We've made it easy with a 25% discount on our Witnessing to Jews book by Moishe and Ceil Rosen. To receive the discount, order online by June 30, 2010, and use the coupon code witness25 at checkout.
We've made it easy with a 25% discount on our Witnessing to Jews book by Moishe and Ceil Rosen. To receive the discount, order online by June 30, 2010, and use the coupon code witness25 at checkout.
Click here to read a rabbi's interesting and poignant Father's Day reflections.
And please also pray for the many fathers of our Jews for Jesus staff who don't yet know Jesus, that they will come to know their heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus.
Valery reports, "God always provides us with innovative ways of evangelism, but for me, [how to do] evangelism through a blue tooth transmitter* was unclear. When I had the transmitter in the mall, I prayed, 'Lord, please open my eyes so I can see the fruit of my work, and why I am going here and there in the mall and it seems like I am doing nothing.' Immediately after the prayer, I noticed many people began to look at their cell phones instead of looking at the merchandise for sale. Their faces changed. Some people were happy getting a message, but some were upset and angry. Observing the people, I was praising God that any work for Him is never in vain. Hallelujah!"
[*We were able to transmit a text message to people's cell phones asking if they wanted to receive a message from Jews for Jesus.]
Avigail reports, "I was sitting in a caf? with a transmitter and I heard a woman at an adjacent table react to getting the transmission to her cell phone. 'I just got a text message from Y'shua!' she exclaimed!
"While phoning, I connected with a man who had many questions after having seen our banners. When he found that I was 27, he replied, 'What sin could you have? You have your whole life ahead of you!' I explained that we all have sinned and need forgiveness. He asked if my life was boring and why I didn't travel like many other people my age. I told him that I wasn't bored; that I had joy because I was free from sin and I travel everywhere and tell people what Y'shua has done for me. He asked me to send the New Testament as well as the Y'shua book.
"I spoke to another man whose whole family perished in the Holocaust. At first he didn't know what to think about the New Testament. I shared many prophecies from the Tanakh and how Jesus fulfilled them and his heart opened up—by the end of the conversation he wanted to receive and read the New Testament for himself.
"I spoke with a religious woman who said, 'What is this Y'shua? I believe only in Torah!' We had a long conversation and she ended up asking for the Y'shua book. When I checked the number I had dialed, it did not match the number I had intended to call from the phone book—I had dialed the number completely wrong, but it was the person the Lord wanted me to call!
"I also connected with two people who were thrilled to hear from me, each had been hoping someone would call to offer him/her the New Testament. One also said he would welcome a visit with someone to talk about Y'shua. I even spoke to a Torah teacher who wanted to receive the Y'shua book and to use it teach her whole class!"
Anna Marie reports, "After an hour of walking on the hot beach, my campaign partner and I were exhausted so we prayed. A thought came to me. 'Look here, Casey. Some seed is ready to be planted and there is definitely some fruit that needs to be picked. Let's just pray that the Lord keeps us away from the bad soil as we plant the seed that we want to plant.'
"Just then I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. A couple I had met the week before greeted me with great excitement. 'Karen! David!' I said.
'You remembered our names!' they replied.
'Yes! We have been praying for you!' -Karen is not yet a believer. I prayed for her eyesight and the salvation of her husband. They were so glad to run into us again and were looking forward to speaking to Yarden, a Jews for Jesus missionary who had already called them to follow-up. The husband, who had not seemed open before, was now asking about a Messianic congregation. He also said he was halfway through the book we'd sent, and that it was really good. Keep praying for Karen and David!"
Casey reports, "Last week at our noon sortie, (tract-passing expedition) we met a young Jewish man named Daniel. He was from Ohio, where I grew up, so that gave us a lot in common. He gave his contact information to receive the book we're offering. I have seen him twice since then, and he added me as his friend on Facebook. Today, we were in the same spot for a sortie and he was excited to see us and let us know that he got the book! We had a long chat about the gospel and many world events. Then he said, 'Hey, I saw some people with your organization holding a big banner last night at around midnight. I wonder who it was?' 'It was us!' I exclaimed. 'No way! That's so cool!' he said, and promised that the next time he sees us he will have read the book.
