Branch News from the Four Corners!Published on: 5.7.2023
By: ICEJ Staff Writers
The branch offices of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem around the globe have been very active in recent months standing up for Israel and celebrating the nation’s 75th Anniversary. Here are reports on just some of our recent events and activities worldwide, starting with the USA.
ICEJ-USA hosts major events to mark Israel’s 75th Anniversary
ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler and his wife Vesna conducted an extended ministry trip to the United States in May to join ICEJ-USA national director Dr. Susan Michael at a series of major events marking Israel’s 75th anniversary celebrations. Dr. Bühler was a featured speaker at these meetings, while Vesna blessed the gatherings with worship songs.
The nine days of festivities kicked off in Washington, DC with a reception on Capitol Hill held in partnership with the Israel Allies Foundation.
Then ICEJ-USA hosted a gala dinner also in Washington to mark Israel’s 75th diamond anniversary which featured Dr. Bühler, Jason Greenblatt (architect of the Abraham Accords), Hananya Naftali (social media consultant for Israel’s prime minister), two governors, Israeli cabinet minister Gila Gamliel, IDF Brig Gen (Res) Amir Avivi, and Israeli and Arab diplomats.
Next, the ICEJ-USA co-hosted the traditional ‘Honor Israel Breakfast’ at the annual National Religious Broadcasters convention, held this year in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Bühler gave the opening welcome at the NRB Breakfast, and conducted numerous interviews with leading Christian media figures.
Earlier in the week, Dr. Bühler visited with Mike Bickle and IHOP-Kansas City, and then ministered at the church of Pastor Gustavo and Ana Paula Valadao in southern Florida.
“We had a wonderful and very eventful time during our visit to the United States”, said Dr. Bühler. “There were many good things happening and Vesna really captured the hearts of the people with her songs. The reception on Capitol Hill was quite a prestigious event and at the DC banquet, Israeli ambassador Michael Herzog, the brother of Israel’s current president, was outstanding and very warm to us.”
ICEJ Holds Regional Conference in Georgia
In June, Dr. Mojmir Kallus, Vice President for International Affairs, travelled to Georgia for a regional conference of our branch offices in the former Soviet republics. It was a follow-up to a similar conference in Istanbul in March 2018, and was organized in tandem with our regional coordinator Serguei Popov.
National representatives arrived from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Uzbekistan. ICEJ-Georgia national director Bishop Oleg Khubashvili hosted the meetings and also opened doors for Mojmir to speak in several local churches.
Attendees also visited the local JAFI office for a briefing on their efforts to help Jews from Russian-speaking nations to reach Israel. We also visited a museum to learn about the history of Jews in Georgia.
In Georgia, office manager George Jijiashvili is very active for Israel and ICEJ on social media and is an excellent teacher on Hebraic roots. The ICEJ team there has good relations with the Jewish community, organises public events, raises awareness of Israel in churches, and helps Jewish immigrants coming through Georgia on their way to Israel.
Our offices in Latvia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are all showing initiative in various areas as well. In each case, our national representatives are senior church leaders with broad spheres of influence, and are actively engaged in practical Aliyah work.
Leaders gather to pray for Ukraine in Estonia
In May, ICEJ Vice President of Operations Barry Denison attended a Leadership Summit in Estonia. The Summit included an excellent program with Estonian, Russian, Ukrainian, and American leaders speaking on the war in Ukraine and its impact on believers, and the churches on both sides of the conflict.
The delegation travelled to Narva on the Estonian-Russian border, where they did a prayer walk praying for Ukraine, followed by an incredibly special communion and worship service. The service, held in the Fortress Museum, was officiated by senior pastor Michael Miller from the Upper Room church in Dallas, Texas with Rabbi Boris Grisenko of Kyiv also bringing a message.
Next, the delegation visited the village of Aseri where Sergey Shidlovskiy, founder of the God Seekers Movement is planting his ministry. Here they also did a prayer walk through the village.
A powerful prayer event also took place in the Singing Fields in Tallin. Around a thousand believers gathered to pray for Ukraine, Estonia, and Israel. During the Israel segment of the event, Barry brought a message on Israel and moderated this prayer time together with Daniel Lim and Rabbi Grisenko, while Sound of the Nations from Fiji lead the beautiful Worship.
Barry also spoke at the Oleviste, or Saint Olaf’s church, where revival has occurred several times in the past. Here, once a month the church holds a special service teaching on Israel with worship in Hebrew and Estonian. Near the church is the ICEJ-Estonia Israeli Center, which is in what appears to be an old cistern. “It feels like Jerusalem,” remarked Barry. The Center opens every Sunday for those seeking to learn more about Israel.
Breaking new ground in Kosovo
Dr. Mojmir Kallus, the ICEJ’s Vice President for International Affairs, recently visited Kosovo to inaugurate our new office in this fledgling country! The only European nation to place its embassy in Jerusalem, Kosovo has a small but active Evangelical community which has welcomed the efforts of the Christian Embassy to connect them with Israel over recent years. This has facilitated not only dialogue and partnership with the local Christian minority, but also with high-level officials. Kosovo and our new ICEJ office there indeed hold much promise to be a blessing to Israel.
ICEJ-Philippines celebrates Israel’s 75th
In July, the ICEJ-Philippines branch office, led by our national director Pastor Stephen Mirpuri, spearheaded a gala celebration of Israel’s 75th Anniversary with over 1,200 Christians in attendance, including many church and ministry leaders. Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss was the guest of honour and was joined by two other Israeli diplomats and four bishops of large denominations in the Philippines, among other dignitaries. The event included numerous speakers, worship and dance teams, and prayers of blessing for Israel by 12 national Christian leaders. Long-time ICEJ board member Sally Madatu and other members of the Philippines branch did an excellent job in organising the 75th celebration.