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My Year of Jubilee
By Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo
Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo
In Leviticus 25:8-13, we read about 'the year of Jubilee', that was observed on the 50th year.
On November the 30th, 1989, I entered the period that I call 'My Year of Jubilee'. I believe that a thumbnail sketch of my life by way of a testimonial will bring honour and glory to our Lord for His wonderful loving care of me during these past 50 years.
There have been 'three' basic periods of my life that I want to share with you:
1) My Natural Birth, 2) My New Beginning, and 3) My Noble Blessing.
Approximately 26 years ago I wrote an article entitled, 'A Minority Within a Minority', which appeared in The Hebrew-Christian Alliance of America Magazine, now called, (The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America Magazine).
The above article described the background of my birth as a Sephardic (Spanish) Jewish child. My relatives migrated from Spain after the Inquisition (1492), through different places such as Turkey, Morocco, and ultimately arriving in South America sometime during the seventeenth or eighteenth century.
Almost twenty-five years after my birth, I became a child of God, by Grace through Faith, in the Messiah of Israel, The LORD Jesus Christ.
I was born into a 'minority' people (numerically that is), then, I discovered that being born of Spanish (Sephardic) Jewish heritage placed me in a second 'minority', especially growing up in New York City, where the majority of Jewish people were of European (Ashkenazic) descent.
At home my Father (Alexander Hidalgo) and I spoke Ladino (a mixture of Spanish and Hebrew), as opposed to most of the other Jewish people I met and knew as a child who spoke Yiddish (a mixture of German and Hebrew). The final and third 'minority' came when I accepted The LORD Jesus Christ as my personal Messiah and Saviour.
WITH MY LORD, I have discovered and experienced a blessed life in Him, for He is over all and in all. He is The Mighty One of Jacob, and through Him, I am in the MAJORITY.
MY NATURAL BIRTH:
I was born on November the 30th, 1939, in Caracas, Venezuela (South America). When I was approximately four months old my parents were given permission to enter the United States of America via Ellis Island and eventually New York City. It was in this great and grand city that I grew up and attended school throughout my primary and secondary educational years.
For most of my childhood and adolescent years we lived at 160 East Broadway, New York City, in the Lower East Side. Our apartment building, as well as almost the entire neighborhood, was populated with Jewish people. I grew up in a religious home, affording me the opportunity to be exposed to my own traditions, culture and even some well known Scriptures.
The first big tragedy in my life came when my adopted mother, Evelyn Sainsbury, passed away. I remember that I was barely nine years of age, and the rest of my growing up years my father became my entire family since I had no brothers or sisters, and what little family I had were still in South America and in other countries. My biological mother, of blessed memory, was Jewish. Her name was Victoria Levi. I never really had the privilege of knowing her. My father did his best to accommodate me in areas of need; nevertheless, I found myself seeking additional satisfactions, trying to fulfill my expectations on the streets of the 'Big Apple'. Obviously, the streets of New York could not fill the longing in my heart, and neither did my religious upbringing seem to completely answer my questions about life and its complexities.
By the time I reached High School, the only thing I could envision was leaving New York City; thus, at the age of eighteen, I joined the U. S. Air Force.
This was to be my first real experience away from all that I ever knew, especially from my accustomed Kosher style of life.
It was in the Air Force that I first began to seriously consider my spiritual inward being. There were several young men that I was stationed with that made an impression upon my life by the way they conducted themselves. It seemed as if they had such shalom (peace). After leaving the Air Force with an Honorable Discharge, I bought a Bible at a second-hand bookstore, and I began to do something that I had never done before. On my own, and with no prodding from anyone, I began to read the Holy Bible from cover to cover. Not only did I read The Scriptures once, but twice, from Genesis to Revelation. This brought me to my new beginning.
MY NEW BEGINNING:
I was born again (that is, I personally accepted The Messiah) on November the 18th, 1964 at 10:10 a.m., after I had read the Holy Bible over a period of about six months, and through the power of the Spirit of GOD and the Word of GOD, I realized that I was a lost sinner that needed to be saved and forgiven of all my sins. The LORD also gave me the understanding that Jesus of Nazareth was my precious Messiah and that all I had to do was to call upon The Name of the LORD. Thus, Yeshua (Jesus) heard my cry and saved me. It was in Carlsbad, New Mexico, a city of not more than 25,000 people where the outstretched and loving arms of my LORD extended His Mercy unto me.
Because I had read in the Holy Bible that water Baptism was very much a part of one's faith in the LORD, I immediately called a local Baptist Church, and at 7:30 the same evening of my New Birth, I was immersed into the waters of Baptism. The Minister that Baptized me demonstrated much love and kindness and seemed to know the Holy Scriptures; therefore, I asked him if he could recommend a school that I could attend so that I also could become knowledgeable of Holy Writ. I applied to the same Bible School that he had graduated from, and when I received my letter of acceptance to attend Bible Baptist Seminary (Arlington Baptist College), I jumped for joy, and within several months I was off to school to learn about my new found faith. In 1965 I began what would be a twelve year process of educating myself and learning about God's love to all people,"... to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile" (Romans 1:16).
From 1965 to 1977, I pursued my educational career as I attended and graduated from several Theological schools. All of this brought me to my Noble Blessing.
MY NOBLE BLESSING:
After several years of ministry, on June the 1st, 1974, at the direction of the LORD, I began my complete 'faith' walk with Him, and as a result, the establishment of our present Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship (Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.) became a reality. For nearly twenty-five years we have been able to work in the Vineyard of our LORD.
Both my wife (Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo) and I have worked and ministered in California, Oregon, Washington, and in 1983 in Jerusalem, Israel. Beginning March the 5th, 1986, we worked in the Twin Cities for over ten years in the fields that are white unto harvest for our Lord and Saviour. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul (the Twin Cities) have been a challenge for us. We knew basically no one when we arrived, but GOD, opened many doors of opportunity for us in witnessing GOD's Message to Israel. In the summer of 1996, at the direction of The LORD we established the headquarters of Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc., in Savannah, Georgia, as my wife and I answered the call of God to work and minister in a new state.
We are currently on television in thirteen states and in over 300 cities all over the United States, from coast to coast. Our literature and tape ministry continues to grow and expand beyond our expectations. Our three weekly fellowship meetings also continue to grow and prosper in Minneapolis and Savannah.
Thanks be unto our Lord that we now are on the Internet challenging Jewish and Gentile people with the Good News of Messiah.
From being born into a minority, to discovering that I actually belonged to a smaller minority, to the ultimate happening, and that is, becoming a believer in Yeshua (Jesus) at the age of twenty-four, I can only say with the Apostle Saul-Paul, "...Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of CHRIST JESUS my LORD:" (Philippians 3:8a).
"...Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of JESUS CHRIST" (Philippians 1:6).
Shalom (Peace) in Him...
Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo