My guest today is Labib Madanat who travels the world in his capacity as Middle East Director of the Bible Society. Labib comes from a Jordanian family. He has lived in Jerusalem which is where we met to record this interview. He understands the Muslim mindset and is deeply distressed by the war that is going on within the house of Islam. He told me how, in his experience, many Muslims are very open to hear about Jesus. So I asked him, how does he go about sharing his faith?
My guest today is a Jordanian Christian called Labib Madanat. He directs the work of the Bible Society in the Middle East, is well travelled and has a deep understanding of what goes on there. He lived in Jerusalem for many years which is where I met him recently, in a rather noisy hotel lobby as you will hear. He had just driven from Jordan having crossed into Israel at the Allanby Bridge. He started by describing his sorrow at the increased level of violence on the streets of Jerusalem by his own Arab/Palestinian people against Jewish people.
The Syrian refugee situation has grabbed our attention as we have watched thousands of desperate people risk their lives trying to reach Europe. My guest today has first hand experience of this situation having met Syrian refugees living in camps in Lebanon. Marcel Rebiai is the leader of a Christian community that has teams in various countries around the world including Israel and now Lebanon. Here he explains what he has seen and why he believes Christians in Europe have an opportunity to share the gospel with these people – many of whom are deeply disillusioned with Islam.
My guest today is Marcel Rebiai. He is half Arab and half Jewish. For many years he has lived in Jerusalem on the line between Jewish West J’lem and Arab East J’lem. He is the leader of community that has teams in Israel, France, Switzerland and Lebanon. We sat in his garden with traffic rumbling by and I asked Marcel to describe the work of his community.
Today my guest is an Israeli citizen who is a Palestinian Christian. His name is Pierre Tannous and he lives in Haifa in northern Israel. He is a lecturer in Biblical studies at a college in Nazareth, which is in Israel, and also at the Bethlehem Bible College which is in the West Bank. Pierre studied for many years in South Korea. So, if his life was complicated enough already, I started by asking him about his experience there.
Recently I met Shira Sorko-Ram in Tel Aviv. She and her husband Ari were two of the early Messianic believers in the land of Israel when they arrived over 40 years ago from America. They founded a Messianic congregation called MAOZ which today is an umbrella for a great deal of support to other congregations across the land. Shira is also a journalist and regularly writes a news bulletin for Christians that is circulated around the world. I began by asking her to share what she’s currently writing about.
Today I’m in Bethlehem at the Bethlehem Bible College talking to Munther Isaac, the Academic Dean of the college where the aim is to train leaders for ministry. Munther describes himself as a Palestinian Christian and as you listen to his story, you will hear the pain and heartache felt by so many evangelical Christians living in the West Bank where they are a tiny minority amongst the majority Muslim population. Added to that is the pain of feeling overlooked and often rejected by Christians in the West who hold a pro-Israel anti-Palestinian position.
Today finds us in Tel Aviv at the offices of a Messianic congregation called MAOZ that was founded 40 years ago by Ari and Shira Sorko Ram.
Ari is Jewish and after being a pastor for all those years, and at a time in life when many people start to think about retirement, he found his thoughts turning to China and whether there was a link between Israel and China that God wanted him to explore.
My guest today is Ari Sorko Ram. Born in America, he became a well know actor there before moving to Israel 40 years ago. He is Jewish and for many years has been a believer in Jesus. When he came to Israel all those years ago, there were very few Messianic Jews … I asked him to describe some of the most significant things he has seen happen in the intervening years.
Today I’m in Haifa in northern Israel talking to Eric Benson, who has been the director of a rehab centre for recovering drug and alcohol addicts since 1992. The centre is called the House of Victory and welcomes both Jewish and Arab men. As you will hear, Eric is a Christian and over the years hundreds of men have passed through the doors and found release from addiction. Eric takes up the story.