New Trainees, 2001
Meet Amy Etinger
Both my parents are Canadian Jews. My mother was raised in an Orthodox home, while my father was raised in a not-so-Orthodox one. They met and married at an early age.
My mother always sensed that life was more than avoiding pork and observing the Sabbath. She began searching for truth and her first stop was Yoga, which did not last long. Around this time my parents faced some very difficult circumstances. This gave my mom’s aunt—a Jewish believer in Jesus—the opportunity to shine Jesus’ love on my parents. She told my mom about the Messiah Jesus, and Mom received the Lord. My dad was pretty upset about her new beliefs. Yet within a year and a half he received Jesus as his Savior as well!
So, I was born into a Jewish and Jesus-believing home. We celebrated many Jewish traditions, but we also celebrated Jesus.
My older brother and I went to Sunday School faithfully. I’m told I was a courageous little girl (and still am)—always sticking up for my beliefs, always ready to answer the oft asked question, How can you be Jewish and be a Christian? Are you half-Jewish and half-Christian?” I always tried to explain that I am fully Jewish and fully Christian, and that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
When I was 15 we moved to another town, away from my church and my best friend, who was a Christian. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of parties and dating, which became like a new religion to me. I lost sight of God, but God never took His eyes off me. Regardless of my distracted lifestyle, He continued to care for and watch over me.
When I was 18 I attended camp and the theme was “Heart, Soul and Mind.” Well, that’s exactly what God took hold of during that week. He renewed my life in Him, and I was baptized in Lake Ontario. At that time God planted a desire within me to reach out to the Arab and Jewish communities.
Throughout high school and university I studied drama. I graduated from Redeemer University College in Ontario last May (with a major in psychology and a minor in theatre arts) and served with the Jews for Jesus Players over the summer. My desire is to minister to people, especially youth, through drama. Jeremiah 29:11 is my favourite verse. I have already seen how true it is and I look forward to what God will unfold: “‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give a future and a hope.'”
Meet Delphine Teboul
I was born and raised in France. My father is Jewish and my mother was raised Catholic, but neither cared about religion when they married.
I knew that my father was Jewish, although he rarely talked about it. I attended a Catholic school until I was 13 years old, but it did not give me a clear understanding of Jesus. Sometimes I thought about God and wondered if He was real and cared about us. However, it never occurred to me to look for answers in the Bible. Our family did not own one and I had no idea or curiosity about what was in it.
My best friend in high school was a Christian. She occasionally invited me to church and faithfully shared her faith with me for about four years. When I was 19 years old I went to her church to hear an American evangelist. I don’t remember what he talked about, but at the end he invited people who wanted to know Jesus to come forward and I did. While I did not fully realize what I was doing, I felt strongly drawn to God and wanted to know Him personally.
After that I had no more doubts about God. I knew that He was real and that He loved me. All I wanted was to get close to Him. I also began to be convicted of my sins, but did not know what to do about it. I was miserable and feared I would never get close to God. However, I continued going to church and began studying the Bible. I realized that I needed to repent and start a new life based on the Word of God. Finally, I understood what it meant to give my life to Jesus and have a relationship with Him. My mother also became a believer and so did one of my brothers.
I did not consider myself Jewish because of my education, and because I had heard that one could only be Jewish through her mother.* Then I met some people with Jews for Jesus and they challenged me to think about my Jewishness. I decided to take the Jews for Jesus training for a Summer Witnessing Campaign in Paris because I wished to learn about my Jewish roots. I was not planning on doing the Campaign itself. Yet God made it clear to me during the training that I should participate in the whole Campaign. Through that experience God gave me a growing desire to serve Him and continue witnessing about Yeshua (Jesus). He also helped me understand that I am Jewish, despite my upbringing.
My life in Yeshua became more meaningful when I discovered my Jewish identity. It enlightened my call and gave me clear purpose and direction in the way God wanted me to serve Him. I am very grateful and honored that God has called me to help my Jewish people meet our Messiah and find their identity in Him.
Delphine is a graduate from the Sorbonne in Paris with a master’s degree in English/American literature and history. Prior to working with Jews for Jesus she taught high school English in France.
*According to Jewish tradition, one’s Jewish identity is passed on through the mother. In biblical genealogies, one’s Jewish identity is passed on through the father.