VIDEO: Christians from ‘All Nations’ are coming back to Jerusalem for first in-person event since Israel's post COVID reopening
ALL ISRAEL NEWS interview with Tom and Kate Hess, hosts of the All Nations Convocation which kicks off series of post-COVID Christian events this fall
JERUSALEM—The All Nations Convocation and Watchmen’s Tour of Israel will kick off a series of Christian events this fall when it gets underway in a few weeks with more than 1,000 pilgrims coming from overseas for two weeks of prayer, fasting and worship in Jerusalem.
And after having to cancel the event the past two years due to Israel's COVID closures, Tom Hess – founder of the Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations (JHOPFAN) – and his wife, Kate – director of The King’s Harp Program – are brimming with anticipation about this year’s gathering.
“More people are coming back now this year from all over the world and so this year our theme is ‘The King is coming,’ and it's focused on the coming of the King and preparing the way for the coming of the King of glory,” Tom said in an interview with ALL ISRAEL NEWS. “We thank God the King is coming very soon and for the way that He's working in these last days.”
Prior to COVID, the convocation had been held every year since 1994. Now, it could very well be the largest in-person Christian event since Israel reopened in March.
The 2022 convocation will make up for lost time both in its scope and its message. For starters, the event will feature an outdoor concert by 144 harpists on the southern steps of the Temple Mount.
Like its name, the All Nations Convocation draws participants from many nations and focuses on prayer for and from these countries with worship sessions led in different languages. Other events include a meeting at the Knesset – the Israeli parliament, guided prayer journeys to the borders of Israel and other significant locations, plus a focus on empowering and passing the baton to the next generation.
“We’re gathering mighty men and women from all the nations to come together in their 20s, to pray for a breakthrough for the next generation,” Tom said, noting that Jesus, David and Joseph attained significant spiritual milestones in their 20s and 30s. “So we're calling forth the next generation to come and stand with Israel.”
Both Tom and Kate are directors of the JHOPFAN – where round-the-clock prayer on the Mount of Olives did not skip a beat even during the pandemic.
“We've been doing 24/7 nonstop here in Jerusalem ...it's never stopped for 35 years, even through COVID,” Tom said, “But every year, for 10 days, we move this to Ramat Rachel Hotel, and we do a global last-days upper room, based on the 12 gates of Jerusalem. So people come from every gateway and their first responsibility they have in the convocation is they do a two-hour watch in their gateway.”
With less than a month until the event, the convocation’s registration is almost at pre-pandemic levels but probably will not reach that due to COVID-19 lockdowns in China. Delegates from China usually comprise 25 to 30% of the convention's participants.
Seventy governmental leaders are scheduled to join and other speakers and worship leaders include Cindy Jacobs and Beckah Shae from the United States; Heidi Baker from Mozambique; Jobst Bittner from Germany; Dr. Niko from Indonesia; Joshua Aaron from Israel; Afeef Halasah from Jordan; Maksim Asenov from Bulgaria; John Mulinde from Uganda. (See here for details.)
The convocation begins with the biblical Feast of Trumpets – celebrated as Rosh Hashanah in Israel – and continues through Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and ends right before the Feast of Tabernacles.
“It’s a picture of the last days of this great ingathering that’s happening, both of Israel – the Jews returning to Israel – and the nations as well, coming up to the mountain of the Lord,” Kate said referring to Isaiah 2 and Zechariah 8. “We’re just so excited to be a part of what God is doing. It's not what we're doing, but what God is doing in our days. And we want everyone else to be a part of what God is doing in this time in history.”
Participants also stand with Israel and the Jewish people by fasting during Yom Kippur – along with the rest of the nation.
“We see them not only as Jewish feasts, but they are biblical feasts because they are from the Bible. So we believe that all nations are called to join into the end of the feast, the feasts of the Lord,” Tom said. “We’re getting ready for the coming of the King of glory and when He comes, He is going to take us off of a Gentile calendar and He’s going to put us on a biblical calendar.”
He noted the significant events in Jesus’ life in the Bible are paralleled by the feasts.
“Now we live in a dynamic where the next feasts to be fulfilled are the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur and then the Feast of Tabernacles,” Hess said.
MAKING MUSIC TO THE LORD WITH THE HARP
Kate has been training harpists in Davidic worship for 12 years now. In Israel, these musicians have been ministering in hospitals as well as the annual convocations. But for this one, they are taking it up a notch, Kate said.
“Every year on the opening night, we usually have 24 harpists as a symbol of what’s happening in heaven, the 24 elders. But this year we’re going out there, going out on a limb – we felt that the Lord gave us a much larger number,” Kate explained, referring to the 144 musicians who will play on the southern steps of the temple where Peter preached and 3,000 people received the Lord on Pentecost.
During COVID, Kate hosted monthly harp training sessions online – which has since led to hundreds of people going on to train others on the harp.
“It’s been an incredible journey of preparation and we are just really excited to receive all the nations again and to be there on site with Israelis and many nations joined together. It’s really a picture of when you are talking about the 'end times' because we know before the end is the final ingathering,” Kate continued.
“The first fruits was Pentecost, but now we're coming to this final period where we see Israel and the nations are coming together and the fullness is coming and this latter harvest, the greater harvest that is coming.”
The All Nations Convocation and Watchmen's Tour of Israel takes place Sept. 25 to Oct. 9. To register or for more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or check the website. To learn more about the House of Prayer, see the JHOPAN website.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.