african church ambulance mda 248.88.
(photo credit: MDA)
The first ambulance donated to Magen David Adom by an African church was dedicated Wednesday in Jerusalem by leaders of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Africa (RCCG).
The ceremony took place outside the Regency Hotel on Mount Scopus and was attended by clergy, MDA representatives and government officials.
The contribution marked a culmination of years of outreach work in Africa conducted by Norman Feingold, who serves as the International Emissary to Christian Communities for MDA and is based in Tel Aviv. The 84-year-old volunteer has brought in millions of dollars to MDA from a variety of sources over a period of decades.
"Judaism is the trunk of faith and Christianity is the golden branch. By coming together, we fuse as one," Feingold told The Jerusalem Post. "I've just received an award for 60 years of service to Israel, but this is the most rewarding thing I have ever done."
The message of unity and companionship was the common thread in all the speeches at the ceremony.
Rev. E.A. Adeboye, General Overseer of RCCG, delivered the blessing, "May the Almighty Lord restore full peace in Israel."
Marc Attali, representing the Foreign Ministry spoke of the spirit of "solidarity and cooperation that this generous gift" reinforced between Christians in Africa and Israel.
African Christians say they stand in solidarity with Israel especially in times of trouble.
The executive director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, Rev. Malcolm Hedding, told those gathered at the dedication ceremony that, "Israel is not alone, there are millions of Christians worldwide who are defending you."
MDA representative Tali Paz Zinman told the Post, "This contribution is heart-warming. It shows the strong bond between our religions."
After the speeches, the brand new ambulance was unveiled by Adeboye along with his wife. The keys were handed over to MDA and participants received a shofar and a hanukkia from MDA in appreciation for their efforts.
Also speaking during the ceremony were Bishop Doye Aguma, who planted the seeds of this new relationship with Feingold, and Nigerian Ambassador to Israel Dada Olisa.
The money for the ambulance was raised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which has also brought 650 of its members from Kenya, America, Britain and Canada to Israel on pilgrimages of the holy sites.
The donated ambulance joins a fleet of some 900 now in service.