It was during the late ’70s that Tuvya Zaretsky, one of the Jews for Jesus missionaries, was on a two-week ministry in Dallas during the Passover season. He stayed at our home and presented the Passover meal at several area churches—a great job and a real blessing to all who came.
One afternoon Tuvya went to the Southern Methodist University campus to give out tracts (Jews for Jesus calls them broadsides). I decided to go along. He even invited me to hand out some of the pamphlets. Why not?
Having been converted at age 36, I had started attending Dallas Theological Seminary at 40. I was a former businessman—balding, bulging, and a clean-shaven Gentile for sure. There we stood at a campus intersection—I on one side, and Tuvya, a bearded and very Jewish-looking” Jew for Jesus, on the other.
Imagine the quizzical looks on the faces of some of those SMU students to whom I handed a Jews for Jesus broadside! Some read it, looked at Tuvya, looked at me, and did a double take. I was having a ball—until we got stopped by the campus police.
“What, me, officer? I’m just a fat, bald, middle-aged Gentile. Here, meet my superior, Tuvya Zaretsky.…Well, yes, he is a Jew, but he is for Jesus. Let me explain. On the other hand, I’m not sure you would understand.…” By then, Tuvya, who had been through that sort of thing on other campuses, was now returning with the official permit. Whew! What a relief.
Unfortunately I allowed the event to take away some of my boldness. But I do recommend to all who love Jesus that they experience handing out broadsides. I’m going to do it again—as soon as I grow some hair and get thin. Anyhow, I love Jesus, and I love Jews for Jesus.
Editor’s Note: William Troth now pastors Believers’ Bible Church in Lufkin, Texas.