Rabbi’s Commentary

The Lord Is in This Place

April 14, 2015

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Dear Friend of The Fellowship,

Much of the past month found me not in Jerusalem, but in Brazil! I was very pleased and proud to be there with my wife, Joelle, to meet with pastors, speak at churches, and bring The Fellowship’s message of support for Israel and bridge-building between Christians and Jews to an entirely new part of the world.

When I started The Fellowship more than 30 years ago, I naturally focused the organization’s bridge-building efforts. I have always believed that The Fellowship’s message of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and of raising Christian support for Israel, is universal. The Fellowship has a role to play anywhere there are Christians longing to know more about the Jewish roots of their faith, or anywhere there are Christians and Jews who want to work together to support Israel. In 2003, The Fellowship was established in Canada, and we launched our Spanish-language ministry several years later. Then we became a truly global ministry by opening offices in Australia and South Korea.

So, why expand into Brazil? Well, first and foremost, it has the second-highest population of Christians in the world, and the population of evangelical Christians here is growing by leaps and bounds. And, as I have seen in so many other places, the Christian community there feels biblically tied to Israel, and has a deep hunger to learn more about the Jewish roots of their faith. They want to come to Israel and experience firsthand the biblical sites they have only read about – and we are excited to find out how we can work to help facilitate what we hope will be a new wave of visitors to the Holy Land from Brazil.

I felt so blessed and encouraged by the warm reception I received there from pastors and their congregations. At one church, I told a congregation I felt like Jacob experiencing God’s unmistakable hand in a foreign land, and exclaiming, “Surely the LORD is in this place!” (Genesis 28:16). I am eager to see how God continues to open new doors for The Fellowship in Brazil. As always, I ask for your prayers, friends – for this new venture, and for God’s continued hand of blessing on The Fellowship, on Israel, and on His people – both Christians and Jews – around the world.

With prayers for shalom, peace,


Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President and Founder, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Canada

 

 

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