Latest Radio Programmes

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Programme 331 – Maala Thomas

Maala Thomas was born in New Zealand to Finnish parents. She married Evan, a Jewish man, and they left New Zealand and moved to Israel. They settled in Netanya. Evan became the pastor of a Messianic congregation in Netanya and Maala taught in a nearby school.

Recently Maala retired from teaching and when I met her recently, she had just returned from Africa where she had been on a short mission trip. Although this was her first trip to Africa, it turns out that Africa had been in Maala’s heart for many years as she now explains.

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Programme 330 – David Loden

Today I’m in Netanya, a town just north of Tel Aviv, talking to David Loden. He came to Israel with his wife Lisa in the 1970’s and established a congregation called Beit Asaph. David is now in his 80s and for most people that means taking life a little bit slower … not for David – he’s busier than ever. A professional musician, for the past few years he’s been translating major oratorios such as Handel’s Messiah, into Hebrew. He has formed a choir and an orchestra and together they have held several performances around Israel to packed audiences. I asked him to explain his passion.

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Programme 329 – Sharbel Dakwar (part 2 of 2)

Sharbel Dakwar is an Israeli Arab from northern Israel and we met recently in Haifa. His early life was beset with trouble which made him angry and he wanted revenge – particularly on Jewish people. But then his life changed … he became a follower of Jesus… and then something else happened, as he now describes.

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Programme 328 – Sharbel Dakwar (part 1 of 2)

My guest today is Sharbel Dakwar. He’s an Israeli Arab from northern Israel and we met recently in Haifa. His story moves from hatred to love… his early life was troubled and full of disappointment and feelings of injustice as he now describes.

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Programme 327 – Lisa Loden (part 2 of 2)

This week I’m in Netanya, a town in Israel just north of Tel Aviv on the Meditaranean coast, talking to Lisa Loden. Lisa and her husband David are Jewish believers and came to live in Israel from America over 40 years ago. They have always been at the cutting edge of what God is doing in Israel and the West Bank and their faith has had frequently been very practical. Here Lisa describes a project she is currently involved in to encourage new business enterprise within the Messianic Jewish body. I asked her why.

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Programme 326 – Lisa Loden (part 1 of 2)

My guest today, whilst being Jewish, has always been on the front line of reconciliation with Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Her name is Lisa Loden and when we met at her home in Netanya recently, I asked her to describe some of the initiatives currently occupying her time.

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Programme 325 – Luke (part 2 of 2)

My guest today is a quietly spoken, self effacing young man from Wisconsin in the US. He first came to Israel aged 19 with his parents and stayed for just under a year before going back to America. He thought that was the end of his experience of living in Israel, however, when his parents returned for a second time, he felt it right to return with them albeit slightly reluctantly. However, as soon as he returned, he met his wife and they now have two young children and a third on the way. Luke found a secular job, but all the time longed to be working with believers. One day he received a phone call from Eric Benson, the director of the House of Victory, a faith based rehabilitation centre in Haifa for men struggling with addiction. I asked him what he did there.

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Programme 324 – Luke (part 1 of 2)

Whilst in Haifa recently I met Luke and his story impressed me. We met at Beit Yedidia – a guest house in Haifa that is connected to Beit HaCarmel, a large congregation where both Jewish and Arab people meet together each week. Luke is from the US and as you will hear, was persuaded to visit Israel as a young man by his mum and dad who were coming to volunteer in Israel for a year. Little did he know then where that first visit would lead!

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Programme 323 – Avi Mizrachi

Recently, whilst in Israel recording these programmes, I met with Avi Mizrachi in Tel Aviv where he is the pastor of a Messianic Jewish congregation. We hadn’t seen each other for about a year so I began by asking him whether he’d had an encouraging few months.

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Programme 322 – Joseph Haddad (part 2 of 2)

Today we return to Haifa to hear from Joseph Haddad, the pastor of a church in Nahariya in northern Israel where the congregation are all Lebanese – they came to Israel as refugees 16 years ago as Joseph will now explain.

