Avi and a young friend
Africa is a diverse and colorful continent, home to 40 countries, thousands of languages and people groups. The continent is a showcase of diversity: magnificent virgin landscapes and vast wild life living harmoniously together as God created them.

Africa is on the verge of dramatic change. For decades her God-given riches have been ravished by foreign exploiters and corrupt domestic leadership. Sons and daughters of Africa have been victims of some of the most intense poverty the world has known, all the while living in a land of wealth and plentiful natural resources. This gap between the people of Africa's poverty and the immense natural riches of the land remains a puzzle to observers from outside the continent.

I was born and raised in Africa, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I am an African but I am also a Jew so I made aliyah to Israel, the Land of my forefathers when I was just a teenager. I have vivid memories from my childhood of the heart wrenching sights of my own people, children my age, with hunger swelled stomachs crying in the arms of their skeleton-sized mothers. The hunger and poverty around me only made the tensions between the different diverse groups and tribes even worse. The result has been a heavy and traumatic yoke on the backs of the people.

Prayer under the tallit
Last October, I had the privilege of returning to Africa, to the nation of Kenya. My Tents of Mercy teammates, Marty Shoub and Marc Chopinsky and I had been invited to participate in the 3rd annual Israel/Africa prayer conference organized by "The Africa/Israel Prayer Alter." The Alter is an intercessory team dedicated to pray and intercede for Israel and bring the countries of Africa back into relationship with Israel. The theme of the conference was Genesis 49:10 "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruling staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the gathering of the people."

Marty Shoub, Marc Chopinsky and I were the main guests of the events. We shared, taught and worshiped in Hebrew and Swahili together with our African hosts. Many pastors and leaders from Africa attended the conference. Nine African nations were represented: Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, Somalia, Uganda, and Ethiopia (I was proud to represent both Israel and Ethiopia).

Marty, Marc and Avi praying for Margaret,
the leader of the Africa Israel Prayer Altar
The conference was saturated with the sweet aroma of God's Spirit. During the conference the Holy Spirit revealed to us that the Messianic promise of Genesis 49:10 assures us that Yeshua has always been and will always be God's appointed ruler. In these days, Yeshua is gathering people from every nation who will acknowledge His dominion as Israel's King and King of Kings. We all sensed the Holy Spirit meshing us in a common thread of destiny for our respective nations; establishing and connecting Africa and Zion. Many tears were shed at the altar for the fullness of Israel to come through the revelation of the Messiah. We called out to God to bring in the fullness of the Gentile nations so that the blindness would be removed from Israel's eyes; as it is written: "blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." (Romans 11:25) Many believers stood in proxy for their nations, renouncing the animosity their leaders have shown towards Israel. Hearts were rekindled to a new bond with Israel.

One memorable highlight of the event was when a precious Sudanese pastor came forward to pray and repent on behalf of his nation's attitude towards Israel. We were inspired by his humility and brokenness to invite all the delegates to come and walk under a Jewish prayer shawl (a tallit), as a sign of a covenantal relationship and a declaration to stand with Israel. All the participants came forward one after the other and walked under the spread shawl. We witnessed the glory and pleasure of God in seeing African believers, who because they love the King of Israel, bind Israel to a special place in their hearts. It was as if heaven met earth. We sensed that in the Spirit a bridge for blessing was erected between Africa and Israel.

One of the distinctive riches that God has bestowed on African people is the gift of prayer and intercession. I was deeply touched to see the humility, passion, and boldness exhibited in the prayers of my African brothers and sisters. I believe this prayer altar for Israel will be instrumental and powerful in the hands of God to mobilize and change structures and strongholds.

Avi and Marc praying for
the Sudanese pastor
In the midst of growing world anti-Semitism, God is raising His servants to wake up and distance themselves from the system of nations coming against Israel. In this sense, Africa is at a crossroads. Nations in the continent are contemplating which way to go. Islam is exerting tremendous pressure on all of Africa and the conscience of the nations is split. We came with a voice to encourage and remind our brethren that in spite of all these difficulties, God is recruiting a faithful remnant. At the end of the conference we exhorted and charged the ministry leaders and pastors to return to their countries, cities and towns to be a voice to prepare the way of the Lord.

Marc, Marty and I left very encouraged with a fresh hope that as this movement continues in the grassroots of the African nations, it will provide a key that will release the blessings that have been blocked from flowing in the continent. I believe God will transform Africa's dark history into a bright future of destiny. God promised that all who bless the seed of Abraham will be blessed themselves. May God speedily fulfill His word of blessing for Africa in the days ahead.

By Avi Tekle

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21:41 06Jan10 Lisa Underdown -
This article was so moving. I know the struggle in Africa is real. The Jewish people living in Ethiopia are in desperate need of our prayers & provision. And all of Africa is in need of our prayers that G-d will lead them & give them the strength & courage to stand with Israel in the midst of unimaginable pressure.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: Offended by Christian Zionists
Marty Shoub: Two Cases, Not to be Dismissed
Holly Wallace: Embracing the Challenge
T.R.: The Intervention of Heaven