Bits from the Branches
The Art of Missionary Work
Missionary David Rothstein has a bachelor of fine arts in illustration from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA—but now he focuses on the art of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. He was doing just that, handing out broadsides (gospel tracts) at a local art festival in Fort Lauderdale, FL, when he met Morton. Morton is an elderly Jewish man who frowned with distaste as he read David’s Jews for Jesus T-shirt. David invited him to say what he was thinking, and Morton replied, I hate what you’re doing.” Having expressed that, he and his wife stopped for a friendly chat. It turns out Morton’s niece is a believer in Jesus. When David asked if they’d be willing to receive more information from us, his wife piped up, “I would!” with enough exuberance to make him wonder if she might be a bit more than a little interested in Jesus.
Gospel Ad in Secular Media Is Stepping Stone to Faith
Neil is a Jewish man who responded to our gospel ad in the Miami Herald. When missionary Sharon Freeman called to follow up, he had just received the Hanukkah booklet offered in the ad and was excited about reading it. Prior to seeing our ad, he knew that Jesus was somehow important to him, but he had been told all of his life that Jesus is for Gentiles only. He readily agreed to meet with Sharon and came with booklet and a copy of the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures) in hand. His reaction to their first Bible study (including Isaiah 53), was amazement that his own Hebrew Bible painted such a clear picture of Jesus. Sharon explained the decision that lay before Neil, and he prayed, thanking God for the forgiveness of his sin through Jesus. He has also asked about the best way to tell his family, and he has already made plans to attend church.
Lost and Found
Stan and Holly Meyer were walking through the Encino Mall and ran into Jeremy, who they knew from their time of ministry in Toronto last summer. Stan lost touch with Jeremy after coming back to Southern California, and Toronto Chief of Station Karol Joseph was not able to reach him. It seems Jeremy came down to Los Angeles to secure a temporary job until he could “break into show business.” Well, Jeremy’s temporary job didn’t pan out, but he did get together with Stan, and he seems to be (still) open to the gospel. Now that we have found Jeremy, pray that he will find Jesus!
More Than a Teacher
In Toronto, missionary Marcello Araujo was calling through a list of Jewish people who receive our literature when he reached Michael, a Jewish psychologist. Michael informed Marcello that he not only receives our materials, but he also uses both the Old Testament and the New Testament to counsel some of his patients. Michael said, “I often quote from Proverbs, Psalms, Matthew, John—I use the Sermon on the Mount frequently.” When Marcello asked if Michael thought Jesus was the Messiah, he said no, he merely believed Jesus was a good teacher with excellent morals and ethical standards. When Marcello asked if Michael ever considered the possibility that Jesus is the Messiah, Michael laughed and said he had to go but invited Marcello to call back any time to continue the discussion. Pray that God would open this man’s heart to the truth about Jesus.
A Different Michael’s Choice
In New York, missionary Mitch Forman has been meeting with Michael, a Russian Jew who has been in the United States for a few years. Michael was a psychiatrist in Uzbekistan. As he and Mitch studied the life of Jesus, Michael was looking at Jesus as a “case study”! He concluded that Jesus’ teachings and behavior were perfectly sane. Mitch said, “Well, if you believe he is sane, do you believe he is the Messiah?”
“Yes I do,” Michael replied. He was hesitant to open his heart to Jesus but finally concluded that the situation required a leap of faith—and he took it!
Mother and Daughter Closer Than Ever
In Moscow, new outreach worker Natasha Yevgudina asked Chief of Station Avi Snyder to excuse her from their regular Saturday morning evangelistic Bible study. Natasha’s mother had decided to visit from the city of Kazan (a day and a half travel by train). She was arriving on Saturday and would only be in town for the weekend. Rather than excusing Natasha from the study, Avi asked, “Does your mother know Jesus?” Natasha said that she didn’t. “Bring her to the study with you,” Avi suggested. At the end of the meeting, who came forward and repented of her sins? Natasha’s mother, Valla! Now they are not only mother and daughter—they are also sisters in the Lord.