Dean Bye with Africans (Photo courtesy Return Ministries)
A remarkable project is bringing Africans to North America in an attempt to repent for Egypt enslaving the Hebrews 3,000 years ago in a manner hinted at in prophecy.
Dean Bye, the founder of Return Ministries in Canada, is about to initiate an ambitious project. A children’s choir composed of African Christian children is being trained in Kampala Uganda to sing Hebrew songs in preparation to sing in Jinja Uganda, the source of the Nile, on January 19. They will then tour North America, performing for Jews, requesting that the Jews return to Israel.
The concept behind the story is astounding, as is the remarkable story of how it came into reality. For many years, Bye had wanted to purchase two silver trumpets for his ministry though he wasn’t really sure of his own motives. The inspiration came from the two silver trumpets described in Numbers:
Have two silver trumpets made; make them of hammered work. They shall serve you to summon the community and to set the divisions in motion. Numbers 10:2
“The trumpets were used to motivate the people before breaking camp in the desert during the Exodus and to announce the feasts. That seemed important to me since we are clearly entering a special era when people are gathering together.”
But as Silver trumpets are quite expensive, Bye shelved his vision.
Ten years ago, he was thrilled when a friend presented him with a beautiful silver trumpet. The occasion was significant and Bye wanted to savor the moment so he was a bit distressed when his cell phone rang. He answered nonetheless. On the phone was a person he had never met, an African man named Kibego. Communication was difficult since the only Western language Kibego spoke was French. Through an interpreter, he told Bye that he needed to meet with him.
“He was talking about needing to get a message to Africa, something that had to do with Israel,” Bye said. “It was all very confusing and it came in the middle of this special moment I had been waiting several years for.”
Bye was unsure of why it seemed so urgent for this stranger from Africa to meet him but he agreed to the meeting. Kibego lived in a Regina, Saskatchewan, traveling several days by bus to arrive at Bye’s ministry in southern Ontario. Bye picked him up at the bus station but there was no one to translate. Lacking a common language, Kibego motioned for Bye to open his Bible, turning to Isaiah, chapter 18.
Ah, land in the deep shadow of wings, Beyond the rivers of Nubia! Go, swift messengers, To a nation far and remote, To a people thrust forth and away— A nation of gibber and chatter— Whose land is cut off by streams; Which sends out envoys by sea, In papyrus vessels upon the water! [Say this:] “All you who live in the world And inhabit the earth, When a flag is raised in the hills, take note! When a shofar is blown, give heed!” Isaiah 18:1-3
“I was awestruck,” Bye said. “He was trying to explain where he was from through the verse. I couldn’t understand him but after seeing the reference to a shofar, to trumpets alerting the people of the world, I realized that I needed to connect with him. He had my attention. He was showing me that Africa needed to play its role in redemption in their uniquely African way.”
The translator arrived and Kibego began to tell his remarkable story. Kibego had been born a prince, a tribal leader from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He had a vision that he needed to go to Canada to find someone to help the Africans rally to bless Israel. He ignored the calling and through a twist of fate, he became involved in the conflict in Rwanda. He was eventually imprisoned in a Rwandan death camp in 1994. He bribed his way out, barely escaping the genocide while managing to save only some of his large family. Kibego was convinced the horrible experience was due to his failure to heed the vision.
Kibego showed Bye a verse in Zephaniah.
From beyond the rivers of Cush, My suppliants Shall bring offerings to Me in Fair Puzai. In that day, You will no longer be shamed for all the deeds By which you have defied Me. For then I will remove The proud and exultant within you, And you will be haughty no more On My sacred mount. Zephaniah 3:10-11
Kibego explained that most Africans believe they are the true descendants of Egypt, dispersed southward after the Arabs invaded their country.
“I had never heard this before,” Bye said. “He told me that when an African sees the Sphinx, the Pyramids, anything Egyptian, they see something that is African. I have since found that many Africans feel this way and as crazy as it sounds, Kibego was sharing a deep truth.”
The prophecies clearly defined a role for these Africans to play in the final redemption.
“Kibego had asked himself why Africa had suffered so horribly throughout history,” Bye explained. “He came to the conclusion that Africans had become enslaved, taken on the role of slaves in the world because they had enslaved the Hebrews. They had cursed the seed of Abraham, touched the apple of God’s eye, and they had been cursed in return.”
“Kibego came to me so that we could work together to reverse this curse, make a reconciliation between God and man as well as a reconciliation between man and man.”
His ministry was involved in several large projects and despite Kibego’s remarkable revelation, Bye was unable to act upon it immediately. Seven years later, he was invited to speak at a conference in Arusha, Tanzania along with Marty Shoub, a director of Return Ministry. Shoub had been instrumental in bringing this about.
Margaret Aduol (Photo return Ministries)
While at the conference, Bye asked Margaret Aduol, founder of the Africa Israel Prayer Altar Ministry who hosted the conference, if the Africans indeed believed they were descended from Egypt. Adoul was shocked at the question.
“Of course we do,” she answered. “Most everyone at this conference understands this truth.”
Bye spent the next week teaching the prophecies in Zephaniah and Isaiah as they pertained to Africa. The teachings touched a deep place in the hearts of all the African Christian participants.
They approached Bye, deeply concerned about how they could do a complete repentance on the role their forefathers had played in the bondage of the Hebrews in Egypt. For Bye, the answer was clear. He suggested they use the power of song to repent.
(Photo Return Ministries)
“Help us bring the Jewish people home from their exile in the places where you have been enslaved,” Bye told the people at the conference. “Singing and dancing will encourage the Jews and Christians alike take part in the return and restoration of Israel.”
It was at that point that he thought of bringing Africans to North America to play their essential role in bringing back Jews from the exile through song.
“This will be a complete Tikkun (fixing) of Egypt,” Bye explained. “3,000 years ago, the Hebrews were sent out of Egypt in hatred and anger, leaving Egypt cursed. Now, the Africans are asking for them to return but this time, it comes from a place of love and hopefully they will be blessed.”
Bye has returned to Africa twice since this initial experience. He is planning an event in Jinja, Uganda on January 19 as part of his Sing Together initiative. The children’s choir will then begin their tour North America to include Jews from Canada and the U.S. in this marvelous process.
This awakening comes at a significant time. 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first African slaves in the New World. In 1619, a Dutch ship brought 20 chained African slaves to the English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia.
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