Latest Radio Programmes

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Programme 415 – Oded Soshani

Today my guest is Oded Soshani. He lives with his wife, Sandy, in Jerusalem. They have 7 children. He is the pastor of a Hebrew speaking Messianic congregation and Sandy is the national director of Be-ad Chaim, a pro-life organisation in Israel. As a couple, Oded and Sandy understand God’s heart for reconciliation – not just man to God, but also person to person and in the context of the Middle East, Jew and Arab. So how does that work out? We met in Jerusalem, in a rather noisy office, as you will hear! Listen now as Oded shares his experience of being a secular Jew to becoming a pastor with a heart for his Arab neighbours.

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Programme 414 – David van Owerkerk (Beit Asaph)

Welcome to this week’s edition of The OT and another story about life in Israel and the West Bank for believers in Jesus who live there. Recently I was in Netanya, a city just north of Tel Aviv in Israel. There is a Messianic congregation there called Beit Asaph where Evan Thomas is the pastor. Within the congregation is a young man called David van Oukerk. He was born in Holland and moved with his family to Israel when David was 13 years old. I began by asking him how he adapted to Israeli life.

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Programme 413 – Evan Thomas

Hello, you’re listening to The Olive Tree with me JF – the programme that brings you a fresh glimpse of life in Israel and the West Bank – that of believers in Jesus who live there, Jewish and Arab and Palestinian people – to hear what God is doing in the region despite the conflicts that frequently erupt.
My guest today is Evan Thomas – pastor of a Messianic congregation in Netanya, he is also a leading figure in the work of reconciliation between Jews and Palestinians as this week’s programme will reveal. He and his wife Maala recently led a team of twelve Israeli believers – 6 were Jewish and 6 were Palestinian – to Germany where they joined with a group of young German Christians. The idea was to work together and present their combined stories to the people they would meet. I asked Evan whose idea this was.

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Programme 412 – Daniella Stavi (J for J)

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Olive Tree which today comes to you from the 10th floor of an office block in Tel Aviv where my guest is Daniella Stavi, a missionary with Jews for Jesus in Israel. She was born in Israel, went to school here and served her mandatory two years in the army. Today Daniella is leading a team to work amongst homeless people and those caught in drug and alcohol addiction, and as you will hear, this is a big problem in Israeli society. I asked her to describe how and why she chose to work with Jews for Jesus.

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Programme 411 – Raja

Today I’m in Jerusalem, in the heart of the Old City talking to Raja who is an Israeli Arab. Like the majority of Arabs who live in the Old City, he describes himself as a Palestinian – as you will hear. He is 54 years old, married with 6 children and to date has 7 grandchildren. Born into a Catholic family, he grew up in the Old City. His father died when he was only 10 and if that wasn’t tough enough for a young boy, the political unrest in the Old City was gathering momentum and Raja’s life soon spiralled out of control. This is the story of what God is doing to transform seemingly impossible situations.

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Programme 410 – Joseph Haddad

My guest today is Joseph Haddad. He was born in Israel to Lebanese parents. He grew up in Haifa and for many years he and his wife have cared, quite literally, for a group of Lebanese refugees who fled to Israel – in fact they started a church for them in Nahariya, on the border between Israel and Lebanon. I met Joseph in Haifa recently, in a rather noisy café in the German Colony … listen now as he describes his experience of the past few years.

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Programme 409 – Randi Bass 2 of 2

Today I’m taking you to BeerSheva in southern Israel to hear from Randi Bass, an American, who is married to Howard, a Jew. They met in America before making their home in Israel over 30 years ago and have raised 4 children. Howard is the pastor of a Messianic congregation. Randi has had to find her way into Israeli society … I asked her whether she had any regrets.

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Programme 408 – Randi Bass 1 of 2

This programme is all about introducing you to believers in Jesus living in Israel and the West Bank today .. both Jews and Arabs .. taking you into their world … helping us to understand what God is doing in the region despite the turmoil and conflict that we are frequently reminded of through our news channels.
So what is life like for an American woman who marries a Jewish guy – both from well to do families in the US – who then experience a radical conversion and become believers in Jesus – and then explore whether or not to move to Israel?
This was the situation facing Randi when she married Howard Bass and he suggested they cycle around Israel to see whether or not she might like to leave the home comforts and luxuries of America and come and pioneer a work in Israel.

