Bits from the Branches
Shoshannah Weinisch reports from New York:
“I had a visit with Deborah, a Jewish believer, in the common lounge in my apartment building. When we entered the lounge, I noticed a man working on the heating unit. There were also a number of people in the lounge, working on computers. We strategically sat at the end of the lounge so as not to aggravate anyone with our conversation, but spoke quite openly about the Lord. After spending some time in the Word, we prayed together.
“As we were scheduling our next visit, the man working on the heating unit approached us. ‘Hi, my name is John. I am an engineer hired by your building to test the heat and air system.’ John continued, ‘I want to tell you how encouraging it is to see believers studying the Bible and praying in a public space.’ After introductions, John briefly shared the story of his faith journey with us. He had become a believer in Jesus just three years ago. Deborah explained that she had come to faith just one year ago, through studying the Bible with me. I gave John a copy of my story along with my Jews for Jesus business card.
“Fast forward 3 weeks: I received the following text message: ‘My name is Craig. You met my friend from church, John, at your apartment building. I have a Jewish relative who needs to receive Jesus. She lives in Florida; will you call her?’
“After a few texts back and forth, I called Gabi. We did a study on Psalm 23 and spoke about Jesus being the good shepherd. Gabi responded quickly. She wanted to be under the care of Jesus. We had a total of four phone visits and she was ready to receive Jesus as her Messiah. Since that time I have put Gabi in touch with Lisa Smolowitz who serves in our South Florida branch. They had already had two visits when Gabi called me to check in and catch me up on what God is doing in her life. It is amazing what God will do when Christian friends put us in touch with Jewish friends and family who need to know Jesus.”
Oded Orban and Tzachi Danor report from Israel:
Oded: “Please pray for David,* an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, to receive Yeshua in his heart. In our last meeting, when I asked him to pray with me for God to give him the answers to all his questions, he yelled, ‘No! I don’t want any answer from God!’ I was in shock for a second, because in our previous meetings he seemed so glad to talk about God’s love. Please pray that what David suffered through will not prevent him from receiving new life in Jesus.
“As I was calling people from the phone book, I found a man named Avner* who listened as I shared the gospel with him and said he was interested in receiving our Y’shua book. We will keep in touch. Please pray for him to be saved.”
Tzachi: “Two weeks ago my wife and I discovered that somebody had distributed flyers around our neighborhood speaking against us because of our faith in Yeshua. One of our neighbors showed our landlord the flyer a week before it was time to renew our lease on the apartment where we live. When I met with him to sign our lease for next year’s rent, he asked me about the flyer. I explained to him who we believe Yeshua is, and why. He listened to what I had to say and replied, ‘I don’t have a problem with that at all and I don’t have a problem with you. You will stay in the apartment.’ Before we finished meeting, I gave him the Y’shua book.
“A young man named Micah* ordered a book through our website. I called to follow up and found he had read the book. After a short conversation, he was ready to receive Yeshua into his life. We will keep in touch and I will continue to help him understand the Bible and find a congregation.”
Arielle Randle reports from Chicago:
“God has really been blessing our Chicago branch weekly Shabbat dinners! One exciting new development is that we have been posting the dinners on a website called Meetup.com. At our first 2015 Shabbat dinner, a group of three Jewish people came after being invited through a ‘meet-up.’ Two of them, Chaim* and Lisa,* returned for Shabbat the next week, and we had six Jewish people who are not yet for Jesus around our table that night.
Chaim’s family is part of the ultra-Orthodox community, although he himself is not religiously observant. He told me that he had once visited a Messianic Congregation, and that he had read part of the New Testament but found it too hard to understand. He said that he wasn’t interested in religion, but he asked several questions about the Bible. Pray that Chaim would be willing to give the New Testament another shot!
Daniel,* another Shabbat dinner guest, is a college student whose parents (both Jewish) divorced many years ago after his mother became a believer in Jesus. Daniel is very involved with the Jewish groups on his campus and says that he is searching for his identity within Judaism. Please pray for Daniel, that he will come to faith and find his identity as a Jew in the Messiah of Israel!
From our Cyber Branch:
Okay, so we don’t exactly have a cyber branch, though we hope and expect to before long. But maybe you’ve noticed in our newsletter, we are ministering to more and more people through initial Internet contact. That is all the more true since we upgraded the live chat option on our website. We’ve already had a few people pray with us to receive Yeshua via live chat, and praise reports should be forthcoming once we are able to see that these folks are willing to receive follow-up ministry from us or others who might live closer to them. We hope you will point your Jewish friends to our website at www.jewsforjesus.org, where they will find abundant ways to explore why we believe Jesus is the Messiah. But we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that if you direct your friends to the website there is an excellent chance that one of our missionaries or trained volunteers will invite him or her to chat.
*not their real names