Bits from the Branches
These are the kinds of stories we remind ourselves of when we find it tough to hand out tracts: Gregory Furman reports, One Saturday after services at my congregation, a gentleman named Anatoly approached me and said, ‘You don’t remember me but about two years ago during the summer you were handing out pamphlets on the boardwalk here in Brighton Beach. When I took one you asked who I thought Jesus was.’ Apparently Anatoly didn’t answer me at the time but simply walked away. However, later on he read the tract and thus began his encounter with Jesus. Now, here at Congregation Beth Israel, Anatoly has come to faith in Jesus. He wanted to thank Jews for Jesus and me for being there and helping him begin his adventure with Jesus.”
And just when you think you’ve heard it all…Valerie Bouaziz reports, “I was calling Jewish people who have agreed to hear more from us when I reached Shoshanna. She was in a hurry but stayed on the line with me for 15 minutes. She told me that Jesus was the son of aliens! I had never heard this before! I pointed out that aliens are not mentioned in the Tanach (Old Testament) and there is no proof or facts about aliens. Then I reminded her that we humans are made according to God’s image; we can’t be aliens because God is not an alien. I told her to look again at the book of Genesis. She seemed thoughtful, and promised to read the book of Genesis and think about it. Please pray for God to open Shoshanna’s eyes and heart.”
Karl deSouza reports, “I was on a sortie (defined earlier) at Concordia University in Montreal when I saw someone I knew. Daniel (not his real name) is an observant Jew who had contacted us through our website about a year ago. He was curious about Jesus and I met with him while I was in Montreal on a visit. When I returned to Toronto, we had a few Bible studies together over the phone. However, Daniel soon stopped contact with me. Now I am back and settled in Montreal, and was pleasantly surprised to see Daniel at Concordia. He agreed to meet me at a local cafT where I learned that he’d become scared as we studied the Bible together, and turned to his rabbi who dissuaded him from further meetings with me. Once again, I opened up some Messianic passages to point Daniel to Jesus. He looked over the texts and said he needed to see them in Hebrew. I haven’t heard from him since. Please pray that God would show Daniel the truth of His Word, and melt away his fears concerning Jesus.”
Maxim Ammosov reports, “In late December, Mira and I went to a public Hanukkah candle-lighting at one of Moscow’s central squares, close to the Kremlin. As we handed out our broadsides to the Jewish people who were gathering for a ceremony, I saw two young men in conversation. I wanted to go speak to them but we were already standing closer to the event than the authorities wanted, and doing quite well there. If we got any closer and people complained, we could be driven away.
Nevertheless, one of the young men came to me and asked what I was handing out. To my surprise, he seemed quite interested. He said that he had finished his rabbinical training at yeshiva, but he was very curious about the Messianic point of view. It turned out that Dovid is well acquainted with one of the Moscow Messianic congregations. When I asked if he thought Jesus was the Messiah, he answered that the question required additional investigation. He seemed sincere and willingly gave me his contact information so that we could meet and discuss the Messiahship of Jesus. Praise God! Please pray for the salvation of Dovid.”