I’ve received a couple emails asking for an update on the Hanoch Young Event we just hosted… Frankly, I have been meaning to write something, but have been exhausted this week and am still processing the event.
In a word, it was FANTASTIC!!
The event was hosted about 70 miles from our fellowship, and everyone involved, save one family, are not from the area where we hosted the event. From the beginning, we felt led to do this in the upstate expressly to help reach and put together a number of scattered little groups we had been hearing about. Add to that, Hanoch’s heart to speak directly to those in the ‘church,’ and we have an interesting scenario.
We prayed about a location and the first door we tried closed, but the second, Greenville First Church of the Nazarene, was flung wide open. As a congregation, they have a HUGE heart for Israel and a terrific relationship with the Synagogue that abuts their property, so in many ways, this was a perfect fit! Add the fact that they have a wonderful facility that was opened to us, and we were very excited.
In terms of advertizing, Davar Chaim has a tiny budget, so we opted to attack this using every ‘free’ means we could think of.
- We searched the web and emailed about 100 churches in the area.
- We requested Public Service Announcements on a dozen radio stations with a couple helping, and several adding our event to their community calendars. (Interesting, secular stations were more open to putting us on their event calendars than a couple ‘Christian’ radio stations.
- We emailed every person we could through 119 Ministries Hebrew roots map.
- We also posted an event to the SC, NC and GA groups on theRegathering.
We had no way of estimating response in advance and hoped to fill the 400-odd seats. Actual turnout was closer to 75 or 80, but we chose to leave the results in Abba’s capable hands. More about the great things that have happened as a result of the event in a minute.
Preparation, besides advertising, was not terribly difficult, but full of little details. Sabra Joines, of Sabra Style, handles many of the booking details for Hanoch and she was VERY helpful, even designing a few of the graphics we used on my blog and in email invitations. Coordinating Hanoch’s schedule must be some kind of challenge if others are as scattered as we were trying to coordinate with Greenville First Church of the Nazarene’s calendar and our own ideas, but in the end, the perfect fit came together. We picked Hanoch up in Charlotte, and delivered him to North Georgia in a very logical sequence of events (unlike his last tour, from what we heard… LOL!)
Other details we sweated were the music selections, parts of the service, how to introduce Hanoch, getting it all filmed/recorded, etc. Tim Godby, of “Greenville Naz” was MOST helpful! We had all music, lyrics and images to him about 10 days in advance, so he had time to proof and assemble some dynamite visuals for the music.
Late morning, the day of the event, Roger Williams and I, along with my second born, Jeremiah, met Hanoch in Charlotte where he had been a speaker for a weekend event there. Sabra, who was also in attendance at that event as a vendor, traveled with us to Greenville and then on to Atlanta for her business, but we were blessed to have her with us that evening. The ride from Charlotte to Greenville was a rollicking good time as Hanoch regaled us with stories, while we peppered him with questions!
Enroute, we stopped at Roger’s house for an excellent lunch of Israeli/Mideastern fare prepared by Roger’s wife, Kay and his granddaughter, Nikki! Tabbouleh, hummus, olives, cheeses (that I made 🙂 ), pita, lentils and scads of fresh fruit! As lunches go, I’ve not enjoyed so leisurely a lunch in months… The icing on the top was when the dark chocolate covered coffee beans and almonds came out! FUN!
Mid-afternoon, Roger and I moved to take Hanoch to the venue to scout it out and then on to the hotel we had booked for him. Upon arrival at the church we were surprised to walk in and hear the worship music we had sent to them on the overhead speakers in the office. Once in the sanctuary, Tim Godby explained that it had been piped to the whole building all day as he enjoyed it so much…. Particularly, Joshua Aaron’s Gadol Elohai. He even commented on searching out and loving the YouTube video!!
After dropping Hanoch at the hotel and rushing to get dressed, we arrived back at the church praying for big numbers.
As it turned out, the numbers were smaller than hoped for, but the impact may be far greater than we originally hoped for.
The service itself was absolutely awesome with some really sweet worship! Roger’s shofar calls were the best I think I’ve ever heard him play! Hopefully, in the near future we’ll have the whole service up on Youtube.
I had an opportunity to lay a bit of foundation for Hanoch in terms of explaining ‘who Ephraim is’ and what the prophetic significance is. Also, as a planned, but not advertised part of the service, Roger and I, along with all who wished to join us on stage, publicly apologized to Judah (Hanoch) for the antisemitism we and our fathers have accepted and used against the Jews. I recounted some of what I have found in studying the church ‘fathers’ and explained my shame and guilt. It was a special moment!!
Hanoch spoke for about an hour and was captivating as he relayed stories and drew connections while making the case that Ephraim needs to grow in unity and stop looking for ways to divide! Further, he talked of the days soon coming when Ephraim would be brought home by our Father, the God of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’akov. High on Hanoch’s list of points is that we also should make very effort to support Israel in every way we can. If we believe that is home and we believe the Torah is a Constitution, then we need to make every effort to act like a nation with each other and with Judah!
Hanoch also told us a little about the Ephramite tour he and Ken Rank are sponsoring for this coming November. Hopefully, there will soon be a nice webpage that I can link to or post on the blog.
Sabra had a number of products from various Israeli businesses and artists, so after the service, attendees had an immediate opportunity to support Israel.
Both before and after the service, I had opportunity to meet attendees and make connections. One family that has been in fellowship with us for a while, traveling about an hour each way to do so, has recently started hosting an Erev Shabbat service in their home for a couple families. Well, I was able to connect at least two families to this dear family as they pray and prepare to eventually help lead a Messianic fellowship in the Greenville area.
I spoke with a Baptist pastor who was visiting. He expressed that God had been working in his heart in recent months and he was really trying to understand His plan/purpose and why he was feeling drawn into the ancient paths. We had a terrific conversation and since have spoken further. This pastor thoroughly enjoyed the evening, but said the very best part was the dvd we handed out (It was The Lost Sheep by 119 Ministries.) because it led him to 119 Ministries, his most recent addiction!! In his words, ‘those guys handle the Scriptures so well and let the Bible interpret itself instead of pushing doctrine. How refreshing!’ He and I will be getting together early next week to pray, study and dig… Keep him and the flock he leads in your prayers!!
Another congregation in Western North Carolina sent a delegation of six to hear Hanoch’s message and to see what we were all about. As a result of their visit, I received a call from Idaho… Long story, but this group’s arrival at the Hanoch event was the result of a recent Facebook encounter and a lot of prayer by a family that has been on the Messianic walk for more than 20 years!!
There were some other neat seeds planted that I am aware of, but cannot discuss.
The bottom-line, as Tim Godby would email the day after, is ‘I share your regret (that the numbers were small) as this is a message that needs to be heard by a much wider audience.’
Pray with me that the seeds planted would bear fruit and that our Father would reveal the fulness of His Word to all those who were in attendance!!
Hopefully, as soon as this has been edited into a couple shorts and maybe the whole service as a long video, we can get them up and you can view/participate first-hand.