On January 29, 2022, we had our second BYNA Family Reunion! Circumstances beyond our control prevented us from having events for the last two years, which is when the last one occurred in February of 2020.
Our prayer for the reunion was twofold; that Abba would move on the hearts of those HE desired to attend, and that reconciliation and restoration would occur. Abba exceeded our expectations. Several shared that they originally were not going to attend, then Abba moved on their heart, and they were so thankful they came.
We gathered in a large gymnasium located at a summer camp for youth. The camp director allowed us to set up on Friday, the day before the reunion. A small crew of volunteers set up tables, chairs, decorated, and prepared whatever was needed for the reunion.
The reunion was scheduled from 11am to 6pm on Shabbat. There was excitement in the air as people started arriving and quickly filled the tables. Conversations, hugs, laughing, and general small talk began to fill the room. Children played together. It was a beautiful sight to behold! We estimated about 145 people were in attendance.
Tommy & I put together a “tentative” agenda but followed the leading of the Ruach. We let people mingle and converse for about the first 45 minutes, then transitioned to singing Shabbat Shalom, welcomed and greeted everyone. After giving a brief overview of the “tentative” agenda, we asked for a show of hands regarding who had attended either a “National Shabbat” or “Family Reunion” before. About one third were new people! We then asked who had not heard of BYNA before, and about the same number of hands were raised.
We introduced ourselves and went over “The Most Repeated Prophecy” from the BYNA website and gave a little history of how BYNA came to be. People were encouraged to visit the website as well as the table we had set up with BYNA brochures. We also discussed the importance of identity and made the book, “Who Is Israel – Redeemed Israel – A Primer”, by Batya Ruth Wootten available for a suggested donation.
The next thing we discussed was protocol. We acknowledged several people who were not able to attend as well as local pastors, congregation, and home fellowship leaders and presented them with a small gift. We heard later that many were impacted by the revelation of the importance of protocol.
Our children were brought under the chuppah for a blessing and prayer. Then we said the hamotzi (blessing before the meal) together and lined up to eat! When the meal was over, we blessed Yah for the food He gave us.
After several hours of food & fellowship, we went off the agenda and had a time of testimonies. One of the children, a four-year-old girl, came to me and asked if she could share. I handed her the microphone, and she began to sing the ABCs! The whole room erupted in applause. The next person to take the microphone was someone from the “older” generation who shared her experience with little children and recited the ABCs backwards! For the next half hour one after the other took the microphone and testified of the goodness of Yah including restored marriages, healing of relationships, and healing of physical bodies. We had a prophetic word spoken regarding the reciting of the ABCs (from Aleph to Tav and back again) and Ephesians 3:14-21 was recited. Because this was so powerful, we will include a time of testimony in our future gatherings.
At 3pm we all stood, faced Jerusalem and recited the Shema, and blew the shofars. The sound reverberated in the gymnasium!
We concluded our time together with an extended time of praise, worship, and dance and the Aaronic blessing was spoken over the group. People were encouraged to linger and continue fellowship. Many people jumped in to help clean up.
I received an email from someone who attended. Their words summed up what our prayers had been prior to the event:
“Thank you again for organizing the family reunion. We’re so glad Yah forced our hand and placed us there, yesterday. Multiple bridges were repaired as many who avoided us for several years reopened lines of dialog. Thank you.”
We would like to encourage you to plan a “family reunion” in the area you live in. People are hungry for fellowship and connection with other brothers and sisters. It isn’t difficult to plan and doesn’t need to be elaborate. We are here to help you get started.
Dorothy & Tommy Wilson
BYNA Family Reunion Directors