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Programme 407 – Salim Shalash 3

My guest today is Salim Shalash … he is an Israeli Arab living in Nazareth and the pastor of a church there. Here he describes what it’s like when, once a year, many congregations in northern Israel meet together – Messianic Jewish congregations with Arab Christian churches …

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Programme 406 – Salim Shalash 2

My guest today is Salim Shalash. He is an Israeli Arab from Nazareth who grew up in a nominal Catholic family. It was the sudden death of a friend that caused Salim to think more deeply about life. He started to study the Bible for himself and ended up going to Bible college. Today he is the pastor of a church in Nazareth … here he describes how it started.

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Programme 405 – Salim Shalash 1

Today I’m in Nazareth in northern Israel talking to an Israeli Arab pastor called Salim Shalash. His story is fascinating and may surprise you. Listen now as he starts at the beginning, the place where he was born.

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Programme 404 – Sandi Soshani 2 of 2

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Olive Tree – the programme that introduces you to people in Israel and the West Bank who are believers in Jesus – Jews and Arabs. Recently I was in J’lem which is where I met my guest today, Sandi Soshani – she is the National Director the Pro-Life organisation in Israel called Be-Ad Chaim – a position she has held for 13 years. As well as helping mothers who decide to keep their babies rather than opt for an abortion, Sandi and her team of counsellors also support and comfort mothers who have had an abortion … as Sandi now explains.

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Programme 403 – Sandi Soshani 1 of 2

Today I’m in J’lem talking to Sandi Soshani. She is National Director the Pro-Life organisation in Israel called Be-Ad Chaim. We met in her office in Jaffa Street and as you will hear, there was a music event going on in the street outside! I started by asking Sandi to explain the mandate of Be-Ad Chaim.

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Programme 402 – Jack Sara 2 of 2

My guest today is Jack Sara, principal of the Bethlehem Bible College. When talking about Israel and the situation between Jews and Arabs or Palestinians, it’s sadly a fact that we Christians living in the West often take sides with one people group against the other – but is this right or even helpful. I asked Jack to explain how he manages this problem with his students in Bethlehem, which is of course in the West Bank.

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Programme 401 – Jack Sara 1 of 2

My guest today is Jack Sara, principal of the Bethlehem Bible College. Listen now as he describes what he believes God is doing amongst the Palestinian people living in the West Bank and beyond today.

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Programme 400 – Howard Bass 3 of 3

Today I’m in a coffee shop in BeerSheva, in southern Israel talking to Howard Bass. He and his wife emigrated to Israel from America over 30 years ago and he is the leader of a Messianic congregation there. Howard is also very involved with a group of Arab and Jewish pastors who manage to meet together twice a year. As well as building personal relationships despite the challenge of the political situation in the country, these men meet to explore the Bible together to understand what God is doing in Israel in these days.

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Programme 399 – Howard Bass 2 of 3

Today we’re in BeerSheva, situated in the Negev in southern Israel, talking to Howard Bass, a Messianic Jewish pastor in the city. He and his wife Randy emigrated to Israel over 30 years ago and they have worked tirelessly to encourage and support the growth of a young congregation in BeerSheva. There are many references to BeerSheva in the Bible … it is an ancient place. But what’s it like today?

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Programme 398 – Howard Bass 1 of 3

It can be hard for us to understand the Jewish mindset regarding Jesus or Yeshua … there are many reasons for this, suffice to say that to openly declare you are a believer in Israel causes a reaction. Today I’m in BeerSheva talking to a Messianic Jewish pastor called Howard Bass. He was brought up in the United States but has lived in Israel with his wife, who is not Jewish, for over 30 years. In this interview, Howard explains how and why they came to BeerSheva and how they have dealt with misunderstandings over the years.

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Programme 397 – Israeli Arab pastor

Today I’m in northern Israel in an Israeli Arab village close to Nazareth. I can’t tell you exactly where I am or who I’m talking to – it would be too dangerous. Suffice to say, I’m with an Israeli Arab pastor in a muslim village. There are many villages in northern Israel where Arabs who are Israeli live. These villages are mainly 100% muslim, so as you can imagine, for a Christian Israeli Arab to go there, he has to be extremely wise and very careful. So who is my guest and what is he doing? I’ll let him introduce himself.

