Bits from the Branches
From Long Island, Susan Mendelson reports, “After having a ministry to a woman named Lois over the past five or six years, it was a joy to see her come to faith in Jesus. I can see the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in her. It is a true joy to behold. We have found a good church for her to attend not too far from where she lives; I was able to be there for the service where they presented her and gave her a Bible with her name inscribed. She has begun to attend the mid-week Bible studies also. Please pray that she will continue to grow in her faith. She has some memories of her Orthodox upbringing that seem to be hindering her willingness to move forward with baptism.”
Simon L. reports: “Ziggy and I recently went to Stamford Hill Library. I was interested in the Ramban commentaries on Genesis and Exodus. (Ramban is a highly respected thirteenth century Spanish rabbi.) As we were talking to the librarian, two young Orthodox Jewish men came into the library and Ziggy got into conversation with them.
“I spotted a different commentary and thought I’d read it while I waited. I turned to Jeremiah 31:31: ‘”The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”‘ Then I looked down at the commentary and read, ‘Its newness will be because it will be permanent, never to be broken. Some (Christians) claim that the prophet prophesied that a new Torah would be given … given by the founder of Christianity, which is entirely new. This assertion can be easily refuted, since Scripture states explicitly that the covenant will differ only in that ‘they broke the “old” covenant but this “new” covenant they will not break.’
“One of the Orthodox men, Anshal, wanted to know what I was reading. I showed him the book and we had a wonderful conversation about the New Covenant, and whether or not it differs from the Old Covenant that was broken.
So God used a library to open Jeremiah 31 with two Orthodox Jews, and we successfully engaged them in a conversation that caused them to think about the passage for themselves! When Ziggy asked Anshal if he’d be willing to continue the discussion, Anshal gave him his contact information. Please pray that we will be able to continue the discussion.”
Oded Cohen reports: “I continue to meet with Eli*, an Orthodox Jewish man who now professes faith in Jesus. In the beginning, he only wanted to read the New Testament quickly and leave. (He wouldn’t dare carry it with him.) But now we have deeper discussions. We are going through the Gospel of Matthew. We had an especially meaningful discussion of this verse: ‘Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven’ (Matthew 10:32-33). We discussed the possibility that he might at some point need to choose between Jesus and his community. Please pray for God’s daily help in keeping Eli strong in his faith, and for salvation for his entire family.”
Also from Oded: “I received a call at the office from an Israeli man who said that many years ago he received books, videos and literature from us. He read everything and now wants to follow Yeshua. He said that he has believed for a while that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, but he has never done anything about it. He became ultra-Orthodox as a teenager and even volunteered for a time with the anti-missionary group, Yad L’Achim. He has certain personal struggles, but apart from that, he seems to have a sincere faith that Jesus is his Lord and Savior. Please pray for him to come into the newness of life that God has for him and that he will grow in his faith as a pastor friend of mine and I disciple him.”
* not his real name