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Programme 321 – Joseph Haddad (part 1 of 2)

Today finds us in Haifa in northern Israel and my guest is Joseph Haddad – the pastor of a Lebanese church in Nahariya, a small town in Israel on the border with Lebanon.

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Programme 320 – Ofer Amitai (part 2 of 2)

Today my guest is Ofer Amitai… he is a Jewish pastor and Bible teacher in Jerusalem. The recent flood of refugees, particularly although not exclusively from Syria, into Europe has created new opportunities for believers in Jesus to help Muslims … many of whom are disillusioned with their faith due to war within the house of Islam. Here Ofer describes how his small congregation in Jerusalem has sent out three missionaries…

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Programme 319 – Ofer Amitai (part 1 of 2)

This programme has one aim: to bring you the stories of believers in Jesus who live in Israel and the West Bank – both Jewish and Arab or Palestinian believers – to help us understand not the politics of the region, but rather what God is doing there despite the politics!
That is the reason I travel to Israel regularly to record these programmes… and this week finds me in Jerusalem talking to Ofer Amitai. He is a Messianic Jewish pastor and Bible teacher. Who better to ask why is Israel such a contentious issue, and why, despite being one of the smallest nations in the world, is this tiny nation constantly the focus of world news?

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Programme 318 – Palestinian Christian (part 2 of 2)

This week we return to The Gathering, an event that occurred in late 2016 when thousands of Christians from many nations of the world, the majority from China and the Far East, gathered in Jerusalem along with local Messianic Jewish believers and Arab Christians. My guest today is a Palestinian Christian from Jerusalem. He was one of the organisers. I asked him whether, as a Palestinian, he felt fully accepted by the rest of the mainly Jewish leadership team.

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Programme 317 – Palestinian Christian (part 1 of 2)

Recently, whilst in Jerusalem I visited a large conference called The Gathering where 5,000 Christians had gathered from the nations – many of them from China and the Far East – to worship God together with believers from Israel, both Jews and Arabs. As you will hear, this was an enthusiastic and noisy event! However one of the most significant people there was a Palestinian Christian … his story is both brave and unusual and for his safety, he remains anonymous.

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Programme 316 – Meno Kalisher (part 2 of 2)

Whilst in Jerusalem recently I met Meno Kalisher. His father was a holocaust survivor, his mother a Jew from Iran. Meno was born in Israel – his parents were amongst the first Messianic Jewish believers in the land and Meno had to decide whether or not to believe in Jesus – not an easy decision for a young Jewish person, especially in those days.
However, today he is the pastor of a congregation in Jerusalem that has grown from 13 to over 350. Are these people all new believers, I asked him?

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Programme 315 – Meno Kalisher (part 1 of 2)

Whilst in Jerusalem recently, I met Meno Kalisher. He was born in Israel. His father was a holocaust survivor. His mother came to Israel from Iran. Growing up in troubled times when Israel was emerging as a newly formed nation, Meno’s family became one of the earliest Messianic Jewish families in the land. Meno describes those early days.

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Programme 314 – Nihad Salman (part 2 of 2)

Recently, whilst in Jerusalem, I met Nihad Salman who is the pastor of an evangelical church in Bethlehem in the West Bank. Life is hard for Christians in the West Bank because they are a tiny majority within a strong Muslim society. Nevertheless, for Nihad, this is a challenge and he is a man of vision. Recently, several members from his church went as missionaries to work amongst Syrian refugees in Berlin, Germany. I put it to him that this was a bold thing for them to do.

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Programme 313 – Nihad Salman (part 1 of 2)

My guest today is Nihad Salman, who lives in Bethlehem in the West Bank where he is the pastor of an Evangelical Church. Bethlehem today is a majority Muslim city where evangelical Christians are very much in the minority. We met recently in Jerusalem – and over breakfast Nihad described the situation he finds himself in.

