The Epicenter Conference team had a wonderful meeting with Israeli Amb. Vapni in Manila.

>> To learn more about the Epicenter conference we’re doing in Manila — with the theme: “Signs of the Times” — and to learn how you can watch on satellite TV, please click here

>> To read the daily blog written by the conference staff — and see pictures of what we’re doing daily — please click here 

  • Israeli Pastor David Ortiz began the day by teaching the Bible at a 6am prayer meeting of more than 1,000 Christians.
  •  My day began a little later (fortunately!) with an hour-long TV interview for a documentary that’s being produced here in Manila on the End of Days. The program is expected to be aired on a national network here in a few months. The reporter asked me to explain why I believe we are living in the “last days,” what the prophecies of Matthew 24 and Luke 21 mean, and what the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the “War of Gog and Magog” mean and whether they could come to pass soon. She asked if the U.S. is ever mentioned in the Bible in last days prophecies (it isn’t), and why not (we don’t know for certain; could be the Rapture, nuclear war, financial collapse, natural disasters, political timidity or some combination thereof neutralizes our capacity to project force in the not-too-distant future).
  •  After a time of individual prayer and Bible study, we headed to a restaurant on the other side of town and had a great time at lunch with Israeli Ambassador Zvi Vapni. He has served several tours as a diplomat in the U.S., Ireland and elsewhere, and I found him very sharp, very engaging, well versed on U.S. and Filipino diplomacy, and very intrigued with — and supportive of — building strong ties between Israel and evangelical Christians. We discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the eschatology of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and whether the Iranian leader really believes what he’s preaching, the relevance of the Book of Esther in our time, and why the Arroyo adminstrationmay have voted against Israel in the U.N. over the Goldstone Report. He thanked us for the work we’re doing to mobilize Christians to support Israel, and I invited the Ambassador to come to our Epicenter Conference on Friday and make some remarks as we open the event. We hope he can attend as we really enjoyed our time with him.
  •  From there, the team and I headed to the studios of CBN Asia. There, Pastor Ortiz, Pastor Ray Bentley, and I were each interviewed separately for an hour or more about our love for the Lord, our love for Israel, and our passion for mobilizing followers of Jesus Christ in Asia to show the Jewish and Palestinian people unconditional love and unwavering support. We were asked about how we came to faith, our understanding of End Times prophecies, and how the Church in Asia can and should live in light of the historic times in which we live. The interviews will soon run on CBN all throughout the Philippines, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
  • Pastor Bentley then went to teach the Bible at an evening prayer service of more than 1,000 believers, while the rest of us had a little time to catch up on emails, phone calls, etc. Then we gathered for dinner at a wonderful Chinese restaurant and met up with Iranian Pastor Hormoz Shariat who had just arrived in country. Hormoz shared with the group of two dozen or so Filipino pastors and ministry leaders the amazing story of how he went from being a Radical Shia Muslim in 1979 shouting, “Death to America!” on the streets of Tehran to a follower of Jesus Christ and the “Billy Graham of Iran,” broadcasting the gospel to between seven and nine million Muslims in Iran every Tuesday through Friday night via satellite TV. It was so encouraging to see these dear leaders getting the rare opportunity to meet and spend time with one of the most remarkable “Muslim Background Believers” (MBB) in the world, and ask him deep and probing questions about the spiritual awakening underway in Iran and what Hormoz believes the future there holds.
  • It’s almost midnight here, so I’m shutting down for the night, very curious about the election underway in Massachusetts at the moment.
  • P.S. — We haven’t received any pictures yet from the palace with the President and our team. If we get them as promised, I’ll be sure to post them.
  • God bless you guys. Thanks so much for your prayers.
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