"In Ramat HaSharon, I approached a man sitting in the shade under a tree and began speaking to him about the gospel. He was a Buddhist from Nepal and he looked very sad. He told me how depressed and frustrated he was, and he had no one to talk to. I told him he could always talk to God, but right now his sin burden was separating him. He was carrying burdens he was never meant to carry. As I spoke, his eyes were welling up with tears. He kept looking away so I would not see. I began sharing how he could have a relationship with God. He told me his family was telling him to meditate. I said, 'It's not working is it?' He said, 'No.' I asked him if he wanted to enter into God's peace. He said, 'Yes,' and he prayed the prayer of salvation with me. He wants to enter into fellowship and receive as many materials as we can send him."
Francoise reports, "We met a group of young women serving in the Israeli army. One was particularly interested and we talked to her as the others listened. We explained about the book we were offering, and the first girl eagerly signed up to receive it. Her friends then followed—five of the six asked to receive the book.
"We were at a street fair when a young man approached us and we offered to send him a copy of the Y'shua book. His father had encountered us just the day before, so he was already interested and ready sign up to receive the book. The efforts of the whole team are having an impact.
"I want to ask prayer for salvation for Dalit and Rhona who were extremely open when I witnessed to them. They were so sweet that they wanted to stay in touch with me by Facebook."
Natasha reports, "I always pray that God will bring me to those people who need to meet Him. That is how I met a 20-year-old who was open to the gospel. She told me that her mother was a believer who attended a congregation. She gave me her mother's contact information as well as her own.
"During a clipboard outreach in Herzylia Pituach, I approached a woman sitting by the walkway smoking. She shared that she has a lot of problems in her life. I told her that God could solve the problems in her life and I offered to pray for her. She said, 'Okay,' and after I prayed she responded by saying that she felt like God had sent me to her. She seemed very open to the gospel and I invited her to pray a prayer of repentance. She replied, 'Send me the book first and I will consider it.' Please pray for Susie!"
Jonathan reports, "As I spoke to a family on the beach, one of the men said, 'I know you guys. My company makes your banners!' I spoke to him for a few minutes. He wouldn't give his contact information, because he said knew he us anyway. His brother came up, however, and gave his contact information."
Jeremiah reports, "We were doing a music sortie at Herzylia north beach. A couple of times when I stopped playing my guitar people approached me and I found myself in conversations, getting contact info from people who wanted the book.
"I was talking to a gentleman at the beach who worked at an educational institution. I asked him if he wanted a New Testament and he said, "Sure". He said, 'I'm not only going to read it, I'm going to put it in the library at the school so everyone else can read it too!'"
Karol reports, "A guy came up to us as we were handing out tracts and said, 'I met one of your people last week, have already received the New Testament and have started reading it!'"
Laura reports, "Two teams were calling this morning. I have a loud voice so another campaigner, Marcel, heard me taking a contact and recognized the man's name! He ran over and asked to speak to him. Marcel had shared the gospel with this man in Holland ten years ago! They had exchanged information but Marcel lost his address. The man remembered meeting Marcel and they exchanged information and planned to meet again!"
Heather reports, "I went to speak in Hebrew to three elderly women sitting on a bench. One of them, Sarah, was interested in the book about Y'shua. Her Filipina health care aide asked me in English what I was speaking to her about. I explained about the book and asked if she would like one as well and she said, 'Yes.' Just then four of her friends who also worked as aides came and said they also would like the book, and that they would read it to the people they cared for. Pray for the salvation of these women."
Ze'ev reports, "Religious groups opposing the gospel tried to pressure the website carrying our ads to remove them, but to no avail. In fact, I received a telephone call from another popular website in Israel that saw our ads and made us an extremely attractive offer to advertize on their site as well—and we took it! Thank you again for your prayers. God is definitely using you in a mighty way as we continue to spread the gospel in the Sharon area and throughout Israel. Hallelujah!"
The Y'shua book that seekers have been ordering through our BYG Israel campaigns is an easy to understand primer showing how Jesus is predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures. Click here if you are interested in purchasing your own copy of the original (English) version by Moishe Rose.
