems, he always had people helping him at his home, cooking, looking after his pets (3 parrots, 2 dogs, 2 cats) and going on tour with him.   Lance was high in demand in churches and Christian events, so would usually go to the US and Canada every summer, to the UK and other parts of Europe but when he was younger would go to China.   He would always have volunteers to help with his travel arrangements and getting him on flights, hence I came good friends with Christians of similar age with folks like Nathan, Josh, Shlomo, Basti, Stephen, Richard and Michael who worked for Lance at different times.

Goldie at Christmas2Oddly we had a lot of fellowship when Lance was not there, as he left a budget for his housekeepers to have people over dinner.   We were kept amused by films, card games, Lance’s old and fascinating house full of antiques and of course his animals.    The three parrots he had, one would screech loudly, another would join in, and the other one was friendly and amenable and would talk and mimic the doorbell, telephone and the dogs barking.  Lance’s house was in a historical part of Yemen Moshe, Jerusalem close to the famous King David Hotel and the “Yimca” (Israeli word for the YMCA)   he emigrated in Israel from the UK in 1980, he lost some of his family in the holocaust.

Tuesday would normally be bible study for crowd of us, sometimes just 8, there could be as many as 25.   Lance and his friend Chuck an American Messianic leader would discuss what was currently happening in the news, and talks usually stuck to particular book ie Romans or Revelation.

Since I left Israel in 2013, I knew the Lance’s health was causing him some challenges, but he would always speak at the Feast of Tabernacles event run by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, as many Christians would come to this event as a huge praise and worship event.   Lance has given prophecies about world events these been have documented on his web site, some of these have already been realised such as the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I will miss Lance, he is a wonderful British gent who was highly knowledgeable on the bible, gracious, hospitable with a passion to speak about the Lord all over the world.

Some of Lance’s books:-  (many translated to lots of different languages)

Israel a secret documentry 1975 (these years might not be right, as some of been re-printed)
Battle for Israel 1976
Uniqueness of Israel 1980
Israel The unique land the unique people 1981
Till the day dawnss 1982
God can do it without me 1991
Thou art mine 1991
Reignin with Christ 1992
Jerusalem the covenant city 2000
Jacob I have Loved 2008
The eternal purpose of God, salvation is not the end, but just the beginning 2009
Explainig Spiritual protection 2012
Let the house of God be built 2012
If any man would follow me 2012
They Shall Mount up with Wings 2012
The glory of Thy People Israel 2012
In the day of thy power 2013
Warring the Good Warfare 2013
Be ye ready 2013
Spiritual Character 2013
My house shall be a house of prayer 2014
The Battle of the Ages 2014
What is God doing? 2015
The supremacy of Jesus Christ 2015

Lance’s official web site

http://www.lancelambert.org/ – His books on Amazon UK now

lances web siteFrom one of books;

Lance Lambert is one of the most distinguished Bible scholars and speakers in Israel today and has an itinerant teaching ministry worldwide. Born in 1931, Lance grew up in Richmond, Surrey and came to know the Lord at twelve years of age. He entered the school of African and Oriental studies at London University to prepare for work in China. He studied Classical Chinese, Mandarin, Oriental Philosophy and Far Eastern History, but the revolution closed the door to European missionaries and his entry into China. In the early 1950’s Lance served in the Royal Air Force in Egypt and later founded Halford House Christian Fellowship in Richmond, England. Having discovered his Jewish ancestry Lance became an Israeli citizen in 1980 and now has his home next to the Old City of Jerusalem. His father and many members of his family died in the Holocaust. Lance is noted for his eschatological views, which place him in the tradition of Watchman Nee and T. Austin-Sparks. He produces a widely appreciated quarterly audio recording called the Middle East Update, which gives his unique perspective on current events in the Middle East, in the light of God’s Word. He has written numerous books and is presenter of the video production, Jerusalem, the Covenant City.

Common pitfalls that can catch believers volunteering or studying in Israel

For believers, Jewish or Gentile volunteering or studying in Israel, I thought I would offer a list of pitfalls that can trip up followers of Yeshua who are staying in the holy land for any length of time.

Cultural sensitivity

Try and avoid wearing Tshirts with religious or political message.  Making sure you the right attire for religious sites which means arms and legs must be covered, and the Orthodox Jews don’t like women in trousers, you need a long skirt in you are a female and wish to go through religious communities.

Staying in your flat all weekend

Theres lots to see if you are in Jerusalem, when Shabbat is over its fun to get into the centre of town and meet with friends at a coffee shop or ice cream joint.  Usually there is people playing music in the streets in Ben Yehuda Street and the place starts to become alive Saturday evening.

