A group of about 40 local people will be visiting Israel next month for the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ event, which runs from September 23-28 and is hosted by the ICEJ in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Last Saturday the group held a celebration breakfast and walk in Avarua to promote their upcoming Holy Land visit and Israel’s 70th anniversary of when they first achieved statehood back in 1948. “We were very excited and pleased about our ICEJ breakfast and walk last Saturday,” said Helen Tatuava, one of the local ICEJ organisers.
“ICEJ is non-denominational, so many of our local churches have joined in. We wanted to share more with our local people of the positive news of what we are all doing together.
“Also, locals may want to visit the Holy Land one day. And these Holy Land tours we organise together are amazing.
“My Karika family also has a special connection to the Holy Land too. In 1918, in World War I, our Cook Islands soldiers served with ANZAC forces there.”
Pastor Mikaele Mudreilagi, the ICEJ Fiji branch national director, was the guest speaker at the open ICEJ breakfast on Saturday.
Mudreilagi shared on the importance of rightly relating to Israel being crucial to the development of a Christian in terms of foundational world views.
“We also see how we can reach out to Palestinians with the message of love of Jesus, at the same time with the Jews as well, so that the concept of conflict could be resolved with the love of Jesus,” he said.
The ICEJ was founded in 1980 as a Christian response for the need to show support and comfort to the people of Israel, according to the biblical command of the scripture found in Isaiah 40:1-2.
The ICEJ also seeks to build bridges of reconciliation between Jews and Arabs, based on the bible verse, ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.’ (Isaiah 19:25).
Local Julie Taripo Shedden said that “for me, and all of us there on Saturday, the prayer breakfast and walk was spiritually and physically fulfilling and meaningful”.
“From the visiting Pastor Mika Mudreilagi, I got to learn the importance of our Cook Islands biblical connection to Israel and how important and precious the Land and the people of Israel is to our God Iehova.
“They are his chosen people and as Christians that believe in Jesus as our messiah, we also become God’s children, just like Israel. The breakfast was delicious too. Thank you very much to the lovely people that prepared it all. May God bless you all.”
Organiser Tatuava said they received plenty of support from Cook Islanders, some of whom were also surprised with the walk.
“But we are a free Christian nation and as a people we are encouraged to be bold in our faith and rely on the Bible as our first source of truth,” she said.
“And we firmly believe it is good for us as Christians to show the love of Jesus and to increase Christian awareness and support for the people of Israel, which in a spiritual and non-political way, we hope can open doors of love, reconciliation and understanding.”
The 2018 ICEJ Cook Islands Holy land tour group leaves on September 18 and anyone wishing to participate can contact Helen Tatuava.