Youth Community

Aid Ukraine

Order Why Israel Resources

Support our ministry

Subscribe newsletter

Israel & Christians Today

Biblical understanding about Israel

October 19, 2012

Astonishingly open doors in East Africa
By Harald Eckert

I have just returned from four extraordinary days in Uganda, East Africa, in which we experienced great favour and a level of dynamic that I previously had only seldom known. We, that is Willem Glashouwer (President of Christians for Israel International – C4II), Andrew Tucker (Executive Director, C4II) and myself, (Chairman of C4II since 16.09.2012).

Talks and prayer with the Speaker of Parliament of Uganda
After flying all night, we finally got to bed at around 5.00 a.m. The telephone rang at 8.00 a.m. It was Drake Kanaabo, C4II board member and coordinator for East Africa: We were to get ready quickly. Our meeting for the morning was with the Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, the 3rd highest person in the country. Only 2 hours later, we were sitting in her office. She herself had been to Israel only a few weeks previously. And although our request for a meeting had been made only 24 hours before and her schedule was very busy, she very much wanted to meet us. We had an intensive 20-minute-long conversation - among other things also about the approaching UN General Assembly - and afterwards, a very lively time of prayer for her. At lunch we met, rather unplanned, a Member of Parliament, also a believer, who just happened to be working on plans to bring a delegation of 15 Members of Parliament to Israel next spring. And this was only the beginning of my first day in Africa!

The rest of the day served for the preparation of the Pastors' Conference that lay before us - and for acclimatizing! With temperatures at between 25-30 degrees and moderate humidity, that wasn't difficult at all.

50 pastors and leaders from numerous East African countries
We spent the next two days under Drake's coordination in a conference room at the Metropolitan Hotel, in the centre of Kampala. A total of 50 spiritual leaders and co-workers from Uganda (representing around two-thirds of the participants) and neighbouring countries (Zambia, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, etc.) had been invited.

All the conference attendees were either actively involved in the work and already representing C4II in their part of the world, or were seriously considering doing so. The quality of those present was astounding. A significant number of the pastors were leaders of large congregations and networks. A minister (from South Sudan), a bishop (of the Anglican Church in Uganda), and numerous active politicians (all believers with Israel on their mind) were there. One of these politicians has a real chance of becoming the next President of Uganda!

Highly concentrated, excellent teamwork and other dynamic moments
The goal of this training conference was to impart both the “basic equipment” as regards content and practical questions, and the relational networking style and spirit of our international work. Willem Glashouwer presented a number of fundamental teachings, for example, “Israel und the New Covenant”, “The Kingdom of God” and “Israel in the End Times”. Andrew Tucker shared our vision and basic values, giving concrete examples of what our worldwide movement offers. In addition to that, he gave an excellent talk on the historical development of Israel and current issues of international law with regard to the Middle East conflict (Andrew studied international law in Oxford, England). I myself contributed to the topic of leadership and team development, and had the joy and honour of closing the teaching (of the first 1.5 days) with my message on “Israel and the Nations”.

The three of us complemented each other very well and our joint message made a lasting impression on those present. We were ourselves impressed and deeply touched by the highly motivated, focused and receptive participants, and their highly qualified questions and conversations. All of the spoken contributions were enriched by brief but wonderful times of worship – and were closed with a very dynamic time of prayer including very significant prophetic elements. One of many responses came from an 83-year-old lady, a Ugandan “grande dame” (among other things, the wife of a former minister murdered under Idi Amin in the 1970s) and woman of faith. She told us that she had attended many conferences and seminars in her lifetime, but she could describe only a few as being life-changing. For her, the last two days belonged to that category.

New branches in Zambia, South Sudan and Rwanda
On Saturday morning, we met the teams from Zambia, South Sudan, and Rwanda. After in-depth talks and prayer, it became clear that everyone was prepared to work closely together in future under the overall coordination of Drake Kanaabo from Uganda. With the signing of the written agreements, 3 new branches of "Christians for Israel" had been officially opened. A huge step fowards!!!

In Conclusion: A trip through the country to an orphan village
To conclude our time, Andrew Tucker and I drove with the two leaders of the Zambian branch to the shores of the famous Victoria Lake. The drive there through gridlocked streets full of potholes, pedestrians and mopeds (and the occasional bus or truck) was an adventure in itself. During the crossing on a small motorboat through beautiful swampy landscapes to a nearby island, we experienced nature. But the climax was the encounter with around 160 orphans and their carers on the island. The orphan village with school, hospital, newly built apartments and church, was constructed and has been run over the last six years by Drake's congregation. The parents of the orphans came from the surrounding islands and died from AIDS. The love and dedication of the carers and teachers greatly impressed us, as did the high-spirited mood of the children.

The bottom line: a highly impressive and blessed time
This visit to Uganda was, in many respects, a unique experience for me: firstly, visiting another continent for the first time is an exciting thing. Secondly, the network of relationships within "Christians for Israel" and its growth over the last 4-5 years made a real impression on me. Most of all, it was the believers we met and their openness towards God's love and His plans for Israel. I was especially thankful for the overwhelming response to my book “Times of Restoration”. The vision to develop an international prayer initiative with a special focus on prayer for Israel, and for one’s own nation and its relationship to Israel, has received new nourishment. Thanks be to God!

More pictures:



More news...