I’ve noticed what I would describe is a habit that some people never go out.   I had two housemates like this.   This has happened to me too often.   I think its a spiritual thing that can cause people to hide away sometimes.

Not praying over yourself

Pray for the armour of protection.  THIS IS A MUST.  Before you leave the house.   This place is a spiritually volatile as it is politically volatile.   No need for alarm or panic, but be aware any worries, negative thoughts can intensifying and depression can creep in while you are in Israel.

Ephesians 6 : 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This passage is saying about praying protection on yourself like the pieces of protective equipment worn for a war.   This is a quite a good metaphorical statement needed.

If you don’t understand this passage, then get familiar with it.   If you don’t want to understand this passage or would rather ignore this, don’t come to Israel.

Working on Shabbat

Don’t do it, stick to the biblical week, and shut down normal week friday evening.   I’m not saying when you return to your original country you have to change away from your traditional working patterns, just while you are in Israel, observe the Sabbath and get a nice meal and invite some friends over, or get together with family, its good to invite someone outside of your usual group of friends who might otherwise be on their own that evening.

Because of spending all the time working, making every day the same, I’ve sadly seen some believers here and in my own country fall away this way.

Some ministries are working to a very tight deadline to make a complex project happen, and I’ve done it a few times only to find the project I was working on went wrong.  Seriously friends, if you are doing ministry in Israel, don’t work Shabbat, its meant to be special for a reason.

Not going to a congregation of believers

Sadly some Christians have this idea if you work in a ministry, do a bit of private bible study or a visit an Orthodox synagogue you don’t need to go to a congregation, this is not true!! As well as get teaching and participate in worship, you need to have fellowship with believers, its also great to meet other foreign Christians, Jewish believers and sometimes Arab believers this way, take part in Jewish holidays, Torah portion (both Tanakh and Brit Hadasha, ie: Old Testament and New Testament)

Hebrews 10 : 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Once you build some good friendships in your congregation (this took quite a while for me)  its a great way to get mentored or be a mentor.   If you find your life is completely peachy and never have any worries or struggles (you must be an extreme rarity!)  use your experience of overcoming struggles to help others.   Ok, realistically, if you have overcome many struggles you might also be called to look out for those who are on their own or going through a tough time.

 Not drinking enough water

This happens a lot, it seems that a human being’s thirst doesn’t quite get calibrated right, and you may stick to usual pattern of fluid intake in a cooler country, don’t rely on this, you often need to drink about 2-3 times as much as you are used to especially if you are outside a lot.

If someone you are with doesn’t pack water on a trip and after you remind them they say ‘no I am alright’ don’t accept this and keep reminding them in making sure they are taking enough.   A hike for some hours in the desert necessitates 3-4 litres of water at least.   I find it best to get into a pattern of drinking some at least every half an hour.   Dehydration takes places quickly and can really spoil your day or at the very worst make you very ill.

Don’t bash regular Christianity

If your brothers and sisters in Christ don’t show the same interest in the Holy Land, don’t get into a them-and-us mentality.  There’s nothing worse than religious arrogance.

We are meant to be ambassadors for Jesus whilst we are away from our places of origin.   It gives a bad impression if we show there is division among our fellow Christians.

When churches go with the world of plans to redefine marriage and family structure to appease a twisted society, people get angry and blame the whole church system as going down the tubes.   I think the institutional church is not what it was but its crucially important we give a good impression of us as servants of the Lord.

When I see Hebrew roots movements telling people ‘listen to our theology, not pagan Christianity’  this makes me very cross.   Don’t listen to any arrogant person who attacks the wider body of church, but do pray for the body of believers in our own respective countries.

My observation is that many Christians simply don’t know a lot of the bible, and don’t know the importance of Israel and the Jewishness of Jesus, but don’t know many other aspects of their faith, just because (particularly me) getting familiar with all aspects of the scriptures in the entirety is hard work.

Don’t try and be something you are not

If you are a gentile Christian with an interest in Hebrew Roots or Jewish foundations of Christianity, please don’t put on a kippur or tzi-zit.   Don’t try and be something you are not.   This causes so many problems.

Here’s a classic anti-replacement theology passage:- Romans 11 : 11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

The bible tells us (regular gentile Christians) that we are to make the Jews jealous from our salvation from the Jewish Messiah.

