Envision Brings Timely Messages to a ‘World at the Crossroads’Published on: 3.3.2022
By: David Parsons
“I want to say to Christian leaders around the world that without faith, you will not finish this race.”
Angus Buchan, South African Evangelist
This year, the ICEJ held its annual Envision pastors and leaders conference under an entirely new format to better fit the busy schedules of church and community leaders worldwide. Through our special online streaming platform, Envision 2022 was expanded from our normal four-day conference to a month-long event spread out from 24 January to 17 February. For four weeks, we offered regional and global prayer sessions, virtual live visits to key places in Israel, informative webinars, keynote messages, and an array of seminars on fascinating biblical and current themes.
This year, Envision brought together nearly 900 Christian pastors and leaders from more than 50 nations under the conference theme “A World at the Crossroads”.
“We’re at a great turning point for the Church today. The pandemic has given us a pause to look at the forms and the functions the modern church… I believe it is a time of restoration, when God is restoring the smaller groups that were filled with the vitality of the Holy Spirit… The purpose of the Church in every age is to make disciples and ultimately to make them in all nations.”
Peter Tsukahira, Co-Founder of Carmel Assembly
The annual gathering was timed once more to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, to better inform Christian leaders on the Holocaust and the need to stand with Israel today. It was thus appropriate that the first of our four live-streamed visits to key locations around Israel was to Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial and museum. The Christian Embassy marked the occasion with a special wreath-laying ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem and a very memorable live interview with the museum’s new Chairman, Mr. Dani Dayan.
In the second week, we came live from Misgav Am, a Jewish community right on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, where we focused on the growing threat from Iranian-backed terror militias in Lebanon and Syria, and the urgent need for more bomb shelters in the northern region. Over the past 15 years, the ICEJ has placed over 160 mobile bomb shelters in vulnerable Israeli communities near Gaza and now along the increasingly volatile Lebanon border.
In week three, our live visit took us to the Knesset for one of the first-ever live-streamed events by an outside organisation from Israel’s parliament. We spoke about the importance of Christian support for Israel with Josh Reinstein, Director of the Knesset Christian Allied Caucus, as well as two new Knesset members, MKs Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism party) and Moshe Tur Paz (Yesh Atid party). “Faith-based diplomacy has become the most important weapon that we have in our diplomatic arsenal”, noted Reinstein.
The final week took us north again to Nazareth to discuss improved relations between Israeli Jews and Arabs, the continuing impact of the Abraham Accords, and the prophetic vision of the Isaiah 19 Highway. Local Arab pastor Saleem Shalash was a great host and representative for the Arab Christian community, while i24 News reporter Yoseph Haddad gave an informative perspective on the how Israeli Arabs have reacted to the recent reconciliation between several Arab countries and the Jewish state.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, God is personalising again the Great Commission… Many times God leads us to the one in order to reach everyone… We never know when we reach one, what it may mean to our family, to our world and to world evangelisation.”
Dr. Billy Wilson, ORU President & Global Co-Chair of Empowered21
At the weekly Global Prayer Gatherings during Envision, we heard encouraging messages from former ICEJ executive director Malcolm Hedding, Fijian pastor Manasa Kolivuso, South African evangelist Angus Buchan, and Mike Bickle of IHOP-Kansas City.
Meantime, the weekly webinars featured international lawyer Andrew Tucker, noted Bible scholar Dr. Brad Young, Israeli security analyst Major (Res) Elliot Chodoff, and a discussion by the ICEJ leadership team in Jerusalem on the excellent new book entitled “A Short History of Christian Zionism”, by Canadian author and church historian Donald M. Lewis . [This book comes highly recommended by our leadership and will be available soon at the ICEJ’s online store.]
Each week of Envision then ended with powerful messages on leadership in our pivotal times from our keynote speakers, which included ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler, ORU President Dr. Billy Wilson, Israeli pastor Peter Tsukahira, and Jordanian pastor Afeef Halasah.
“We need all the friends that we can get and we should encourage connections with anyone who wants good for Israel, wants good for the region and wants good for everything that’s important here… I thank you as an organisation for all the work you are doing to get people out of this wrong conception of what Israel is, what Israel should be and how other organisations and countries treat the state of Israel.”
MK Simcha Rothman, Religious Zionism party
We also aired special Envision greetings received from several government leaders, including President Ilir Rexhep Meta of Albania, Princess Siu’ilikutapu of the Kingdom of Tonga, and US Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
There also were dozens of seminar teachings, briefings and interviews available on our Envision platform covering a variety of timely subjects, such as Leadership at the Crossroads, The Church at the Crossroads, The Church and Israel, and The Restoration of Israel. The seminar speakers ranged from Israeli hi-tech expert Avi Jorisch, to Bible scholars Dr. Brad Young and Dr. Gerald McDermott, Israeli pastors Wayne Hilsden, Asher Intrater and Israel Pochtar, Arab pastors Steven Khoury and Samuel Aweida, Ukrainian pastor Boris Grisenko, and Nigerian minister Mosy Madugba.