Bits from the Branches
Dina Markova reports, “After seeing a newcomer at the Shalom congregation’s Shabbat service, I asked him our usual question: ‘Who do you think Jesus is?’ I quickly learned that Gregory had heard the Good News at another Messianic congregation. He told me he believed that Jesus is ‘the One you can turn to for help,’ and then he added, ‘But I don’t know what to say or how to turn to Him.’ As I discussed the gospel with Gregory, he accepted the fact that he was a sinner in need of salvation, and he asked for a Bible. I agreed to bring him one the following Shabbat, while he agreed to think further about the gospel. The next week came and after the Shabbat service, Gregory said he was ready to turn to Jesus. We prayed a sinner’s prayer, and Gregory received Y’shua as his Savior. I gave him the Bible and we agreed to study it during future visits. Please pray for Gregory’s growth in God.”
Tatyana Bolotova reports, “We had a wonderful time of ministry at a local Messianic congregation. Two people I minister to attended the meeting. Ada, a new Jewish believer, attends our Bible studies and has an obvious hunger to know God more deeply—it was no surprise to see her there. However, I was greatly surprised to see the other visitor, Svetlana, who was not a believer. I had talked to her over the phone numerous times but we had never met. She is a teacher and claimed she was too busy to meet with me. I could do nothing but ask everyone to pray for Sveta’s heart to open towards God. Our Lord answers prayer, and His ways are amazing! Sveta’s brother, Alexander, recently came to faith in Jesus. He really wanted to share his joy with his sister. Seeing the changes in Alexander’s life, Sveta decided to take a step towards the Lord by coming to the congregation. When the pastor gave an altar call, Sveta boldly went forward and received Y’shua into her heart. Praise Jesus! After the service, Sveta told me she regretted very much having taken so long to respond to God’s call. Please pray that she will continue to grow and to follow Y’shua.”
Shaun Buchhalter reports, “I returned a phone call from a self- professed Jewish skeptic who I’ll call Stephen. When I spoke to him he immediately let me know that not only was he a skeptic but, having read up on various religions, there was no way that he would change his mind. Despite this, I knew that he had some interest since he had contacted Jews for Jesus. I shared a copy of the first section of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity as well as the first two chapters of Lee Strobel’s The Case for a Creator. Stephen was impressed with both their arguments and we discussed the case for God’s existence over the phone, though he was not interested in meeting in person. Imagine my surprise when one day Stephen called to ask me to pray for his girlfriend who was facing a very difficult exam. We prayed together on the phone and ever since, his demeanor has changed. He says he would like to meet with me, but every time we have tried to schedule an appointment, it has not worked out. Please pray for God to continue working in Stephen’s heart and that our schedules would come together so that we can meet in person.”
Bimini Cohen reports, “Toward the end of 2006, two women I’ve been ministering to came to faith: I’ll call them Melissa and Anna. Melissa has been very bold in her faith and has seen wonderful answers to prayer.
“Anna had prayed to receive the Lord last spring with one of my colleagues, but as sometimes proves to be the case, she had not fully understood her sinful state and need for Jesus. It took over a year of much prayer and Bible teaching for her to comprehend what Jesus has done and how much He loves her. As a toddler, she lost her entire family in the Holocaust. Please pray for God’s physical and emotional healing for Anna, and that, as we continue studying Scripture together, she and Melissa will soon understand their need for baptism and regular church fellowship.”