One evening as our missionary Steve Cohen was speaking at a Florida church, he asked if anyone in the congregation knew a Jewish person. One man, a Jewish believer in Y'shua, pointed to a lady next to him, his mother, Maddy Powledge. After the service Maddy introduced herself to Steve and asked if they could talk for a few minutes.
Maddy had a strong Jewish upbringing. She had been widowed, then remarried to a Gentile Christian who had been urging her to commit her life to Jesus. She was concerned about remaining Jewish if she accepted Jesus, and also felt troubled about the reactions of her relatives who did not believe in Him.
After a lengthy conversation Steve sensed that the Lord had prepared Maddy's heart, and he asked her if she was ready to receive her Messiah. She was, and she wanted her son and husband to be with her as she took that step of faith. Maddy sat on a chair, they knelt on either side of her, and they all held hands as Steve led her in a simple prayer of faith in Y'shua.
Just a couple of weeks later, Maddy wrote us at our San Francisco headquarters. We thank God for Maddy's salvation and for her encouraging letter:
Just a few lines to say thank you for so very much. I am Jewish and my husband is [a Gentile] Christian. I have been receiving your mail for the past two years. It was recommended by my son who is a member of [a] messianic temple. As you can imagine, there were many discussions among us, but as a 58-year-old woman…from a background of Jewish traditions, I could never openly commit myself to Y'shua.
"March 3rd I was on my way to town (I live out in the country) and heard…an announcement about Jews for Jesus and a phone number. I had no pencil, I had a lot of errands, etc., but for some reason the phone number just stuck in my head.
"When I got home, I just had to call, not even knowing if it was the right number. I got a pastor…who told me that Steve Cohen would be [at his church] to relate the Old and New Testament in the Passover services.
"I don't drive at night, but I just knew that I had to go, even though I was never in a church except for a wedding. My husband was down in Miami with my son, and when I spoke to him on the phone, I told him what I was going to do.… I was getting ready to leave, quite nervous and apprehensive, when in came my son and husband, saying that they came up from Miami (two and a half hours away) to go with me.
"The services were beautiful, and I asked to have a word with Steve alone. I had so many questions which he ended up answering fully. When he asked me if I was ready to be saved, I looked him straight in the eyes and said yes. We called my husband and son in to pray with us. At the beginning of the prayer I still had feelings of apprehension, but with each word I repeated after him, I felt a glorious inner peace that I had never felt before.
"Afterwards we all cried and hugged…and I am left with an indescribable feeling of peace, love, sharing and a thirst to learn so much more. I just had to share this experience with you and thank you and thank Steve.… Thank you again, and keep spreading the Word."