The BYG* Pic
*Behold Your God.
This month we have Behold Your God campaigns going on in three winter warm spots: Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix. This is high season for snow birds” (those escaping harsh winter conditions in other parts of the country) and we hope to greet visitors and long-term residents alike with a warm smile and good tidings of salvation in Jesus.
You may recall that we originally planned for our Miami campaign to take place in February 2005. We postponed it due to a shortage of Jewish believers that we felt were needed to “do it right.” We decided instead to wait a year and run two campaigns concurrently, to really saturate South Florida with the gospel. The wait is over for Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida!
South Florida’s Jewish population is second only to that of New York City. The tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach is home to a community of more than 625,000 Jewish people. The Jewish population there is a mixture of Russian, Israeli, Latin-American and many, many retired Jews from the Northeast. The area boasts more than eight universities where we can share the Good News. Art festivals are another important venue, with the Coconut Grove Arts Festival drawing over 750,000 people over the President’s Day weekend, and the Los Olas Art Festival in Fort Lauderdale, which is also very well attended. We plan to do some outdoor Jewish gospel music with the Liberated Wailing Wall, who will be in town, as well as “Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician” public meetings in both in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Doctor Bernie Cohen from our U.S. board of directors and Dr. Irv Weisner, a friend from Pennsylvania, will both give their testimonies.
For more information about the Jewish community of South Florida, including history as well as photographs, go to: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/florida.html
Just a week and a half after our Miami and Fort Lauderdale campaigns begin, Behold Your God will commence in Phoenix, Arizona, where the Jewish population numbers 100,000. Known as the Valley of the Sun, campaign leader Rob Wertheim hopes that this month Phoenix will become the Valley of the Son! There will be a concert by noted classical pianist Sam Rotman, who is Jewish and blends his music with a story of faith in Jesus as his Messiah. We will also have public showings of “Survivor Stories,” the testimonies of Jewish Holocaust survivors who have come to faith in Jesus. The campaign also coincides with spring training for major league baseball; there are seven stadiums around the greater Phoenix area. We look forward to evangelism at Arizona State University, where there are 52,000 students, approximately 3,000 of whom are Jewish. We have also heard that 100,000 people will come to the Ostrich Festival, a weekend event that most of us can only begin to imagine. The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show will just be ending as our campaign starts, but we hope to catch the “tail end” of the crowd.
None of these three cities is known for busy street corners or heavy foot traffic, so there will be a good many phone calls and door-to-door visits. We also hope to have effective evangelistic media ads placed where many in the Jewish community will notice them. Please keep these three campaigns in your prayers!