The Messianic Jewish Movement is a lot bigger than what many would like to give credit. For some, Africa seems to be the last place in people’s minds to find Messianic Jews; yet, the international Body of Messiah comes from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds that are embracing the biblical heritage that the First Century Apostles have left many of us with, the teachings of Messiah Yeshua and the importance thereof. The more we preach and share with fellow Bible enthusiasts, the more we encounter people from all over the world that hold true to the same biblical principles as we do. In fact, this encourages us to continue on with our biblical researches and sharing them with our audience, because brothers and sisters like you just want to know. As a result, we at Nehr HaOlam find it necessary to present you with this article to help promote awareness pertaining to the Messianic Jewish Community in Uganda, a country in East Africa near the horn of Africa.
Allow us to share what the Messianic Jewish community in Uganda, Africa is doing and hoping to accomplish.
Recently, we held a conversation with John Swaga, the congregational representative of over 36 Messianic Communities in the African continent near the horn East Africa. You might imagine that they may have some ties with the Ethiopian Jews, but they don’t. Minister Swaga reports,“We just came to faith in Yeshua from various tribal, regional and religious backgrounds. At first, many of us were Seventh Day Adventists who had knowledge about Israel and God’s promises. We wanted the real truth, so we contacted the Israeli embassy in Nairobi, our neighboring country. Unfortunately, they were rabbinical orthodox who do not follow the teachings of Messiah Yeshua. We continued our collaboration with them, and they taught us Torah. Finally, we came in contact with a Messianic Rabbi David Finkelstein from Rosh Pinna.”
Through much adversity, the Messianic Jewish community in Uganda continues to search and learn more about the cultural and biblical heritage so that they too may worship Elohim in a common unity with the children of Israel. In fact, Swaga reported the manner by which they receive the Sabbath: “Shabbat is a day of rest, blessed and sanctified by Adonai. It begins on Friday evening at approximately 6:00 pm here. By that time, we are through with our work, we gather at a table in our homes, the wife lights the two candles and says a blessing, and the father blesses the family beginning with his wife, and then his children. Next, we take the bread. We go through the Parshah Portion for that week (the designated Torah portion to be read for that week). Then, we celebrate the Heavenly Father with Praise & Worship and end the Sabbath evening by eating our supper. In morning, we go for service in our synagogues. We follow the Parshah Readings and pray with a Shabbat siddur. In fact, we’re so interested in following the weekly Sabbath that we already have the calendar.”
Why would a diverse ethnic group of people be interested in learning more about the cultural roots of the Bible? What do they hope to accomplish? The Messianic Jewish community in Uganda is “[…]interested in being trained more, because we lack a Messianic Jewish Yeshiva here. We lack Messianic literature and need to learn more. We have a vision of having our own Messianic schools such that our young generation can train from these schools and not be influenced by the world so much as in the general schools. We request for the construction of a Messianic Yeshiva to serve East Africa and to have a Messianic Jewish Library. We request to have a Jewish Rabbi to guide us in the ministry issues. We lack complete Jewish bibles because most of the bibles we have are corrupted.
What made them change their views? Why would former members of the Seventh Day Adventist Movement wish to identify with the Messianic Jewish Community? Their response was, “The Ruah Hakodesh (Hebrew for Holy Spirit) made us realize something was missing in the doctrine, and that is why we looked for real ethnic Jews because salvation is from the Jews. Many people have come up with their own interpretations leading people astray. It is always better to follow the real words of Messiah Yeshua.” Even though the Messianic
Jewish Community in Uganda is searching, they are very much aware of the falsehood that some American congregations promote: that Gentiles keep only the seven Noachide Laws and that the children of Israel are the only ones to obey Torah.
Current events in Uganda, Africa: Besides the weekly Sabbath, the Messianic Jewish Community in Uganda, Africa promotes three conferences per year: the youth conference, the women conference and the pastors and leaders conference. They were proud to inform that the next conference they’re promoting is the Messianic Jewish Youth Conference, “Let No One Despise Your Youth” from January 12-8, 2014 based on 1 Timothy 4:12. In this conference, they stress to encourage the youthful members of Messiah’s Body to live a Torah-based lifestyle despite worldly immorality, love and support towards Israel with a desire to increase Jewish relations, and discuss anti-Semitism awareness. Also, they plan to discuss the biblical standards that are set-forth pertaining to marital relationships, provide career guidance and promote a manner that best reflects Yeshua’s lifestyle in their lives.
After presenting you with the information that Uganda’s Messianic Jewish Community provided us with, we ask that you keep us in prayer for several things.
1) The Heavenly Father’s guidance where the community has a self-supporting industry that mutually benefits Uganda’s Messianic Jewish Community and its members.
2) The necessary lands, tools and materials to help establish a central location for the Messianic Yeshiva which may be constructed and operated by Uganda’s Messianic Jewish Community.
3) Support from well-known foundations as well as academic educators who can help establish and teach at a biblical and educational academic system where Uganda’s children can be safe from harm’s way and be well-informed about the cultural roots of the bible.
If you desire to help support the Messianic Jewish Community in Uganda, Africa, you may contact their community's representative.
IGANGA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
IGANGA, UGANDA--EAST AFRICA
Tel is +256772527931
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