Shalom Haverim! (Hello Friends!)
August was certainly a busy month with the majority of it taken up by two events which I attended. On August 6, I traveled to Springfield, Missouri, to attend the Assemblies of God Centennial Celebration. Delegates from around the world gathered in Springfield to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the Assemblies of God. It was a blessed time of fellowship, services and cultural exchange. I met pastors from many different countries and was blessed by their fellowship. Even though language was sometimes a barrier the kinship which we felt in spirit more than made up for that shortcoming!
I had the privilege of meeting three pastors who stand out distinctly in my memory. One pastor was from China and he came to our table to buy gifts for the people of his congregation. It was refreshing to watch him as he carefully and lovingly picked out gifts for those back home. I’m not sure how much money that he spent at our booth but I know that he purchased many gifts.
A pastor from the African country of Lesotho came to our booth and took an interest in the Tallits which we had for sale. He knew little about the Tallit but asked me to explain what it was, where it came from and what significance and had in Scripture. As I gave him a brief explanation of the garment and its use in Scripture, I came to a place where I explained to him that Peter knew that Jesus was alive because of the “napkin” which he saw folded in the empty tomb. I explained to this brother that what he saw was not a napkin as we know it, but was Jesus’ prayer shawl or Tallit. Before I could finish my explanation the Holy Spirit revealed to him that the neatly folded “napkin” had been left by Jesus to show that He was alive! As I was sharing, this brother began to grown and cry as understanding came to his spirit! We both stood there for a few moments crying and rejoicing over the precious and powerful fact that Jesus is alive! As this dear brother departed I was blessed to read his name tag. His name was Gift! He was God’s gift to me that day!
The third pastor who is fresh in my memory was from Mongolia. He spoke very little English. But the one thing that he could say in his broken English was, “My church love and pray for Israel!” As we attempted to communicate, we could both sense of kinship the spirit. We struggled through a language barrier to communicate and managed to do so on a limited level. As he was about to leave the booth, this pastor reached into his pocket and handed me a gift from Mongolia. It was a keychain with an unusual shape to it. As he handed it to me tears began to well up in my eyes. After I looked at it I reached over and picked up a key chain with “Jerusalem” engraved on it and handed it to him. He had looked at the keychain several times and I could tell that he wanted it, so I bought it and gave it to him. If it means as much to him as the key chain which he gave means to me that he will have it for a long time!
There were many more memorable encounters that I had during this time but these are the ones which stood out the most to me!
On Sunday, August 10th, I drove to Springfield, Illinois, to take my place in our booth at the Illinois State Fair. I replaced Doug who had so graciously driven all of the contents of the booth to the fair and had gotten everything set up to start the fair. Doug had done a great job and left on Monday so that he could get home and get prepared for his next assignment, driving to Toronto to set up our booth for our outreach at the CNE.
Our booth at the Illinois State fair was well received, I feel, even though many people were a little unsure about why we were there. They knew that we had products from Israel and that we were handing out literature about Jesus but were not as familiar with our ministry as those in other places where we have been. When they got to know us and found out what we were doing there, they were very welcoming. Many asked us if it was our first year at the fair. When we told them that it was they told us that they were glad that we were there and hope that we would make this an annual event. Most of the people who came by the booth expressed a love for Israel and told us that they were praying for Israel and daily basis. Even though our ministry is based in the United States and our mission is to reach Jewish people in America, we were very glad to hear of all the support which people expressed for Israel! The week went well, most people were supportive and only a few people were rude or said that they did not want us there. The Lord blessed us with what I think was good success in the area of sales, especially in light of the comments which I was hearing from other vendors who were complaining about attendance and sales being low. Attendance was somewhat hurt by the weather as it rained on all but two days of the fair. But the Lord was good and I was not displeased with our results.
At the Illinois State Fair I was blessed with a good number of volunteers who were competent, faithful and willing to handle things by themselves so that I could take an occasional break and get away for a time of refreshing. It was such a blessing to have several volunteers, some of whom would come by even on days when they were not scheduled to work to see if I needed a break for a few minutes. They were such a wonderful blessing! On the last weekend, I was blessed with two married couples who wanted to volunteer for shifts at the booth.
Theotis and Judy Lewis, who lived a couple of towns away from Springfield, came on Saturday and were a great help to me! These folks were kind and gracious and did a great job in the booth! In visiting with Theotis, I found out that he and I are from the same hometown! He was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. Were a few years apart in age and did not share any mutual friends, but we had a great time sharing stories.
Lee and Alice Gates were another couple who help them last weekend. This precious couple drove four hours from Evansville, Indiana, just to be a part of this outreach! They work along shift on Saturday afternoon and a long shift Sunday morning! I could not have made it on Sunday without them as the previous 11 days had taken its toll on me physically. As they left, they tell me that they wish they could stay longer but needed to get back to Evansville. I so appreciate this couple and hope that we can work together again sometime! I have the same feeling for all of our volunteers! They were excellent! Thank you all!
Our August wrapped up with a wonderful weekend in Fort Smith, Arkansas. We drove over to Fort Smith on Saturday afternoon and visited with former parishioners of ours from when we pastored a church in that city. On Sunday we were the guest of Pastor Don Hutchings and the congregation of Exciting ET! Evangel toTemple is a unique church with a unique pastor! The service was fabulous, the fellowship was tremendous and the people were very receptive to the message which the Lord had laid on my heart! Pastor Hutchings had been preaching on Israel for several weeks. He invited me to come in to conclude the series of messages. I was honored to do so. I preached in Joel chapter 2 about blowing the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in the holy mountain as the day of the Lord approaches. I taught about the three trumpets of the festivals of the Lord: the first Trump, the last Trump and the great Trump. I believe that a lot of eyes were opened in the hearts were challenged by the message!
A Couple of Reminders!
We can always use your prayers as we endeavor to spread the Good News!
“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the Lord’s message may spread rapidly and receive honor, just as it did with you;” 2 Thessalonians 3:1 (Complete Jewish Bible)
Pray for Israel and the situation in the Middle East!
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” Psalm 122:6 (KJV)
Thanks for taking time to read my newsletter! I publish it each month to keep you informed on the ministry and our lives. If you like to have our ministry come to your church just let me know! We go wherever the Lord opens the door! Just contact me through one of the ways listed below! If you wonder what we do, it is very simple.
Rock of Israel is dedicated to:
Sharing Jesus as the Messiah of the Jewish people,
Providing opportunity for believers in Jesus to share their faith with Jewish people,
Teaching the Jewish Jesus in Churches,
Providing books, Judaica, and other resources to the public.
If we can be of service to you in any way we would be honored!
To learn more about our ministry go to http://jdockinsrockofisrael.wordpress.com/
You can reach me:
-by phone: 479-453-0203 or 800-722-ROCK (7625), ext. 106!
-on Facebook: Jay Dockins
-on Twitter: @JayDockins
-or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org