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Kenny Roger is the Church of Scotland’s Middle East Secretary. Originally from Glasgow, he first visited Israel in 2010, when he was working as the World Mission Finance Manager of the Church’s offices in Edinburgh.
Impressed with the land in which “the Bible comes alive,” Roger went back to Scotland with the hope of securing a role within the Church’s facilities in Israel. And he did; in April 2013, the Roger family moved from Edinburgh to Jaffa, where the children attend the 150-year-old Tabeetha School, an English language school managed by the Church of Scotland, in which Christian, Jewish, and Muslim children study together.
Roger explains the role played by the Church of Scotland, which has had a presence in what is now Israel since the mid-19th century. The Church reaches out to the small, often isolated, and sometimes abandoned Christian communities in the region, and aims to give them a voice by telling their story. Roger describes visiting members of the tiny Christian community – 1,303 strong – in Gaza before the recent war broke out, and then finding out that some of them had endured loss and destruction over the summer.
Roger also talks about the positives and negatives of being a Scot abroad: He managed to remain “on the fence” in the Scottish Independence debate, but misses good rugby and good haggis.