Bits from the Branches
Rachel tried to ignore Jews for Jesus when she saw Jews for Jesus campaigners handing out our broadside tracts during our Behold Your God outreach in Washington, D.C., but, as she later confessed, she just couldn’t do it. She just had to make a remark to let us know that our presence irked her. That was in 2004.
Circumstances in Rachel’s life changed over time, and gave her a growing hunger to know God. A Christian friend invited her to McLean Bible Church. Lon Solomon, the pastor (who serves on our board of directors) is known to be Jewish. Now that Rachel was in a place to consider Jesus, hearing about Him from another Jew was important to her. Over time, as she attended that church, she came to understand that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and, last June, she trusted Him as her Savior. Pastor Solomon then referred her to our Washington, D.C. branch. No longer annoyed by the idea of Jews who are public in their desire for others to know about Jesus, Rachel is now meeting with one of our missionaries, Lynn Wein McCoy, for discipleship.
In retrospect, Rachel realized that although she could not respond positively at the time, seeing Jews for Jesus had helped her to think about the fact that some Jews do believe in Him. Standing on street corners handing out pamphlets is not the only way we seek to reach our people . . . but time and time again, we find our presence in public places has been a step along the way in preparing hearts to receive the gospel.
Missionary Larry Stamm first met George during our New York Behold Your God campaign. George’s mother is Jewish; his father Catholic. George had attended both church and synagogue over the years, but had many questions about God and faith. Larry has had several phone conversations with George to discuss gospel literature he’s sent over the months, but George has found it difficult to get together in person because he’s caring for an infirm mother and has some health issues himself. Larry finally had the opportunity to visit with George, who understood something of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but believed forgiveness was based on good works. When he finally understood that we’re forgiven simply through faith in the Righteous One (Jesus) and His death and resurrection on our behalf, George became very excited and prayed with Larry to receive Jesus! Please pray that George would grow in faith as Larry continues to minister to him.
Michelle is Jewish; her fiancT Andy is not. Andy found our website and contacted us to ask if we could perform a ceremony that would honor Jewish traditions as well as including faith in Jesus. He had indicated to branch leader Greg Savitt that he and Michelle were both believers; however, when Greg asked Michelle if she had ever asked Jesus for forgiveness of sin, she said “no” and began to cry. Apparently, she was very open to Jesus, but had not yet known Him personally or experienced His forgiveness. Greg prayed with her to receive the Lord. He will be meeting with them both for discipleship as well as to discuss the wedding.
Sara Friedman has been witnessing on several college campuses and thus met Jessie, a Jewish student who was writing a paper about Jews for Jesus. Jessie believed in God and was concerned about spirituality. She wanted to learn more about Jesus, she said, not only to write intelligently in her paper, but also because she wanted to make an educated decision about Him for herself. She took many notes and asked good questions. She also accepted a Gospel of John, said she would read it and asked Sara to meet with her the following week for coffee and further discussion. Of course Sara agreed— but she has not seen Jessie since.
Sara has tried to contact her many times, but has not been able to reach Jessie. She often wonders and prays for her. Please pray for Jessie and others like her, that God will use us to draw them to Him during whatever limited time we may have with them.