Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Israel Trip - My New Igbo Friends

This post is part of my series 31 Days of the Holy Land 
I met a delightful couple on my second trip to Israel.  Lazarus and Rosanna Abanonu are from Nigeria, and both members of the Igbo tribe, also known as the Igbo Jews.  Both Lazarus and Rosanna are believers in Yeshua the Messiah.

The Igbo tribe is unique in that they have maintained their Jewish culture over hundreds of years.  These are the traditions they have maintained:
  • Belief in the One True G-d of Israel
  • Circumcision eight days after the birth of a male child
  • Observance of  kosher dietary laws
  • Separation of men and women during menstruation
  • The celebration of holidays such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Passover.
  • Wearing the tallit and the kippah
I found this fascinating, and enjoyed talking with them about their tribe and about how they came to accept Yeshua. Both were reared as believers by their families.  Both attended Christian schools and accepted Yeshua early in their lives.

Lazarus said the first time he saw Rosanna they were both in elementary school, and he immediately knew she would be his wife.  He pursued her and they were eventually married after they'd both graduated school.  Both went on to college and became educators.  They have five children, all college-educated and holding professional positions.

They came to the United States through a special initiative that allowed a certain number of Nigerians to immigrate to America.  When they moved to this country, they both worked as teachers in the public schools.  Lazarus became a principal and has retired, but Rosanna continues to teach middle school classes.  They both love teaching and I'm sure their personalities have been a big part of their success in working children and teens.

When we left the boat after our trip across the Sea of Galilee, we met some Nigerians.  Rosanna was so excited and kept saying, "Nigeria, Nigeria," and giving them high-fives.  The Nigerians were so excited to be going on the boat and were all singing and praising the L-rd.

The Aboninos are dedicated members of their church, and love to sing.  The first night of our trip, I heard people singing in the hotel, and found out later it was them.  They told me that every night they read the Bible together and sing hymns of praise to Hashem.  They also led us in singing on the bus a couple of times.  When others didn't want to sing, they would sing very quietly to themselves.  It was so uplifting to see their beautiful hearts of praise and worship. Meeting them was one of the highlights of my trip, and I feel blessed to know them.

As we were leaving the Temple Mount, we ran into some more Nigerians.  Don't you love their colorful outfits?  

You can read more about the Igbo tribe at this LINK.

Sharing this post with:

Jennifer Dukes Lee Tell His Story
Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3D Lessons 4Life
Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party
Laura on Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women
Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger
Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays
My Fresh Brewed Life with Barbie – Weekend Brew


  1. Having several Nigerian friends I could picture the story you were telling. Very interesting about who you met Gail.

  2. I have often wondered about what Jewish traditions we should have embraced.

    1. I wondered that myself, and after praying for His wisdom, came to the conclusion we are to embrace His commandments...which Yeshua himself did while on this earth. He also said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Since the New Testament had not been written, He was talking about the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy).

      Adonai said His Sabbath and Feasts and Festivals were everlasting covenants and were to be observed forever. That is very, very clear.

      I pray for you as you seek His face on this issue.


  3. This is so cool! I'd love to visit Israel someday. I don't know much about Jewish feasts, though we've participated in Passover celebrations at various churches. We've known a few Jews but haven't really talked about what we each believe. :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Bonnie - I encourage to investigate the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. There are so many blessings that have been stolen from believers. G-d's ways are the way of life and blessing. You can learn a great deal by reading the posts here on my blog.

      Thank you for stopping by and for your encouraging words. I hope you'll visit again soon.

  4. I hope to visit Israel some day in the near future. My daughter would love to go with me, but my husband NOT. May I encourage you to share your beautiful story about this visit at my "Tell me a True Story" blog hop site: http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

    1. I pray you and your daughter get to make aliyah, Hazel. It is a life-changing experience.

      Thank you for the invitation to share this on your blog. Will do.

      Blessings and shalom,

  5. True Story site opens every Monday at or around 5:00 pm.

  6. Welcome, and thank you for sharing with us here at Tell Me a Story. I loved your photos and your Lgbo friends.

  7. Thank you for this beautiful, colorful, post, Gail. I always love to hear you talk about Israel and my Jewish roots.

  8. This was wonderful. Made me smile!! Thank you.


Thank you so much for stopping by today and taking the time to leave a comment! I read each one of them and love to respond back to those who visit! Blessings to you.