Meet Me at the Olive Tree
Stories of Hope and Reconciliation
by Julia Fisher
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Find encouragement in the genuine desire and movement toward reconciliation at the 'grass-roots' level in the Bible lands of Israel and Palestine.
Born from her regular interview slot on Premier Radio, Julia Fisher takes the title of her programme, "The Olive Tree", and presents a selection of her encounters with individuals and couples from both side of the religious, cultural and economic divide. Here she introduces down-to earth men and women actively engaged in seeking reconciliation. Truly powerful stories have emerge around the book's basic theme that, despite all the dire reports and bad news, the Christian church in Israel and in Palestine is working amongst the various groups and communities to promote understanding and tolerance on all sides.
"Meet Me At The Olive Tree" is the evidence that the Church of Christ in the Middle East is bringing together people of all traditions to meet, become friends and begin working together. This book collects some of Julia's interviews and stories with the aim of showing that reconciliation is possible - no matter how powerful the indoctrination of past tradition or how great the present social, political and economic pressures.
Meet Me at the Olive Tree by Julia Fisher was published by Lion Hudson Plc in October 2012 and is our 2929th best seller. The ISBN for Meet Me at the Olive Tree is 9780857212283.
This book has arisen from a regular slot on Premier Radio called The Olive Tree, where Julia Fisher interviews a person or couple from the Holy Land, Arab or Jew, who are actively engaged in reconciliation. Some powerful stories have emerged. The basic theme of the book is that, despite all the dire reports, the Christian church in Israel and the areas of Palestine is growing amongst both Arab and Jewish communities. As this happens, Arabs and Jews are meeting, becoming friends, working together. This book collects some of these stories with the aim of showing that reconciliation is possible through the Cross, no matter how powerful the childhood indoctrination or how great the social pressure. The author presents 10 deeply personal and moving true stories.
“Julia Fisher has allowed each believer to speak for himself or herself, with no more comment from her than is necessary. I trust that reading these testimonies will stimulate you to pray for the outworking of God's people in Israel. And that you will have the opportunity to visit the land, not only to the sights, but to see what God is doing among its people there.” – Colin Urquhart, Kingdom Ministries, (on Julia’s book “Israel’s New Disciples.”)
“Balanced, informed, powerful and inspiring.” – David Bricker, International Director of Jews for Jesus. Ministries, (on Julia’s book “Israel’s New Disciples.”)
“Since my birth into God's kingdom I have had an ongoing love for Jewish people. After all, except for one somewhat non Jew, Luke, both the Old and New Testaments were written by Jews inspired by God's Holy Spirit. To read about how He is moving in the hearts of the Jewish people in this generation thrills me. If anyone else will invest their time in reading this book with and open heart and mind I believe they will experience the same joy and hope I have now in these most challenging and sometimes frightful times.” – A reader review for Julia’s book “Israel’s New Disciples.
Julia Fisher is Director of The Olive Tree Reconciliation Fund (OTRF), an experienced journalist and broadcaster, most recently with Premier Radio. Julia’s radio programme, ‘The Olive Tree’ is a weekly broadcast which asks the simple question, 'What is God doing in Israel and the Palestinian Areas today?' The answers are provided by believers living in the Holy Land, both Jews and Arabs, as well as from others who know the situation well.
The programme brings together the voices and stories of Jewish and Arab believers in Jesus living in Israel and the Palestinian Areas of the West Bank. Among the contributors to her broadcast is a man named Claude Ezagouri. Born in Algeria to Jewish parents, the Claude’s family moved to southern France when Claude was just a few years old. Later, Claude and his French wife, Michelle, a converted to Judaism, decided to make ‘aliyah’ and move to Israel.
In Israel, they couple joined themselves to a kibbutz, where Claude worked on a banana plantation. This was a turbulent period in their lives as Claude’s search for the spiritual meaning to life took him in a surprising direction. Claude became convinced that the man known to history as Yeshua, or Jesus of Nazareth, really was the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. This was a decision that almost destroyed Claude and Michelle’s marriage. The couple’s spiritual journey took them to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Claude Ezagouri is today the pastor of a Messianic congregation in Tiberias. “The main priority,” says Claude, “is for evangelism – to fulfil the vision He has given us… I believe we can do this – beyond our word. I believe we can do this by our example and what we can do.”
Other stories are told by men and women who must remain anonymous for their own safety and those around them, such as the man referred to simply as ‘J’. J lives in Jerusalem and works among Muslim Background believers – former Muslims who have become Christians – living in Jerusalem and the Palestinian areas of the West Bank. J reveals that many Muslims are coming to know Jesus but it is dangerous, even impossible, for them to keep a Bible in their own home. These people are isolated and unable to enjoy fellowship together for fear of their lives. It’s very dangerous for them to openly declare they are Christians. Equally, for Christian Arabs to witness to Muslim people is very dangerous. So J spends a great deal of his time encouraging Muslim background believers in the West Bank who many people don’t even realise exist.
Now Judith has collected her conversations with men and women like Claude, Michelle and J into a book. ‘Meet Me At The Olive Tree’ gives you the first hand accounts of how the gospel of Christ is bringing together individuals and communities from all sides of the conflict in a spirit of hope and reconciliation.
‘Meet Me At The Olive Tree’ gives you encouraging stories of reconciliation between individuals and divided communities in Israel and the Palestine lands. From her Premier Radio interviews, Julia Fisher introduces you to men and women actively engaged in working to promote understanding and tolerance on all sides.
The Olive Tree Reconciliation Fund (OTRF) started with a 2007 article that Julia Fisher about the plight of Arab Christians in Bethlehem. The article described the heart ache experienced by one evangelical pastor in particular, and the sacrificial way in which he helped the people there, both Christians and Muslims. The response of readers demonstrated that Christians in the UK who loved Israel and the Jewish people, also love and support the Palestinian Christians and the work of reconciliation that is going on between them and Messianic Jewish believers in the Holy Land today. Later she wrote about Labib Madanat, the team leader of Bible Society ministry in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories. From a Jordanian family, he works with Christian believers from both sides as they take the gospel to both religious and secular Jews, as well as to Muslim Palestinians.
In that article Julia shared with you a couple of projects, ways in which Christians in the nations can support Labib Madanat and his teams, including those working in Gaza. All the projects of OTRF are committed to the long term support of Labib and others. As news about the OTRF spreads more requests for help are received. Julia’s role is to research these requests thoroughly before funding projects that range from enlarging meeting facilities to providing chairs, dishes and cutlery, cushion covers and two carpets. Her books include: “Israel: the Mystery of Peace” and “Israel’s New Disciples”.
Julia acknowledges the difficulty of keeping the work of reconciliation separate from the complex and emotive issues of 'Replacement Theology'. She argues that it must be possible to set theology to one side and get on with the urgent business of 'feed first and talk theology afterwards.' The political situation is nowhere near close to resolution, yet her stories are so unlikely that only God could bring this change of heart about. This is what is happening in Israel and the wider Middle East today because people there live in world where they have more time for faith and, increasingly, they are understanding the purposes of God in these days and are praying according to his agenda, not the politician's.
For her inspiration to continue this work of reconciliation through the gospel of Christ, Julia offers these quotes from the New Testament:
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.” - Ephesians 2:14-15.
“His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” - Ephesians 2:15-16.
“He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” - Ephesians 2:17-18.
“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” - Ephesians 3:6.
“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” - John 10: 16.
|Page last updated||22nd May 2013|
|Author / Artist||Julia Fisher|
|Publisher||Lion Hudson Plc (October 2012)|
|Number of Pages||192|