See our updates concerning Moishe Rosen, the about-to-be-completed Behold Your God Israel Campaign, and Massah.
Last month we told you there would not be another update until Moishe's Homegoing. Little did we know that event would take place just a few days later, on May 19, which was Shavuot. Loren Jacobs, long time friend and former Jews for Jesus staff, officiated at the funeral, a small, private event for the family. David Brickner officiated at the memorial service. Both services focused on the gospel and the underlying purpose of Moishe's life to bring that hope to others.
We miss Moishe so very much but are glad that now he is rejoicing forevermore, beyond suffering and death. The Jews for Jesus website is featuring a video photo montage as well as a tribute page for Moishe through the end of June. You can also read his farewell letter on the website.
We are just getting ready to conclude our most recent BYG campaign. Next month we'll be able to tell you more-including where the campaign was and how many seekers have asked for more information. Many of the seekers are people who call after seeing our banners. One campaigner said, "When the teams are bannering, phone calls come in to the follow-up team nonstop. Each person in the follow-up team finds that an average of five of those callers per hour give their contact information to hear more."
From the small Israeli team that has been traveling for a few months, Josh reports,
"Well, praise God for His grace. We had a great time in Daramkot, which is a little village outside of Daramsalla. It was full of Israelis and we had great talks together. We spent a week there, talking to people and getting to know them. For example, Tal, who's about 21 years old, was amazed at the idea that you could be Jewish and believe in Jesus. She asked many questions, and I told her of Jesus' teaching on love. She was overwhelmed and asked if she could have a New Testament. I was more than happy to give her one, and we exchanged e-mails so she could write me on any questions she had about the Lord. Praise God!"
And from the team newly arrived in Israel from the U.S., Abbie reports, "The team has arrived! The twelve "Massah-ers" of 2010, Melissa, and I landed on Shabbat after two long plane flights. We were a bit exhausted, a tad jet lagged, and VERY excited. We have only been here a short while, but even so have been very productive! The first day or so was devoted to tricking our bodies into believing that day was night and night was day. The team adjusted fairly quickly and we were able to have a service together on the second day to "consecrate" our time together and focus our minds on the work ahead this summer. It was a sweet time of worship, reflection, and prayer together as a team.
"This first week has been devoted to training and prep for our time on the streets talking to Israelis. Jhan has been great about focusing the team and giving them a mini training of what goes on in NY over the summer on Jews for Jesus' annual summer campaigns. We went out for the first time today to talk to the Israelis and to have a 'learning' day for the team. It was a really good way to start the evangelism of the trip and to get accustomed to what we will be doing a lot of this summer."
Two nameless, faceless people are chasing me down a dark, rain-soaked alley and I have no idea why. What am I running from? Where am I going? The fear is suffocating, my teeth are clenched; my heart feels like it is pounding out of my chest.
As hard as I run, I feel like I am going in slow motion and my adversaries are quickly gaining on me. Just as they are about to lay their hands on me I awake gasping, my heart pounding. Slowly I relax my clenched fists and breath a tremendous sigh of relief. It was only a nightmare, or as many call it, an anxiety dream. Most people have had similar dreams on occasion.
When we wake up from one of those "episodes" we experience one of the most dramatic shifts in perspective that is humanly possible. We discover in an instant what is real and what is not—a very important distinction don't you think?
All of us live with illusions that deeply impact our perspective on life. Perhaps the most common is the illusion that "I am in control of the circumstances of my life." As followers of Christ, few of us would give voice to such an illusion. We often talk about trusting in Providence, that unseen sovereign hand of God working to bring about His own perfect will. We may even be convinced that we believe that He is the one in control. Yet how often do we behave as though we are the ones really calling the shots, or as though we can expect our efforts to determine life's outcomes?
When circumstances get out of hand—we face a sudden illness, the loss of loved ones, broken relationships or financial reversals—suddenly the illusion shatters and we realize how little control we really do have. We can't control the cells in our own bodies. We can't control the health or even the choices of people around us—even those who are closest to us—any more than we can control a tsunami or a volcano. Often it takes a crisis for us to realize just how little control we have—and so crises can be times of despair or they can become seasons of transformative spiritual growth.
