A Trip Down South

Early Monday morning I made the hour-long drive to Denver International Airport where I would be heading out on a two-week trip to Missouri and Louisiana. It was cold outside and there was still a fair amount of snow left over on the ground from the blizzard of the previous week but you could still feel warmth and joy in the Colorado air from the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl victory the night before. Plus, I knew I was headed south to warmer temperatures and no snow.

My first stop was the office in Marshfield, Missouri where we would be filming the studio sections for the upcoming new HaYesod program: The Sabbath Day. I touched down in Kansas City that afternoon and we were already filming by the next morning. It was great to be back at the home office and the filming went as smoothly as ever. The Sabbath Day HaYesod series will be a ten-week video course with an accompanying student workbook just like the first HaYesod. The focus of this HaYesod will be the Sabbath and we’ve packed as much as we can into the ten lessons. It will cover topics such as viewing the Sabbath as a foretaste of the kingdom, discovering the roles that both Jewish and Gentile believers have in keeping the Sabbath, Yeshua and the Sabbath, as well as practical application in regard to keeping the Sabbath and calling it a day of delight.

I enjoyed connecting with everyone from the office in Marshfield face to face and I even got to experience again one of our legendary hot-dog days. We finished the filming on schedule and look forward to next month when we will head to Israel to film the Israel segments. After a week and a half I headed back to the airport for the second leg of my trip: Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A Connecticut Yankee in Cajun Country

I had never been to Louisiana before and therefore was a little unsure of what to expect. It didn’t help that I grew up as a Yankee in Connecticut. Although I did find out that as much as we in the North have preconceptions of what goes on in the South, Southerners have the same for us. Nevertheless, I was overwhelmed with the hospitality and the kindness of everyone I met.


Toby Janicki teaching at the Shabbaton seminar

The first event was a Shabbaton seminar, which began Friday night. The event took place at a church called The Chapel in Baton Rouge. About ninety people showed up, most of whom were Gentile Christians who had never observed Sabbath before. These people were extremely hungry to learn and I was honored and excited to help them begin their journey on the right foot. They did teach me that down in Louisiana Cajun country the proper Sabbath greeting would be “Shabbat Shalom, chei!” where “chei” (pronounced “sha”) means “dear one” in Cajun. They also said it was perfectly fine to say ‘Shabbat shalom, ya’ll!” as well. As we closed the event with Havdalah I was encouraged to see Christians so excited about the Sabbath and the kingdom of heaven.

On Monday night we hosted a “Gifts of the Spirit” lecture in the same location and had another large crowd of around one hundred people. There was standing room only. All in all I left Louisiana with strong sense of accomplishment and I know that as much as they all said that I blessed them, they equally blessed me. My hosts were so gracious and I am incredible grateful for everyone who made these events possible. I have even decided that, God willing, I would like my next house to have a big front porch where I can have a couple of rocking chairs to sit in. I have a feeling that we established a relationship with the community there that will continue for years to come and I look forward to seeing all the fruit it will produce.

Source: First Fruits of Zion