Meet Our New Missionary Trainees!
My name is Sara Herr. I am 23 years old, was born in California, raised in Las Vegas and I am the only child of Jewish parents who both believe in Jesus. Growing up I attended Hebrew school and learned many things about my Jewish identity, but I also learned who Jesus is and what it means to believe and follow Him. My mother prayed with me every night, and taught me at an early age, the importance of having a relationship with God. I was three years old when I heard the gospel and asked Jesus to come into my heart as my Savior.
I began taking ownership of my faith in high school, attending a church with two of my close friends. As I began to understand God’s love for me, it put other things in perspective. I re-dedicated my life to Jesus at a church camp the summer before college.
I attended college at the University of Nevada at Reno where I became involved in campus ministry, leading Bible studies with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. During this time I began to see God’s heart for the lost, broken, poor and hurting people of the world. He established a desire in my heart to serve Him fully with all of my life. He provided me with an incredible community of believing friends who encouraged my desire to go into full-time ministry. I graduated from U of N with a degree in secondary education.
I’d met some missionaries with Jews for Jesus during a missions conference in 2003, and was invited to participate in the New York City summer witnessing campaign. This was a great opportunity for me to truly rely on God and learn to trust Him in some of the hardest situations I’ve experienced. It was also a great chance to see God work through me in ways that I never thought possible; I even got to see many people come to know the Lord! I enjoyed that summer so much that I agreed to be a part of the campaign the following year. The longer I served with Jews for Jesus, the more I saw God working through me, and I am excited to begin serving in a way in which I will daily see more of the same.
My name is Melissa Zaidman. I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 30 years ago. My father was Jewish—he and my mother both knew Jesus and raised me to love Him. I grew up attending Sholem Aleichem Jewish Israelite School, where I learned much about my Jewish heritage. As a child, I knew that I was called to missions, but was very certain of what type of mission work I did NOT want to do—Jewish evangelism.
Little did I know that Sergio Danon—who attended the church where my father was associate pastor when I was 12 years old—would one day be a missionary with Jews for Jesus. He remembered my commitment to missions and suggested that I join the Liberated Wailing Wall. I did so with much trepidation—and the Lord began a great work in my heart. Through my ministry with the Liberated Wailing Wall I was able to travel to 45 states and had opportunities to witness to people all over America. We handed out our gospel pamphlets on college campuses and on street corners as well as presenting our Jewish gospel music and drama in churches. Through this the Lord began to rekindle in my heart a love and a burden for my Jewish people and Jewish evangelism. In the 18 months that I toured with the Liberated Wailing Wall, we as a team had the privilege of seeing 101 people come to know the Lord as Savior.
One memorable opportunity came in Jacksonville, Florida at the University of North Florida campus. There I met a young unbelieving Jewish college student named Sara who was open to receiving some of our materials. She was going through some health situations and asked me to pray for her. I prayed for her health and her salvation as well. As she walked away she asked me to keep praying for her and I promised I would. More than seven months later we returned to that campus and as I was handing out gospel broadsides, I saw Sara coming in my direction. Many things had happened since we’d first met, including the death of her mother. However, there was a change in her countenance, and I asked her about it. Sara told me that her heart now belonged to Jesus, that she claimed Him as her Messiah and Lord.
That day the Lord reminded me of my responsibility to be a seed planter. It is my hope and prayer that in the years to come the Lord will give me many opportunities to plant seeds and trust Him for the harvest!
Please remember to pray for Sara and Melissa through the joys and struggles of our rigorous training period in New York City!