We can choose to trust God who always knows what is best, wants what is best and does what is best for us. If we make that choice, if we really believe that truth about God then when the moment comes and we are tested by those things beyond our control, it can be like waking up from a dream. One of those anxiety dreams in fact. We suddenly sense that we truly are powerless in the palm of Providence. Reality shifts. We can breathe a deep sigh of relief, unclench our fists and begin to wait on Him who declares the end from the beginning.
A reality shift like that doesn't mean we give up trying to do what is right, but we no longer strive to make things happen in our own strength. We don't feel the need to explain the unexplainable, to make sense of things we can't possibly understand to ourselves and to others. We can walk through challenging circumstances, not knowing why they happened or how things will end up, but still having our faith intact and even growing stronger and deeper. We are enduring. We are suffering, but we aren't wringing our hands over the past, railing against the present or worrying too much about the future.
In the weeks before our Jews for Jesus Founder and my dear mentor, Moishe Rosen was called home, he was in hospice care, dependent on others for all his needs. As I sat by his bedside, no longer able to carry on extended conversations with him, it was so terribly hard to see him in that state and not to be able to do anything to change the circumstances. Like all of us, Moishe was truly powerless in the hand of the Lord. He had one advantage over you and me though. He knew it—for him it had become an inescapable reality. Today he is experiencing that reality with perfect peace and joy in the presence of his Lord. We on the other hand still need constant reminders of our frailty, reminders that awaken us to the reality of who we really are and who God really is.
As a missionary to the Jewish people it is especially important for me to remember that the salvation of Israel in general, and Jewish people in particular, is also very much in the hands of our God. Admittedly I have sometimes been discouraged by particular encounters I have had while witnessing. It's usually been because I failed to remember God's sovereign purposes in the work of salvation.
I specifically remember one day when I was out on the streets of New York City and it seemed like no one was willing to talk to me. Not a lot of people were taking the literature I was handing out either. Finally someone stopped to talk but even as my hope rose, his real intent—to belittle me and attack my faith in Jesus—became apparent. I was so longing to talk to someone, anyone, that I allowed this guy to get under my skin. I became angry and sarcastic in my response to his abusive language and frankly, he was a lot better at being angry and sarcastic than I was. He walked away smug; he had scored the verbal victory.
I felt awful, as well I might. I had succumbed to the illusion that it was up to me to win arguments through my own cleverness in order that people might be saved. Now when you hear it said like that, it sounds absurd, doesn't it? But that is how we are behaving if, in our efforts to make the gospel known, we allow others to manipulate us through our pride. No one was ever argued into God's kingdom. We know that. Whenever anyone responds in faith to Jesus it is a work of the awesome grace of God by His Holy Spirit. I believe that, but why didn't I remember it in the moment? It goes back to that issue of control and forgetting that we are always situated best when we submit fully to being in the hands of the Almighty and respond accordingly.
Right now we have a group of eager Jewish believers training at Moody Bible Institute in preparation for handing out gospel tracts on the streets of New York City next month. We will also be in Essen and D?sseldorf plus we have a special outreach in South Africa for the World Cup soccer matches. We will continue to encounter many who are antagonistic to our message. Some yell at us to belittle our faith while others merely push past with scowls of contempt. There is always a temptation either to be discouraged, or even to respond defensively to those who disparage our faith. But if we truly believe that God is in charge, we will entrust ourselves, our message and whatever fruit we hope to see to Him.
Thankfully, God is already working in the hearts of certain people, and while we can't know who they are in our own strength, He wants to use us to help these people awake to the reality that they are in the palm of His hand. Let's pray for those precious people He is calling to Himself. And let's pray for our Jews for Jesus staff and volunteers; that each one has an overwhelming sense of his or her own dependence upon Providence and that they all might speak with boldness, not by their own strength but by His alone.
Likewise, I pray that each one of us, dear reader, will release all illusions of being in control. May we all find both rest and resolve in the fact that we are powerless in the palm of Providence, so that whatever challenges are bearing down upon us right this moment will be lifted through the limitless strength and power of our great God.