Annual Report 2006 for LCJE Finland
By Juha-Pekka Rissanen, LCJE Coordinator for Finland
As through most of more than 15 years of the existence of LCJE, Finland, also during the year 2006 two main activities took place: 1) Prayer meetings in spring time for Jewish evangelism and 2) one whole activity day, earlier called ‘seminar’, in the autumn. The name of the Finnish LCJE working group is JUST, shortened from Finnish words ‘Juutalaisevankelioinnin Suomen työryhmä’, ‘The Finnish Working Group on Jewish Evangelism’.
In May 2006 there were two prayer occasions. The first one took place at Saalem Congregation, Helsinki, and the other one combined with a traditional Israel Bible seminar held at the Bible Institute in Kauniainen (Grankulla), near Helsinki. The first mentioned prayer evening included a speech by the visiting messianic pastor Victor Blum from Jerusalem, some short speeches held by Finnish pastors and congregational leaders, Hebrew and Finnish songs and a lengthy prayer session conducted by the members of the working group of LCJE, Finland. We represent many different denominations, congregations and organizations. The evening program included also a dancing performance by a Finnish King’s Kids group ‘The Fire Arrows’, which went later on, in the summer of 2006, to Israel with an evangelistic purpose to perform in various places during a three weeks’ tour. – On the other intercessory occasion for evangelism among the Jews in Kauniainen the attendants were divided in a few groups in order to concentrate in each group on a specific theme. News connected to Jewish evangelism from all around the world was collected for that prayer occasion. Also on that occasion there were both Hebrew Biblical songs sang by some musicians and the previously mentioned dancing group performing their program.
On November 13th a traditional day for the reunion of the friends of evangelism among the Jewish people was organized. The day – ‘seminar’ as it was called earlier – was organized during the day time at a Pentecostal Chapel in East Helsinki. The main speaker was again pastor Victor Blum from Even Israel Congregation in Jerusalem. Victor, being of Estonian origin, held his teaching in Finnish, since about 10 years ago he had studied in Finland in a Pentecostal Bible seminary called ‘The Great Book’. According to Victor the Messianic Jews in Israel have been privileged to witness the on-going blessing of God from previous generations to the new one. A new generation of young, vital believers in Jesus witness of the Lord courageously in their living surrounding, whether it is their school, army or working place. It is essential to search in all ministry of the Word among the Jews ‘to be to a Jew a Jew’ – and to remember, how important it was to Jesus to be aware of all the Holy Scriptures bearing witness on Him, the Messiah (John 5: 39). Also Victor’s daughter Jael brought her testimony from her perspective with the help of a fascinating Power Point presentation and greetings from the believing youth of Jerusalem.
In addition to the teaching of pastor Blum there was a presentation of the history of LCJE International, given by Heikki Nurminen, a Finnish ‘Grand Old Man’ of evangelism among the Jews. Heikki described in general terms some highlights of the history of LCJE reminding us specially of the resolutions of the International LCJE conferences – without forgetting to mention that the next International LCJE Conference will take place in Hungary next August. – Miss Helvi Mikkonen, who recently has worked as a missionary of the Finnish Overseas Mission in Israel, told about her experiences on certain Druze villages and families. Some individuals among them in North Israel have come to faith in Jesus. They need a lot of support in prayer and otherwise in order to survive and be able to continue as the witnesses of the Lord. – Pastor Harri Kröger brought greetings from his recent tour to Israel, which took place in October-November 2006. He had brought aid to those believers especially in Haifa region, who had suffered from the Lebanon war last summer.
In the evening there was still a church occasion in a local Lutheran church in East Helsinki. The evening draw the attention of about the same number of people (appr. 80) as had attended the day program. The program consisted of the greeting of the local senior pastor, facilitator’s part (undersigned), Victor and Jael Blum’s speeches, the dances of ‘The Fire Arrows’ – King’s Kids group, Israeli songs presented by some young and talented Finnish musicians and the offering preceded by the speech of the present chairman of JUST, pastor Johannes Haapalainen.
The working group ‘JUST’ had four planning meetings during 2006, and each group member attended the activities described above.
Thankfully, in the name of the Holy One of Israel,