Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 05/07/2013

Local church gets the message!!

The whole purpose of this blog is to help Christians recognize God’s love and continuing plan for the Jewish people and their eternal homeland, Israel. This wonderful article shows how God used vandalism to change the hearts of a local Massachusetts church congregation toward the Chosen People.

         Vandals open pastor’s eyes to faith

Monday, May 6, 2013  By: Joe Fitzgerald, Boston Herald

He’s been a pastor for 43 years, but it wasn’t until his church moved from Walpole to Sharon in 1999 that Texas-born Dick Ingram experienced what could be called a revelation.

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Pastor Dick Ingram

“In all my early years of pastoring, I worked mostly among gentiles,” he recalled. “Now we were coming to a community that’s 75 percent Jewish, with seven synagogues, and it scared me to think I didn’t know much about the Jewish faith.“Then I thought, wait a minute, I’ve studied Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all of my life, and I’ve loved reading the psalms and proverbs, and I have always revered Isaiah, Jeremiah and the rest of the prophets. Then when I come to the New Testament, all of the disciples were Jewish; so was my Lord!”

But it wasn’t until he and his wife, Jeri, on a pilgrimage to Germany, visited the site of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp that they viscerally, vicariously experienced one of the darkest chapters of Jewish history. Upon their return, Ingram wrote a heartfelt letter to the Sharon Advocate that broke down invisible barriers to a point where several Jewish choirs later joined in a community concert at Victory Assembly of God Church, a gesture that said even more than the beautiful music. So it wasn’t surprising when large banners recently appeared at the edge of Victory’s parking lot, informing passersby that a “Jerusalem Day Celebration” will be held there May 19. Nor was it entirely surprising that someone, in the dark of night, slashed those banners, painted swastikas on Victory’s doors and hurled a large rock through a rear window, smashing the glass on Ingram’s desk.

Victory Assembly of God

Victory Assembly of God

“But here’s the good part,” Ingram said. “The next day neighbors, including a rabbi, arrived to help us clean up. When one of our people mentioned what ‘a frightening experience’ it was, the rabbi told him, ‘Welcome to our world.’ “Then cards, letters and phone calls began coming our way. Donations began arriving, too, to offset our expenses, like the new banners we ordered immediately. It reminded me of that passage in Genesis where Joseph tells his brothers, ‘You meant to do me harm, but the Lord intended it for good.’ ”

As for the “baby boulder” that landed on his desk, Ingram’s flock found a message there, too. “We cleaned it up and Amy, our secretary, put this verse from Isaiah on it: ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper.’ “It now sits on our Communion table, right at the front of the sanctuary, where everyone can see it. Isn’t that neat?”

“We’re still having that Jerusalem Day Celebration. “It’ll be open to the public and free, and I’m hoping our sanctuary will be packed because there’ll be a message in that as well.”

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