Some overly enthusiastic Christians get their theology back to front and try and wear clothing used by observant Jews.   This can be interpreted as Replacement Theology, that Christians are the ‘new Jews’  and the almost certainly the reaction from other Christians as they are being just being plain daft.

Studying Hebrew roots can be great, but its not meant to be a religious dressing up game.

Be aware of unusual teachings and having discernment

Which way round do the events in end times event happen?  Is the New Testament written originally in Greek, Aramaic or something else?  Jesus’s birthday is 25th December?

Often people come up with some ideas that seem different from the norm, so be careful and research everything thoroughly yourself.

1 Timothy 1 : 3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

Sometimes there’s aspects of the bible that have several plausible explanations that we will have different interpretations, they often aren’t significant enough to argue about.    I admire my friend Judah’s earlier blog post about tolerance of different ideas from our brothers and sisters in Christ, but robustly challenging anything false.

September back in UK and back in time for Rosh Hashana

I mentioned that I took some time back in the UK to see family, this was good to have a break, as I had been particular busy at work, and have new servers and network equipment to install quite soon, some of this will mean some weekend work maybe.   I hadn’t been back home since January so this was a good chance to relax for a bit.

Back in the UK, I decided to take a trip to London on a National Express coach to attend a prayer and demonstration outside of the House of Commons buildings in London, to stop Israel from being divided, and the very real threat of violence and war as a result of this.

There was about 300 people outside here, some of the banners were also in Hebrew as there were a few Messianic Jews and Hebrew speaking Christians there.   This was organised by Christian Middle East Watch, a ministry I haven’t heard of before, but was impressed at what the had to say.   The only thing that worries me, is that most British Christians that support Israel tend to be over retirement age, I wish there was more of all ages of people involved, for people praying, promoting and visiting Israel into the future.

Back in Portsmouth, I got a chance to have a decent roast dinner and beer for £6.50 (wow bargain!) with friends from church for lunch at a new Wetherspoons pub.   I also got to go blackberry picking with my family including my 1 year old niece by some bushes next to a golf course.   It was a bit of a shame I only got to see a fraction of the friends I wanted to see in the two weeks though.

I took a train to Wales to visit the UK office of the charity I work for, to roll out some necessary new equipment and antivirus software.  I didn’t manage to get everything done, but I have remote software to do some updates, the 2 hour time zone difference gives me an advantage that I can make some changes without disturbing the users from working.  Working at this site isn’t part of my official responsibility but I really wanted to do some preventative maintenance to ensure they are less likely to hit problems in the future.

Got to watch a brief bit of TV in Wales at our UK director’s house of the UN conference with Benjamin Netanyahu speaking, which he did brilliantly, with difficult decisions ahead with more determined plans for a Palestinian state being presented.

Slightly humourous moment on the plane back to Israel, I was flying on a Saturday so there weren’t any religious Israelis on the plane, but when using the toilet on the plane, someone had eaten some bacon flavoured crisps and left the empty packet behind on the floor!

Now back in Israel again, just at the right time before Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), so I got only work half a week, and spend 2 1/2 days relaxing, actually had to 3 hours of important work from home due a server that broke just before leaving.  Its funny when celebrating the New Year (5772)  people aren’t actually waiting for a special change of a clock or anything like that, just good food and company of friends.

I am also fixing two other volunteer’s laptops, setting up a wireless router in a neighbour’s home which the current one won’t work with the HOT supplied cable modem for some reason, enjoying church, friend’s birthday evening out at a waffle restaurant today.

Tunnel bike ride on Yom Kippur

The 8th of October is Yom Kippur or day of atonement, one of the most significant events in the Jewish calender, its a holiday where everything shuts down completely, people fast, stay at home and huge numbers of people visit the Kotel (Western Wall)

Me and some friends decided to do some spontaneous craziness, there is a big tunnel that passes under the front of the Jaffa gate, its part of a big dual carriage highway that acts as a important traffic artery that winds its way hidden under the famous gate so not to spoil the historical look of the old city.   This road is very busy, and there is only one day where its empty…

I am riding up with my friend Yossi who lives quite near me, bizarrely all the traffic lights around Jerusalem are permanently flashing amber.

Heading towards the tunnel, oh wait, drat – its shut!!  Bah.

Waiting for the other guys to show up, one of them was still in bed!   Slackers. 🙂

 

Ok, we are all set….

The tunnel is shut – as in there is a barrier over one side of the ride to stop cars going in, easy to dodge this on a bike though 🙂

One of my other friends got some videos of this, maybe try and put this on Youtube later…

Ok, this is one way back, the road is a steep, not that obvious, but you give up riding 1/3 of the way back!

