We’re back from Sukkot NW 2016 on the middle Rogue River near Grants Pass in SW Oregon. Here is a quick review of the event.
This was our fifteenth and final Sukkot NW. My wife and I founded this ministry in 2002 and every year we have gone to a beautiful location in the state of Oregon in YHVH’s creation and away from the Babylon of the big city to meet with him and to join with those who hunger for the kingdom of Elohim and his righteousness.
When we planted Sukkot NW, there were no other events like ours in Washington State or Oregon. Over the years, we have helped to transmit this vision to many people and to train them how to do a Sukkot event, and now there are many such events going on around us. We praise Yah for this. It is now time for my wife and I to pass the baton to someone else and focus our energies on other ministry areas that need our attention. To our excitement, YHVH has gone ahead of us and has raised up another family to receive this spiritual calling, and plans are already being made for next year’s Sukkot in the NW region of the United States.
This year, we again rented Griffin Park on the Rogue River. People came in from as far away as Alaska and southern California, as well as Washington State and Oregon. We praise YHVH for everyone who made the sacrifice and effort to meet with Him at his appointed feast.
We arrived at the campground in a driving, record rainfall—the remnants of a typhoon that had hit SE Asia that then came across the Pacific Ocean and slammed into the NW coast of the US. The Rogue River was overflowing its banks. Even the boat ramp and parking lot were flooded. Perhaps this was prophetic of an outpouring of YHVH’s Spirit that was about to come the river of life that flows from YHVH’s temple and throne in heaven! My guess is that the river was somewhere around five feet above its usual level. After the torrential rain stopped, the river level began dropping sharply.
Shortly after arriving, the rain stopped, long enough for many people to put up their tents. Then the rain started again. It rained hard the first high holy day as we all huddled close together in one of the screen room tents we managed to get erected between rain showers. In the Scriptures, rain is considered a blessing, but too much rain is not. Remember Noah’s flood? So we prophesied and commanded it to stop raining the next day, even though the weather forecast called for on and off rain throughout the week, and, praise Yah, or mustard seed faith worked. It stopped raining. HalleluYah! Latter in the week, it started raining again just before the morning services, and we prayed and commanded it to stop raining, and it did almost immediately. Praise Yah! It didn’t start raining again until the Eighth Day when it poured like crazy. We were forced to congregate in the picnic shelter and in one of the screen rooms. It was like being in the close and intimate quarters of the wedding chuppah of the New Jerusalem, which is what the Eighth Day prophetically portrays. There we praised and worshiped our King and heard his word expounded upon by our Bible teachers.
Everyone’s tents and our two large sukkah, screen rooms and other pop-up shelters were all totally wet, though there was no water leakage on anyone. Praise Yah! However, we dreaded the idea of having to put all the tents away wet the next day. This would mean that we’d have to dry them out when we got home. Oy vey! So again, we prayed for the rain to cease and for the sun to come out the next day and dry things out. You guessed it! The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun dried everything out. In fifteen years, many despite rain events at Sukkot, he had never had to put our tents away wet. YHVH was faithful to us again this year, and we praise him for it!
Every morning except one we had live praise and worship followed by teachings from Bill Birdsong from Bellingham, Washington along with Dr. Joseph Dombek, yours truly and my wife, Sandi, from Oregon and Clay Barremore from Canby, California. We were also mightily blessed to hear from Clay’s 23 year-old, on-fire spiritually son, Jesse, who delivered an inspiring message to the youth and the rest of us. He is a wise son and a gifted and inspiring preacher, and the body of Yeshua will be hearing from this young man more. Thank you Jesse for allowing YHVH to use you! May YHVH use you to inspire many young people to seek him.
The prayer sukkah-tent where we met each morning was our holy of holies. There we heard from YHVH, ministered his word and sought his face in prayer. It was there that people were filled with the Set-Apart Spirit, delivered from oppressions, healed and received spiritual break-throughs and divine revelations. Prayer and seeking YHVH’s face undergirded all the activities that occurred at this year’s Sukkot.
The cold, pure mountain water of the Rogue River again opened its chilly arms to receive those who either wanted to be baptized for the remission of sins for the first time and make their public confession to follow Yeshua the Messiah as their Savior and Master, or who just wanted to rededicate their lives to him and receive a fresh impartation of his Spirit. Five young men (four of whom were teen-agers) made that commitment. This was perhaps, in my opinion, the high point of this year’s Sukkot.
Besides all this, we had an erev-Shabbat candlelight pot-luck dinner with songs and Hebraic liturgy to welcome in the weekly seventh-day Sabbath. We also had a teen activity night with kosher pizza and a Bible trivia Teen Challenge competition with prizes for the winners.
Nearly every night, we had sukkah parties around various campfires where we fellowshipped until late into the evening.
We are also grateful to Dr. Joe and Heidi Dombek for their Wilderness Experience kids’ program where they taught and acted out the spiritual and prophetic significance of 42 stations or encampments of the children of Israel in the wilderness en route to the Promised Land.
There are probably things I’m forgetting to say about this year’s Sukkot. The good thing is that I can keep editing this blog post and add to it as I think of more things to say.
We filmed all the teachings, which I’m currently editing and uploading to the Hoshana Rabbah YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/HoshanaRabbah?feature=mhee.
May the blessings of this year’s Sukkot NW in Oregon be passed on to you!