CWI Summer School: A Great Experience

Where would you find a deep interest in the Bible? Where would you gain an insight into the Bible that goes further than normal good church teaching? Where would you find fellowship with believers from different countries who are keen to share the Good News with strangers? Where would you discover that Jesus really was Jewish and that the whole Bible is a Jewish book? Where would you have lots of fun and laughter? Where would you find very keen photographers using every opportunity to take pictures? At this year's Summer School!
The majority of the seventeen students were from Hong Kong and among these was Suzanne who looks after the CWI Hong Kong office. We also welcomed students from Malaysia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Jewish believers helped the group to understand about the Jewish people and Judaism, and made them aware of Jewish sensitivities. An illustrated talk familiarised us with Jewish life and festivals and another on Jewish views of the Messiah helped students to understand how Jewish ideas of the Messiah developed. Mike Moore gave a very detailed study on the Lord's Anointed in his various functions as Prophet, Priest and King, whilst Howard Fleming spoke on the crucial subject, "Israel, Replaced or Reserved?" A lecture on "Mitzvah or Messiah" dealt with the Law and the Promise, while another talk contrasted the “Bitter History” of the Jewish people with their “Bright Future”, giving an insight into anti-Semitism from New Testament times until today and showing that, through their election, the Jewish people are eternally “beloved for the sake of the fathers”. The subject of cross-cultural Jewish evangelism was also tackled under the title, "Dare to be Different". We were challenged us to recognise our comfort zone and to come out of it. At various times, on a more practical level, the group discussed Jewish objections in evangelism and tried to answer them. Also, each morning we had a time of worship.

Early in the first week we visited the Imperial War Museum to see the special Holocaust Exhibition, which was quite a moving experience for everyone. On the same evening we observed a Passover demonstration with a Jewish style evening meal cooked by our Italian chef, Giovanni.

If you feel that this was all very theoretical, courage was needed for the practical encounters on the streets. We went with a team from All Souls, Langham Place to Oxford Circus in the first week, and with Covent Garden Evangelical Church to Covent Garden in the second week. On both occasions serious conversations took place, some with people interested in finding out more. This was combined with general literature outreach in places like Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus with many showed interest in our attractive leaflet.

By the beginning of the second week, everybody in the group was very keen to actually meet Jewish people and put into practice the things we had learned. There were three sessions of door-to-door visitation in mainly Jewish areas and we had a number of interesting and encouraging responses.

It was a wonderful time! Meals and train journeys were full of fun. As "House Parents" we were greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of the team members for the work and their keen interest in Jewish evangelism.

If this report stirs your interest in our next Summer School please visit our
Events page.

This article first appeared in the September 2007 edition of the Herald

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