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Israel and the Bible - Then and Now

Paul Hayes, IEF International

Saturday, 18 November 2017 from 14:30 to 17:00 (GMT)

Israel and the Bible - Then and Now

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The Land and the Book come to life in a fuller understanding of how the nation and the church in the nation witness to our salvation in Christ.

 Come and hear from John Sode-Woodhead, IEF International and Norwegian Chiurch Ministry to Israel (NCMI) at 14.30 hrs on Saturday 18th November at Oban Baptist Church, 

Programme: -

John will speak to two topics:

  • 1. Israeli and Palestinian reconciliation - particularly through faith in Christ.

    2. Biblical Archaeology - interesting and faith building results from Archaeology.

    John’s story and background:

    ‘I was born in Israel to missionary parents. They had come to Tiberias in Israel with a deep calling to the Jews, from working amongst Muslims in the Red Sea area. They first worked with the Church of Scotland, then with the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society hospital in Arab Nazareth, and finally in evangelism with a Messianic congregation in Haifa.

    I grew up in an Arab town but was educated in a Jewish school in Hebrew. I was a member of the local Arab Baptist Church but was active in the national Messianic youth movement.

    In 1975, at 18, I went to Edinburgh to study archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. Supported by the Scottish Christian Union’s and Charlotte Chapel I returned to Israel in 1983 to found the Student Fellowship. This has grown to a movement of some 300 students of both Jews and Arabs. During these years in Israel I was an elder in a Messianic congregation, active in youth ministry, and in leadership in the community.

    I pursued my archaeological career, first working on my PhD at Tel Aviv University and then as Deputy Director of the British Institute of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Although I worked on numerous projects, two were important. I supervised the excavation of the Assyrian siege ramp at Lachish, depicted in detail on massive stone reliefs in the British Museum, which was part of Sennacherib’s campaign against King Hezekiah of Judah in 701BCE. I also directed the excavation of Ahab’s royal enclosure at Jezreel.

    I lived in Scotland between 1996 and 2016 and during these years continued to be active in Israel, on the board of the Nazareth Hospital; the development of the Nazareth Village; the development of Scripture Union; and for four years leading the Israel Education Forum, which brought together all Messianic and Arab evangelical colleges and schools.

    I returned to Israel in 2016 with the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel (NCMI). I am part of the leadership of the NCMI responsible for the development of its strategic directions. In addition to this I am deeply engaged in developing professional networks, advising numerous ministries such as the Student Fellowship; and working on the interface between the Jewish and Arab communities.’

    The IEF Story and vision

    JEZREEL –  יזרעאל - “It is God who will sow”

    Supporting the development of Gods kingdom in Israel of both Jew and Arab

    ‘Israel’ stirs up many conflicting and competing passions. IEF believes God has special purposes for the Jewish people and He is bringing them back to the Land. At the same time the IEF believes that all in the Land who believe in Jesus as Messiah form His Body. Our vision is to see His Body in the Land being a light for Jesus to the rest of the World, and our objective is to support the building of His Kingdom in the Land.

    IEF-International (IEF) was founded in 2009 to support the work of John, who was at the time serving the Israel Education Forum (IEF-Israel), an Israeli Messianic Jewish and Arab Evangelical network of schools and colleges. In 2013 the IEF board broadened its vision beyond education to be engaged in initiatives that develop God’s kingdom in Israel amongst both Jews and Arabs. In 2016 John joined the staff of the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel (NCMI) and IEF went into partnership with the NCMI.

    IEF Programme

    Currently IEF’s is engaged in kingdom building work in Israel in partnership with NCMI and through John Sode-Woodhead.

    IEF also seeks

    •  To link partner ministries and churches with ministries and churches in Israel.
    •  To find placements for people to volunteer in Israel.
    •  To provide knowledge base input through providing advice, coaching, mentoring, or training in Israel.

    IEF also seeks to ‘use’ Israel to enrich the discipleship of its Christian supporters and partners.

    IEF organises tours of Israel. On these tours, you not only get to know the Land of the Bible but we will introduce you to local believers and ministries.

    What IEF can do for you/your Church’ .

    If your church or ministry would like to have a tour of Israel for your members, do contact IEF. We would be happy to help you organise tailor made tours for whatever size group.

    We would be happy to organise and run a tailored discipleship programme for your church or ministry. We can organise a programme for any size group, of any age. These could range from programmes for business leaders to church youth groups. And could include several elements – e.g. lectures, visiting relevant sites and ministries, hiking through the country. You could focus either on a purely discipleship aspect, get a better understanding of the land and the Bible, understand the Jewish roots of Christianity, the current conflict, or the modern church in the Land.


    We are evangelical Christians. We believe in God the Father, his son Jesus the Messiah who died and rose for our salvation, and in the power and work of his Holy Spirit in and through us; that both the Old and New Testaments are the revealed word of God; that the world is fallen and gripped by sin; that He is at work in this world to reconcile people to himself and for them to grow in His righteousness; that he calls all Christians to live for Him and serve Him for the glory of the Father; and that the Lord Jesus will return.

    We believe God’s primary desire is to see people reconciled to Himself, to the Jew first but also to the Gentile. IEF’s focus is on kingdom building – including evangelism, discipleship, the development of community, and church planting and growth. Other than believing that God is returning Israel to the Land, and that in the process injustice has been done to the Arabs of the Land, the IEF does not engage in issues of prophecy, building up Israel as a State, or issues of justice for Israeli Arabs. We are focused on those regions recognised as Israel and not with Palestinians. There is an enormous need and opportunity amongst Palestinians, and we seek good relationships, but it is not our calling.

    We believe that all who acknowledge the Lord Jesus as their Saviour form one church in the Land. To this extent, we do not distinguish between Jew and Arab. We understand that within the context of the Land and its history both people are in conflict, and as such we support both sides as they seek to reconcile their differences in the Lord. We do not seek to build our own independent work in Israel but to do so in partnership with individual’s, churches, and ministries engaged in Israel.

    We welcome any Christian, or Christian ministry who has a heart for the Jewish people, and / or the Arabs of Israel, and for whom the vision of IEF resonates in their hearts.


    We welcome you, your church, or your ministry to join us. If you are a church, or a ministry, we would love to form a partnership with you, or any other relevant form of relationship.

    We will need,

    YOUR PRAYER SUPPORT – you can sign up to receive our news, to establish a prayer or support group, or to have one of us to come and share with you.

    YOUR PERSONAL SUPPORT – There is a wide range of opportunities, both for the IEF and in Israel, which could only be done by volunteers.

    YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT – Without this we will be seriously hampered in our ministry.


    Israel Tour 2018

    4—11 November 2018. Likely price around £1500 including flights via Istanbul from Edinburgh and half board in a tour under the management of Immanuel Tours in Israel.

    Other Projects in the planning:

    •  Discipleship programmes for professionals from Scotland —opportunities for developing and deepening discipleship in Israel
    •  Support for the development of a faith based presence in the Israeli market place
    •  Support for the development of a ministry amongst school children in Israel
    •  Volunteering opportunities in Israel

    For further information on any of this please contact: -;

    Phone: 01968 673968

    Mobile: 07743 591000



Do you have questions about Israel and the Bible - Then and Now? Contact Paul Hayes, IEF International

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When & Where

Oban Baptist Church
Albany Street
PA34 4LG Oban
United Kingdom

Saturday, 18 November 2017 from 14:30 to 17:00 (GMT)

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