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Programme 344 – Yonaton Allon

If you are a regular listener to this programme you will know that the aim is to bring you the stories of believers who live in Israel and the wider Middle East in order to better understand what is going on there within a Biblical context despite the ongoing tensions and conflicts in the region.
My guest today is a journalist called Yonaton Allon. He is the managing editor of a website called Kehila News. Now living in northern Israel, Yonathon was born and brought up in America. Although having a Jewish mother, his upbringing was entirely secular. He travelled to Tel Aviv to meet me to record this programme and I started by asking him to explain what Kehila News is all about.

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Programme 343 – ‘N’ (Palestinian Christian leader) (part 2 of 2)

In my recent visits to Israel I have heard of Muslims who live in the West Bank and Gaza becoming believers in Jesus – indeed I have met some of them.
A man who has been working amongst Muslims for many years is a Palestinian Christian in Jerusalem. I met him recently in a coffee shop there to hear an up to date report about his work … what he has to say may surprise you!

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Programme 342 – ‘N’ (Palestinian Christian leader) (part 1 of 2)

Recently, in a noisy coffee shop in the Old City of Jerusalem I met a Palestinian Christian – let’s call him ‘N’… As well as working to support his young family, ‘N’ works tirelessly teaching and encouraging his own people, meeting with Jewish believers, and working amongst Muslims to share his faith – he is a bridge builder, working on the front line of what God is doing in the region. I asked him to share with us some of the latest news and developments he has witnessed in Jerusalem.

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Programme 341 – Avi Mizrachi

Come with me to Tel Aviv, to the 12th floor of a tall sky scraper and look out over this modern city, home to almost 4 million people representing half the population of Israel. It is then amazing to realise that just over a 100 years ago, Tel Aviv as a city did not exist – the area was covered in sand dunes – the people in those days lived in neighbouring Jaffa.
However, at the beginning of the 19th century, 66 Jewish families decided to leave the overcrowded confines of Jaffa and build a new city – and that’s exactly what they did.
I met Avi Mizrachi on the 12th floor of the sky scraper – he is the pastor of a congregation in Tel Aviv and as we looked out over the modern city of today, he reflected on the story that is Tel Aviv.

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Programme 340 – ‘Benjamin’

On the programme today, the story of an American teenage Jew who found himself living in Israel. Imagine leaving the freedom of life in America to move to the Middle East where religious identity defines who you are and where you are expected to conform to Israeli life, which for an 18 year old means entering the Israeli army.

I met Benjamin, not his real name, in Tel Aviv recently and he shared his story.

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Programme 339 – Itzhak Mor Haim (part 2 of 2)

My guest today is Itzhak Mor Haim. A few years ago he had a dream to open a music school in Israel where people could come and learn how to play an instrument of their choice and also where musicians could come and play music together. The dream was inspired by King David who played a harp and wrote many Psalms which he set to music. Itzhak believes David’s skill as a harpist was not just about playing wonderful music, it was also a powerful emotional and spiritual tool.

In this programme Itzhak explains how the music school school has started and is growing and what his hopes are for the future.

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Programme 338 – Itzhak Mor Haim (part 1 of 2)

My guest today is Itzhak Mor Haim. A few years ago he had a dream to open a music school in Israel. Today that dream has become a reality and as I sat with Itzhak in the foyer of his music school, he explained how the dream unfolded.

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Programme 337 – David Ortiz

Recently, stories of Muslims who have become followers of Jesus have emerged. In the West Bank, where Palestinians live, the towns and villages are entirely Islamic. One man who took it upon himself to take Bibles into these villages is called David Ortiz. Originally from Puerto Rico, he married Leah, a Jew, and they moved from the United States to live in Israel in 1989 and eventually settled in Ariel, in the centre of Israel, in 1985. Whilst visiting them recently, I asked David to explain what he believes what God is doing in the region especially amongst Muslim people.

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Programme 336 – Leah Ortiz

Recently I visited the town of Ariel in central Israel to meet Leah Ortiz. From an American Jewish family, Leah and her husband David came to live in Israel in 1989. In 2008 their son Ami was seriously injured when a bomb hidden in a basket of fruit by their door exploded in his face. Thankfully he survived, but for David and Leah this was a defining moment in their lives… should they leave the work they had started and return to America, or stay in Israel?

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Programme 335 – Rita

My guest today is called Rita. A few years ago she would never have dreamt that one day she would be running a shelter in Israel for abused women … but that’s exactly what happened.

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Programme 334 – Evan Thomas (part 2 of 2)

The news is frequently dominated by stories of terror and conflict from the region and hopes for peace seem impossible. But what about the believers who live there – is there any coming together of Arab and Jewish believers?
Evan Thomas is a Messianic Jewish pastor in Israel. He has always had a desire for strong relationships with Israeli Arab and Palestinian Christians and has gone out of his way to achieve this. I put it to him that at a time when the political situation is getting increasingly fractious, how realistic are hopes for reconciliation?

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Programme 333 – Evan Thomas (part 1 of 2)

The subject of Israel and the Middle East invokes strong reactions! How important it is therefore to understand, as Christians who believe the Bible, what God is doing there. It can come as a surprise to hear how few believers there are in Israel and the West Bank… their numbers represent a tiny percentage of the population. Yet, in the past 40 years those numbers have grown from a handful to several thousand today – so something is going on! Recently I met Evan Thomas in Netanya – he is a pastor of a Messianic congregation there called Beit Asaph. I asked him to explain the emergence of Messianic Judaism in Israel in recent history.

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Programme 332 – Rod Powell

My guest today is Rod Powell. He and his wife Margi were missionaries in Russia for many years. They left Russia not by choice but because the authorities threw them out of the country as you will hear.
They found themselves in Israel… listen now as Rod shares his story…

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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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