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Programme 396 – Evan Bass

Today I’m in BeerSheva in the Negev in the south of Israel. Beersheva is mentioned several times in the Bible – Abraham dug a well there, Samuel was a judge there and Elijah took refuge there. Today it is home to over 200,000 Jewish people mostly immigrants from Arab countries, India, Russia and Ethiopia.
My guest today is Evan Bass. He knows BeerSheva well. He was born and grew up there. Son of a Messianic Jewish pastor he had the challenge of finding his own identity. We met in a coffee shop and I asked Evan to describe what life was like for him growing up.

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Programme 395 – Hanna Eid (2 of 2)

Today I’m in northern Israel, in a village close to the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee talking to Hanna Eid – an Arab Christian pastor. There are many Arab villages in northern Israel – mostly Muslim. Hanna Eid comes from a village called Eilaboun that has a majority orthodox Christian population, mainly Catholic, whilst he is an evangelical and very much in the minority.
Hanna and his wife spent a year at a Bible college in England before returning to their home village. Hanna was quite sure that was where God wanted him to work as a pastor and here he picks up his story.

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Programme 394 – Hanna Eid (1 of 2)

Today I’m in a village in northern Israel called Eilaboun, close to the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee and my guest is Hanna Eid – an Arab evangelical Christian and pastor of a small church in his village. As you will hear, there are many Arab villages in northern Israel where the majority of people are Muslim. The remaining Arab population are predominantly orthodox Christians, mainly Catholic. So Hanna is one of a small minority. Listen now as he shares his fascinating story.

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Programme 393 – Ofer Levi

Today I’m in Tel Aviv at the offices of Jews for Jesus and my guest is Ofer Levi – a team member here.
Ofer was born in Israel but his family originally came to Israel from Poland – I asked him to describe his upbringing as a child of immigrant parents.

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Programme 392 – Eli Birnbaum

My guest today is Eli Birnbaum – an Israeli Jewish believer. We met in Tel Aviv in the offices of Jews for Jesus where Eli is leader of the youth ministry as well as being involved in other imaginative initiatives aimed at reaching out to the community at large and meeting with people in ways that engage and interest them. I asked Eli why he chose to join Jews for Jesus.

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Programme 391 – Marwan Beem 2 of 2

My guest today is Marwan Beem, an Israeli Arab pastor living in northern Israel. As we heard on last week’s programme, Marwan had a sad childhood – his father was an alcoholic and Marwan suffered as a result. By the age of 17 his life felt hopeless and he was ready to die. It was then a friend told him about Jesus and for the first time in his life, Marwan knew he was loved. That encounter changed his life and he became a pastor. A few years ago, Marwan’s wife felt that God was calling them to go and live in the West Bank amongst the Muslim community. As you are about to hear, Marwan did not think this a good idea.

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Programme 390 – Marwan Beem 1 of 2

Today, I’m in Haifa in northern Israel talking to an Israeli Arab, Marwan Beem, who is a Christian. Marwan is a pastor, but, his story has involved pain and struggle and as you will hear, he has been through many difficult experiences. In this, the first of two programmes with Marwan, he describes his early life.

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Programme 389 – Dan Sered 2 of 2

Today I’m in Tel Aviv in the offices of Jews for Jesus, talking to their Israeli Director, Dan Sered. For many years, Jews for Jesus teams have been going around Israel running campaigns telling people about Jesus, their Messiah. I asked him for an update on their activities … you may be surprised to hear about their latest campaign.

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Programme 388 – Dan Sered 1 of 2

Jews for Jesus are well known for their brave and creative methods of evangelism around the world. As you would expect from their name, they are primarily but not exclusively concerned with reaching Jewish people. Today I’m in Tel Aviv talking to their Israeli director, Dan Sered. He was born in Israel and heads up a large team of missionaries who are creative in the way they plan and execute their campaigns. I asked Dan for an update on their work in Israel.

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Programme 387 – Israeli Arab pastor 2 of 2

For the past three years we have watched as millions of refugees have poured out of Syria into Europe. Many countries in Europe have felt overwhelmed. Many Christians have felt overwhelmed by the sudden arrival of so many Muslims in their towns.
My guest today is an Israeli Arab Christian. He’s been following the plight of these refugees and has himself travelled to Europe on a number of occasions to meet with them. Listen now as he shares his insight and stories of personal encounters with many Muslim refugees in European countries.

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Programme 386 – Arab pastor 1 of 2

Today we’re in Haifa talking to an Arab Christian who is a pastor in the city. Not only is he the pastor of an Arab church in down town Haifa, he is also running a media centre reaching into many nations of the world, and he is involved with a Messianic congregation as you will hear. Listen now as he shares his amazing story.

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