Shofars sound support of U.S. and troops
About 35 people attended a solemn assembly at the Christ of the Ozarks statue on the grounds of The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs on Wednesday, Aug. 11.
Al Pryor, of Berryville, conducted the assembly, held to pray for the United States and its leadership, and the protection of U.S. troops in Iraq and around the world.
Many praise and patriotic songs were sung and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag was said.
Mary Curtis spoke on behalf of her son, Staff Sgt. Art Curtis, who recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the 362nd Psychological Operations Unit from Fayetteville.
Sgt. Curtis sent word that "Freedom isn't free. It is bought with the blood of men and women, as it has been since the nation's conception." He thanked those who prayed for him and his unit, who all returned safely a few weeks ago.
Pryor spoke on 2 Chronicles 7:14, emphasizing the similarity between healing, mentioned in the scripture, and protection, saying that with God's hand of protection healing becomes unnecessary.
"Our problem is God's hand of protection has been lifted from this nation and the fiery darts of the enemy have struck at our heart as we saw on Sept. 11 (2001)," he said. "Our land must comply to this scripture and turn from our wicked ways in order to receive God's healing, then, once more, we will have His protection."
He decried that God has been kicked out of most aspects of U.S. society. "Why should He protect us?" he said. "Now our young men and women are giving their lives to protect us. ... We try to lay the blame on so many, but the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the Christians."
A list of names was read and after each name was pronounced, a shofar horn, a traditional Jewish trumpet usually made from a ram's horn, was blown. At 7 p.m. sharp, all six shofars on hand were blown in a long blast to coincide with the End Time Handmaidens, a worldwide organization based in Jasper, where they also prayed and blew their 12 shofars. After the sounding of the shofars, loud shouts went out from those present.
Pryor seemed somewhat disappointed that only about 35 people showed up, with six or eight being tourists. The parking lot should have been full of Christians, he said.
"The important thing is God showed up and it was an awesome time," he said.
He noted the symbology of the evening. Rain was forecast, but sunshine came out in time for the assembly. "The Christ of the Ozarks statue cast a big shadow, and as the hour went by, the shadow moved and the people kept moving to stay in the protecting shade of Christ," he said. "I thought that is where we should be as individuals and as a nation ---- under His protection."
Pryor said the list of names read during the service will be made available to churches and individuals who want it, and the list will be updated as new names are supplied.
Persons wanting to add a name or a copy of the list may call Al or Margo Pryor at (870) 423-5348.