Stopping for ice cream at German Monastery in Old City.

Some general randomness and goofing off all around the city, including going up some steps reveals some bike-friendly and a skateboarder’s paradise of slopes and interesting corners to ride around….

 

Certain bits of the old city gives you hidden rooftop views of the markets below..

After this epic ride around a few of us went to the Kotel (Western Wall) and got some pizza.   Good day I think with my Christian, Jewish and Arab buddies. 🙂

Easter Sunday – Resurrection day at the tomb

My phone woke me up at 4.45am today on Easter Sunday morning, a silly time indeed, but I needed to leave just after 5 to get to the other end of the city for a special event with people churches all over the city starting at 06.00.

Lots of people are queuing outside….

Looks like people lining up for the sales (sunday is a regular work day in Israel) or going to a concert of some kind….

Aha, its starting to become clear now….

This was a special place to celebration of Jesus’ resurrection at the very place mostly likely to have been buried, but most definitely risen!

Really good service from a speaker I have not heard from before, and some great worship music from my (King of Kings) congregation.

It did mean that that leader speaking, the worship band and the tomb itself were hidden from view as there were bushes and trees in front of where I was sitting thought!   I would have a guess that there was about 2000 people crammed into the garden.  About half of the people I would guess are Christian tourists on a short holiday,with the remainder being Israeli believers and foreign Christians like me volunteering in the land.

Finally a quick glimpse of the tomb itself as people are leaving.

This was a memorable day to spend Easter Sunday.  I missed this service last year as I didn’t wake up in time!!

Funnily enough, two years ago I was working for an Israeli software company in Southampton UK, there we were given a chocolate egg by our bosses as an Easter present!  Also Pesach was mentioned as well as the Jewish holiday is the week before Easter.

Next: My journey to Nazareth and Cana to see Jesus’ childhood

From Karmiel to Mount Carmel

I stayed with a friend in Karmiel whilst on my journey around northern Israel, it is a little tricky to get there as bus times are a bit hit and miss, requiring a journey at Tel Aviv, Haifa, Akko or Tiberias.   The railway network doesn’t cover the greater Galilee area.

Before heading to Dave’s flat, I saw a fox outside.   He looked a bit different than a common British garden and dustbin explorer.   This one was grey rather than brown and red.   Sadly you can really only see his eyes glowing here.   Hes not scary though.

The beautiful, mostly ex-Russian community of Karmiel is very clean and tidy with well kept gardens and trees by every street junction.

Waking up in the morning I was greeted by bird song.

Whilst at the north of Israel, I got a chance to go with some people to a church close to Karmiel.

Only a few months ago there was a devastating fire that affected this place resulting in deaths of prison workers scrambling to get people out of the jails.

As this a short distance from Mount Carmel (two different places with similar sounding names) close the where the prophet Elijah went to.

This church is on the outskirts of an Arab village on top of this mountain overlooking Israel’s third largest city Haifa.

Where actually this one isn’t the closest to Karmiel where was staying, it is one hours drive away, it was worth it.

There is some beautiful views at the top of a steep hill which requires negotiating around some zigzag bends to get up there.  We would of been late, so thought we would do some photos on the way back down.

The church has the service in three languages, English, Hebrew and Russian, some of the Russian Israelis who don’t speak English or Hebrew had some of radio headsets I have seen at quite a few churches now.   There are also a few Arab believers here.

At the end I only got a quick chance to speak to people including the senior pastor David Davis, I was really impressed with this church and mentioned to him about some Jewish believer friends who had moved from the UK and Germany, he gave me a copy of his book the Road to Carmel to give to them, although I have read it myself, its really encouraging testimony, and on how he got to Israel, and worked with actors and people in the theatre industry and drug users in both the US and Israel.

I highly recommend checking out this congregation for both Israeli believers or visiting foreigners looking for a congregation whilst checking out northern Israel.   Its also an example of God working with reconciliation between Jews and Arabs.  I regret not being able to get a nice picture of the outside of this church which is how you imagine a congregation could of been back there with large archways all the way around the front, this church was built in the late 1990s.

www.carmel-assembly.org.il

Some amazing views, however not the amazing ones seen earlier driving up some zig zag roads as it was now foggy in the afternoon!

After another bus from Karmiel to Akko, to get a train to Jerusalem, which was a long journey, the bus station gets interesting views of the surrounding hills here.

On the train I got a glimpse out of the train a remainder of some famous names in IT that are here.   This time I get to spy on Google!  Ha ha ha!