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Youth Day At the Feast 2019

Nov/Dec 2019 WFJ Article

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19 Nov 2019
Youth Day At the Feast 2019

Embracing a New Start with God
The first morning in the arena kicked off with worship, prayer and powerful sessions covering our relationship with God and the new beginnings He has for us.
Pastor Andrew Kou from Taiwan emphasized the Feast as a time to rest and rejuvenate through worship. “God’s word t o us this morning is to let go of the things we manage at home... Our role now is to rest and rejoice.” ICEJ Vice President David Parsons pointed out with every beginning, something must end; a principle reflected in the sad ending to the ancient world as told in the story of the Flood. In his new book Floodgates, Parsons noted that Jesus likened the ‘Days of Noah’ to the end of this age, but also gave hope of the glorious new Beginning ahead. 

Israeli Bible teacher Peter Tsukahira spoke on new beginnings based on Abraham’s binding of Isaac and the new lease on life it offered his beloved son. Pilgrims embraced the promise of a new start with God. The ‘God in the Nations’ panel then took a deeper look at how Christians around the world are standing with Israel. ICEJ Vice President of International Affairs, Mojmir Kallus interviewed Christian leaders from three diverse countries on what God is doing in their nations: Apostle Apollinaire Gboagnon from the Ivory Coast, Pastor Stephen Mirpuri from Manilla, and Apostle Fabio Abbud from Brazil.

Next Generation:
From the ends of the earth, the Fiji band led off the evening service with an island-style time of worship. The atmosphere shifted as South African evangelist Angus Buchan took the stage with a message of great conviction, repentance, passion and intimacy with God. Angus decreed: “If you take the Bible out of your faith, then you have nothing, and the enemy knows this.” He emphasized the importance of daily time in God’s Word, adding he spends five hours reading the Bible every day. At his invitation thousands of pilgrims offered a prayer of repentance, confessing their areas of unbelief in the Word of God, and expressed their commitment to read the Bible each day. The evening closed with a powerful time of singing, dancing, and prayer. Many hearts were impacted and changed forever!

Yong adult delegates at the Feast enjoyed a special day excursion to Bethlehem. The purpose was to challenge and equip them to better understand and represent Israel in their nations. Moises Vasquez, a youth pastor from Brisbane with ICEJ-Australia, “loved seeing young people deeply connect their childhood faith with the Land where the Bible was written. Each place in Israel tells a story and Bethlehem Pastor Naim Khoury’s story is one of fearless faith and a family’s commitment to loving a community into God’s Kingdom.” Dr Naim Khoury pastors the largest evangelical Christian Arab congregation in the Holy Land, which faces intense persecution from Muslim neighbours for standing with the Gospel and with Israel, including numerous firebombs. The Feast youth gained a new love for these Christian Arab brothers and sisters and a burden to pray for their safety. 

A Taste of the Middle East
After a delicious lunch of traditional local fare in Bethlehem, the group journeyed to the Mahane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem’s busiest outdoor market. Once in the “shuk”, they teamed up for a grand scavenger hunt, called a “Shuk Dash”.  Following a list of items to find in the crowded Israeli market, the young people had tons of fun weaving through the crowds of people. By the end of the day the group was all laughs and smiles and bubbling with questions about Israel. Feast Youth Day was a perfect mix of fun and education on Israel, all wrapped into one “next gen-friendly” package.

Egyptian Pilgrims at the Feast
For the first time ever, a delegation from Egypt came to represent their nation at Feast 2019. They belong to a network of Egyptian Christians who embraced the vision of the Isaiah 19 Highway, as well as the prophetic summons of Zechariah 14:16-18 that Egypt should come to Jerusalem each year to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, so there will be rain in their country. As they stood on our stage in Jerusalem praying for their nation, it started raining in Egypt! And when they landed back in Cairo, the country was inundated by unusual heavy rains – to the point that schools and businesses were closed. This outpouring of favour on Egypt affirmed to the group that God indeed was pleased with their ascent to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast!