The Bible Nobody Wanted
I was walking down the street in Brooklyn somewhat discouraged. I had just come from visiting a Russian Jewish couple who had returned a Bible that I had loaned them. They said that they were no longer interested in reading the Bible or considering that Jesus might be the Messiah.
As I walked along, I passed a man and woman who were speaking Russian. The man was saying that he was 62 years old and never in his whole life had he seen a Russian Bible. I could hardly believe my ears. I stopped, introduced myself to Boris and Anna and gave them the Bible that had just been returned to me, along with a Russian translation of our booklet called The Universe is Broken, Who on Earth Can Fix It?” I waited a few weeks in order to give them time to read these things, then contacted them and arranged to visit with them in their home.
When I arrived, I explained the basics of the gospel to Boris and he seemed very open. Before long, his wife Anna and two nieces, who attend a local yeshiva (Jewish parochial school), returned. Anna became very upset. She and the nieces began to say that it was wrong for Jews to believe in Jesus, a betrayal of their religion. Then Anna took the Bible from her husband’s hands, gave it back to me and said, “We Jewish people have to keep our religion.” She insisted that Boris not speak anymore about the matter. I took the Bible, said “One day you will know you have made the wrong choice,” and left with a heavy heart.
When I got downstairs, I saw a woman playing with a dog. I commented to her that it was a beautiful dog, and how God had created everything so beautifully. She, too, was a Jewish Russian woman. Her name was Dina, and she responded by saying, “Yes, God has made everything beautiful.”
I asked Dina what she knew about Jesus and she said that she thought Jesus might be the Son of God, but not God Himself. She did not have a Bible, so I gave her that same Russian Bible and “The Universe is Broken” booklet that had just been returned to me by Boris and Anna. She seemed eager to meet and discuss the person of Jesus, so we arranged to get together the following week. Dina was not there at our next appointed time and she missed several more appointments with me. I tried many, many times to reach her by phone and by dropping in at her home at the appointed times, but she was never there.
When I finally reached her, I was very direct about not wanting to waste my time. If she really wanted to get together to discuss Jesus I would come, but if not, I asked that she please not promise to meet and then not show up. Dina absolutely promised to be there, so I agreed to try one last time. The next day, Dr. Goldberg and I went to her apartment and she was indeed home.
Dr. Goldberg showed her many Bible passages including Matthew 8:23-27, 9:1-8, 9:18, 9:23-26 and John 3:16. She was so excited to hear that Jesus died for her sins and she proceeded to tell us about some of her past troubles and what God had done in her life.
Her husband had had a stroke and was unable to care for himself. Dina herself was very sick with a fever and a swollen foot that was abscessed. She was unable to get even a glass of water for herself, much less care for her husband. She had heard that Jesus did good things for people so, as she lay in bed that night, she prayed, “Please Jesus, help me.” The next morning, Dina’s foot was normal and the fever was gone. She understood that something had happened in her life, but she really didn’t know anything about Jesus.
The Bible that was passed from one person to the next had finally landed on fertile soil. After reading the Bible passages with Dr. Goldberg and me, Dina realized Jesus was God. She was so happy to pray and ask Him into her heart. I have set up another time to meet with Dina to continue teaching her about her savior and her new life in Christ. I feel sure she will keep this appointment and many more.