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Programme 312 – Miriam Chernasov

Israel is a rich mix of people who have come to live there from all over the world. In recent years many Russian Jews have immigrated to Israel including my guest today Miriam Chernasov. I’ve been following Miriam’s story for a few years … she finished school, went into the army and then trained to be a nursery teacher. When I met her recently in Netanya, she had just returned from Armenia … she told me what she had been doing there.

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Programme 311 – Eli Birnbaum

Today I’m in Tel Aviv talking to Eli Birnbaum. He is a missionary with Jews for Jesus with a particular focus on reaching young adults, especially those who have just finished their army service. Jews for Jesus are well known for their creative ideas and Eli’s story demonstrates this perfectly.

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Programme 310 – Myra

Recently whilst in Beersheva, I met Myra from Puerto Rico. I found her working in a Bible book shop. It turned out she was living in Israel and had married a Jewish man… She shares her fascinating story.

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Programme 309 – Brian Slater (part 2 of 2)

On today’s programme we return to Netanya, a city just north of Tel Aviv, on the shores of the Mediterranean to talk to Brian Slater. Many people think Israel is a country full of rich people and are shocked to find out that the poverty level is very high. Brian runs a charity and each week he runs a soup kitchen feeding 50 – 60 people and prepares 350 food packages that he delivers to poor families living in the city.

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Programme 308 – Brian Slater (part 1 of 2)

My guest today is Brian Slater who gave up the good life in Los Angeles to come and live in Israel and work amongst some of the poorest in society. He’s been through some very hard times but he’s resisted the temptation to return to America.

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Programme 307 – Kiryll Makagon

My guest today is a young man called Kiryll. His parents immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine when Kiryll was 8 years old. This story gives a graphic insight into the challenges Jewish people face when they move from one culture to another… and in this case, how one young Jewish child from the Ukraine found his place in Israeli society. I asked Kiryll why his parents left the Ukraine and moved to Israel.

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Programme 306 – Lev Guler

Whilst in Netanya recently I met a Russian Jewish immigrant called Lev Guler. He came to live in Israel with his wife and young child twenty years ago and today he’s the pastor of a congregation in Netanya called Beit Asaph. Lev knows the challenges that new immigrants face when they leave the country of their birth and move to Israel and begin to embrace what is often a new culture … and he has a great heart to help them as he explains.

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Programme 305 – Shirel Ben Haim

My guest today is Shirel Ben Haim. She is 28 and came to Israel from Russia with her mother when she was just 8 years old. What does she remember from those early days?

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Programme 304 – David Firestein (part 2 of 2)

My guest today is David Firestein – he is a Russian Jew – his parents, who were brought up in Communist Russia and are atheists, came to Israel when he was 10 years old.

As a young man, David became deeply disillusioned with life and attempted to commit suicide. However, he survived and lying in a hospital bed and seeing the grief stricken face of his mother, David realised God had spared his life.

Shortly after, he came to understand that Jesus was his Messiah – that He had died for his sins – and gradually he came to believe in Jesus.

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Programme 303 – David Firestein (part 1 of 2)

My guest today is David Firestein. We met in Netanya, a city just north of Tel Aviv. David’s parents are Russian – his father a Russian Jew. After travelling around the world, the family came to live in Israel when David was 10 years old. He has a fascinating story and starts by talking about his parents.

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Programme 302 – Erika Panchoud

This week I’m in Netanya, a city on the shores of the Mediterranean just north of Tel Aviv. My guest is Erika Panchoud. Originally from Tennessee, she came to live in Israel with her husband and their two daughters a few years ago. However, after only a few weeks, Erika’s husband died. This is a story of survival.

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Programme 301 – Sandi Soshani (part 2 of 2)

This week we return to a very noisy street in Jerusalem to the office of a pro-life organisation called Be’ad Chaim to meet the director, Sandi Soshani.
The aim of Be’ad Chaim is to support women who have had an abortion as well as those seeking an abortion – to help them at their greatest point of need. As an organisation, Be’ad Chaim seeks to help mothers practically when they decide to keep their babies. But for those who have lost a child through still birth or abortion, the pain is intense… listen now as Sandi describes one project that helps people to receive help in their time of deepest grief.

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