|Some Delegates at the 2017 ALS pose in front of the Grand Court Hotel, Jerusalem|
Church Arise! was privileged to participate in the 3rd edition of the biennial ALS which held August 25-Sept 1 at Jerusalem. The Summit was convened to provide a connection between Africa’s businesses and institutions with Israel’s, with the ultimate aim of connecting Africa with the Abrahamic covenant.
The timing could not have been more auspicious, with the State of Israel prophetically looking forward to new initiatives and alliances as she marks a number of significant anniversaries. These included 120 years (to the week) since the first Zionist Conference held in Basel, 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, committing the British Empire to the establishment of a Jewish state in the ancient homeland, 70 years since the declaration of Independence by the State (1948), and a Jubilee (50 years) since Jews took possession of the Temple Mount again in 1967, after more than 2000 years absence!
Main speakers at the Summit included key Israeli national figures such as Nathan Sharansky (a highly respected national hero), and his Deputy at the highly strategic Jewish Agency for Israel, Danielle Mor. Sharansky recalled Theodore Herzl’s rather puzzling statement at the first Zionist Convention, when he said: “After I have liberated Israel, I must turn to liberate Africa” confirming that Israel’s interest and commitment to forging an enduring link with Africa is not a frivolous recent opportunistic move at all. Ambassador Gil Haskel who heads the Moshav (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) spoke extensively of the Agency’s commitment to the world. He repeatedly emphasized that Israel knows exactly what it means to be refugees with no property. And having come out of such a state, she is very willing to help others who are grappling with the same issues today.
Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem explained in great depth the uniqueness of Jerusalem in her status as a melting point for different cultures, peoples, and religions. He explained from secular and Jewish perspectives why ‘maintaining “status quo” is a sacrosanct concept in Jerusalem. He pointed out that right from biblical times, Jerusalem had not been assigned to any of the 12 tribes of Israel, but all were expected to ascend there and worship God.
The amiable and eminent Prof Jerry Gana of Nigeria responded on behalf of Africa; pointing out how Africa had always been there for Israel, when it mattered most: whether in the raising up of the great princes of Israel, Joseph and Moses; or in providing refuge for Israel’s most famous son, the Lord Jesus Christ, during Herod’s pogrom. In concluding the Response, Prof Gana prophesied: “Africa with Israel together will give something new to the world. We did it before, we will do it again.” In his main address later in the Summit, Prof Jerry Gana spoke extensively with incisive examples, on challenges facing leadership in business and politics in Africa. He also proffered a number of possible godly solutions.
The spiritual discussions took the Summit to yet another dimension entirely. Messianic Jew, Pastor Benjamin Berger spoke on the “De-Judaization of Scriptures”, while his brother Pastor Reuven Berger provided further insights into the spiritual mystery of Jerusalem. See page *** for more on Pastor Reuven’s message.
Contributing various side dishes to the spiritual buffet during the Summit were Pastors John AdejoroOluwa from Nigeria (a disciple of the revered Pa John Elton), David Kaberere from Kenya, Sis Margaret Aduol from Kenya (her Holy Spirit-given prayer language is Hebrew!), and Apostle Linda Gbogodo from South Africa. The main spiritual dish was presented by Pastor Segun Olanipekun who leads the Pretoria-based Institute for Christian Leadership (ICLD), main conveners of the Summit. His key message addressed the subject of Covenants as a vital means of bringing enduring blessing into a community, and the timeliness of Africa connecting into the Abrahamic Covenant. Pastor Segun noted on the sideline that the root of the problem at the Temple Mount is the two covenants described in Gal. 4:21-31 as co-existing on one territory. That sounded very much like the conclusion of the National Christian Elders Forum that the root of Nigeria’s problem is the existence of dual ideology, with both Sharia and Democracy co-existing in the same constitution.
A major highlight of the Summit was the launch of the Africa-Israel Chambers of Commerce coordinated by Vulzewa Nyakaza of South Africa (visit https://africa-israelchamber.com/ ). In the same vein the proposal for an African Agency was mooted. Joshua Ojo of CA! was priviledged to be nominated into the eminent Group chosen to work out the feasibility and details of the Agency. Yet another highlight was the launch of the Book of Signatures amassing signatures from Africans affirming Africa’s support for Israel, and recognition of Jerusalem as her eternal capital. Copies of the book, which will be concluded at the 4th ALS in 2019, were presented to Natan Sharansky, Ambassador Gil Haskel, and Mayor Barkat.
Participants at the ALS came from Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, as well as from the Diaspora (outside Africa). A four-day prophetic tour capped the highly edifiying Summit. The Summit was widely reported in several international media including Jerusalem Post, and Israel Collective. Watch videos at www.icld.co.za