Dr. George just returned from the meeting of the Board of Directors, International Christian Embassay in Jerusalem, and submitted this report –International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA Board of Directors & Advisory Board Meetings Murfreesboro (Nashville area), TN June 19-20, 2008
As some of you are aware, I have had the privilege of working with the international board and the USA board of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem since 1980, when we lived in Israel while directing the American Institute of Holy Land Studies. The purpose of the Embassy from its beginnings has been to support Israel and the Jewish people from a Christian perspective, through various means – ICEJ Aid (humanitarian outlets), immigration and government relations, international media, the annual international celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles during the fall (7,000 attended last October from about 80 countries), and biblical writing & teaching concerning Israel. Today ICEJ branches in about 20 countries regularly support the Embassy and representatives in another 60 countries represent the Embassy in their countries. Our USA offices are in Murfreesboro, TN and Washington, DC.
Last week I had the privilege of attending the USA branch annual meetings which we held at the huge campus of World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, TN. Besides dealing with operations and finances of the ICEJ-USA, we were heavily involved with reports about events taking place in Israel and the USA, as well as discussing theological issues on the basis of working papers that were presented. We also laid plans for various ICEJ meetings/seminars during 2008-2009 throughout the USA.
Key Reports: Allow me to bring to your attention several reports:
1) One important report is the mounting tension between Israel and Iran, with war preparations taking place within Israel for possible conflict even this summer (Israeli Air Force practicing over the eastern Mediterranean as an example). The country is presently on war-footing at the same time that the Israeli government is negotiating with Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc. Only God knows how this will play out.
2) The second report is an exciting one in the very midst of tragedy. As you are aware there has been civil war taking place within the African state of Sudan for several decades. The conflicts tend to be between the Arab Muslim government in the north and the tribal peoples in the south, many of whom identify themselves as Christians. Many thousands in the south have lost their lives in this attempted genocide by the northern government. While the conflict is going on, there have been a number of humanitarian organizations attempting to assist in the human needs of the people of the south, including the United Nations and Samaritan’s Purse as examples.
As people have fled southern Sudan, thousands have fled into Egypt in the north and then made their way across the desert attempting to slip into southern Israel (illegally of course), for they desire the freedoms and economy of Israel. About 2,000 of them have entered the country, with a number of the men placed in jails by the Israeli government. The Israeli government was divided as to how to handle the situation, so it turned to the ICEJ and other non-government agencies for quick solutions. The ICEJ moved quickly, raised $50,000 in a few days, and leased a hotel inside the Old City for many of the families to stay until ICEJ worked with the government for solutions. Today many of these families have had their husbands/fathers taken out of jails and have been resettled throughout Israel with jobs to support their families, with the intent that they would go back to southern Sudan if and when a new Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) is successful in developing. Negotiations are taking place at this very time with Israel and the UN to bring this about. Again only God knows how this will play out.
How good that the ICEJ was set up and able to move quickly in regard to the Sudanese Refugees – ready at an opportune time!
June 23, 2008